When I was about a year old, my parents had a hard time getting me to fall asleep at night. To remedy this, they got me a stuffed animal set consisting of a mama dog and a baby dog, thinking that the toys might comfort me and lull me to sleep. Their hopes were dashed. For while the mama dog was too big for me to hold, the baby dog was just the right size to clutch in my baby hand, and instead of falling asleep, I ended up jabbering to it in my crib. That dog became my favorite childhood toy, and even when it lost some of its fur and had to be patched up by my mom, I still loved it and slept with it every night.
The stuffed dog was also responsible for my lifelong obsession with dogs. I begged my parents for a real dog for years, but my mom, who is the world’s biggest neat freak, God bless her, thought it would be too messy and too much of a hassle. Then when I was sixteen, she finally gave in. And in March 2000, Mushu came to live with us, a tiny, wrinkly, chubby little dachshund puppy who was so short he had to hop from the cement onto the grass in our backyard. I was smitten.
Now Mushu is twelve. His face and paws are turning white, and long walks leave him tired. But he still runs around the backyard, ears flopping around his head, and tries to chase after the wild rabbits in our neighborhood (they breed like crazy and have infiltrated everyone’s yard). Sometimes I feel guilty for getting Mushu and then leaving a year and a half later for college, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Every time I come home, he rushes over to greet me, tail wagging like crazy. We love each other unconditionally.
Since I don’t get to see him often, when I go home I always try to bring him some doggy treats. When I was in Houston over Memorial Day weekend, I brought him some treats and also made him some doggie fro-yo, seeing as the temperature in Houston is now reaching the 90s. This frozen yogurt is one of the easiest things I’ve ever made, just a quick blend of Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and a banana. If you have an immersion blender, this is the time to bust it out because it will make cleaning up a cinch. And guys, the frozen yogurt tastes really good. I swiped some that had splashed onto the kitchen counter, and let’s just say that if I didn’t love Mushu so much, I may have saved a couple of these treats for myself.
Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon, as written for Best Bully Sticks
Yields 12 2-oz. treats
2 cups (16 oz.) low-fat, all-natural plain Greek yogurt
1 medium banana
1/3 cup all-natural, organic peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, place the ingredients in a bowl or large cup and blend (clean-up is easier this way).
Place silicon or paper molds on a baking tray. Pour mixture into molds. Freeze until solid, at least 1 hour. Remove from molds and serve to your dog.
To store, wrap each treat individually with plastic wrap, then place them all in a large ziploc bag in the freezer.