Dog Gone Fun - Toy tutorial and Beefy biscuit recipe

I'll admit I'm dog crazy, can't imagine my days without four paws by my side.

Just before the holidays we bid a teary goodbye to our ten year old wheaten terrier, Maizy. She was my faithful companion and an expert nanny dog. She was the inspiration behind my second book, Pet Crafts. She left us far too young but will be treasured in family memories.

We picked up Otto at the begining of the new year. He's a spring loaded mini aussie whose filling our days with love and laughter. Our five year old daughter is having a great time helping with all things puppy from training to bathing.

Puppy toys and upscale treats can be pricey, you'll be amazed how easy and inexpensive it is to make and bake your own. Over winter break Celia devoted an hour making Otto a crazy furry critter. 

He immediately pounced on the crackling body and attacked the squeaky tail. This unique toy features a long Velcro body opening so that you can replace the crinkly water bottle stuffing.

You'll need the following supplies: fun fur and felt scraps, fiber fill stuffing, sew-on hook and loop fastener, a squeaker, you can recycle one from an old toy or order them online.

Fold the tail fur in half and cut through both layers to make a pointed tail shape that is  12" long, 5" at it's widest halfway down the tail, and 3.5" wide at the base. Cut the body fur into a 11" wide x 12" long rectangle; which should be wide enough to wrap around a large sized water bottle. Then cut a circle that is 4" in diameter for the head. Finally cut two pairs of 1.5" high and 1.5" wide felt ears, a 1.5" wide nose, and two .75" circle eyes.

Place the right sides of the tail together and machine stitch around the outside edge, be sure to leave the base unsewn. Make a second reinforcing seam. Snip off the very tip of the tail and turn the fabric right side out.

Lightly fill the tail with stuffing, then insert the squeaker.

Stack the ears together and stitch around the outside edge leaving the base unsewn, then turn them right side out. Position the eyes and nose in the center of head and spiral stitch them in place. Place the ears point sides down over the face and stitch them to the edge of the head.

Placing right sides together stitch the bottom edge of the body rectangle to the head. The body piece should overlap by an inch and half to enable the loop and closure to work.

Reach inside and turn over a half an inch of the cut fabric edge down the length of the body. Machine stitch a single seam to finish the folded edge.

Insert the tail into the base of the critter. Make sure that the unfinished body edge overlaps the finished one. Stitch through all the layers to close the base and attach the tail.

Turn the critter right side out. Pin and sew 10.5" length of hook and loop closure to the top of the unfinished edge and the underside of the finished edge. Insert the the bottle and let the games begin!

A word of caution please be aware of your animals chewing habits and do not leave them unsupervised while they play.

When your pup slows down for a snack here's a biscuit recipe that will make them sit and beg.

Beefy Dog Biscuits

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl/or stand mixer combine: 1/4 cup instant milk powder 

 1 T garlic Powder

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 cup oatmeal

2 1/2 cups flour

In a pryex measuring cup:  Dissolve two beef bouillon cubes in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water

Add 1 T of Peanut butter and drizzled in some honey.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Roll the dough to a 1/4" - 1/2" thickness on a floured work surface. We use a snowflake or flower shaped cookie cutter so that we can break off small pieces for training or stuffing into Kongs. Bake for 45 mins. then turn off the heat and leave the cookies to cool and harden in the oven for 10 hrs. Store in an airtight container. This recipe makes a generous cookie supply that lasts us almost a month.