Throw Me a Bone: 50 Healthy, Canine Taste-Tested Recipes for Snacks, Meals, and Treats


Cooper Gillespie, an extremely intelligent and handsome Welsh springer spaniel, is a dog of discriminating taste and strong opinions. Now Cooper, with the assistance of cookbook author Sally Sampson and the transcription services of his favorite human, Susan Orlean, has put together 50 delectable recipes for snacks, meals, and treats for your canine companion.
Maybe you're cooking everything because your collie has colitis or your Akita has a wheat allergy or your older dog just...

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Throw Me a Bone: 50 Healthy, Canine Taste-Tested Recipes for Snacks, Meals, and Treats

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Cooper Gillespie, an extremely intelligent and handsome Welsh springer spaniel, is a dog of discriminating taste and strong opinions. Now Cooper, with the assistance of cookbook author Sally Sampson and the transcription services of his favorite human, Susan Orlean, has put together 50 delectable recipes for snacks, meals, and treats for your canine companion.
Maybe you're cooking everything because your collie has colitis or your Akita has a wheat allergy or your older dog just isn't thriving on commercial kibble. Maybe you're mixing up the occasional biscuit or treat to help your best fur-bearing friend over that I-just-ate-a-tennis- ball-and-don't-feel-so-good episode. Whatever the reason, the recipes in this book (which have been approved by dog trainer and nutritional consultant Stacy Alldredge) will satisfy the most discerning doggie palate. Many of them, in fact, can be shared with a favorite human (though preferably not from the same dish).
Illustrated with more than 50 endearing black-and-white photographs of Cooper and friends by Cami Johnson, and liberally seasoned with stories, quotes, and nutrition tips, Throw Me a Bone makes a dog's dinner something to look forward to.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Susan Orlean Author of The Orchid Thief Raconteur, bon vivant, connoisseur, philosopher, and wag, Cooper Gillespie is the canine James Beard. His musings, coupled with Sampson's toothsome recipes, make me wish I were a teacup poodle or an Italian mastiff rather than just Gillespie's typist and muse.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416560708
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/19/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,041,594
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

COOPER GILLESPIE is a Welsh springer spaniel. He enjoys swimming and eating plastic and chicken. He lives with Susan Orlean, the bestselling author of The Orchid Thief, which was made into the movie Adaptation.

Sally Sampson is the founder of ChopChop magazine and the author and coauthor of numerous cookbooks, including the James Beard Award-nominated The $50 Dinner Party, Throw Me a Bone (with Cooper Gillespie), and The Olives Table (with Todd English). She has contributed to Self, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Phoenix. She lives with her family in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at and

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Read an Excerpt

From Throw Me a Bone



Ever hear the expression "a dog's breakfast"? I think Shakespeare or some other two-legger coined it, and I think it's meant to be insulting. Obviously Shakespeare never had anyone make him a stack of these pawcakes. If he had, he would never have suggested that we dogs don't enjoy the finest of morning meals. (Just look at my friend Ziggy who lives with Boston restaurateur Don Levy, patiently waiting for his pawcakes. In my dreams, I lap up a whole gallon of maple syrup with them but not while Susan is looking...) Cook only the amount you need; the excess batter can be stored in the fridge for two days.

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup milk, skim or whole

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggshells, crushed or ground

Place the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Place the buttermilk, skim milk, eggs, and oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients and eggshells to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and when it is hot, drop in small ladlefuls of batter. Cook until bubbles form and burst. Flip over and cook for about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.



Grind or crush up eggshells and mix them into recipes to add extra calcium. Dogs have a strong need for calcium in order to counteract the high phosphorus content in meat.

Copyright © 2003 by Susan Orlean and Sally Sampson

From Throw Me a Bone


Besides our freckles, our waggly tails, and our long floppy ears, my friend Jessie and I have something very important in common: we are cheese fanatics. I'm partial to Velveeta; Jessie is a cheddarhead. We do agree that this recipe for burgers is terrific. The center is canine caviar — cheese, of course! — and it gets nice and melty and gooey. Oops, I'm drooling...

6 ounces ground beef or turkey

1 large egg yolk

1 egg shell, ground (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked rice or leftover cooked oatmeal

2 tablespoon grated cheddar or Swiss cheese

Place the beef, egg yolk and shell, if using, and rice in a small bowl and mix well. Using a knife or your hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal parts, about 1 1/2 ounces each. Flatten each part into a patty. Place 1/3 of the cheese on each of 3 patties, and place the other 3 patties on top of the cheese. Using your hands, pinch the sides together to reseal them. (The burgers can be covered and refrigerated up to one day at this point.)

To cook:

Preheat the broiler. Place the cheezburger on a broiler pan or baking sheet about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the heat and broil until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.


Place a cast iron skillet over high heat and heat until it is so hot that droplets of water bounce off. Add the cheezburger. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.


Prepare a grill. Place the cheezburger on the grill and cook until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Store any extra in the refrigerator, covered.



