Sharing Stories in Bits & Bites

Paws and Effect!

When we think of family, many of us include our fine & furry friends. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for my animals. I grew up with a mischeviously clever poodle named “Pokey” who was a true friend, entrusted to all my deep, dark, pre-teen, angst-filled secrets. Poor dog…so much tear-soaked fur!

Then it was the lovely Tasha, a wolf/ husky mix who trusted me to be there to help her deliver her very first litter of puppies. It was the first time I’d experienced anything being born, and I couldn’t help but be impressed with how she handled bringing fifteen new pups into the world, in the course of a few hours. Kinda makes my half dozen over a decade look like a walk in the park!

I didn’t just fall for just dogs ! Many a feline friend has stolen my heart. I once snuck an abandoned kitten into my house and kept her for over two weeks in my room before my parents found out…she eventually won everyone over with her exceptional sweetness.

Now I have my Charlie. We found him at the Nanaimo SPCA, an abandoned kitten, that we couldn’t resist. I was so impressed with all of the folks at our local SPCA, I wanted to share some information before their upcoming Cupcake Day!

Leon Davis, the director, was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to share some of the exciting things happening at our local branch and how people can best support this awesome organization.

Many people assume that the SPCA is a National organization. Although they do cover the country, each Province has it’s own rules and guidelines. This is a good thing, because it means that work being done in our local SPCA can reflect the values and concerns of our area.

When I asked Leon how people can BEST support the organization…there was no hesitation. “Donations, it’s an expensive operation to run. The people of Nanaimo are very generous and kind-hearted. there is an 85-90% adoption rate here, compared to the 40% National average.” You can check out and follow their Facebook page and see all of the cool ways local animal lovers are supporting the shelter!

Although it is commonly thought that the SPCA is just for the protection of animals, Leon feels it holds a valuable place in society by helping people too. It’s all about education. There are many programs that the SPCA supports in order to create humane societies. Many animals are used in restorative, psychiatric and therapeutic care. A very powerful “anti-bullying” program is also in effect. Working with children of all ages and animals, comparing those students that are bullied to pets..who have ‘no voice’. A powerful tool for helping develop empathy in all people.

The future for our local branch is exciting! Leon shared the plans for the new facility, to replace the existing over-crowded shelter. There will be a large members-only off leash park, walking trails, a pet-memorial gardens, a beautiful multi-purpose room available to rent, dog washing facilities and even a pet-friendly cafe! Obviously a venture of this size requires substantial support! So why not put a team together today? Bake some of your favourite cupcakes and have fun while raising some money for a worthy cause.

Since I like to share a recipe with each post, I played around with a few different dog-biscuit recipes. For these ones I wanted to avoid any kind of corn (many dogs are allergic to it), keep it low in salt but still include some of their fave flavours…can you say bacon? The one ingredient you may NOT recognize is chaga. It provides amazing anti-oxidant properties, and is an incredibly healthy additive, especially for your older dog.

Chaga Dog Treats

January 27, 2015
: Easy


  • ¾ cups bacon fat
  • ¼ cup turkey fat
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup ground flax meal
  • ¼ cup chaga
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Step 1 Warm fats and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid, remove from heat. ( I have been saving leftover fats in a mason jar in the fridge for just this purpose…my kids think I’m gross, but hey, zero waste right?)
  • Step 2 Beat eggs and milk together, slowly add to the fat mixture.
  • Step 3 Add dry ingredients to wet ones, mix well.
  • Step 4 Place in the fridge for an hour or two.
  • Step 5 Using a dusting of flour, roll out dough & cut with cookie cutter of your choice. (I used a small one, so I could share with wee doggies too)
  • Step 6 Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325°F oven for a half an hour.
  • Step 7 Cool and share with your canine buddies 🙂

“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.”  ~ Robert Brault

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