Markle Health residents do some holiday baking for four-legged friends

Hope Worster mixes up pumpkin dog biscuits as Tina Tiernon looks over her shoulder.
Hope Worster mixes up pumpkin dog biscuits as Tina Tiernon looks over her shoulder. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The warm smell of spices wafting from the kitchen evoke images of holiday goodies.

And while holiday goodies were indeed the source of those smells, the treats being baked in the kitchen of the Markle Health and Rehabilitation Center were never intended for human consumption.

The dogs currently residing at the Huntington County Humane Shelter were the lucky recipients of the treats.

"We do a community service thing every month, and this is what they decided to do this month," explains Tina Tiernon, the center's activities director.

One particularly interested onlooker was Tiernon's golden retriever, a 6-year-old pup named Shyla who seemed to be more interested in the caresses she was receiving from one of the cooks than she was in the pumpkin-flavored dog biscuits.

Shyla, who's about to become a regular visitor to Tiernon's place of employment, is pretty much happy to be anywhere.

"She's a rescue dog," Tiernon says. "When I got her, she had just one more day to live."

Shyla cheated death and found a home, but came close to losing that home when she was later diagnosed with cancer.

"They gave her three to six months to live, and they took part of her back foot," Tiernon says "Now, she's been cancer free for one and a half years."

When Tiernon received the recipe for the pumpkin-flavored dog biscuits from a dog-lover friend, she decided that making the biscuits for the shelter's dogs would be a good project for the center's residents.

And while the biscuits smelled good enough to eat, there was a reluctance on the part of the bakers to actually take a bite.

"I don't think I'd want to try them," says resident Hope Worster.