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As far as I know, not many dog breeds require you to take a quiz before you contact the breeder. When Matthew and I were looking at getting a Weimaraner, we took the quiz online together and were asked questions like “I am an ESCAPE ARTIST! I will JUMP your fences, DIG under your gates, and OPEN your doors! You WILL appreciate my grace and intelligence as I practice these skills, won’t you?” and “I am STRONG MINDED! I need a leader! I can be PUSHY and a CHALLENGE to lead. You DO have a strong personality so you can remain my leader for the rest of my days, don’t you?”

Maybe we should have been scared off by taking that quiz, but something told us it was right. We read that Weimaraners were “velcro dogs” that needed almost constant owner companionship. With proper training, they would be loyal and loving. So it was decided.

Weeks later, we were novice puppy parents to-be wandering the aisles of pet stores. Days after that little Nobs became another member of the Hughes household, right before our wedding.

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The first time we let him loose in our backyard, he bounded in circles like Bambi, all legs. I remember turning to Matthew and asking “Is something WRONG with him?” His uncoordinated little body couldn’t keep up with his energy and it sent him tumbling across the grass.

The first few nights, Matthew and I laid awake in bed, clasping each other’s hands as we listened to him cry from being alone for the first time. We’ve come a long way since then (and attended a LOT of training classes), and Nobs is exactly as we expected him to be: intelligent, demanding, strong-willed, devoted, loving, bossy, mischievous, responsive and stubborn. He has dug up my yard and pooped in my garden, but I love him all the same.

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Having a puppy has changed our lives in the happiest ways. Matthew’s lazy mornings have given way to 8 a.m. wake up calls by an excited puppy. For the first time in his life, he owns a pair of tennis shoes and walks an hour with him every single day. For me, Nobs has been a constant reminder to slow down and take time to play, especially on the nights when Matthew is away at work.

Nobs got a new blue collar and a rawhide bone for his birthday. And because I couldn’t resist, I also baked him some birthday treats.

Happy First Birthday, Nobs!

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Apple Cinnamon Dog Treats

Makes a lot.

1 cup of natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose)
1/2 cup powdered milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add a bit more water if the dough is too dry. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness. Cut info fun shapes with a cookie cutter.

Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before treating your pup.

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