chocolate raspberry yogurt pops

June 20, 2013  |  Desserts and Baking
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Home Made Dannies

I don’t want to wallow in sadness, but I just have to get something off my chest. Please feel free to skip to the Dannies recipe below. I won’t fault you. But I’m just going to lay it out there, and you can decide right now if you want to read on. We had to put Chuckie Bear down.

Our Dog Chuck

Chuck was the best dog ever. He also was possibly the smelliest dog ever. And I’d like to add to that he was also in the running for the drooliest dog ever. Chuck was so completely head-over-heels-obsessed-with-food, that when I was cooking dinner, he’d hover by the stove and his drool would extend from his droopy jowls all the way to the ground. He’d scrounge under my feet the entire time I cooked every single meal, all the way to the end. Screw Dyson, Chuck was the best vacuum ever.


He was also an obsessive waterdog. He sought out water at any opportunity. Even a grody muddy stagnant puddle was the perfect respite in his opinion. I’d take him on runs or hikes and he would race ahead, and then find a puddle to lounge about in, drinking up the stanky mosquito larvae, waiting for my biped slowness to catch up. Then of course he’d shake that crap all over me when I caught up. Even after we had his leg removed to get rid of the cancer he found a way to swim in my mom’s pond. He used his snout like a snorkel, but that darned dog could still swim.

He was also pretty much obsessed with his family. He was so entirely devoted to us I cannot even imagine a more pure-feeling being on this planet. When my little one was a toddler she was climbing on him and actually stood on his boy parts and he barley wuffed out a whisper of a growl. That is the only time I ever heard any (any!) sound that would be construed as more than loving toward them.  I remember looking into his eyes at one pint when he was maybe a year and a half, and I was filled with terror. Terror because I realized how much I loved him and that some day he would die.


We’ve known since late November that Chuckie was sick. But we heard what our options were for treatment and we decided to put up our dukes and punch that cancer in the face.  Less than a week after his diagnosis, he was in surgery and his front leg was removed. Bringing him home from the animal hospital was one of the worst days I have ever known. He was pretty bummed, but recovered remarkably. His test results looked great! Then we started a mild dose of chemo a few weeks later. Never the less, the cancer had already spread to his lungs. We found out a couple of months ago and stopped treating him and just maintaining at that point. He gradually got weaker and weaker and had more and more difficulty breathing. We finally made the appointment for Friday.


On the morning of the deed, I let the girls give him his last meal. He had always loved licking out the final drips of yogurt when I ate a container of yogurt. He’d always lap the thing completely clean. That morning I let them give him an entire cup. They took turns holding it, as he tried to get every single molecule of yogurt out of the cup. Then he went to his bed in the mudroom closet and began to shut himself down. I could tell he was in pain. And I wanted his pain to stop.


Dr. Dan came to our house.  Even though Chuck barely realized that the vet was there, even though he could barely gasp for breath, when Jase picked up his dog food bin to make more room for the vet, and the bin rattled and made that distinctive “I’m about to get fed” sound, Chuckie picked up his big old food-obsessed-head. Dr. Dan actually lay down in the mud-room closet to give him the dose of euthanasia medication.

I cannot say how sad I am about the loss of this dog. That is the only emotion I feel. I am not regretful in any way. I know we did everything we could have done. I know he had an awesome life. I just feel sad. I miss him. Like my daughter said, I have a hole in my heart.


So when I was thinking of sharing this story with you, I knew that there was really only one recipe that would fit the situation. I mean, Chuck would really have appreciated any recipe. He was completely non-descriminating of any of my cooking.  But I knew he’d really like some more yogurt.

Chocolate covered raspberry yogurt bars

And his being a chocolate lab of course the recipe would have to be chocolate [even though I wouldn’t feed a dog chocolate.] So I decided to make a recipe from a childhood memory. It was a yogurt popsicle made by Dannon in the 80’s. I believe they were called Dannies (or Dannys) though I can’t really find anything about that. So maybe that is what my family diminutively called them because we were so fond of them. They were creamy and sour at the same time. And they had a super thin crust of chocolate over them. I know Chuckie Bear would consider them drool-worthy.

