OK, dog lovers, if you’re anything like me, your dogs aren’t pets, but close family members who have your heart. We treat them well at home and out and about, but it’s the love we share that makes life grand.

Growing up, my siblings and I had a father-son pair of pooches that had identical markings: brown bodies, white paws, white noses and mouths and white tips on the ends of their tails. Tippy and Skippy were so loved. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t share my philosophy about animals; Tippy and Skippy were kept in a pen and we could visit and play with them there. They had a doghouse and every night after they ate, we could let them out of their pen to roam the front and side yards. Once they went to doggy heaven and time had elapsed, Butch, a black-and-white mutt, became the family pet. He didn’t have a pen, but resided in the backyard. He wasn’t allowed in the house, but I would close my bedroom door and open the sliding door that went into the backyard and in Butch would bound from bed to bed as us girls squealed with delight as we tried to catch him and hug him and kiss him. I could never figure out how Mom always knew he’d been in the house, which led to me getting into trouble since I was the oldest and was expected to set good examples.

When I became a mom and allowed our pets in the house, I continually vacuumed up dog hair that coated everything in the house. When I was married we had a darling Heinz 57 pup that my husband brought home to our children one afternoon zipped up in his military jacket. The kids and I went wild. Since he was a boatswain’s mate in the United States Coast Guard, we named the pooch Boats. I was crazy about that canine and he lived the life of Riley. He rarely ate dog food because I was too busy in the kitchen making him human meals like chicken pot pies, eggs and bacon and beef stew. And yes, he slept with our kids and went on vacations with us. We rarely left home without our mongrel; he was a joy in our lives for 16 years.

Our next canine was Bailem, because at that time my husband was a bail bondsman and the dog was named accordingly. Bailem was a golden retriever/Labrador retriever mix that had beautiful soft golden hair. He was very smart and so loving, but if you think Boats had a luxurious life, Bailem had him beat by a long shot. I had many friends tell me that when they reincarnated, they hoped to come back as one of my dogs.

When Bailem joined Boats in the National Kennel Club arena in the sky, I became a cat woman. Actually, though, I haven’t lost my love of dogs because my daughter Gina has blessed me with two furry granddaughters, Rosarita and Dolly. I make them chicken pate that they love, and I’ll share my recipe with you and your four-legged friends.

Canine Chicken Pate

12 chicken thighs (keep the bones attached)

4 carrots

2 yams

Bunch parsley

3 ribs celery

Salt to taste

Wash and dry the chicken. Cut the yams and carrots into chunks. Cut the celery into thirds. Wash the parsley. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool. Strip the meat from the bones and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the carrots and yams and process until it comes to a puree, adding the chicken broth as needed. Discard the parsley and celery. You can also use the chicken broth to pour over dry food or just let your pup lap it up.

Well, it’s thyme to go.

“Jenny’s Kitchen” appears on public-access television stations in Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Sacramento counties.


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