So far you’ve met my cats, Calcifer and Ginko, who are my best feline friends. Now it’s time to meet my dearest canine companion, Ziggi. Ziggi is my boyfriend’s half Australian Cattle dog, half German Short Hair Pointer mix, and in the year and half that I’ve been with Sal, Ziggi has gone from being “Sal’s dog” to being “our dog”. I love this adorable 80 pound lapdog who has a personality like none other!
When I first moved in with Sal he was very concerned with how Ziggi would react to my cats. He knew that whenever a cat wandered into the yard Ziggi had to chase it away immediately. I, however, knew that there was a big difference between my easy going house cats and the cats that Ziggi saw outside. I’d also been watching Ziggi and learning his personality for months. He’s a gentle dog at heart, and not one to start fights. I’d never seen him show any truly aggressive behavior, and I had a strong feeling that given enough time he would become friends with Calcifer and Ginko. There was also another element working in our favor: when Ziggi’s in the house he has to stay in the kitchen (that way the dog fur and damage from those claws is minimized). Once the cats figured out that there was a line of safety that the big dog couldn’t (or wouldn’t) cross they knew all they had to do was step onto the carpeting of the dining room and Ziggi wouldn’t follow them. It took a few months, but now both cats go into the kitchen to hang out with Ziggi, and he’s learned not to make any sudden moves or be too rough with them. He WANTS them around, so he makes sure not to scare them away. When Ginko rubbed his cheek against Ziggi’s nose and Zig gently licked Ginko’s face the other night Sal was in awe. He never thought he’d see his dog get along so well with cats.
Ziggi just turned 5 recently and we planned out a very special day for him. First I made him a special breakfast that included Ziggi Cookies made from a recipe I created just for him. I’ll include the recipe at the end of the post. On top of that he had two fresh eggs (and I do mean FRESH- the chickens laid them that morning), wheat germ, flax seeds, nutritional yeast, and a dollop of yogurt. Ziggi eats healthier than most humans!
After breakfast it was time for his present. I used two layers of thick fleece to make him a soft but durable bone to chew on. I even managed to make it the perfect size for his mouth without even measuring 😉 I think he had as much fun opening his present as he did chewing on the bone itself!
Next it was time for a hike. Ziggi is definitely an outdoorsy kind of dog. He spends most of the day patrolling our 3 1/2 acres and helping me around the yard and garden. He loves going for hikes and racing through the trees and over the rocks. This dog is an incredible athlete and seems to be getting stronger and more agile all the time. A few months ago I taught him how to stand on his hind legs for a treat, which is no easy thing for a dog his size!
Anyway, we spent the day hiking the Wood Chute trail on Mingus mountain, and even managed to find some water for Ziggi to play in. This dog loves water and you couldn’t keep him out of it if you tried.
So Ziggi celebrated his birthday in style and we all had a wonderful day. It’s been a long time since I had a dog, and I’m very grateful to have Ziggi in my life now. He’s a constant source of joy, bringing pleasure to not only me and Sal, but my cats as well. I enjoy living in a multi-pet household. The interaction between all the animals is fascinating, and I think it enriches their lives too. And of course, I wouldn’t be CreativeCritters without all my critters!
As promised, here’s the recipe for Ziggi Cookies, which are also perfectly edible for people as well (Sal tried one to be sure it was up to Ziggi’s standards- LOL). I made sure to include some of Ziggi’s favorite ingredients, like carrots and peanut butter 😉
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flax seeds
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller baking sheets) by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Mix carrots, molasses, olive oil, egg, peanut butter, and water in a bowl. Add flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, and flax seeds and mix until combined. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20- 25 minutes. This recipe makes a soft cookie rather than a hard biscuit. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze them for longer storage.
Thanks for helping to celebrate Ziggi’s special day! Oh, and I did make sure to get his permission to share this recipe 😉 He really is a very generous dog!