Monday through Friday, while I’m at work, walking the dogs lands on Malcolm’s “to-do” list. On weekends, we share the adventure. Occasionally, I’ll find a friend willing to fore-go sleeping in on their day off to join me, giving Malcolm a break, but usually its the two of us. We like to take the girls out to the Galisteo Basin Preserve for their exercise. It’s just a few miles down the road, there are several trails to choose from of varying distance and degrees of inclines, and best of all, we can unleash the girls for some free-range running. Having more time on the weekend, we’ll take the girls for longer, more treacherous treks, hoping to tire them out – we are firm believers in the belief that a tired dog makes for a happy owner.
Home to coyotes, antelope and jack rabbits, the GBP is Santa Fe’s playground. Along with cactus, deep gorges and arroyos, and dry river beds, the GBP offers epic vistas of the Ortiz and the Sandia mountain ranges. On occasion, we’ll meet up with other hikers, other dog walkers. When the skies are blue, mountain bikers pedal past us, taking advantage of the weather, spinning their wide tires through the southwest terrain. On those same clear, cloudless days, we’ll meet trail riders saddled up, coming down off the mountain, their mounts skittish of the dogs, the girls nervous of the horses.
While Amore and Dolce don’t particularly like horses, they do, especially enjoy the treasures left in their wake. Horse dung, horse apples, horse shit, fresh or dried from a few days in the baking sun, the scent alone will alter our well-behaved dogs into lying, sneaky little beasts. Double backing to steal a stinky nugget before we can stop them, our sweet little girls turn into crafty canines at just a whiff of the stuff. They have perfected the “slow-down-to-a-crawl, get-behind-you, stop-and-wait-for-you-to-get-further-ahead” maneuver to grab and swallow a lump of dung without interruption. Head hanging low, they immediately have selective hearing and sight. Our commands to stop are ignored, going unheard. They turn a blind eye to our presence, dismissing us as an irritating nuisance. Once swallowed, they go back for seconds, knowing that they only have a few seconds to nab another helping of the equine delicacy, before we are able to put a stop to their trail trickery.
The long-lasting side effects from their horse droppings debauchery affects Malcolm and I, not the girls. Hours later, back home from our long hike, Amore and Dolce decide to beg for forgiveness, leaning up against us to cuddle on the couch, they lift their heads to give us doggy kisses and licks, their breath reeking of horse manure. Gentle horse crap burps are released just under our noses, the scent drifting upwards in our direction. Their steady breathing emits puffs of rank horse odor with each exhale of oxygen.
The ol’ double-back trick on the trail has double-backed on us, hours later!
An ideal snack when hiking or walking the dogs!
Serve with yogurt, ice cream, sprinkled on pancakes or a smoothie or just snack on by the handful!
- 6 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup frozen concentrated cranberry juice, thawed
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup minced dried apricots
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Spray a heavy rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
Combine cranberry juice concentrate, brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and all spice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until brown sugar dissolves. Pour hot syrup over oat mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown at edges, about 25 minutes, stirring the mixture periodically. Add cranberries, using a metal spatula to blend. Bake until granola is beginning to dry, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes longer. Cool for 15 minutes. Add blueberries, raisins and dried apricots. Stir until completely blended. Cool completely on baking sheet.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.