Pumpkin Dog Biscuits for Pepper

by Melissa on May 8, 2012

When I started working on this post, it was going to be about making homemade dog food for our three dogs (two of our own, and one foster).

But our sweet foster dog, Pepper, found her forever home over the weekend, so this post is dedicated to her.

We fostered Pepper for exactly 13 months, from April 6, 2011 till May 6, 2012.

I met this sweet black lab puppy at a vet’s clinic in Johns Creek, GA when she was about 4-5 months old, I had planned to stop by to photograph her and one of her sisters for Angels Among Us Rescue. But when I found out that she had a broken leg (the one sticking straight out in the below picture), either from getting hit by a car or dropped off a deck by previous owners, I just couldn’t leave her in boarding and decided to foster her.

Little did I know at the time that we would get to love her for more than a year.

We decided to name her Pepper because of her playful personality and wonderful spirit despite her broken hind leg.

From the beginning, I knew that we could not keep her forever, three dogs is just too many for our family to handle, especially now with a baby on the way. So I put up a mental block to protect myself on the day when she would leave us for her forever home.

But dogs just have a way of breaking down any mental barriers you try to put up, and she slowly became a part of our family.

Finally, back on February 1, 2012 after fostering Pepper for 10 months, we were able to take her to a specialist to have her broken leg amputated.

This only added to how much we cared for her, since I worked from home, I was able to be with her every day as she recovered from her surgery.

I know we will eventually be foster parents again, and we will love our foster dogs as our own during their time with us, but I also know that little Pepper will forever be a special one to us. She was a part of our family for such a long time, and we went through so much with her and nursed her back to health after her surgery.

Here she is with her forever family, who already love her so much:

This has been a tough post for me to write, I can barely see to type this through the tears running down my face. But I knew that I wanted to dedicate a post to Pepper.

We love you sweet girl, and will never forget you.

Thank you for bringing that much more joy and happiness (and cuddles) to our lives for the past year. We hope you’re happy in your new home with your new family. We know they will love you as much, if not more than, we did.

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits (makes approximately 30 treats)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Let’s Bake:
Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Mix pumpkin and eggs together in a medium bowl, then add the flour, dry milk and salt. Mix together well by hand to form a rough dough.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into shapes. I decided to go with 1 inch sized hearts.

Place the cut-outs about 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 min on one side and 6-7 minutes on the other so that the treats start to turn golden and puff up a bit.

Remove from the oven, let cool to room temperature and hand them over to the pups!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }


May 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I’m glad Pepper found her forever home! Beautiful story and photos. Every thought of pet photography? :)


May 9, 2012 at 8:38 am

Aww, thanks Marilyn! I have thought about pet photography (a while ago), but I think I’m only really good at photographing my own dogs. I know exactly what to do to get their attention :)


May 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

so glad she found a home.


Susan Mac Donald
June 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

WOW! What a tear jerker,a wonderful story,with (hopefully) a happy ending! It isn’t too hard to look into a wounded animals eyes & see gratitude, love & feel affection. They may not be able to talk, but they can communicate to us.


June 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

Thanks so much Susan! We heard from Pepper’s new family and she is doing great in her new home. Makes me so happy that I almost want to cry :)


June 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

Brought tears to my eyes! I’ve fostered rescue pups myself and it sometimes is so hard to see them go! Our third pup was a foster failure, in fact. We fostered two little puppies for a couple weeks that were sooo awesome that we were seriously considering have FIVE dogs (we also have 2 cats!). Thankfully, they found a forever home together! It’s hard when you bond!

Pepper is adorable and I am so happy for her. Thank you for your fostering! I’m always thrilled to run across fellow rescue fosters on the blogosphere. Congrats on your new two-legged baby too!


June 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

Aww, yay! I’m so glad to meet fellow rescue fosters too! It pains me that we can’t foster right now because of our new two-legged baby :) but hopefully we will be able to again in a year or two.

Pepper (now named River) has been doing wonderfully with her new family, which makes my heart so happy. And makes the heartache of letting her go completely worth it :)


October 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

Bless you and your family for loving Pepper the way you did until she could make it into her forever home. The world needs more people like you. =)

Take care,
(a fellow dog lover)


November 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

How long will these keep?


November 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Hi Debbie, If the treats are kept in a sealed container, they will keep for 7-10 days.


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