So we are trying, and somewhat successfully, to train our sweet Penny. After coming to the honest conclusion that she has the mistaken notion that she is in charge and I am here to merely serve her (albeit that might be how I feel, but she can't know that), we decided to take a clear stand this morning and show her that we are the alpha dogs. We walk out the door first and in the door first. We decide where she gets to sniff on her walks. We decide when she eats. All of this sounds absolutely ludicrous to me. Why should I get to decide all of this for her? I mean isn't it her walk? Well, then Stephen and I did hours of reading about training dogs and lo and behold a dog needs to know its pack leader. She is not "excited" when she shimmies and shakes and jumps all around, she is nervous and confused! Would you belief that? (Maybe I am just nervous and confused all the time too.) She needs to know who is boss, that we absolutely love her, and that she can implicitly trust us to care for her. So because all of that is true, we are trying to speak dog and lead our sweet pup into a stable, secure, happy life, and it is really exhausting and wonderful.
Have you ever trained a puppy? To heel? To come when you call? To lay down on command? To return to their bed as their "safe spot where only good things happen like treats or toys"? I am telling you. I never thought about any of this before. Canines have different love languages than humans, and my high pitched squeeling "PEEEEEENNNNNNYYYY! Hellooooo sweet Peennyyyy!" when I walk in the door from work does not make her happy. It makes her unsteady and nervous. So how about that?
As I just typed this, Penny carefully gathered all her toys and lined them up in a row in front of her bed. She then stopped, looked down at them all as if counting them, and then laid down to start in on the first one. Honestly, everything she does is so cute it is awfully hard to not just squeel and squirm the day away. I mean look at that?
A lot of the time she expects us to play, but every once in awhile we find her doing this, and she even has puppy dreams where she chases things. (I can not express how much I love that!)
So to sum it up, the first two weeks have been a treat. Learning a lot about ourselves and about how to not to train a dog, hopefully learning how to train a dog somewhere in that mix.
I know that is has been nearly two weeks since I mentioned those biscuits, and it is high time I get this recipe out there. It is from a Fannie Farmer cookbook published in the late 1800's, and all of the recipes are so comfortable. This one came in super handy one night when I was in a hurry but trying to make a special dinner for Stephen. We ended up with pork chops, green salad, corn, and these biscuits. He gave them the two thumbs up.
I typed up the recipe the way it appears in the cookbook and added in my small changes.
Baking Powder Biscuits makes 12
from Fannie Farmer
Sift into a mixing bowl 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
With fingertips or pastry blender (I used a cheese grater to get small bits of butter), work in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. With a fork, quickly stir in 2/3 cup milk (I used buttermilk).
Add more milk, little by little until the dough is soft and light but not sticky. Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 20 strokes until smooth. Roll lightly 3/4 inch thick. Cut out with a biscuit cutter (or a small juice glass). Place on ungreased cookie sheet, close together for soft biscuits, 1 inch apart for crusty ones. Prick with a fork. Bake 12-15 minutes at 450. (I baked 12 minutes, pulled out, brushed with butter, baked for 2 more minutes). Viola! Biscuits!
I will be back soon with more food and stories. Thanks for coming by.