Our In-House Taste Testers

Chief Taste Tester ~ Jaxson

Our self-appointed Chief Taste tester is a nine year old rescue Lab. At eighteen months of age in 2012, he was surrendered to the Delta Community Animal, after the family he had lived with since puppyhood said he was not controllable. They had kept him isolated in a garage for a very long time as he hit teenage doggie years, and he suffered from extreme separation anxiety as a result. Thank goodness they made the decision to surrender him — his life was a misery.

We had lost our beloved Wheaton, Shelby at age 10 and a half, just the week before. A few months earlier we had also lost our special needs Lab, Brooklyn to a horrible degenerative disease called DISH (Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis); our third dog (another Wheaton) Bella became very sad, being the only one left in the pack. She wouldn’t eat, or sleep or indeed even walk in our favourite off leash park. We needed a new pack mate!

I believe in helping rescues whenever possible, but as my dogs come to work with me daily, I needed to have a breed that would be personable and handle daily office noises well. They are our D.O.Gs (Directors of Greetings) after all!

Tisedale — as Jaxson was called when we first rescued him — would be a challenge, they said, as they told us his story, but the first time we looked into one another’s eyes, we just knew… it had to be. The fact that he so closely resembled our Brooklyn — really, he could have passed for her baby brother — only added to the feeling my son and I had that this was meant to be.

It was a rough first few weeks! I came to understand why someone would want to keep him in a garage. A teenaged Lab who could open all doors at will, who was an escape artist extraordinaire, who had never seen water before we took him to the off leash beach much less understood that he could swim, Jaxson had never interacted much with other dogs or cats and didn’t have too many verbal commands except for what the shelter staff taught him. Clearly he had a whole new world open up to him when we adopted him — and he needed help understanding it.

Fast forward to now!! In the past 7 years since we adopted him, Jaxson has become an amazing family member who loves going to his various pet Agility, Obedience and Nose Work classes. He has walked in the Sun Fest parade for Delta Community Animal Shelter (DCAS)  and really enjoyed all the attention from the kids and seniors that petted him along the route. He also enjoys playing in all the games at the Delta Pet Expo every August and being a DCAS rescue dog ambassador.

I am very proud to say that he’s a qualified  Therapy Dog for the St. Johns Ambulance Dog program and we  visit senior’s homes and the Paws4Pets reading program at the Library weekly to share some love. He also loves Nosework and achieved his  SOG title at a K9 ABC Games trials.

He is the smartest most loving Lab we have ever met and has not a mean bone in his body. He lives a great life now with his “sisters” Bella, Ms Triggs and our cat—all rescues. Without the help of DCAS, his life (and ours!) would have been a lot less happy. If you are thinking of getting an animal to share your life with, please consider a rescue — you won’t regret it!

I have to say, as Chief Taste Tester of Elaine’s Canine Cookies, Jaxson takes his role very, very seriously. He sits at the edge of the kitchen when I bake, supervising and inspecting all steps of the process. Jaxson ensures that no batch of cookies ever get packaged without his taste test and stamp of approval. He collaborates with his assistant Bella, and with apprentice Ms Triggs but I have to say he has an excellent palate when it comes to selecting recipes that our doggie friends love!

Assistant Taste Tester ~ Bella

bella Bella is an 13 year old Wheaten Terrier. We adopted her from a lovely family that recognized that their busy lives was just not being fair to their 4 year dog.

She went from living by herself all day and some nights too, waiting for her family to come home and spend some time with her, to living with us in a house with two other dogs and two cats – who were foreign creatures to her and that she at first thought were only for chasing. She’s made quite the transition!

Being a senior, she has some arthritis in her joints, is pretty much blind now and is slowing down a bit these days. She values the soft treats as much as the crunchy ones I bake, and as her tummy is a bit more sensitive these days, I have developed recipes that suit her needs.

Update: Our sweet Bella crossed the Rainbow Bridge August 26, 2020. RIP , we miss you terribly.

2nd Assistant Taste Tester ~ Ms Triggs

My name is Ms. Triggs,

I’m from Yellowknife, and a former sled dog apprentice. I didn’t like it, so I quit without notice, then traveled rough until I was apprehended by the authorities.

I was in custody for a while until they transferred me through Travelling Tails program to DCAS. I really didn’t like being in a shelter environment and I was really scared of all humans so I got fostered by Elaine, Jaxson and Bella just before Christmas 2015. I was really scared of people at first, but we hit it off and they adopted me!

I’ve learned a lot about living in a loving family and about being close to humans over the past 4 years. I am trying very hard to be a good girl for mom.  I wasn’t used to getting treats and I’m still pretty picky with my food. I really Like mom’s treats  — I  think if I like the taste of my moms treats, your dogs will like it too!

Between Bella, Jaxson, and Ms.Triggs , they make sure that every treat is the right taste and consistency – and yes even though they are dogs, they are each quite picky in their own way, and I can tell you that they have rejected many of my experimental efforts!

We also have many doggie friends that we invite to try out my new recipes as well, just to be sure that I’m getting them right! A focus group of varied tastes, if you will! When they are not working at the office, or taste testing, Jaxson, and Ms.Triggs love their daily trips to North 40 Dog Park, Ladner Harbor Park and McDonald Beach, and pursuing their sports:  agility, lure coursing,  dock diving and nosework. Bella has retired from all that now, preferring long naps and sunning herself in the yard!