Colleen Kahut-Seminuk is making extravagant spreads of treats and cakes for the furry friends of Langdon and surrounding areas, as a way to express her love for animals and pay tribute to her beloved cat, Malibu.
Kahut-Seminuk said her pet cat of 22 years passed away last December, and she began baking creative, pet-friendly treats as a way to honour her legacy.
“I began baking recently, as a tribute to her, to show my love for all pets and make something special for them that their owners may not want to do,” she said.
The animal lover explained her relationship with Malibu was extremely special for a particular reason.
“One night, I was in bed, and she recognized that I was having a dangerously low diabetic blood sugar,” she recalled. “[Malibu] woke me up by head-butting me, scratching at me, meowing profusely. I woke up and checked my blood sugar and I was dangerously low. I treated it and ultimately, she saved my life.”
Kahut-Seminuk, a resident of Langdon for 23 years, worked as a registered family and youth counselor in Strathmore and Calgary until about five years ago.
“The youth and family counselling was tough,” she said. “When you’re working with children and families that are in distress [it’s hard not to take your work home with you].”
As a step toward advocating for her own mental health, Kahut-Seminuk began operating a pet-sitting business, informally called South Paw Pet Services – though she explained she works as a sole proprietor under her own name.
She does nearly everything one could think of when it comes to pets – from bringing animals into her own home, to pet-sitting in owners’ homes, to dog-walking, as well as administering medications, subcutaneous fluids, and insulin.
The former counselor said she is registered in animal first-aid, but gained most of her knowledge by reading, researching and talking to breeders.
“We’ve always been big animal people and now, I’m just constantly surrounded by the unconditional love from the pets that I watch, and it’s definitely made a wonderful addition to my life,” she said.
The recent addition to Kahut-Seminuk’s business has all the local pooches in Langdon drooling. She makes a variety of tasty treats including spaghetti and meatball cakes, pizza cakes, birthday cakes, and dog charcuterie boards, which she has named “bark-cuterie boards.”
“It’s like scrapbooking, but with food,” she said.
The dog-friendly baker added she likes to be creative when crafting her cakes, and a lot of her inspiration comes from watching her mother – who was a cake decorator – growing up.
She prides herself on producing lavish, one-of-a-kind treats for dogs. While the cakes appear extravagant, she added they all include simple, animal-safe ingredients such as lean ground beef, peas, carrots, and eggs.
Kahut-Seminuk added the colours on her cakes and other treats are also made from natural ingredients, including beets, regular and purple sweet potatoes, matcha, spirulina, and carob.
“My premise is that, on my bark-cuterie boards and my cakes and everything, I try to have no added preservatives – no salt, no sugar,” she said.
For business inquires, private messages can be sent through Facebook to Colleen Kahut-Seminuk.