Meet my walking partner, Bella (short for Belladonna). Bella is an entledoodle, or the offspring of an Entlebucher Mountain Dog and a mini-poodle. If you haven’t heard of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog before, she’s not alone! They belong to the same family as the Bernese Mountain Dog, but are the smallest of the breeds within that family. When crossed with the hypoallergenic mini poodle, what is produced are adorable, smart, compact, herding/hunting, mountain climbing, active, does not lose hair, fun andLoyal puppies and lovers of hugs.
For someone who has typically had larger dogs in the home, having what I consider a small dog (he weighs about 22 pounds) is a lot different. When my kids were younger, our house was full of howls, barks and fur from a very happy and active German Shepherd/Border Collie mix (Sig), German Shorthaired Pointer (Sir Galahad), Treeing Walker Coonhound (Babe) and my son’s therapy dog, who was a rescue dog, origins unknown (Zorro). Those dogs shed their fur (a lot), didn’t like to hike (at all), and were happier chasing squirrels than playing fetch.
Although she loves chasing squirrels (and playing fetch!), Bella loves going on hikes. She is a tireless trail companion and can navigate rough trails with ease. When confronted with a large rocky obstacle, it will stand up on its tiny hind legs, examine the rock for a few moments, and then perform a complex doggy ballet of maneuvers from one small ledge or tiny protrusion in the rock to another, rapidly jumping upwards. . and over the obstacle. Once she gracefully perches on top of her, she will move her entire body excitedly, waiting for her slow, lumbering walking partner to catch up.
Although Bella wears a walking harness vest, I’m the one wearing the gear for now. In addition to the usual gear I carry for myself, I now carry extra water, a dog first aid kit, a collapsible container, a reflective bandana (especially important when hiking during hunting season), and snacks. Although Bella isn’t exactly picky about her snack choices, she loves these peanut butter banana treats. She knows that the smell of these, cooking, means that she will soon be going on a hike, since she only gets them when she walks. She’s not the only one in the house excited to smell these cookies baking, as her human brother loves to eat them too (recipe approved for dogs and humans).
We hope you and your fellow canine hikers enjoy them as much as she does!
Bella’s Cookies (Baked Peanut Butter Cookies and Banana Dog Cookies)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey. to that
bowl, add flour and wheat germ, mixing well.
3. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured board and punch or roll until about ¼-inch thick. Use a
cookie or biscuit cutter for cutting dough into shapes, placing cut sections of cookies on
baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Place the cookies in the oven until they are fully cooked (they will brown slightly),
about 30 minutes.
5. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before giving them to your pet or
store them in an airtight container.
*Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Top photo: MB Mitcham’s walking partner, Bella, an entledoodle. Photo provided by MB Mitcham.