Someone recently shared an article with me about creating a trail mix for your dog. Prior to this, I had never given much thought to planning or curating a snack mix for my pups. I usually grab something and give them a treat from whatever’s handy.

The article mentioned that the variable reward levels presented by the various treats helped with training and engagement. This all sounded great! Previously, I had relied on varying the reward level by using more (or less) of certain treats.

Now the only question was, what would I put into Roxy and Indy’s Custom Blend Miracle Reward Puppy Snack Mix?

The author of the article uses cheerios as their low-value treat base. Ugh. That’s a lot of sugar! Most dogs don’t normally eat anything sweet (except when they sneak some bites of things they shouldn’t be eating). I also wonder how many people feed their dogs grain-free food and then treat them with Cheerios or some other nonsense. I’m not opposed to grains, and I don’t feed my dogs grain-free food, but I still think Cheerios are not a great idea.

I decided the simplest ingredient to use as a base is plain old dog kibble. We often do training sessions at mealtimes to re-enforce some of their tricks; Indy and Roxy do tricks for treats using kibble.

For the high-value treats, I went with a mixture. The freeze-dried chicken they love always has crumbs and flakes left at the bottom that are impossible to feed. These went into the mixture since they stick to the other treats and raise the value of everything!

I then added some chunks of the freeze dried chicken, and pieces of jerky. To round out the middle range, I put in small pieces of two types of soft treats: peanut butter treats, and lamb and salmon treats.

The result? Roxy and Indy are both very pleased and eager to get rewards. At first, when they’d get a good treat, I’d call that a jackpot, which evolved into calling the whole mixture/container the Snackpot™.

Maltese and Havanese-Maltipoo waiting to get a snack.
Indy and Roxy waiting to see if they’ve won the Snackpot™.


Maame by Jessica George is an endearing, emotional story about family, finding one’s self, and coming to terms with life and all that it has to offer.

The books I’ve received from Netgalley have been disappointing lately, so I wasn’t expecting much from this. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel!

Maame tells us the story of Maddie, who has spent a lifetime convincing herself that the restrictions and isolation in her life are all due to voluntary choices and personal preferences. When her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie is asked to move out. She realizes this means she can finally start living her own life and resolves to be a different person. She will drink alcohol, date, and not say no if offered a cigarette (without becoming addicted).

Growing up, Maddie was told not to speak of family issues. To Maddie, this meant not sharing anything with her friends, as wasn’t everything ultimately a family issue? This also meant Maddie didn’t have many friends or people to talk to. This impacts her ability to interact with her roommates and co-workers, and she soon learns that she needs the support of others.

Living on her own terms, Maddie soon learns that freedom is a double-edged sword and not everything she thought she knew about herself is true.

This novel touches on many topics, ranging from familial love and duty, sexual abuse, elderly care, death, and the comforts of friendship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.