Day-to-day

Doggy Ice Cream…

I’m not sure whether or not I’ll make this for my two dogs, but here’s the recipe in case anyone fancies trying it – and also for me in case I forget where I saw it!!

Doggy-Ice-cream

Let me know if you do try it – looks good enough for us humans too! 🙂
Image courtesy of http://www.tesh.com

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Cold carrots = real goodness!

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Zeus and Flake are very healthy rescue dogs, due mainly to their food! They both love their frozen stuffed Kongs (as I have already shown you), but they also have a penchant for cold carrots, straight from the fridge!

zeus-carrotI highly recommend them as treats – full of Vitamins and sweetness, healthy, good for their teeth and coats and they don’t put weight on your pet either! Flake likes to lay down and delicately devour her carrots:

Flake-carrot

She’s such a lady!! 😉

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Zeus & Flake Doggy-Popsicles

It’s been such a beautiful couple of days here in the UK – well, here in the East Midlands, at any rate! The dogs have been sunbathing and we’ve had the doors and windows open for the best part of the day. I make them an AirKong each every day, sometimes it has peanut butter and banana in it, mostly though, I fill 75% of it with chopped apple and add a few tsps (teaspoons) of plain, cheap cream cheese to the end, to stop the apple from falling out. I put them in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes to set/firm the cheese and then they can enjoy one each.

This is Zeus, rolling his very frozen Kong around the decking…

He is a greedy pupster, and will always make sure he eats every last morsel, whereas Flake is lazier – she’s just after the cream cheese or peanut butter, and has a “take it or leave it” attitude to the apple! She is also much slower to consume her Kongs!

The Buffalo Horn is fantastic! It’s much harder for the dogs to destroy and is still pretty much in tact. However, I can’t say the same for the stag bar, which is no more! We’ll definitely be buying more buffalo horn in the future – the only chewable treats that we’ve found equal to a Staffy’s jaw-power are these and the Anco roots. It’s great to have options!

I have now discovered Youtube Capture which means I can upload more videos easily from the iPad so expect more footage over the next weeks!! How cool is that! 🙂

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Found something new!

Today we went off to our local Kennelgate Pet Superstore to buy a new stag antler and another Anco root for the dogs. On the same section, I discovered a new product for “aggressive chewers” – Buffalo Horn! It’s blacker than Zeus, comes in 3 sizes and is about half the price of a stag antler…

Buffalo-tag

On the reverse, it states: Standard Buffalo Horn also available in mini & jumbo sizes…

  • Low in Fat
  • Long lasting
  • No additives
  • No preservatives

…. and will not splinter. This sounds brilliant. We don’t buy roasted or smoked bones because they do splinter. We don’t buy raw bones as my two will fight over an imaginary toy so they’d probably kill each other over a meaty raw bone. This limits our choices to raw hide chews, all manner of tripe sticks, jerky, etc. and the costly stag bars which should last months, but in our house, mine get through a large stag antler in a couple of weeks! The Anco Roots last longer – a lot longer and the dogs seem quite happy to chew on them daily.

Here’s Zeus, getting to grips with his first ever buffalo horn:

Zeus-buffalo-horn

It’s quite hard to photograph an almost black dog on a black, red and white rug, chewing a black buffalo horn, so this is the clearest pic I managed to get before he felt annoyed and wandered off!!

The Buffalo Horns are from Hollings Ltd. – who have a pretty comprehensive website and an active Facebook Page. I wish they’d make us product testers!! Come on, Hollings people! We’d love to collaborate with you and review your range of products. 🙂

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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New dog biscuits recipe…

A friend involved in dog rescue sent me a book last year from Parragon Books called Dog Treats and I’ve made a few of the recipes – Tuna Triangles being a favourite. However, there are a lot of ingredients in these recipes which are a bit specialist, like Spelt flour which isn’t always easy to come by/inexpensive.

