Rum Oatmeal and Doggie Problems

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Booze + Oatmeal seriously belong together! How can something SO wrong be so right!? 


Although brandy was delicious, I decided to go a little more tropical this morning.


Malibu Rum – one of my favorite rums, and now one of my favorite oatmeal ingredients!


My oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A little under 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Added towards the end: 1 tablespoon Malibu Rum
  • Toppings:  Coconut, raw almonds, dried blueberries


Although it’s added at the end, I’m pretty sure the rum cooks off.  The oatmeal doesn’t taste alcoholic, it just has a nice layer of complexity and a little coconutty kick!


And – this is a miracle unto itself – I skipped coffee this AM for green tea! Only because we’re out of coffee. 🙂


Doggie Issues


I’m letting Future Hus sleep in, and once he wakes up, I may go for a run.  You may be wondering why I have to wait until he gets up to leave.


Well, little Miss Maggie is seriously attached to me.  We got her as a rescue dog when she was 2, and I think her previous owners neglected her a lot.  Now, Maggie is obsessed with me (with Future Husband, too, but not the same degree at all).  If I leave the room, she follows me.  If I walk outside to throw out the trash, she  barks frantically at the door until I come back.  She watches every move I make, and if she is physically separated from me, she freaks out,  cries, and pants like crazy.  It’s painful to watch.


She is so bad that we have to crate her when we leave the house, or else she would destroy everything in her quest to get back to Mommy.   Once we let her roam free, and she dug up the carpet near the door trying to get out.  When we come home, she literally begins to THROW herself against the walls of the crate, barking and crying hysterically until we let her out, and then she runs in circles, barking like a mad woman.  She calms down after 5 minutes (I’ve tried to wait until she calms down to let her out of her crate, but trust me – she doesn’t!).  


We’ve seen dog trainers and read books, but I just cannot crack her.  The biggest problem is that she’s really, really stupid, and I mean that in the  nicest way possible.  She has bricks for brains.  One day, I should make a video of her anxiety because otherwise I cannot explain how intense she becomes – its like she has a freaked-out, one-track pea-sized brain.


The big step we’re taking right now with Maggie (and James, to be fair) is crating her for bed, instead of letting her sleep with us.  I really love letting the dogs sleep with us, but I fear it exacerbates Maggie’s attachment issues.   It’s not pretty (i.e. she screams for 30 minutes every night when I crate her), but she eventually tires of it and falls asleep.  It will be a few weeks before there’s no crying.


It would be so nice if I could just let her out of her crate and let her and James lounge around on the couch while I go for a run (if they know someone is home, they don’t destroy the house, but Maggie will bark frantically when I leave and wake Future Husband up).  I don’t know what to do because I can’t correct her once I leave the house!  I need the Dog Whisperer so badly, but I bet even Cesar Milan couldn’t get through to her!


Does anyone have any advice on how I can stop Maggie from barking her face off when I leave the house?



  • Lacey Nicole November 16, 2008, 7:02 am

    mmm the blueberries look soooooooooo good with that oatmeal combo!!! i wouldn’t have thought blueberry-coconut, but now that i’m thinking it i have a serious craving, haha. i hope you get your run in, poor maggie! 🙂 goooOOooo pile-mile 🙂 i am so jealous of your vacay weekend!!!!! 🙂

  • Lara November 16, 2008, 7:17 am

    Malibu + oats = genius!!
    I don’t know much about dogs but I wanted to comment and tell you that I just foudn your blog and I really, really love it. Out of all the many food blogs out there, yours is one of the only ones that has made me jealous 😉 Hehe. I’m a newlywed myself so best of luck for the big day!

  • Oh She Glows November 16, 2008, 7:19 am

    I am loving your devious oatmeal concoctions this weekend!

    About Maggie- I have heard that you should give them a big bone or toy when you are about the leave the house. This will distract them enough that they might not bark. Also don’t make a big production when you leave, just sort of ‘sneak out the side door’.

    Another suggestion is to make sure Maggie gets TONS of exercise. Tired dogs are often happy and sleepy dogs!

    Hope this helps!

  • Meg November 16, 2008, 7:22 am

    Oh boy, I think raisins would taste good in Rum oatmeal. I wish I had more advice to give you with the dog situation.

  • Caitlin (see bride run) November 16, 2008, 7:23 am

    oh she glows – the bone suggestion is a good idea…. i’ve tried giving her kong toys and she seems uninterested in those, but she likes bones. good idea!!

  • Lindsey November 16, 2008, 7:24 am

    With my dog, I just won’t look at him or talk to him for about a half hour before I leave. It’s hard! Basically, I have to just ignore him for a little while, and by that point he’s like “Whatev, I don’t want to be with you either, Mean Mommy.” We got him as a pup from a beagle rescue, and he had the separation anxiety too in the beginning.

