Who can we count on to love us no matter how unlovable we may feel (or be!) on any given day? Our dogs, of course.
(For all you cat lovers - of which I'm a card-carrying member as well - your day is coming up on October 29th.)
For now, though, it's all about dogs on Saturday, August 26th, aka National Dog Day.
So, how can we show them extra love on this day?
1. Take them to a dog park
For dogs that love to run, explore, play fetch, and play with other dogs, this is the equivalent of taking them to Disneyland. And a lot cheaper, too.
Not sure where the nearest one might be? Getting bored of your current dog park? Check out this nifty link that lets you find dog parks anywhere in the United States:
2. Bake them homemade dog treats
Check out the easy recipe below. It's yummy for people, too!
Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Biscuits
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour*
1/2 cup wheat germ (or 1/2 rolled oats)
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour if you have time (can make the dough a bit easier to handle). Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.**
Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
*Note: Dogs can be sensitive to wheat, so you can substitute by putting rolled oats in a food processor and whirring until it turns the consistency of flour.
**Note: To make these even faster and easier, put these on a baking sheet as you would cookies - drop by the spoonful and use a fork to flatten, then brush the tops with the egg white.
3. Buy them a special something at a specialty dog store Take them with you and let them pick out what they want. No clear response from your dog? Pick something out that's fun for them. No fair buying a new dog bowl or a leash. That's like buying socks for your kids for Christmas. And if you weren't up for making the homemade dog biscuits, you likely can find some natural treats here, too.
4. Play in the sprinkler together
When's the last time you got to do this? If you live out in the country, get a wild hair and run through it naked!
It can feel soooo good to act like a kid again.
5. Take a nap on the couch with your pooch You've gone to the dog park and doggy store; you've made biscuits and snuck a few for yourself; and you've run around in the sprinkler. I'd say you both deserve a snooze!