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Do you know what a chocoholic eats for lunch?

I had fun with lunch yesterday:

banana sandwich

A Banana-Split Sandwich!

With fresh strawberries and homemade Chocolate Banana Butter.

The chocolate took the sandwich over the top and reminded me of eating frosting. A frosting sandwich for lunch…? I know it sounds strange, and I won’t go as far as to say it tasted exactly like a banana-split sundae, but this sandwich was pretty darn awesome!

banana split sandwich

After lunch, I took Henry and Batman to the dog park for some exercise. It was Batman’s first time, and he won’t be going back. 😕 He growled and snapped at all the other dogs, and I finally left Henry under the care of a friend while I walked Batman around the outside of the park, alone.

Henry didn’t seem to mind. He even found a look-alike friend:

toy fox terriers

And he ran around and around in circles with this Chihuahua:


Henry is the sweetest dog alive. He really is. I’m forever grateful I happened to be in Petsmart on the day he was up for adoption.

Link of the Day:


……….German-Chocolate Fudge Bites

Tomorrow is National German Chocolate Cake Day. I never seem to know about these national days until they’re over, so this time I thought I’d be early :).

Question of the Day:

If you have pets, do they get along with other animals?

Batman adores Henry, so I was shocked (and really embarrassed) when he started snapping at the other dogs. I’m sure it was out of fear, but does anyone know how to teach him to be nice?

Published on June 9, 2012

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  1. Frances says

    I always find introducing friends dogs to your dogs helps, especially if your dog is used to the smell of your friends dog from her clothes or bags etc.
    Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Samantha says

    I love seeing photos of your cute pups. Don’t be embarrassed about Batman. There are so many reasons for his behavior: he could have been overly excited, he could have felt threatened or it could be he just didn’t like a specific dog. Strangely enough, sometimes household “packs” do better at the dog park separately. I have many friends with more than one dog that if they take one at time there are no problems, if they bring both there is going to be problems.

    In terms of teaching him to be nice, I am not actually much of a dog park person and I see a lot of snapping/borderline aggressive behavior at them depending on the mix of dogs. I am not sure if the Texas ones have better manners than the ones in my area, but it could be that Batman will always do better with just one dog at a time. Since he was a rescue his history and socialization will always be a bit of a mystery.

    Right now I am down to one dog, two cats, and one chinchilla. All get along (although the chinchilla wouldn’t survive free roaming).

    I have had dogs that were indifferent to other dogs, dogs that only accepted their household dog, and dogs that were dog reactive to all dogs. I won’t put up with aggressive behavior, but I will try and support what sets them best up for success. The dog reactive dog I worked to modify his behavior while on walks…but he NEVER would be a dog park candidate. 🙂

    My current young boy works well around other dogs, but I know if I put him with another high energy/high drive dog that their play is going to be too rough for what I will accept so I still am very selective on what dogs and watch the interactions carefully.

    I LOVE that banana butter. LOVE it. 🙂

  3. Linnea says

    I have two rabbits, one of them is superfriendly, the other one hates everyone except if they have food. Really, I think he’s just greedy.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      LOL that sounds like a rabbit we rescued once… I swear, that thing was the size of a house. Or at least the size of Batman. At first, though, he was tiny and only his ears were huge. Then he kept eating and eating and eating… Once he actually ate a piece of my science homework :).

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      They don’t. I honestly haven’t done much research on a vegan diet for dogs, and they don’t actually live with me all the time anyway (it’s complicated). But someday I would like to feed my dogs a vegan diet.

      • Linsey says

        From what I’ve researched, it’s not really healthy for dogs or cats to be vegan. Dogs are really supposed to be carnivores and due to our influence the are pretty much omnivores because most of the dry pet foods are filled with corn and wheat to make them cheap to mass produce. I have heard that raw meat diets are actually the healthiest for our furry friends…but either way, I would really sway away from veganizing the pooches.

        • Jen E says

          There are plenty of dogs and cats on a vegan diet and are healthy. It just takes a lot of researching 🙂 Myself If I ever got a dog or cat not sure if I would do that. My pet rats are on a vegan diet though and they are doing great and love it!

          • Linsey says

            I disagree about the dogs and cats…they most likely are surviving but I doubt they are thriving. Rats aren’t carnivores, dogs are…so I’m glad your rats are doing well, but they can handle a purely vegan diet better than dogs or cats.

            Here’s an article, by a veterinarian that sums up my feelings on the matter:


            In essence, dogs and cats are carnivores..they aren’t meant to eat plant only diets.

            My opinion…if you are THAT adamant about having a vegan pet…get a rabbit.