    I think Cesar actually says you should make your comings and goings as much of a non-event as possible.

  • Lindsey November 16, 2008, 7:26 am

    Oh, and we do crate him at night and when we leave the house too. We’ve tried to make his crate as appealing as possible, so it’s like his little house.

  • Sarah November 16, 2008, 7:52 am

    I too have a rescue dog and she is extraordinarily attached to me. I have not yet left her out of her crate when I am gone because she is a shredder! She destroys a blanket/towel per week in her cage. I don’t have any wise ideas about how to overcome this. My parents have a 7 year old lab that was rescued and she has never gotten over her fears (mainly any loud noise sends her straight to her cage or the basement for hours) so I’m not sure how easy it is to retrain a dog’s mind once they have learned what is basically protective behavior in their minds.
    On another note, I was wondering what type of HRM you use? I’m thinking of putting one on my Christmas wish list but I’m not sure if it is better to go with the mid price one that doesn’t show distance or the REALLY expensive one that does. Thanks!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) November 16, 2008, 7:53 am

    Poor Maggie! Hopefully everything will calm down soon!

    P.S. When you get a chance, please pass on the blog award to five other bloggers. Here’s a link to the rules:


  • Caitlin (see bride run) November 16, 2008, 7:55 am

    lindsey – good advice! LOL at “mean mommy”

    sarah – also good advice. it’s hard to have a rescue, but so rewarding. i have a polar f4 HRM, and i love it. it would be awesome to have a garmin, but it just wasn’t financially feasible for me. i use google earth to map my runs, and unless you are training intensly for a marathon or something and are really curious to know exact split times, i would say a garmin is a luxury, but not a necessicity!

  • ksgoodeats November 16, 2008, 8:15 am

    I don’t really have any advice but I know where you’re coming from. We got one of our dogs when he was a bit older (around a year old I think?) and before that he was in a crate for the majority of his time so he has some serious attachment issues! He always has to be in contact with someone – if not us then one of the other dogs. I always have to hold him but my arms get tired quickly so when I set him down he literally leans on me.

    It’s kind of sad, I feel bad for him but it gets frustrating when you’re trying to get stuff done.

  • VeggieGirl November 16, 2008, 8:15 am

    Love the oats!!

    They actually make “doggie DVDs,” that you can create so that the dog hears the sound of your voice, sees your face on the t.v., etc., and it’s supposed to help.

  • Melissa November 16, 2008, 8:34 am

    Doggie help- Chloe had this same issue due to the same type of past. I would crate her too (after she ate the footboard of my bed), but she would still go nuts inside there and my neighbors were getting mad. I had to turn to an anti-anxiety medicine perscribed by her vet. It immediately changed her. Over three months, I weened her off of it and now she is fine. I do not even have to crate her when I leave her. It is amazing! I also bought a plug in pheremone diffuser that is calming to dogs and I would plug it in by her cage. Hope that helps!

  • Katy November 16, 2008, 8:44 am

    Toby stalks me… so I know how you feel about not being able to go anywhere. I can’t even pee or take a shower without him following me in the bathroom.

    But use the crate all the time. Leave the door open so they can sense it as “their place” to relax. That way they aren’t anxious when they get placed in there. It takes some time… our jack russell was the same way, but she eventually calmed down once we put Toby in there with her. So if James is calm in there he might help Maggie calm down. It just takes lots of crate time for practice. Try putting them in it during the day near you for a little while. That might help, too.

  • girlrunningaround November 16, 2008, 9:32 am

    My in-laws have a dog with seperation anxiety as well. When they leave she chews on her foot until it bleeds, yelps and cries. It’s sad. They tried EVERYTHING to help her out. Unfotunately they ended up having to put her on anti-anxiety meds. Maybe that would help Maggie, but I just hate to see animals on meds.

    Also, you mentioned in one of your comments that you use google earth to map your runs. Have you tried It works pretty well and you can save your routes and share routes with others in your area. Just a thought.

  • just me November 16, 2008, 9:46 am

    Ah, my parents had the same problem with Mike (our dog that just passed). He would get anxiety every time we left the house and tore up more screen doors than I can count. I know you already have another dog, but my parents got another one and that solved the problem when it came to having to put them out when we left the house. My mom also trained them to go into their crates outside by taunting them with cookies and making them focus on other things like sitting or lying down. I don’t know if that helps, but I hope you figure something out soon!

  • Halie November 16, 2008, 10:03 am

    mmmm…Rum oats…want to try it.

    As frustrating as it is to deal with your dog behaving like that, it’s just so sweet that she loves you so much! But it seems like you are handling it well. My dog sleeps in a portable crate at the bottom of our bed because she’d whine all night without tiring. But she’s attached to my husband, not me so much!

