Author: dogleadermysteries

Not yet dog days of summer

Perhaps you aren’t right now feeling hopeful.

Perhaps not looking forward to anything in particular. But wherever you are in your life, the amazing thing is you can still be knocked on your heels looking into the face of a child just learning to walk, or suddenly seeing the sky fulsome with clouds get one of those

 “Gee, life is so much bigger than I make it most of the time.”

Try dark chocolate and fresh fruit for breakfast. 

I am not kidding. My new regime is dark chocolate before 9 AM along with my usual cup of hot Rooibos tea🤓. Try singing or dancing before breakfast or take a walk. Anything but your routine will do. 

Editing on my mobile phone is rather iffy so please forgive errors. Do sign up for my new (not WordPress follow) email web form because this site will move from Word Press in only two months to its new home. We are adding this site & Dog Leader Mysteries blog to Deborah Taylor-French for an author book launch🤓

3 Treats to bake for your dog

Guest blogger Joe Hughes

3 Treats pet parents can bake for dogs

Pet parents have a deep love for their dogs – I hope. And when we see films, such as Marley & Me, tears start flowing from our eyes like water from a faucet that’s been left on. If you’re like me, you want your dog to live the best life possible with homemade treats that will make your pup jump for joy.

But you can’t just give your dog everything you eat either.

There are a lot of foods people eat (tomatoes and chocolate, for example) that are toxic to dogs. I’m going to share with you a few baked treats that are safe for your dog to eat and super easy to make, too.

1. Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Peanut butter is one of a dog’s favorite treats, and it’s amusing to watch your pup slap his mouth together after eating it, too. You can make a delicious homemade biscuit (doggy biscuit, not a traditional biscuit or roll) with peanut butter and another treat: sweet potatoes.

This recipe is very easy to make, and you’ll need just a few ingredients to get started:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup smashed sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour

Dogs love sweet potatoes, so this is a treat you’ll find yourself making often. You’ll want to set your oven to 350F and place parchment paper over your baking sheet before getting started.

You can try using a bread machine with this recipe if you wish, or you can mix all of the ingredients by hand:

  • Sweet potato
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter

Mix until thoroughly combined and then add in your flour, starting with 2 cups and adding in more until the dough isn’t sticky. You’ll want to combine slowly and not rush through this process for best results. Lightly flour a surface where you can knead the dough before rolling it out to 1/4″ thickness.

Cut into your desired shapes and bake until golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Joe Hughes and Family
The Village Baker, John and family cerebrating his birthday

2. Standard Dog Biscuit

A standard dog biscuit may seem a little plain to you and I, but dogs seem to love them. When making this recipe, we’re going to use chicken broth, but you can also use beef broth if your dog favors beef over chicken.

My pup doesn’t do well with beef, so we’ll stick to chicken here.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Super simple to make, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350F again, and start to mix your flour and oats in a medium bowl. Add in 1/2 cup of broth and your peanut butter. Mix everything together well until a thick dough is formed.

If you find that the mixture isn’t a thick dough consistency, add in more broth as needed, mixing until a dough consistency is achieved.

Roll out your dough to 1/4″ and cut into little bone shapes or any shape you wish. Bake your biscuits for 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown in color. Make sure that the biscuits cool completely before serving, as they can be very hot.

3. Applesauce Treats

If you have some spare applesauce, oats and an egg handy, you can make your pup a great applesauce treat that he or she is sure to love. This treat is simple to make, and if you want to help relieve your dog’s stinky breath to go along with their clean teeth, you can even use applesauce with cinnamon mixed in.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat your oven to 350F again and pour your applesauce and oatmeal into a large bowl, mixing it well. After everything is mixed together well, add in your egg and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Grease your cookie tray lightly and scoop out the mixture into small cookies. Make sure to separate the cookies well before baking so that they don’t cook together.

Bake for 20 minutes, and then take out and allow to cool.

You’ll find that since all of the ingredients are already cooked aside from the egg, you won’t have to keep cooking for additional time to get the right texture. Just make sure that the cookies don’t just fall apart when picked up.

Allow the treats to cool, but remove from the tray immediately to ensure that they don’t stick.

These treats are all so easy to make for your dog, and they come out really well, too. Your dog will love the extra treats in the house, and you’ll love seeing your pup’s tail wag like crazy when you feed them their new treats while they snuggle up to you.

Enjoy baking your own dog treats.

Since our dog, Sydney, has many allergies, we will be baking the applesauce treats. He loves fresh bits of apple, carrot, berries and sugar snap peas. If your dog should be on a low calorie diet, try giving him or her cut fresh veggies. Do limit fruit to special moments as too much natural sweets can still cause diabetes.

