I have never known a time without dogs. Animals were such a part of my childhood and each one of them have a special place in my heart. I have animals now and always will have animals. Our home is just not right without wagging tails and purring bundles of softness of your lap.
I don’t know many Rhodesians that did not have dogs. Oh, BTW… I am well aware that Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe and my blog will catch up to that soon enough. But I am writing from my memories and in some kind of chronological order… we are now in the “Rhodesian era”.
Back to the dogs now.
Most farmers had big dogs, like Rhodesian Ridgebacks or Bull-mastiffs. Mama and Bumps had two Bull-mastiffs Libby and Benny (big-balls). Beautiful, strong and loyal, they were massive and powerful dogs…especially to a young girl. But Ben was sweet and gentle and often took on the role of “horse” when we played around on the lawn. He had a way of bumping me in the butt when it was time to play, and I often ignored him as this would only make him headbutt me more! Libby would lie under the Jacaranda tree and watch the two of us with her front paws stretched out in front of her, crossed in a ladylike manner. As much as I loved these two dogs… the smell of their dog farts have been blazoned into my olfactory memories forever.
After dinner, we would retire to the sitting room to play a game of scrabble or listen to the radio (yes we had TV but it was only on for 2 hours a day back then!). Libby and Ben would lie behind the couch and every so often their personal gifts would come wafting up. Anyone of you who have ever owned a dog, or currently owns a dog knows there is nothing quite like the smell of your dogs gas. We love them none the less…
I am quite convinced that Libby and Ben’s particular fragrance came from the home-made dog biscuits Mama whipped up for them. Every evening in a ritual never broken, the dogs would sit in front of Mama with ribbons of drool hanging from their jowls and she would give them their “bikkies”. So today I share with you Mama’s recipe for dog biscuits. I can’t say YUM in this case… but I am sure your dogs will!
What you need:
1 kg bran
2 cups oil
2 beef stock cubes melted in a little hot water
A little extra water in case the mix is still too dry
How to make:
Mix everything together in a large bowl, getting your hands in there to make sure it mixes up really well. It should form stiff but not brittle dough.
Roll into sausage shapes and cut into bite size bits
Place on oven sheet and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Leave to cool and store in an airtight container in the pantry. These will keep for a month.