          • Jen E says

            That is your opinion and I respect that 🙂 I know dogs and cats that are thriving though on vegan diets. BTW I do have rabbits, but not because they are herbivores. I adore them! I get slammed all the time for feeding my rats vegan though 🙁

          • Linsey says

            My opinion is backed by scientific facts…did you read the article?

            Rabbits are cool. My friend has one and it’s super cute. I had no idea you could litter train them…but apparently you can!

            I’m surprised you get slammed for feeding the rats vegan. I mean, rats could probably survive a nuclear holocaust because they are THAT adaptable. They are also omnivores like us…so they can do well on a vegan diet.

          • Jenna says

            My rats (i had 9 of hem for a while) were all vegans. Rats do very well on a vegan diet. My opinion on vegan dogs is simply that they don’t get to chose. I wouldnt force it on a person, much less an animal. If you put down a salad and a burger, and your dog chooses he salad, congrats. But it’s not right to force a dietary decision on anything.
            PS: I have a dog, and she go REALLY sick when i tried to have her go vegan. i even transitioned her properly. I could see it working with certain breeds but not all (not even most i would say).
            PSS: My dog’s favorite food is greek yogurt with honey and granola. She regularly takes it before the burger. She will guard the burger until shes ready to eat it though lol

  4. Joy says

    My dog loves other dogs! But my friends dog notsomuch so with Brady we do leashed exposure he still comes with us but on leash knowing that his mom is in charge

  5. Nikki says

    We just adopted a rescue pup and are training her to be nice to other dogs too–you should check out videos of The Dog Whisperer (Cesar Milan). We’ve tried a few of his “tricks” and so far they work immediately!!
    P.S. I get embarrassed too when my dog (Haruki) barks and growls at other dogs:-)

  6. msdramateacherlady says

    Perhaps taking Batman to a few training classes at a Petsmart or Petco would, socialization on a smaller scale. I have two dogs, who can be very touch and go at the dog park. To the point where if we can’t run them in the “wood-chip” side (not many people use it, it’s designed for training and dogs who don’t always play nice) for 45 minutes, we don’t put them in with the others. We’ve never had a major incident and I want to keep it that way. Owning pit bulls I would rather be safe than sorry. They get along great with each other and can have a friendly greeting with other dogs if I’m not holding both at one time, they get protective of me if I’m alone. If my husband is with me handling one dog, we can have them say hello to almost any dog. They can even play nice at the park, but you have to know your dog, their body language and what could possibly set them off (if other dogs in the park are barking excessively and engaging in even slightly aggressive behavior we know we can’t put our female with them, it will set her off). And my dogs play rough, some people have mistaken then play for fighting and aggressive behavior. When you see two 70 lbs dogs sparing it can sound and look like a fight, but again I know my dogs and can stop them if it gets to aggressive.

    Maybe take Batman during time you know there aren’t many people in the park. Or keep him outside at the fence line so he can get used to being around the other dogs. But then again, some dogs are just one-dog type of friends. Good luck and don’t be embarrassed, you did the right thing by removing him from the situation (both for him and the other dogs).

  7. Joan says

    What breed of dog is Henry? He looks somewhat similar to my puppy, Spader. Spader is a chihuahua / min pin mix.

  8. Alex says

    Oh My Dog!
    I really have to try that sandwisch!… and Greetings from Germany 😉 I’ll celebrate tomorrow :P(maybe with your chocolate single cake, I still haven’t tied it so…it’s about time :D)

  9. Doris @vanillacocoberry says

    hey Katie!!! Here’s your biggest fan from AUSTRIA 🙂
    may I ask which kind of bread you used? it doesnt look glutenfree but is it anything special or just regular plain old bread (nothing wrong with that, dont get me wrong!)

    just curious…


  10. Becca R says

    I love to talk about my dogs! They’re my babies. I’m only 19 so when I say I have kids, people act kinda weird. They’re hairier than most babies. I have a standard poodle, named Monroe, that I’m raising for the Guide Dog Foundation. He’s soooo energetic, and he loves the dog park. He makes friends with every single dog there. Even if they snap at him. Haha. I get to take him to my college classes and into grocery stores and pretty much most places since he’s a GDF dog so it’s pretty convenient. I also have a little chihuahua – corgi mix named Bruiser (like Legally Blonde, although my Bruiser is a little bigger and chubbier). He’s a little feisty and likes to try and bite strangers’ ankles.
    As for teaching him to be nice, I think it’s best just to take him more often. At my local dog park, there’s a separate fenced area for little dogs, so if you started him out farther away, he could get used to the other dogs at a distance. Then move a little closer. Then let him see the other dogs through the fence or have a few come and see him. It just takes a little while. He’s a little dog, so it makes sense for him to be afraid. He’s neutered, right? If he’s neutered, I would think it’s just out of fear. And there’s no need to be embarrassed. Taking him out and walking him around outside was a polite way to handle it, but I’m sure everyone else understood. Usually people are at dog parks because they understand what dogs like and need, so they probably understand that some dogs just get scared. 🙂

