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Dog biscuits are baked to perfection in Minden

by Linda Hiller, staff reports

If you have a particular pup who might need a change of pace in his or her dull dog days, fetch the leash and trot on over to Doggy Bag Deli. The new Minden canine eatery may be just the thing to make your furry friend sit up and take notice.

Owned and operated by former Douglas County School District speech and language pathologist Barbara (Walsh) Kampstra, Doggy Bag Deli offers special organic dog biscuits in flavors that include barbecue, carrot cake, charcoal, banana colada, molasses almond, garlic, cheese oatmeal and the ever-popular peanut butter. Recipes are all Kampstra’s and flavors change with requests and her whims, she said.

“My recipes are all organic and people-grade quality,” Kampstra said. “There are actually no state health regulations for dog food, but I make sure to use ingredients that would pass for human consumption. I make health food for dogs – don’t they deserve that?”

Kampstra sold her dog biscuits at the Lampe Park Farmer’s Market last summer and said the response was heartening enough to encourage her to open a store.

“Many of my regulars from the Farmer’s Market have started to find us here in Minden,” she said. “And, I’ve been able to add all these other dog items for my customers.”

Dog biscuits run from $9.20 to $10.40 per pound and Kampstra can make them in the shape of most every dog breed. Free samples are available to let four-legged fidos sniff out their favorite flavor.

“Dogs are welcome here and I’m happy to give out samples,” Kampstra said. “We even have a place where owners can sit down with their dogs, have something hot to drink and eat a (human) cookie themselves. I only ask that people donate 50 cents a cup to the Wild Animal Infirmary in Washoe Valley, Wild Horse Spirit, Ltd. or Douglas County Animal Control.”

Special dog pizzas are $2.95 each and popular with canine customers including Bubba, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador owned by recent customer Bud Rinasz.

“Boy, he made quick work of that,” Rinasz said after Bubba quickly fetched a pizza off Kampstra’s counter and devoured it in one bite. “Guess I owe you $2.95.”

n Liver frosting? Kampstra will also bake birthday cakes with a rice and vegetable bottom layer, cream cheese and tofu filling and a liver and tofu top layer. Pup party packages including a cake, custom biscuits and more are available for $75 and up.

Kampstra sells almost everything a canine care giver could covet, including dog ornaments in many breeds, toys and collectibles, stationery, mouse pads and coasters in whimsical canine themes, cookie cutters, Darwin’s dog, large ceramic statues, hand painted screens and more.

She also sells canine shampoo and conditioner, fancy collars and leashes and Snugglesafe, a pillow that can be warmed in the microwave to stay hot for cold critters. Custom sculptures of your own favorite Fido by a Bay Area artist are also available through the deli.

“It’s amazing what’s out there to buy for the store in the way of dog items,” Kampstra said. “And, I am also a cat person and plan to add feline items in the future.”

n Location, hours. Joining Kampstra at the Doggy Bag Deli are employees Carol Swan and Alice Martin. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.

For more information, visit the store at 1592 Esmeralda, the old Patrick Henry restaurant site, e-mail doggybagdeli@aol.com or call 783-9088.