kim’s kitchen

Make a cookie out of your puppy

Posted 5/22/24

Yes, my four-and-a-half-pound Maltese dog is named after Ozzy Osbourne. I can’t help myself. I love both Ozzies.

The story of my Ozzy is a bittersweet one. My friends Yvonne and Jim …

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kim’s kitchen

Make a cookie out of your puppy


Yes, my four-and-a-half-pound Maltese dog is named after Ozzy Osbourne. I can’t help myself. I love both Ozzies.

The story of my Ozzy is a bittersweet one. My friends Yvonne and Jim Housman lost their son Devin on June 6, 2020. Devin was autistic, and his family has since set up an academic scholarship in his memory. 

This is very close to my heart, since my grandson Riley is autistic as well. (For more information about the scholarship, click and/or copy and paste this link:

Shortly after Devin’s death, a Maltese pup came into Yvonne and Jim’s lives. Being Disney fans, they named her Jasmine (after the princess in “Aladdin”). They were amazed when they discovered that Jasmine was born the very day that Devin had passed.

Maybe Devin had sensed their need and sent this special puppy to them?

In any case, Jasmine is sweet, affectionate, intelligent and beautiful. When she had puppies of her own, Yvonne and Jim gifted us with the runt, which I promptly named—you guessed it—Ozzy. Like his mom, Ozzy is sweet, affectionate, intelligent and beautiful. So much so that I didn’t even mind when Ozzy ruined my birthday dinner this year by escaping from his pen at our friend Joyce’s house in Florida. As soon as I saw on the Ozzy Cam I had set up that he had cleverly set himself free, the fancy restaurant plans sailed out the window—and my husband Fleck and I sailed down I-595 to make sure he didn’t hurt himself.

Yes, I am that doggie mama. Sure, I probably spoil him just a little. But I know I’m not alone in this.

Take, for example, my friend, the River Reporter’s very own Jonathan Charles Fox. He pals around with “That Dog Named Gidget.” She’s a little spoiled as well, having her own Facebook page, which—as of this writing—is followed by 605 people. (Don’t worry. Ozzy has a Facebook page, too: Ozzy Tales.)

As I write, Gidget has just had her first birthday. She came into Jonathan’s life shortly after the devastating loss of his previous companion, the famous and fabulous Dharma the Wonder Dog. Gidget is a Havanese, which is the only breed originating in Cuba. The Havanese and Maltese breeds are related, and both are hypoallergenic since they have hair rather than fur—so maybe Ozzy and Gidget are cousins!

Whatever the case may be, Jonathan raised Gidget from a puppy.

“She was bound for future service-dog training when I got her,” Jonathan will tell you. “Starting with a puppy seemed the way to go. But that thing about hindsight being 20-20? I sure wish I were clairvoyant!”

It wasn’t easy at first. Jonathan has always had dogs, but he hadn’t trained a puppy in a long, long time.

“She was a rambunctious juvenile who needed constant supervision,” he explains with a sigh. “Plus, she was always clenching strange things in her jaws. And then there was the fact that she wanted to walk anywhere between five and 50 times a day!”

And yet as time went on, Jonathan and That Dog Named Gidget formed an inseparable bond.

“We strolled a lot more as the pooch grew,” Jonathan muses. “I leashed her up morning, noon and night, traversing the neighborhood at all hours, rain or shine. Every day, we could be spotted on the roads near Camp Fox [Jonathan’s home] learning how to heel, sit, and stay. We made good use of the time. I managed to teach her some manners, and we learned new things together about this wonderful world we live in. I’d say walking the dog was good for us both. Of course, there was her brief but all-consuming obsession with tracking down salamanders…”

Gidget is now a full-blown service dog. She happily accompanies Jonathan wherever he goes, always keeping him under her watchful eye. Recently, Gidget accompanied Jonathan to our house. The reason? A play date with Ozzy, of course. Need I say that they got along famously?

More importantly, we got together to create a sample piece for this month’s project—a cookie that looks like Gidget.

Of course, I’d already made a cookie version of Ozzy. (Yes, I am still that doggie mama.) When I decided to teach someone else how to do the same with their pet, I knew that Jonathan would be the ideal participant. True—as you’ll see in the video—he repeatedly noted that he had no prior baking or cookie decorating experience whatsoever. But I knew he loved Gidget enough to give it a go anyway and work his way through his fears.

And that’s probably the greatest thing that came out of our collaboration. Yes, the cookie version of Gidget is fantastic. But more importantly, Jonathan was able to plow through his doubts and fears—with characteristic humor, of course—and tap into the inner cookie decorator he previously didn’t know even existed.

Such cookies make great gifts. What do you get the person who has everything? Why, you bake a sugar cookie and decorate it to look like Sprinkles, their pet Yorkie. This is not a present people receive every day!

And the process of creating that gift? Well, it can be frustrating—at first. But be willing to make mistakes. Playing it safe won’t teach you much. Get out of the box. If you’re like me, you’ll build your own box and dance around the outside.

And remember to have fun. Ozzy and Gidget would expect no less.

Kim M. Simons is an artist, a food artist, a cake artist, and that doggie mama. She was the River Reporter’s Best Local Celebrity in 2023, and she is a two-time Food Network champion. She currently has 11.5 monuments on the Sullivan County Dove Trail, with two more in the works. Kim is available to teach painting classes alone or in groups, both public and private. She is the author of “Get All Cook-y With Kim,” a cookbook chock-full of delicious gluten-free recipes. Visit Kim at

cakes by kim simons, ozzy, gidget, baking, kims kitchen, food


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