  11. Dara says

    I did a little experimenting yesterday and I would like to share this:
    Adapted from VitaMix Dutch Apple Baby recipe
    serves 4 or 8 (depending on how it is sliced)
    Apple Filling:
    2 medium to large apples ( I used Fuji and Red Delicious), cored, peeled, and sliced into thin rings
    1/8 c. blueberries
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/8 c. sugar
    1 T. coconut oil

    Coat the apples in the cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. Saute the apples over medium-high heat in a skillet in the oil until soft, add in the blueberries the last five minutes of cooking.

    For the cake:
    1/2 c. oat flour
    1/4 t. nutmeg
    1/4 t. cloves
    1/2 t. cinnamon
    1/2 t. sea salt
    1/2 t. vanilla extract
    1/2 – 1 c. almond milk (you want the batter to be a bit runny)
    1/2 T. yogurt
    1 T. flax meal
    1 T. chia seed
    6 T. water

    Mix the flax and chia with 6 T. water in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
    In the bowl used to coat the apple, mix together the oat flour, spices, and salt. Add the vanilla extract, yogurt, and almond milk. Stir to combine. Mix in the chia/flax mixture last.

    Pour the apple/berry mixture into a greased pie pan (or cast iron skillet can work). Even out the filling. Pour the batter over the fruit last. Make sure the batter is evenly coating the fruit and level on all sides of the pan.

    In a pre-heated oven at 450F, bake the apple baby for 20 minutes.

    Serve with sliced fruit, agave or honey and a dollop of yogurt. OR sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Makes a great 450 kcal (2 slices) breakfast!

  12. Lauren says

    Our shih-tzu, Gus, is a really sweet dog, but other dogs don’t seem to take to him! My brother got a dog from the pound and it nearly bit Gus’s head off when we tried to introduce the two. Scary moment! It must be nice for Henry and Batman to have each other…hopefully we can get Gus a buddy soon!

    • Ashley says

      oh my goodness!!! I have a shih-tzu named Gus too!!! My Gus is super awkward around other dogs at the dog park – he wants to play with them but sometimes doesn’t know how!

  13. Ulli says

    mmmh, this sandwich reminds me of my 2-minute-microwave-flax-muffin ( – which is healthy, easy to make, suitable for a paleo/primal diet and most of all: yummy!!!) – i topped it with banana and nutbutter, next time I’ll add some strawberries too and will think of you! 😉
    oooh, poor batman, i’m sure he was just scared? it was a new situation for him, so maybe try again?! good luck!!

  14. Deb @ wiseupslimdown says

    My doxie Sienna is a rescue. The first year she was fine around other dogs, but the second year we really bonded and she became very protective of me. Now if she sees another dog she goes crazy barking and sometimes snaps. That is all other dogs except for other dachshunds. For some reason she knows her own kind and they are A-okay. But horses….OMG…she goes beserk if she sees a horse.

  15. Cheryl says

    My dog Bebe entered my life when she was two, and she had huge issues with other dogs. It has taken about two years of work, but she is now playing with other dogs we see on walks and goes to doggie daycare sometimes. We still have issues when the dogs are on leashes, but we are working on it. You just always have to be aware of the situation (get really good at reading Batman’s body language) and interrupt the situation before it breaks. Lots and lots of rewards for good behavior – I think there were a lot of people thinking I was crazy when I was cheering and giving my dog treats when she just walked by another dog without getting snarky. We worked from walk-bys, to quick greetings, and so on. There are also getting to be more and more classes out there for reactive dogs.
    Good luck to you – you have two cuties there!

  16. radioactivegan says

    My ex-husband and I adopted a dog from the pound when we got married. She was full-grown when we adopted her (they guessed Molly was about 5 years old), so we had no idea about her history or socialization. She did really well around some dogs, and really badly around others. She routinely got in fights with some malamutes I knew, but got along well with my parent’s dogs and my ex’s dad’s dog. I never figured out what would set her off, so I just never let her off leash around dogs I didn’t know she would get along with. She lives with my ex now, so I don’t know how she’s doing with other dogs these days. It was so strange, because she was such a sweet, loving dog with all people (and had no problems with my cat).