Chocolate covered raspberry yogurt bars

chocolate raspberry yogurt pops

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Yield: 6


  • 6 ounces (½ dry pint) fresh raspberries
  • 1 ¼ cup low fat vanilla Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons agave, divided
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


  1. Puree raspberries in a food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Discard seeds. Whisk puree, yogurt and 2 tablespoons agave until smooth. Divide among pop molds. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
  2. Melt chocolate over a double boiler until almost melted. Remove from heat, and continue stirring until all the way melted. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon agave and coconut oil.
  3. Set up a wire cooling rack over a sheet pan. Unmold pops under running water. Lay out on wire rack and transfer to freezer to let any surface moisture refreeze.
  4. Remove tray of pops. Lightly spread melted chocolate over one side of each pop. Lay on plain side to solidify. Turn pops and coat the remaining side. If at any point the chocolate in the bowl re-solidifies, simply stir it for a few moments over the simmering water until melted again. Return tray of chocolate-covered pops to the freezer until ready to serve.


Makes 1 3/4 cup yogurt mixture, so depending on the size of your pop molds you may have more or less than 6 pops.

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  1. Hey Katie,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Chuckie. It doesn’t matter how long they’re sick or that “you know it’s time” it’s still so hard to let go. My oldest kid is pushing hard for a dog and there are two key reasons I’m pushing back on it. 1. I know that the entire responsibility of caring and cleaning up after the dog will fall to me. 2. I know I will fall desperately in love with this dog and sometime, not enough years from now, I’ll have to let him go.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    Alexis recently posted…Is Your Crib as Safe as You Think?My Profile

    • Thanks Alexis. And right you are on all counts. But I do have to remind myself, it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved. I miss that stinky old bear:(

  2. Oh Katie. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet pup. And I think your yogurt-based treat a fine fitting recipe in honour of such a lovely, and loving, dog.
    Carolyn recently posted…Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-FreeMy Profile

  3. First, the recipe looks fab and intend to make some with the abundance of raspberries I have laying around.

    Second, I had to comment as you have my complete empathy. We had to say good bye to our beloved pup in May and I still miss her every day. She, too, drooled at my feet as I cooked. And even though she’s not here, I still make extra of her favorite meals- perhaps out of habit or perhaps in her memory.

    Thanks for giving that pup a good loving home. She was always loved, and will be forever missed!

    • Sarah,Thank you so much for your kind words. It is something that I know will take a long time to heal. Not sure that we ever will be entirely.

  4. the pops are healthy and sound yummy.
    so sorry for your loss.
    Dina recently posted…Weekend Whets 6/21My Profile

  5. Katie,

    Thanks for the wonderful eulogy for one of my best friends.

  6. A life well lived. We sure do miss that stinky, hungry, drooly, loving, lump of chocolate yogurt. I’m sure Buckeye is howling with joy to have been reunited with his pal on the moon

  7. Katie, I am so sad to hear about your loveable pup. My wife and I are huge dog people, and I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you and your family right now. Hang in there and know that Chuckie is watching over you guys.
    David recently posted…Southern Style Red Potato SaladMy Profile

  8. Oh Katie, big, big hugs. We just discovered a tumor on our 12 year-old Sid’s hind foot. So many decision and always wanting to do what is best for this friend who has been such an important part of our lives.

    Thank you for sharing your heartache. I am looking forward to finding some peace with your pops! I think Sid would like a lick of one without the chocolate. He’s just that kind of pupper.

  9. I am crying as I write this reply, with both my little dogs on my lap! I am a dog person. Every time I lose a beloved four-legged member of the family I swear there will never be another one, but, there always is. My heart aches for you. Chuckie was a beautiful boy! At least he’s running and swimming now and eating all he wants! This was a beautiful tribute to him. It will get better, but the hole will always be there… I have one for each of the loves that I have lost.