Copyright © 2003 by Susan Orlean and Sally Sampson

From Throw Me a Bone


I personally have an issue with coming when I'm called. It's not that I don't intend to ever come; it's just that I'm usually in the middle of doing something really interesting when Susan calls me. As a result, I tend to dawdle, and Susan tends to get a little, uh, exasperated. Then one day, she brought one of these treats with her when we went out for a walk, and when she called me to come, she held up a treat. Suddenly it all made sense: if I showed up in a hurry when she called, I would get one. What a scam! I mean, really — just for coming to say hello, I got a delicious oatmeal nibble. (This is a great can't-miss deal, my fellow dogs: I suggest you look into it with your humans.)

Mix up a batch of these, and you can cut them into any size or shape you want: tiny squares for training a Teacup Poodle, more substantial chunks for motivating a Mastiff...

Vegetable shortening

3 to 4 large eggs

1-3 cup canola or corn oil

1-3 cup honey

1-3 blackstrap molasses

1 cup skim milk

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3 cups whole-wheat flour

3 to 6 cups uncooked oatmeal, depending on texture preferences

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 10 x 15-inch baking sheet with vegetable shortening.

Place the eggs, oil, honey, molasses, milk, and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix with a hand blender. Add the flour and oatmeal and mix until it has the consistency of cake mix. Let the dogs lick the spoon and bowl!

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour; turn off the oven, and let the treats sit until the oven cools. Turn out onto the counter or a cutting board and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into whatever shapes suit your fancy (or break into pieces). Dogs don't care! Cover and refrigerate or freeze up to 2 months.



Blackstrap molasses is the thick, very dark brownish-black syrup that remains after the last extraction of sugar from cane or sorghum. Strong and slightly bitter-tart in flavor, it has the lowest sugar content of all types of molasses and is more nutritious than other sweeteners.

Copyright © 2003 by Susan Orlean and Sally Sampson

From Throw Me a Bone


I just love happy endings, so here's one of the happiest endings I know: in 1994, Christa and Chris Linzey worked at Camden Yards in Baltimore. When they left work after a day game, they noticed a young dog roaming around, apparently lost and alone. (That's the sad part. Now comes the happy part.) They adopted the pup, named him Camden, and gave him a nice new life. Camden, who's pictured here, had some health problems (sad part again), but Christa and Chris were undaunted and began feeding him natural kibble, fruit, and vegetables, and he thrived. What's more, they decided that Camden should enjoy many, many treats (good philosophy!). They decided they would make the treats themselves (since Chris was a professional chef), so they would be sure the treats were top-notch. Camden urged them on to greater and greater treat achievement (go, Camden!). Eventually Christa and Chris started 3C Baking Company so they could produce treats for all the dogs of the world. Their treats are made from all-natural human-quality ingredients without any added sugar, salt, eggs, or dairy; they're low-fat for the tubbies among us; have lots of fiber (good for the belly); and taste as great as they smell! They have Camden's bark of approval, too. And to think a little parking-lot pup started this whole thing.

These bars will become hard and crunchy. For a fun twist, you can drizzle melted carob chips over them.

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until it forms a rough powder, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the oats to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the flour, applesauce, cinnamon, and honey, and mix for about 30 seconds at low speed. Then, while the mixer is going, slowly add the water. When all the water has been added, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides. Raise the speed to medium and mix until all ingredients are just incorporated and form a ball, 20 to 30 seconds.

Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8-inch, and cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. A dog bone-shaped cutter is recommended, but use your imagination! You can use hearts, cats, or even an apple-shaped cutter! (Be sure to re-roll and use any scraps.) Place the shapes on a nonstick baking sheet or a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake until slightly golden, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.


Honey is the only sweetener that isn't man-made. It offers a more concentrated source of energy than other sweeteners but is also heralded for its use as a healing agent for maladies as disparate as burns, sore throat, baldness, and constipation.

Copyright © 2003 by Susan Orlean and Sally Sampson

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Table of Contents









Popeye's Frittata

Cracked Egg Omelet

Chicken Soup with Rice

Mailman's Alphabet Minestrone

Jay's Freshly Caught Bluefish Cubes

Poodle Fries

Classic Doghouse Chop for Two

Peanut Noodles with Broccoli

Pongo's Patio Patties

Simple Steamed White Rice

Simple Steamed Brown Rice


Max's Hungarian Goulash

Bow Wow Oh Wow! Surprize Cheezburgers

Gnashed Sweet Potatoes

That's All Folks! P-P-Pork Burgers

Little Lamb Burgers

Goldie's Meat Loaf Cupcakes

Catch! Meatballs and Spaghetti

Veggie Salad

Look! A Birdy! Burgers

Poochie's Pasta Primavera

Old Yeller's Chicken

Terrier Tofu

Tuna Training Treats

Grrrround Turkey Turkeys

Tyler's Burrito

Salmon Burgers

Doggone Best Pizza

Lotsa Liver and Rice

Mack and Cheese

The Big Bird and Cheese Melt


Breath-Sweetening Biscuits

Paw-mesan Tail Twisters

Lily's Lovely Frozen Parfait

Go-Bananas Training Treats

Sunflower Cookies

Danny's Dog Sundae

Dessert Liver Treats

Polenta Squirrels

Corn Dog Biscuits

Rachel Travers's Doggie Biscuits

Carrot Doggo Cake

Devil Dog Carob Brownies

Bow-Wow Birthday Cake

Cinnamon Bites

Peanut Butter Cookies

Maida Heatter's Bone Appetit


Puppy Power






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    Look good

    I think it will de good

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