  17. Dawn says

    Our 4 year old mix is from a shelter. The first few times at the dog park she did not do well either. She is timid AND dominent, not the best combo. What we found that helps is that we walk her around on the leash for at least one lap, then go to an area towards the back where is it usually quiet and play some fetch with her. Then she is usually over her excitement of being there to play better. We still watch her with all the other dogs and intervene if we see her doing something to show dominence (dont make me say it! lol)

    Stay with it and eventually he will learn to love the playtime!

  18. Alex @ Healthy Life Happy Wife says

    I have a pup & she gets along with other dogs unless she gets scared & then she is a crier! It’s normally over nothing but she is such a little baby!

    Honestly, in my experience, different dogs get along differently with different dogs but the more time they spend with another dog, the better they learn how to play with that dog!

  19. Cerissa says

    Haha, just a couple days ago I ran out of peanut butter (that is a big deal when you have 4 little boys to feed), but I did have a bowl of your sugar free Brownie Batter! So for lunch I served those little boys chocolate and banana sandwiches instead of their usual pb&j. Total hit! And they thought they were getting something really decedent…. little did they know they had beans and banana sandwiches for lunch 😉

  20. tiffany says

    I have a cat named Doom, he loves other animals except dogs, and maybe rabbits. He’s an indoor cat but there are lots of cats that come around…he always talks to them and rubs up against the screens at the windows with them. He also loves the squirrels, they randomly pop up at the window looking for him too, its so cute lol. When we were staying at someones house during a reno, their cat and him became quick friends too, they were licking each others bums and sleeping together lol

    someone came over one day with a small dog though, and he poofed up to three times his size because of how mad he was, it was hilarious. He also charges at the window and patio door when the bunny rabbits are in our back yard. I love them though so Im glad he stays inside, i wouldnt want a bunny to get hurt.

  21. Alanna says

    My dog (Lhasa apso / Shih tzu mix) grew up as one of three but has been an only dog for several years now, so he’s kind of forgotten what to do around them, haha. He doesn’t bark, but he’s intimidated by larger dogs, mostly because he can’t see very well any more, but also because he’s old and doesn’t want to play. My dad has a rescued Lab mix, and she’s sweet with them and I but too rough with my dog (she’s younger) and is strangely fearful of very tall people! Hopefully Batman will get better with other dogs, but don’t beat yourself up if he doesn’t. 🙂

  22. Lesley says

    My dog is afraid of tall people too! He’s a chihuahua so it sort of makes sense hahaha. Our trainer had us work with him by giving him a treat every time he sees another person on a walk, to try to get him to associate good things with strangers instead of being fearful. It’s a work in progress for us but it might be something to try with Batman!

    • Alanna says

      Haha yes, that makes more sense for a chihuahua than a labrador! They think she may have been abused before they adopted her and that has something to do with it. One day my stepmom brought a balloon home from work, and the dog barked and barked at it… poor thing was so scared she actually had an accident after she was backed into a corner and couldn’t get away. 🙁 Good thing I’m short (and not a balloon)!

  23. BroccoliHut says

    I just took Margot to the dog park today, and she had a blast as usual. She is quite the social butterfly and loves interacting with other dogs and their owners!

  24. L says

    I love dogs, I grew up with at least one dog and at one time we had 6…plus tons of other animals. Can I ask…. what is in the bottle/jar with the two straws in your lunch picture? (which are great by the way!) You have the best photos Katie!

  25. Sheena says

    Try distracting him, you could use something that makes a loud(ish) sudden noise to get his attention, or if you throw your keys a couple of metres away from him hard at the ground. Also try introducing him to friends dogs in a neutral place whilst their both on leads and walk around together.

  26. Olivia says

    We have an Australian Shepard mix. She is a HANDFUL! When we’re out walking, she barks and snarls at other dogs, but in reality, she’s to wimpy to actually do anything (I mean, really, what kind of dog is afraid of the dryer?). But when she’s in the yard and a dog comes running in, she romps around playfully with it. I seriously don’t get her.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about Batman being aggressive towards other dogs (at least, not that I know of). I think he’s just trying to protect you. My dog’s the same way. I really don’t understand it, but dogs will be dogs. 🙂

  27. shannonmarie (rawdorable) says

    Yum! I know it sounds crazy, but I used to eat sandwiches that I made out of fresh baked bread, vegan cream cheese, strawberries and a similar chocolate spread (I like making homemade vegan Nutella, too). So good when it’s warm and melting.

  28. Dee says

    Batman may have been suffering from overstimulation in such a new environment. Like others have said, try introducing him to friends’ dogs first. When he become more confident, take him to the dog park alone, for short periods of time, praise, praise, praise good behavior, give rewards AND ignore poor behavior (also remove him from the situation ).

