By Becky Carlyle
Leah Dawes, 12 from Adel, is making and selling homemade dog treats to help fulfill one of her biggest dreams.
Dawes is currently in the sixth grade. She plays basketball and enjoys watching the TV shows, HGTV and the Food Network.
One of her biggest hobbies is riding horses. Dawes’s passion for horses started when she was three-years-old. For around five years now, Dawes has participated in horse riding camps and lessons. Her dream, though, is to own a horse.
Dawes wants to raise funds to help with all the costs involved.
“I was in study hall one day and I wanted to earn some money,” Dawes said. “We’re leasing a horse right now and I wanted to raise money for it, so I looked up things to make and sell. Dog treats came up, so I clicked on it and I found this website and I wrote it down.”
She continued, “Lessons cost money and I want to show this summer, so I’m saving for a show jacket and boots.”
Dawes explained her dog treat making process. She first mixes flour, eggs, peanut butter and pumpkin puree together. Then she rolls out the dough and uses a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter to make the treats. She bakes them in the oven for around 30 minutes.
“We’ve also been making little circle ones for the little dogs,” Dawes said.
Dawes continued, “They have to be in the refrigerator. If they’re in the refrigerator, they stay good for 3 months. The freezer’s like 6 months.”
It takes around an hour to make the dog treats from start to finish. Dawes usually makes the dog treats by herself, but she sometimes invites friends over to help make the treats. Her mom, Amie, and brothers, Blake, 7, and Lane, 6, even help on occasion. Her dog, Ruby, is the taste tester.
Currently, Dawes sells her dog treats to friends and family. The larger dog bone-shaped treats come with 5 in a bag and she sells them for $2. The little circle treats come with 15 in a bag and they are also $2.
Dawes mentioned she is getting closer to her goal of purchasing her horse show riding jacket and boots. She is also learning what it feels like to earn something she really wants.
“I’m proud of myself for actually doing it, because 5 years ago I was probably like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m never going to get a horse,’ but it is stressful because you take in some orders and sometimes I have to do it on a random day after school,” Dawes said.
She enjoys making the treats and the challenge of her new dog treat business isn’t going to stop her from reaching her goals.
After all, Dawes said, “I love riding horses!”