Apple Cinnamon Muffins for the Birthday Boy

October 10th, 2011 11:30 am by Kelly Garbato

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Ralphie! Everyone’s favorite one-eyed wiener dog turns fourteen years old today! FOURTEEN! He’s not old, he’s distinguished. Doubly so with all these surgical scars and skin tags and patches of missing fur. His motto? “Bitches dig scars.”

Hey, Rennie can’t get enough.

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(Note peeping Peedee off in the background. Pervert! Nevermind that I’m photographing their intimate moment.)

Rolling with the weather, we celebrated his birthday a wee bit early this year. On Friday, I baked him a batch of Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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and made him dress up in a silly hat –

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but not before he got the first taste of his pre-birthday treat.

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(The other six canines were pitching a fit, locked in the house away from mom and her nomz. I think Ralphie enjoyed that as well – almost as much as the muffins!)

The recipe, as (almost) always, is by Molly at Vegan Flower (formerly known as It’s A Vegan Dog’s Life). I especially enjoy her dog treat recipes because she gives variations for muffins, biscuits and bagels (!). Okay, so I rarely stray from muffins (so easy and no-hassle!), but it’s nice to have options! (ETA: She’s participating in veganmofo this year, so you should totes go show her some love!)

The batter proved a little dry for me – perhaps because I used my own homemade applesauce, which is thicker and chunkier than the store-bought stuff? – so I just added some extra applesauce and omitted the fresh apples entirely. If you want to make muffins but don’t have a mini pan, you can just drop the batter on a cookie sheet and bake as you would normally. This is also a nice option if your dog friends are smaller and can’t handle muffins (even miniaturized ones). Think: 10-pound Mags. I served these outside and had to let her back into the house so that she could eat her “ginormous” treat in peace, without the other dogs trying to thieve the crumbs. Tiny girl, tiny mouth. All sass.

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But back to Ralphie, since this is supposed to be his mofo post!

Continuing with the birthday weekend festivities, we spent most of Saturday outside, basking in the ridiculously gorgeous weather. (83 and sunny! I like to think that it’s repayment for the 100-degree temps we suffered through in July and August.)

Sunday afternoon I unleashed him in the field behind our house, so he could dig his little heart out.

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We have 20 acres of mixed pasture and forested land; the open fields are perfect for digging-slash-hunting, with plenty of stinky little critters burrowing through the dirt. (Don’t worry, Ralphie never catches anyone! At least, not when he intends to, and not in four years or more.) He can literally go for hours. On hotter days I bring a container of water and have to remind him to drink! Ralphie has even been known to hold up walks while he stops to play in the dirt.

This video is from last month, but it shows Ralphie rooting around in his favorite spots.

Shane cleaned up a bunch of the scrub around the fence line last weekend so that Ralphie would have a nice, open place to dig. I guess that was his present to the Ralphster. (And me, since there’s a bunch of poison ivy growing behind the mulch pile. I am crazy sensitive to plant life.)

Naturally, Ralphie chose an entirely different area in which to dig yesterday:

As soon as the rain lets up, I’ll take him for another walk/dig this afternoon. At least the ground will be a little softer for him. (Notice how he bites into the soil and rips it up with his teeth? That can’t be good for his pearly whites.)

Anyway, let’s close this thing out with more Ralphie. YOU CAN NEVER POST TOO MANY PICTURES OF A ONE-EYED WIENER DOG, amirite people?

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Dumbo!
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“Daddy, look at meeeeeeee!!!!”
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Smiley Ralphie is smiley.
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“Nomz for me?
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“Surely, there must be a catch?”
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Ralphie doesn’t trust me or the ceramic dinnerware.
“Treats shouldn’t be so damn noisy!”
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“Muffins are nice, but where’s my ice cream cake!?!”
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Happy birthday, Ralphie. We ♥ you!
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An Addendum

Dear Ralph,

Thanks so much for the “present” you left me in the bathroom this morning! And here I thought I was supposed to get you a gift!

xoxox

– Mom

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7 Responses to “Apple Cinnamon Muffins for the Birthday Boy”

  1. Kristina @ spabettie Says:

    oh, sweet SWEET Ralphie! happy birthday to you.

    gosh I can never get over his sweet face.

  2. Sarah (appifanie) Says:

    He is so cute! Happy birthday Ralphie!

  3. Vegan Flower Says:

    LOL- I love the part you added at the end. What a nice guy to leave you a present!

    The videos of him are great. His tail doesn’t stop wagging! And 14!!! years old! All of that love is keeping him young because he certainly doesn’t look a day over 8.

    Mike and I were both laughing at the post and saying how adorable he is (as are all of your sweeties). I do use store bought applesauce, so that could be why it was a bit drier since the store stuff is more watery…..

    Thanks so much for the shout out and happy birthday sweet, handsome Ralphie!! xoxo

  4. Mandee Says:

    Happy birthday, Ralphie! He is such a cute lil guy and I love that you baked him a batch of birthday muffins :)

  5. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes, everyone! Ralphie had an awesome birthday – an hour-long walk in the park with Rennie, followed by two and a half hours of digging for creatures around the house. How’s that for stamina!?!

    Tomorrow: he gets an allergy shot. LIFE.

  6. Vegan Burnout Says:

    Happy birthday, Ralphie, you lovable old curmudgeon!

    20 acres! How wonderful! I think I’d live outside (says the girl who gets chilly when the mercury drops to 75).

  7. Katie Says:

    Happy birthday, Ralphie! I used to have a one-eyed dog, they’re the best.

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