The first day I stared into those big, brown eyes, I swear my heart fluttered out of my body and only became whole again once my little girl was in my arms. I spotted Remy the second we went to visit her and her sisters for the first time. She was essentially a puddle of delicious rolls with her signature bat-ears that would take her months to grow in to. Her siblings were running wild, spinning in circles, and vying for our attention. Brett eagerly scooped up this white fur-ball with black spots that came running to his feet, but my heart was set on the sweet, sheepish little pup in the corner. She took her time and looked at us suspiciously before curiosity took over and she too came over to check out the strangers (me and Brett).
Picking out a puppy might be one of the most difficult choices even known to man. I mean, how do you choose between one adorable pup and the other 5 that are equally sweet and squishable? By the time we arrived at the breeder’s house, there were three sisters that still needed permanent homes: the aforementioned spotted cutie, a beautiful all black pup, and fawn with unique white markings on her snout and chest. After playing with pups and observing their behaviours as they tumbled around with each other, it was clear that other two were a bit wild and kind of bullies (they were all French Bulldogs, but you know what I mean). I thought the third to be sweet, but I was afraid she might be too timid and skittish, until suddenly she pounced back with a bit of spunk in her step. It was that sudden spark in her personality that immediately answered the question of which dog would become the newest addition to our little family. A few weeks later, wearing a brand-new harness that was way to big for her, that same little pup road home with us and forever changed our lives.
Remy Antoinette Huff is our gorgeous fur-baby. Unlike other French Bulldogs, she is tall, lean, and athletic. Now nearly 6 years old, she has definitely grown into her bat-ears as well as her personality. That adorable pup that sat so sweetly on the sidelines lasted about two days before she discovered her “bark” and began getting comfortable in her new home. She’s been wild and crazy ever since! She is super stubborn but fiercely loyal to us and little brother Everett. Her favorite activities include playing “Neighbourhood Watch” out our bay windows, stalking the tennis players down at the park and hoping for a stray ball, stealing naps in Everett’s bed, and barking at anything that looks remotely like an animal on TV.
We’ve always treated Remy as part of the family. For several years, she was like out only child. Sadly, our poor Remy has had more than her fair share of health issues over the years. From a sliding hernia to being allergic to her own plaque on her teeth, she certainly knows her way around the vet’s office. Like many dogs of her breed, Remy also suffers from skin issues. The best way we’ve been able to regulate her itchiness and chronic ear infections is through changes in her diet.
We’ve tried elimination diets, homemade food, experiments with different proteins, and just about very organic, grain-free product out there. While her homemade mix of vegetables and fish seem to keep her tummy fed and coat silky smooth, I am thrilled that Only Natural Pet® is coming to PetSmart® Canada! Making Remy’s food at home is no easy task, so I am so grateful for the convenience of ONP’s clean, natural pet products without having to jeopardize her health.
Inspired by ONP’s freeze-dried EasyRaw Dog Food, I thought it would be fun to whip up a special sweet potato and carrot layer cake (sans turkey) for Ms. Remy. She will always be our number one gal, but life get’s pretty busy around here with a toddler in tow and having two "kids" trying to share our time and attention. Everett and Remy are becoming the best of friends, but I wanted to do something special just for her during this holiday season. I know this post is a slight departure from the layer cakes I create for us humans, but Remy is part of the family, and I found this to be the best way to introduce her to you all (ICYMI – you can see her third birthday party here). ONP and PetSmart Canada are making it super easy for us to make healthy choices for our pets, so while we are all feasting on our favorite seasonal dishes, let’s not forget to include our fur-babies in this magical time of year. Sneak some healthy treats into their stockings (you can sure bet that Remy has her own) or make one of these pup-frienldly mini layer cakes!
Remy’s Sweet Potato Pup Cake
Makes one 4-inch layer cake + 6 muffins
1 cup oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup sweet potato puree
1 cup shredded carrots
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 4-inch cake pans and line a small muffin tin with papers. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, rolled oats, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, molasses, oil, and sweet potato puree. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. Fold in the carrots. The batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.
Fill 6 muffins tins ⅔ of the way and then split the remaining batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean (about 16 to 20 minutes for the muffins and 22 to 28 minutes for the cakes). Completely cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Stir together the cream cheese, honey and peanut buter until smooth and well combined. Thin the mixture with a bit of water, if necessary, until it is thick yet some-what pipe-able. Spread or pipe on the cake layers and on top of the cooled muffins, if desired.
Like us humans, remember to practice feeding our pups these treats in moderation.
Note: Honey may not be safe for puppies. Be sure your dog’s immune system is mature before giving them honey.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PetSmart. The opinions and text are all mine.
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