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"Mom, we forgot about Willie!" Julia yells. We're in the midst of putting the final touches on some Valentine's Day cookies and Willie, our 15-year-old dog, is watching us and drooling. As someone who considers slice-and-bake cookies "homemade," I've never even contemplated the idea of baking anything for our dog.
But Julia's question helps me remember a gift I stashed away in our basement. Feeling like a mother field mouse, I scamper downstairs and rummage through our stacks of games and kits until I find what I'm looking for -- a "Pamper Your Dog Kit" I got on Amazon.com.
When I surprise Julia with the long-forgotten gift, she immediately begins unwrapping the supplies to make "pupcakes," dog-friendly cupcakes made with carob frosting and flavored sprinkles. The kit also contains doggie "pooch paste," a heart-shaped doggie tag, and doggie shampoo.
Julia decides that Willie will get some homemade treats for Valentine's Day -- but first he'll have to endure some poochie pampering. Though the kit cleverly calls it "Rub a Dub Dub, Pup's in a Tub," Willie knows that's just a fancy name for the one thing in life he hates the most -- a bath -- and takes off running. Once he's given up on the idea of escape, Willie sweetly tolerates her gentle washing.
After the bath, Julia attempts to brush Willie's teeth with the homemade pooch paste from the kit. "He hates brushing his teeth more than Henry does!" she says. We laugh hysterically as Willie twists and turns his head away.
After Willie has endured the pampering, we head to the kitchen to make his "pupcakes," some cheesy dog biscuits, and a special heart-shaped dog tag made out of Shrinky Dink plastic materials. After all the treats are ready, Julia piles Willie's Valentine's Day feast high in his bowl. It takes about three minutes for Willie to devour every bit. "Time to brush your teeth again," Julia says with a giggle. Willie escapes to nap, happy that, this year, Valentine's Day has gone to the dogs.