    It’s hard to give advice 🙁 My dog recently got attached to one of her stuffed animals and she can’t sleep without that or be home alone without it. So whatever can pacify Maggie, something she really like, may help.

  • Katie November 16, 2008, 10:08 am

    Oh, poor Maggie! That is so sad. At home we put up one of those baby fences when we leave so my dog can only be in one room at a time.

  • magpie November 16, 2008, 10:31 am

    I don’t have any advice but I want to say how AMAZING it is that you adopted her. That is so so wonderful. There are so many animals that are abused and neglected and I am so happy when someone finds it in their heart to adopt those guys 🙂 Way to go!

  • Mica November 16, 2008, 11:21 am

    As always, what tasty oatmeal!

    And you are such a sweet and considerate dog mommy. Awwwww! Poor Maggie.

  • ttfn300 November 16, 2008, 12:17 pm

    ah, our pup used to have SUCH bad separation anxiety. it happenned all of the sudden, so that made it stranger. THe ignoring for awhile before you leave is a good suggestion, you might also talk to your vet? We tried anti-depressants which did help calm her a bit. not the greatest thing in the world, but she was stressing so much it wasn’t good to see her like that 🙁

  • Runeatrepeat November 16, 2008, 12:53 pm

    Re: the doggie – I would say to take little steps with her. Don’t let her bark all crazy if you take out the trash. Tell her “No” so she knows it’s not okay to freak out. I know that’s easier said than done.
    Also, put something that smells like you, a shirt or something of yours, in her crate so she still feels you nearby.

  • greendogwine November 16, 2008, 12:53 pm

    Aww I’m sorry to hear about Maggie!

    I know everyone is talking about this new lady (she’s supposedly the female equivalent of cesar) – I want to say the show is on Animal Planet – and I think the name of it is “It’s Me or the Dog”.

    Anyhow – I’ve literally only seen 5 minutes of 1 episode…and in that 5 minutes – she was dealing with a dog just like Maggie. You’ll need to google it and see if you can find that episode. But basically – she had the couple through the motions of leaving (grabbing purse, putting on coat, picking up keys) – and then walk out the door, close the door, and then come right back in. And they did that over and over again (stay outside just a bit longer every time) – and the dog got better.

    They always make it looks so easy on the shows – but I thought I’d at least relay that story to try and help. Dogs are such a wonderful happy addition to a life, but they sure do take a lot of work – huh? 🙂 Good luck!

  • Lindsay November 16, 2008, 12:54 pm

    I don’t have any adivce other than to medicate dog was just as bad.
    One time when we were gone, he managed to shread the WHOLE couch, i mean ripping all the cushions open and all. We walked in the door and there was about 1 inch of “snow” from the stuffing all over the floor. 🙂
    My dog probably would have made your dog look inteligent. My dog was insane. But…i miss him anyway 🙂

  • Laura November 16, 2008, 12:56 pm

    I’ve tried giving my dog a bone before I go somewhere as a distraction. He won’t touch it until I get back. As soon as I walk in the door, he’ll go get it and start chewing on it. My dog is extremely smart, and that can be just as frustrating as having a dumb dog. 🙂 Maybe anti-depressants aren’t a bad idea. My aunt has a rescue dog who had some serious separation issues and they put him on meds just for a while. He’s off them now and doing perfectly fine. Good luck! I hope you find something that works.

  • Sharney November 16, 2008, 1:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I know what you mean about your dog sometimes dictating when you can run. I have the same problem:-(
    My dog is good and won’t bark if I go to crate him-the problem is me! If my husband isn’t home and I have to crate my dog and leave him alone I feel soooooo guilty. Therefore, I prefer to run when my husband is home and he can be with the dog. It gets to be a problem though because lots of times my husband isn’t home and I have a perfect golden opportunity to run and wind up waiting for him to get back or forgoing my run altogether:-(. Pretty lame I know, but I love my dog SO much!

    Your two days of oatmeal looked so delicious- a perfect wake-me-up! I am so glad to hear you had such a fun and perfect mini-vacation. Thanks so much for sharing all the pictures and good times!

    P.S. I hope you got to run 🙂

    P.P.S. I am still waiting for my run. The hubby is watching football over at his friend’s house. It will be a late afternoon run for me- I know I’m pathetic!

  • Nicole ( November 16, 2008, 2:29 pm

    What a yummy breakfast! Nice.

    As for Maggie, I wish I had advice! My dog, Pokey, is the same way!

  • Leanne November 16, 2008, 2:43 pm

    Your first oatmeal picture is really good!