    It won’t happen overnight, but socialization is possible.

  29. Kathy says

    Oh don’t fear, my dog is the same way. He is a chihuahua/jack russell and I don’t know where he gets it, but he attacks other dogs and animals – not really meaning to hurt them, but he does grab their legs and scares them. And he’s only 6 lbs. He also barks incessantly at people which is mortifying. I can’t take him many public places. Your dogs are absolutely adorable. Henry and the other dog look like siblings!

  30. Grace says

    My dog is the same with other dogs! She insists on being the center of attention. As for your banana split sandwich, I bet you could also use your banana bread with just the chocolate and strawberries. Either way, yummmmmm. 🙂

  31. Linsey says

    I think dogs, like people have many different personalities. Some people don’t like other people…haha..or they only like some people. I have two neurotic cats, and cats pose a whole different bag of problems when they are around other cats or dogs such as territorial spraying and generally bad behavior. Whole Foods has a product called “Rescue Remedy” for pets. You can probably find it online too. They have one for humans too…and for kids…but I bought the one specifically for pets. It’s an herbal relaxer in liquid form and I put a few drops on my cats’ food. It totally mellows them out when they are stressed. We just moved so we’ve been dealing with a lot of cat stress and the Rescue Remedy totally worked. Maybe look into getting some and give Batman a treat with a few drops before the next time you go to the park. It might help him relax a little, so he’s not quite so stressed about the other dogs.

  32. Jen E says

    We have 2 bunnies and 12 pet rats. I adore them. My one rabbit thinks he’s a rat he’s been around rats all his life and tries to climb his cage just like the rats lol. I used to have one rat that would throw out food for one of my rabbits I used to have. She was doing it for a while and we caught her in the act lol.I had some rats in the past that adored my rabbits though, but most boys like to try and yank on their fur so I keep them away lol. Sorry I can’t help with the dog issue they are adorable though. I had one dog a pekapoo and he was a terror.

  33. Chelsea says

    I agree with msdramateacherlady about trying to bring Batman to the dog park at times when it’s not terribly busy. That just makes it less overwhelming for him and easier for you to keep an eye on what’s happening. Keeping him on leash at first might be good as well. Depending on your dog-parenting style you could give him small corrections for unwanted behavior. Another idea is to bring his favorite treats with you, but as others have suggested, don’t actually go into the dog park. Start further away, giving him treats as he behaves well in the vicinity of the other dogs. Gradually get closer and closer to the fence where the other dogs are, treat him when he shows polite behavior, and back him away from the fence when he does something you don’t like.

    A basic training class is also a great idea. They not only help to socialize dogs, but teach them to pay attention to you when there are distractions, and they’re a great bonding experience!

    Good luck!

  34. Kelly Klepfer says

    If you haven’t seen The Dog Whisperer you’ve got to watch a few episodes. He’s really good with helping understand how dogs see the world. They need their humans to be the pack leader and he trains the humans to do just that. I’ll bet you’ll pick up tips that can help Batman be better at the dog park.

  35. Casey N. says

    Hi Katie.
    I had the same problem with my shephard mix Dieter. We would go hiking and he was very aggressive towards other dogs and adults. After about a year of hiking and me constantly correcting his bad behavior, he started to gradually see these “strangers” as not a threat. Now we can go anywhere. He will never be that friendly dog who will wag his tail, however, he does not growl or show teeth either! Please keep correcting his behavior and always be consistent. He will get better. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  36. Nina says

    Hi Katie,

    I love your recipes, yum! I gradually socialized my dog, Missy, until she was comfortable with most dogs. She still prefers dogs smaller than she is but she’s generally good with others now. (they are animals and there will be some others they don’t like). I brought her to the park near our house where most of the dogs are pretty mellow. She may not play with most of them but she doesn’t snarl or hide anymore.

  37. Laura says

    Our small dog LOVES all animals. Sometimes a bit too much.(if she gets a baby bird she will shake it in her mouth then drop it and paw at it as if wondering why it’s not playing with her). Our medium sized dog loves all small animals, but is scared of the ones her size or bigger. Our only problem is that our little one bites strangers. So, no visitors unless she is in the kennel.

  38. Stacy says

    Just picked up strawberries from the farm stand this AM. Will be serving this for “Last Day of School Breakfast” tomorrow!!

  39. Michelle B says

    Ok… So I really don’t think you should have ever posted this recipe. I have been making the exact sandwich you have pictured almost everyday for lunch since you posted it. I am totally addicted!

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