A Little Food & Soul on Thanksgiving

camilla walking dog

by Patty Joy

The other day my daughter and I were driving and we passed one of my favorite boutiques in Studio City. And so, with no hesitation at all, we stopped to walk along the boulevard and do a little window-shopping. All of a sudden my daughter shrieked with joy at the sight of the most adorable puppies in the window of this cute little pet store. We walked in {honestly I just wanted to see if they were rescues} and thankfully they were! It is this adorable puppy rescue and retail store called Lucky Puppy and we were greeted with happy smiles and welcoming barks!

I must admit, I’m not really an animal person. I know, I know, how could I possibly say this, and while I am SO very ashamed to even admit that, let me explain. I wasn’t raised around animals, well, unless you count our pet parrot Charlie who flew away, our pet rabbit Maxine who hopped away, and our turtle Herman who crawled away (ok, totally freaking out right now, I need to discuss this pattern with my parental units)! I just was never really exposed to caring for and loving a pet. My grandparents were lovers of animals. They had a farm in Colombia with peacocks, dogs, cats, cows, pigs, horses, and even had a pet monkey. Growing up, I watched as their animals ate from crystal cups of water, slept in bed with them, and ate dinner with them every night. They were extensions of the family. My grandparents were really the ones who exposed me to loving and respecting animals.

As an adult, I have rescued 3 cats. We have one little kitty now, Blue Blee, named by our daughter, and I think one day, I would like to rescue a dog. I probably shouldn’t put myself in or limit myself to the “I’m not an animal person” category, but I will admit it has been a work in progress. And do not be mistaken, I do love animals, support the rescuing of animals, and would never tolerate any abuse or harm to them of any kind. I am just not the kissy, eat from my spoon, lets cuddle in my bed kind of gal (although our cat does sleep at the foot of our bed). BUT, having said all that, I do see all of the important value in having a furry pet in our life. They are full of love, completely non-judgmental, always happy to see you, ready to give and receive love at all times, and teach humans compassion and kindness every day.

And so, on that Friday afternoon, when all I thought we’d would do was a little window-shopping along some hip boutiques, my daughter and I were invited to give the gift of touch accompanied by love.

At Lucky Puppy Rescue, we entered and area where the puppies hang out… and instantly, I fell in love. I was overcome with emotion. My daughter and I sat on the floor and in no less than two seconds we each had a puppy in our lap. My daughter was mesmerized… and then came the questions. “Mommy, why are these puppies here? Where are their mommies and daddies? What is adoption? What does volunteer mean?” They were some of the most thoughtful questions my daughter has ever asked me. And while I think I answered them all pretty appropriately, I have learned that it is not how I answer her questions that matters, it’s how I live my life. I now have a one-person audience watching me at all times. It’s kind of amazing, but it’s also, well, pretty much terrifying! And so, while I would never want my daughter to put herself in a position where she limits her character, I realized that I shouldn’t either. I am an animal person; I was just never given the right set of circumstances to realize it.

While it was totally accidental, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and learned something about myself; an important life lesson at a magical time of year.

We now visit Lucky Puppy Rescue and Retail every week. We sit with the puppies, snuggle them, talk to them, walk them around the block with them, all the while learning important life lessons and spending quality time together. I am grateful for the experience every time I go, and have awakened a part of my soul that was dormant for so many years. I am always in awe that if we live a life mindful of our surroundings and we are open to the possibilities of change, truly wondrous things can happen.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all!

May you find the small pleasures in life that bring the biggest rewards.

camilla dog treats

My daughter making the puppies Thanksgiving treats.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin & Cinnamon Dog treats
Courtesy of www.cesarsway.com

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 4 tbsp molasses
• 4 tbsp water
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp cinnamon (optional) we used it in our recipe

Directions
• Preheat oven to 350*
• Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
• Add the WW flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens (I always let my daughter mix the dough with her hands (freshly washed of course) who doesn’t love to mix dough by hand?!
• Scoop out spoonfuls of dough and roll them into a ball (My daughters FAVORITE part, and she did it mostly on her own)
• Then take each ball and slightly flatten them between your hands
• Set the discs of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or piece of tin foil (the best way because there is no need to wash the cookie sheet)
• Bake approximately 25 minutes until the dough is hardened
• And the silliest part…at least for my 4 year old, you can eat a dog biscuit if you like!

Enjoy this recipe, but the value comes in spending quality time with your little ones, empowering them to be creative, and teaching them compassion, generosity, and kindness.

 

Food & Lifestyle blogger Patty Joy writes about her approach to a balanced and mindful life while living in the hustle & bustle of LA. She shares healthy recipes, her ideas about staying in good health through food, fitness (which she prefers to call moving your body) & ways to stay connected with ones true soul self, as well as a glimpse into her personal life through family, motherhood & travel.   * Find Patty on Instagram at FoodandSoul

2 Comments

  • Guest

    November 29, 2013 |

    Hey, those cookies might be good (for humans) if we add a bit of sugar! I think I’ll try it!

  • Michele Redmon

    November 30, 2013 |

    I always say I’m not an animal person until…puppies.