I am becoming more confident baking for the dogs, so I adapt the recipes I use to suit my 2: They don’t do well with liver – it gives them the runs… so I use fish (sardines or tuna) instead. This batch of reward biscuits were made with ham and cheese and I made 1 and a half times the amount so they’d go a bit further. Instead of wholewheat flour, I used cornmeal for a crisper biscuit; grated cheddar instead of parmesan and shredded wafer thin ham. I also added a tbsp of poppy seeds for texture.

Reward Biscuits recipe

Reward Biscuits recipe

Step 1

Step 1

Poppy seeds & egg

Poppy seeds & egg

The dough

The dough

Bring it all together with a fork and then add enough water to make it manageable!

Rolled out to about 1cm thick

Rolled out to about 1cm thick

Tip: I use a silicone baking sheet for my dough. It’s brilliant because I don’t have to use extra flour when rolling out as the dough doesn’t stick to it.

Cut into bite-sized biscuits on a baking sheet

Cut into bite-sized biscuits on a baking sheet

These are baked at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes and then left to dry out in the oven till cold. They are tasty, crunchy and nutritious – the dogs love them. I often pop a sweet potato in the oven to bake when I’m cooking, to add to the dogs’ food in the mornings. It’s a really nice treat for them and makes a change from just dry food. A large baked one lasts them 3-4 days and they really enjoy it.

The left-over chicken version, without poppy seeds

The left-over chicken version, without poppy seeds

I baked these this morning! They keep well in the tin which I picked up for £1 at B&M Stores in Mansfield 🙂

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New Year’s Eve Food… and cuddles

Our New Year’s Eve feast was great. Both the kids are a bit picky and weren’t too sure about the *Finest Party Food I’d bought, but it looked so good they opted to try it anyway!! They did bring some spicy chicken and pigs-in-blankets with them, just in case, and devoured most of the mini sausage rolls I’d baked too!

Camembert

Canapes

Profiteroles

Of course, the Irish Cream Profiteroles were a big hit with all of us – although I could only manage 2! We had wine and port to toast the New Year and the kids left at about 10pm as I had an early start at work – on New Year’s Day! As if people hadn’t bought enough food over the Festive period…

When I get home, the dogs are overjoyed to see me and once we’ve all greeted each other, it’s lovely to sit down and have a cuddle with Flake…

Flake-cuddle

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New cookie cutters!

In the quest to have different-shaped treats and biscuits for the dogs, I bought a sun, moon and stars set from Asda yesterday. It has 8 different cutters and cost me £2!

cutter-set

They’re quite sturdy, so I managed to cut through the banana biscuit dough quite successfully, despite the grated carrots in it. I’m very happy with the result – as are the dogs!! They love the little biscuits as much as the big ones, so I have the chance to make biscuits for different-sized dogs as well as different purposes!

bananabiscuits

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Life is good, life is busy!

imageI know I haven’t been here for a while, but that’s a good thing in a way. The dogs have bonded so well, it’s brilliant to see! They still grumble and fight over toys, but it’s more controlled. They are warned if they start to sound too aggressive, and Zeus is given “time-out” in the playpen if he’s overly boisterous. His recall is better and he understands the different intonations of a serious No!, as opposed to a gentler, more persuasive Noooo!

Here they are, sharing the garden! They even dig holes together – naughty!

We  are seeing definite signs that Zeus isn’t a pure Staffy. He’s too big for starters and he’s an amazing guard dog. He also has a different, throatier bark for after dark… We suspect he’s probably got some Rottweiler in him, judging by the photos of Rottweiler/Staffy crosses we’ve found online. That’s fine by me because as always, it’s about how you bring a dog up, not the breed per se.

This is one loveable rogue and a very affectionate boy.

image

As you can see, he’s always trying to kiss you! And, when he barks at someone, or something that’s bothered him, he dashes to one of us, takes our hand/arm and tries to lead us to whatever that is. I’ve never had a dog do that before, so this is very intriguing. I am very grateful that he barks as we really missed that when our old German Shepherd passed. A good bark is a great deterrent.

I have been baking treats for the dogs too… I found an excellent blog with a wide variety of recipes, complete with photos, step by step, and thus far they’ve had liver cake and sardine oatcakes – wolfed down! I recommend this site as the feedback is positive and plentiful and some of the recipes are by a Canine Dietician, which can only be a positive!