    • Amy,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I am so sad that we all have to have this experience as pet owners at some point. It has been a sad time. But thankfully there is also much joy in our lives otherwise that I am so thankful for. Give your little dogs a pat from me.
      Katie recently posted…trail mix brownies and naturebox giveawayMy Profile

  10. this post IS a bummer, but you should read it anyway.
    Katie, I feel so sad for you, Jason and the girls! shorty had his head in my lap, occasionally licking my arm, as I wept through your essay.

  11. Oh, so sorry for your loss. Seriously… the place that some pets hold in our hearts is almost closer than family in an odd way 🙁

  12. So sorry to hear about Chuckie. He was obviously well loved.

    I remember the Dannon frozen yogurt bars and they were a favorite of mine. Could never understand why they were discontinued. They were actually coated in carob.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts about Chuckie. He sure was well loved. I am so glad to hear you remember the Dannon bars. Did we make that up about them being called Dannies? Also I totally believe that was carob. I probably didn’t even know what that was at the time though:)

  13. I am so, so sorry Katie. I am wiping away the tears, your story is so moving. You are a wonderful pet owner, he was just as lucky to be a part of your life as you were to be in his.

    I am sure he would have drooled quite contentedly over the sight of these chocolate yogurt popsicles. A sweet treat in memory of a very sweet dog.
    Eva recently posted…Toasted Sage Gnocchi with Sautéed Asparagus & Caramelized ShallotsMy Profile

  14. Ha ha. I am sure he would have. Thanks so much Eva.
    Katie recently posted…trail mix brownies and naturebox giveawayMy Profile

  15. So sorry for your loss. This was my first time on your site and will come back again but my eyes are filled with tears and can’t finish your lovely remembrance. The loss of a pet is unique. Best to you and your family.

  16. I’m so sorry for your loss, Katie! The loss of a pet is just so heartbreaking. Your love for him comes through loud and clear and is so touching. These yogurt pops are also lovely and divine. They sound fantastic! My girls will love these.

  17. Katie,
    We lost our oldest retriever last summer,Willow, and I never thought it would hurt so much. Maple, our youngest retriever, is still mourning the loss. Every time the boys see stars, they say that she is up there somewhere. It does get easier!
    So we are loving the summer recipes!!! The chocolate raspberry pops, the 5 bean salad were a huge hit. Keep them coming!!!

    • Dom,
      The children add such a complicated layer of emotion to the whole experience doesn’t it? I have received two great books to read to them about loosing a pet, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to read them out-loud. Glad to know it will get easier. Thanks so much for the comment I really appreciate it a lot.
      And I am glad to know you’re liking the summer recipes. I do have more coming.
      Katie recently posted…my favorite food styling toolsMy Profile

  18. Katie:

    This was the first time I visited your site. I, like some others, wept as I read about losing your boy. It is especially difficult for me as my 17 year old Aussie is going downhill. Every morning I am afraid to wake up, thinking she will be gone. She is not in pain, but not in good shape. She is a food monger, like yours was and has brought such joy to my life! She is a great vacuum cleaner too, so Dyson will get a better workout when she passes.

    I am excited to try the Dannie pops… look great! Glad I found your site (through KA blog list)

  19. Hi Katie! I am doing a healthy popsicle round up. Okay if I include these? Just photo with link…

    I so enjoyed hanging with you this past weekend. Let’s do it again soon!
    Carolyn recently posted…Root Beer Float Cupcakes – Low Carb and Gluten-FreeMy Profile

  20. Hi Katie, was just perusing your blog and came across this post. Huge dog lover here and I’m wiping away a tear as I write this comment. We lost a standard poodle to cancer a few years ago and she was only seven. Was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. So sorry you lost your boy!
    Bill recently posted…Chicken and Parmesan Sage DumplingsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for leaving a comment on this post Bill, and I am glad you found it. It was so therapeutic to write it. It is amazing that now, so many months later, I still miss him a ton, and I know we can never ‘replace’ him. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your pup too. What a mark they make on us.
      katie recently posted…sesame coleslawMy Profile

  21. This is a sad and lovely story at the same time. It is worth grieving over the passing of a family member that was loved and that gave love in return. I can’t imagine we will go through something similar one day. Thank you for sharing about Chuckie. He was gorgeous.

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