  • Nicci November 16, 2008, 4:42 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this Mailbu i the oatmeal, sounds yummy

  • jess November 16, 2008, 4:51 pm

    Aww, my dogs are rescue pups too!! It’s really cute how they thank you every day.

    Perhaps us who aren’t quite of legal age will just have to make do with rum extract, because you’re making that oatmeal combo sound too good to wait 7 months to try!!

  • lighterportions November 16, 2008, 5:45 pm

    Pretty sure I have some pineapple malibu sitting in my basement. Maybe I’ll try adding it to my oatmeal one of these days. Goooood idea!

    Sorry to hear about your dog’s obsession with you hahaha. I have no experience with dogs so no advice but I hope you figure it out!

  • GroundedFitness November 16, 2008, 5:46 pm

    ooo i dont know how to help with the dog. just be thankful she doesnt bite. My parents had a rescue dog that had abandonment issues, so anytime anyone tried to leave the house (even someone he never met before) he would bite them. They had to leave a leash on him cause if you reached for your keys or put shoes on he would attack you- theyd grab the leash. they gave him to a farm (seriously0 and i guess hes happy now. they havent called to have my parents pick him up,lol.

    Kelly Turner

  • Megs November 16, 2008, 5:57 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    I have a question for you about Muscle Milk Light…my trainer told me to get some and I am wondering what flavor is the best. I am not a huge chocolate person

    Thanks so much! and what ratio do you use? And do you just add mix to liquid and shake?

  • Caitlin (see bride run) November 16, 2008, 7:19 pm

    oh man everyone had really good dog advice!! we’ve tried all the behavioral things everyone mentioned, but we need to get serious about them and enforce them 100% of the time.

    and i may try an anti-anxiety medicine. 🙁 i dont want to drug her, but its the only way, i fear!

    meg – i usually do 1 scoop MM Light with 1 cup skim milk, although it tastes okay with water too. A serving of MM is technically two scoops with water, but I just like it with milk. my favorite flavor is cookies and cream!

  • Coley November 16, 2008, 7:31 pm

    I have a rescue dog that had the same issues. I was told that when you come home, don’t give them tons of attention. You don’t want to let them jump all over you as you scratch their belly and make call them baby names (yes totally did this). The idea is that you don’t want to make you coming home a big production, so they won’t anticipate you letting them out so much. Kinda sucks, cause you want them to be happy to see you, but you just want to teach them to CHILL OUT! So try ignoring her a little when you do let her out, and then giving her attention when she settles down.

  • Melissa November 17, 2008, 7:45 am

    Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that about Maggie….I’ve heard that from so many people though. This sounds odd but I wonder if dachsunds are more prone to it…..2 of our friends and relatives that have the separation issues, both have dachsunds. Hmm…anyway, what about giving her something that she just LOVES when you leave, like a peanut butter filled kong or something that distracts her. Just leave for like 2 minutes and come back in and gradually build up. Whatever is her favorite treat in the world, give her some of those when you leave for her to assocate you leaving with treats, as well as to distract her.

    Sleeping in a crate at night is a good idea. I wanted to sleep with Baylee SO bad when we got her but I read how that creates separation issues so we crated her since day 1 and now I’m glad we did.

    Good luck!!

  • Sarah November 17, 2008, 7:59 am

    Hi there! I too have a dog with some separation anxiety, though not to the same degree as yours. But we crate her during the day and at bedtime too.

    I highly recommend a Kong or other interactive toys to use in the crate, that might help with her barking and crying while in there.

    Also, they told me to put a shirt (that I had worn) or something of mine in her crate while we’re gone so that at least my scent is near. I don’t know how well it works because I haven’t videotaped her or anything but she doesn’t bark before we walk out the door now.

    I’ve also heard you should “ignore” them for 10-15 minutes before you leave so that leaving and coming back isn’t as “exciting” and therefore upsetting when you are gone.

    Hope that helps! Good luck to you 🙂

  • arielle November 17, 2008, 10:25 am

    Dude. Two words: Rescue Remedy. It’s homeopathic, totally natural, and you just put a couple of drops under in her mouth about 1/2 hour before you leave. Jack had mad separation anxiety when we first got him – same kind of thing, in the crate, crying and banging around – and this is the only thing that calmed him down. Also, you’re right, I wouldn’t let her sleep with you because that will just make it worse. I feel your pain.

  • Heather July 19, 2010, 3:47 pm

    1. you thought i had given up on rereading your entire blog, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, MY FRIEND.

    2. alcohol in oatmeal -BRILLIANT! i will have to do some experimenting with this – i have some pom liquor to try. and baileys. and perhaps some chovine? hmmmmmmmmmm.

    3. update on Maggie’s anxiousness? you know, almost two years later.

    • caitlin July 19, 2010, 3:59 pm

      She is still crazy as a bed bug.

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