About our guest blogger Joe Hughes

Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website,, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at

Joe Hughes Website Village Bakery




Kristen Lamb on writing her first novel

Kristen Lamb on writing her first novel

The long game is fiction

As my readers know, I am also writing fiction. I have followed Kristin Lambs’ blog for several years. Looking back at 2002 when she began the marathon of mastering novel writing she shared her early enthusiasm and disbelief. Surely it would not take her years to write her first.

No beginner wants to hear the average span of time to produce a first novel, of worth, is five to ten years. Keep in mind that twenty years is not unusual either.

Well, what takes so long?🤷🏼‍♀️

Read my short list for a start.🙃

1. To write fiction you must read fiction

2. Numerous skills must be acquired, such as  understanding speech patterns to translate into believable & fresh character dialogue

3. A mastery of fictional world building  beyond mere description.

4. Familiarity with storytelling styles in sub-genres

5. Building versimilaiude to entrap readers in summary, scenes & recaps

6. Gaining skill in depicting past, present & future references to add clarity & tension

7. Drilling into the “metaphoric” world of character, which instills emotional unity with the novel

8.  Skills with similes used to forge equivalence between characters, experiences, settings, and emotional narratives

I am sure there are more and will save them for my Write Monday post. Oh, and we have a fab guest blogger coming up next week. Stay tuned🤓🤗

Meanwhile please visit Kristin Lambs Blog, and leave her a note that you found her here. 😎



Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anamorphic Mike.Since the boom of the digital age, would-be writers have been practically coming out of the woodwork. Everyone wants to be a writer and hey, I can’t blame them. Sweet gig if you can score it. Yet, many of these eager folks are ill-prepared for the reality of…

via The Writing Process…It Ain’t No Unicorn Hug — Kristen Lamb

Freedom to feel alive 

Travel changes POV

The instant I’m in a car, on a plane or boarding a train to someplace new I become all eyes. That is an odd expression, all eyes. Imagine eyes all over my body?  But “all eyes” is the closest to what I can say about what happens to my mind and my experience when traveling.

All eyes, mostly unseeing

All eyes going by all. All eyes swimming by, often rapidly. Too fast for me to see eye color or distinct features , except for eyebrows, eye set or basic shape. All eyes looking beyond and onto where those people are walking. Hurrying to the next distination, the next ride, the next taxi, the next departure. All eyes on the next and next connection. No time for slow. No time to see anyone for more than a second.

The rare and open unblinking eyes of a child, the pleading eyes of a begger, the hungry eyes of a too thin gypsy, the big foreign eyes of tourists, eyes like mouths  devouring every new site, cafe menus, meals, millions bottles of Coca Cola…

The  Cyclops eye of camera lenses and the retangular eyes of a million smart phones and electronic tablets. All fast. Open shut. Repeat. Repeat.

Life swimming by in pairs of eyes

Life is far too short to hate ourselves for not fitting into mental constructs of success or freedom. Yet that seems to flow by on so many faces. Unhappiness. Loss. Obsession with things. Loveless expressions. Fear. Anxiety. Stress. Emptiness. Lack of hope. And those are the faces of life’s winners, those who have made it financially, who have leisure time, who have choices, who eat the best food in the world, who wear shoes better than most people ever see (except in shop windows). Those on holiday from daily cares, jobs,  chores, children and parents. Those lucky tourists! A mass of unsmiling crowds who order too much to drink and eat and leave behind money and trash, the world over all eyes on them.

My English language eyes read every shirt walking by

On my trip in Athens, Greece I kept reading people’s T-shirts. After I scanned a face, the English letters and words gave me ideas and feelings to move through. A brief second of image capture. Of course, some slogans seemed weird or just off. But I madly sot impressions of what compelled those Greeks we saw to wear printed t-shirts. Oh, I saw some that proclaimed, “Princess,” “Just do it” or “Bad.” Many of the shoppers and sightseers where from other parts of Europe, yet I saw few T-shirts with French, Spanish or German slogans.

My favorite T-shirt on a young boy about 11 years old read, “To be continued.” Now I thought that was perfect. Not only perfect for a young boy, but perfect for all of us to wear because aren’t we all in the middle of life “to be continued?”

Perhaps you aren’t right now feeling hopeful we’re looking forward to anything in particular. But wherever you are in your life the amazing thing is you can still be knocked on your heels looking into the face of a child just learning to walk, or suddenly seeing the sky fulsome with clouds get one of those “Gee, life is so much bigger than I make it most of the time.”

Looking forward to what you’re going to write next!

Hint: Please leave a note, we love our readers.