I admit, Ambs and Nick are sceptical but the dogs and I are not. It is extremely rewarding watching my baking skills go to making sure my dogs are eating healthily when they get treats, and I like knowing exactly what’s in their goodies. So do try Jamie’s recipes. Go here:

Bishopton Dog Walking Services  www.bdws.co.uk

 

 

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Breakthrough!

Another first!

Another first!

Yesterday evening we were sat watching Britain’s Got Talent and Zeus had been dozing in the play pen, whilst Flake was asleep on the sofa. Nick’s in considerable pain with two cracked ribs from coughing, so he sat alone on the small sofa. Normally, Flake will lay with him, but she knows he’s unwell, so she settled for the other sofa with me!

Zeus woke up and whined to come out, so I opened the door for him, let him out into the garden and then he trotted back in, tail wagging as usual – he’s such a happy, cheeky boy! Now, bear in mind he’s been with us since January, learning to live, eat and play alongside a much bigger, (not so much any more!!), older Staffy cross, who’s a complete “Prima Donna”. She has mood swings, comes into season despite being spayed, and pretty much had our attention full-time until he arrived…

It’s been stressful at times, watching over them as they get “toy-possessive”, compete for treats, etc. You’ve seen the way they play together, teeth bared, jaws interlocking, charging around madly – it can feel alarming and almost overwhelming sometimes, trying to keep them safe and happy.

Last night we had such a lovely breakthrough moment. Zeus came up on the sofa between me and Flake and my immediate thought was, ‘Here we go – I’ll have to stop them play-fighting any minute!’ Instead, Zeus curled up in a ball, nestled tight into Flake and went to sleep! I almost had tears in my eyes… This is what we’d been hoping for – that they’d play together, eat and drink together, but ultimately, that they’d curl up on the sofa and sleep together.

And they did, last night. 🙂

Of course, today’s another day, so it might not happen again, but we’ll see!!

 

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Anco roots and post-op. Zeus

It’s been an extremely hectic couple of weeks here. Hubby’s been organising a Charity Fundraiser Fishing Match for Reels On Wheels to raise money for “A Day to Remember” and I’ve been helping out, as he’s been so busy building the new website for it! We used to hold a Fishing Festival every year, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm for it the last couple of years – money’s tight, people have passed away, etc. etc.

Since he had cancer, Nick has become obsessed with living a fuller life – understandable – and also set up a pet project (A Day to Remember), where he takes anglers with a terminal illness away for 24 hours and gives them a chance to enjoy a day away from all their troubles, to relax in lovely surroundings (whatever the weather), and fish. Possibly for the last time…  So obviously, he needs lots of support and the momentum is growing!

Nick fishes big and often prestigious Carp competitions to raise awareness for disabled anglers, and to encourage others to not give up, just because they have health issues. I am so proud of him! 🙂

Anyway, back to the dogs – Zeus had his castration op. last Friday, as per our adoption agreement and the Vets rang Nick  at 1pm while I was at work,  to say he had been done and was in recovery, would he like to collect him early? Apparently he was super-stressed, lying in the cage, whining his little heart out! So Nick and DD collected him and brought him home. He was very lethargic and sleepy for the rest of the day and he struggled to get up the stairs that night.

It’s been very warm here lately and we found Zeus was overheating, particularly at night… So that he didn’t jump on the bed, I carried Flake’s plastic bed up for him – of course he jumped on the bed anyway, but he did end up getting back down, sleeping in it later… So today we went out and bought him his own smaller bed for night times – yay, we got our bed back!!!

Whilst we were there, we also picked up a couple of these: Anco roots – they LOVE them! It’s made a huge difference this afternoon – just a bit of swapping and stealing!! Less fighting though… and to be fair they were getting a bit bored with the stag bars/antlers.

Anco tree roots

Anco tree roots

An eco-friendly, 100% natural chew treat/toy. This is where we bought them – and why!!

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