Labor Day marks the weekend my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kanga, and I rescued one another….9-years ago! How time flies. (and yes, I cake sunblock on my face, as you can see).
Kanga had been at the Humane Society for over 2 weeks, and no one adopted her. Surprising, since she is a beautiful specimen of this breed. Plus, she came fully trained, so someone had spent a lot of time and energy with her. She was skin and bone, and 50+ pounds underweight with kennel cough and dusty fur. Poor baby.
Luckily, a truck intercepted 20 dogs on their way to get euthanized, and brought them back to a no-kill shelter in Portland, OR called Family Dogs NW. This was where I found Kanga early the very next morning. I applied the same raw food principles to Kanga as I do for human healing, and over the next month or two she gained 50 pounds and regained radiant health on a Raw Food diet. You can read more about her journey in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, where Kanga has her own dog food chapter.
My brother Max saw this photo of Kanga and said she looks like she’s “mugging”. I had to ask him what the heck that means. Max said “mugging = posing, like rappers do for pics”. Hahaa. Yup, Kanga is a superstar, and very popular too. Folks always stop us to pet her, especially young children.
Kanga’s from Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe Rhodesia, and the Sahara so she loves the sun, warmth, and sand. She hates water, but it was so hot out that Kanga got her paws wet. I love dog beach because here she can roam off-leash, and run free to play with other dogs.
Kanga and I love laying in the sand and soaking up the sun. It’s never hot enough for us, and soaking up sun is one of our favorite past times. I’m happy I got to take Kanga to Huntington Dog Beach yesterday on the final hot day of the summer (it was 90 F) to celebrate her 9-year Bday and Dogversary with me. Thank you Kanga for being my family, love, and for hanging out with me for the past 9-years! I love you.
It was Kanga’s 8th ‘birthday’ and also our anniversary on Labor Day. Each year, I make my darling pooch a heart shaped cake (you may have seen the photo from last year’s birthday on page 301 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials). This year, the cake was made with sunflower seeds and a few Medjool dates. Kanga was so eager to eat it, she got green birthday candle wax on the tip of her nose….so cute!
In a blink of an eye, the cake was gone! And, I wonder if you can guess who’s in the background with her ‘magic’ tatoos….hint….London and the UK.
For our birthday ladies’ luncheon, I made Jicama Rice, Mexican style by processing Jicama, then adding chopped red bell peppers, onion, corn kernels, cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt. Recipe below…. It was a lunch of British guests, one of whom is a celiac. That means she needs to avoid wheat gluten. I love that about the raw food diet, it’s free of wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and guilt!
I had made myself a beet, parsley, lemon, and cucumber juice earlier that morning, then mixed in the beet pulp with a sunflower pate. I used this pate to stuff poblano peppers, then dehydrated them for a few hours to soften. For a sauce, I blended a simple tahini with lemon juice, salt, splash of water.
This was the dessert my lovely friend Kate Magic made us for dessert! It was made with figs, cacao, coconut, and lucuma…and it was incredible! But this was one course poor Kanga didn’t get to try (dogs and cacao don’t mix well…chocolate).
Jicama Mexican Rice
Place jicama in food processor, process into small bits. Be careful not to over process. Scoop into mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, toss to mix well.
Kanga’s Birthday Cake
Place sunflower seeds in food processor. Process into small pieces. Add pitted dates, and process. Sunflower will stick together and bind into a cake ‘dough’. Form dough into heart, and serve.
Note: Sweets should be served in moderation to dogs, as to humans as well.
If serving to humans or to mix up variations to this recipe, try adding in sea salt, vanilla, cacao / carob, and or goji berries.
I made a batch of Kanga Dog Treats for my Rhodesian Ridgeback canine companion. She loves these, and asked me to share the recipe with you here on my blog so other dogs could also enjoy these treats.
It’s important to keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy, especially if they aren’t crunching on dry kibble. These easy to make, crunchy treats will help remove plaque and freshen dog breath.
Your dog may not be used to these at first. Just like other new foods, you may need to teach pooch how to eat them by taking a bite out of one first, then giving it to pooch to try. Dogs always love what they see us eating. Especially when accompanied by yummy, delicious sounds.
Kanga is a dessert dog. She hates water and baths. She was rewarded after her lavender bath today with these treats, and was very happy.
I realize this is a recipe section where I list food for people. The good thing about raw food is that even treats for dogs could easily be enjoyed by humans. Many times, friends have come over and said “your dog eats better food that I do!” And this is so true, since Kanga eats organic, local, seasonal, and many times stuff that I eat. I joke that she’s my compost bin, eating up all my leftovers.
Kanga Dog Treats
Place sweet potatoes on dehydrator trays, and dry at 104 degrees F for 12 hours, or until completely dry.
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