Posts Tagged With: Nick

News, pics and trialling new products!

I have lovely news! Flake and Zeus have won a Pawesome Box! I have no idea what’ll be in it, but it should arrive in March sometime… and of course, I’ll post photos of the box, the dogs and what happens!! Pawesome boxes are available on a monthly subscription basis, for both cats and dogs! Just follow the link above. 🙂

Zeus trying to prove he's Top Dog!

Zeus trying to prove he’s Top Dog!

These two lie on top of each other constantly. In the evenings, it’s for body warmth. During that day, I have no idea!

When Amber’s Baby Oleg toy arrived, we discovered that Flake really took a shine to it. Whether it awoke her “maternal” instincts, we’re not sure, but she did become a little obsessed. Thank goodness Oleg survived and lives in Ambs’s bathroom now!

I really want Baby Oleg...

I really want Baby Oleg…

I love this pic… 🙂

Apart from the dogs, I have another addiction – comping (entering prize draws and competitions). It’s a very absorbing hobby and brings lovely rewards. I recently won a beautiful Armani gift set from Dave Lackie – it came all the way from Canada.

My "Armani smile"!

My “Armani smile”!

Gorgeous, isn’t it? I never thought I’d be wearing Armani, in any way, shape or form! Just goes to show what lovely things you can win. At the moment, I’m taking part in a market research project for a collaborative marketing company called Trnd.com who have sent me a bottle of the new 007 Perfume for Women. Needless to say it’s divine! Nick has all the Bond fragrances for men, so I was delighted to get a chance to be a Bond Woman with this fragrance. It’s really lovely – subtle, with lots of special notes that intrigue the senses! This is the pack I was sent and already 7 of the samples have gone to friends to test!! I await feedback eagerly…

007 - licensed to thrill!

007 – licensed to thrill!

I’ll keep you posted as far as the dogs’ and my wins are concerned. Happy days!! 😉

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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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2014 in review…

Zeus has been with us for almost a year now… and having got through Christmas without blubbing because our beloved Thor wasn’t around, we remember him fondly and I still catch myself calling the pupster ‘Thor’, especially when he’s under my feet!

I’m looking forward to 2015. 2014 ended up being a good year for us as a family: DD found herself in a new relationship which developed rapidly and resulted in her leaving the nest and setting up home with her new man – both are hard-working young people and look to become a very successful and loving couple, with a great future ahead of them.

Nick’s battle with skin cancer continues, although it’s become active again in his nose and I foresee hospital visits again next year, but on the whole we are both 100% healthier than we were last winter. We’re eating well and sensibly (well I do love to cook!!), regularly taking multi-vitamins and we had flu jabs this year too. I discovered the Nutribullet this year and decided that if I couldn’t win one (did I mention I’m an avid comper?), then we’d treat ourselves to one for Christmas. And we did… We’ve been having our “Nutriblast” every morning at about 11-ish and feel better and more energised for it even though it’s only been a couple of weeks. My main aim is to boost our immune systems and get as much cancer-fighting material into Nick as possible, without setting off his IBS, poor man!

As far as our two rescue dogs are concerned, they are now inseparable. They play and squabble and sleep together, just like siblings and take it in turns to be the “dominant” one for the day, hour, whatever… Zeus is only crated when we go out, or Nick takes me/picks me up from work, or if he’s in real need of a “Time Out”!

I’ve stopped baking treats/biscuits for them more than once a week because the last thing they need is to become overweight. Seriously, I still spoil them, but they get a filled Kong each once a day* which is very good for them, probably way better than so many treats – even if they’re home made!

Filled Kongs: Chopped apple and cream cheese, banana and peanut butter, frozen stock and cold meat (a bit like a lolly!!). I also bake a sweet potato for them when I use the oven and that lasts them 3 days added to their food bowl.

I don’t really make “resolutions” as such, but my intention is to blog more, post more photos and shoot more video of our fur-babies, so do pop in and see what we’ve been up to, won’t you? Now I’m off to shower and change before DD and her BF come over to spend a few hours with us this evening. We’ll be devouring some lovely Party Food from the Tesco *finest range which I got to try out for less through the Tesco Orchard Programme… They give me vouchers to spend on new products and I review them and share on Social Media – good for us, good for them too! #Triedforless

#Triedforless

#Triedforless

Will share pics and my thoughts next time… Happy New Year! 🙂

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Omg, we got snow!

Well, Christmas has passed now, and a great time was had by all. Zeus was a little confused and took a dislike to the little Xmas tree once we had lights on it, but that only lasted a day or so. I gave little sample treat bags of home baked doggy biscuits to some of my colleagues and they were a hit! I made brownies (dog-friendly, of course) for the fur-babies so that they too had a festive nibble, and Nick and I have quite a bit of extra, luxury food in the cupboard as I was lucky enough to win two hampers in the Christmas Advent comps this year! Woo! ☺️

However, let’s put that aside for a minute as I tell you that we have had 4 inches/10cm of snowfall in 12 hours. It was stunning in many ways: We weren’t expecting it, the dogs are confused, we are snowed in and the dogs love playing in the snow! The end of our road out of the estate is quite sharply sloping and without snow chains, impossible to negotiate in these conditions, so we’re stuck here until it thaws. Let’s hope it doesn’t snow again… After all I have work on New Year’s Day!

here’s a couple of minutes of video I captured on my iPad of the two dogs enjoying themselves in the snow, play-fighting! Happy New Year to you all! 🙂

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New dog biscuits!

Today has been an emotional roller coaster in a lot of ways. Becoming an “empty-nester” is proving to be quite a trying experience as we approach the festive season, although adjusting to cooking for two plus the dogs is coming along nicely.

Nick asked if we could have stews and casseroles more often this winter as he finds them filling and warming, so I made beef stew for us in the oven.

Are they all for us?

Are they all for us?

While it was cooking away on 180C, it seemed the ideal time to bake some savoury treats for the dogs – 2 birds, 1 stone… I’ve been wanting to try out another of Jamie’s recipes for crunchy biscuits, so away I went!

The dogs both reacted quite badly to the liver cake I tried first, not having realised that liver is a natural laxative, I gave them too much because I couldn’t resist their pleading eyes! So, this time I used 2 tins of sardines (in oil) instead. I had forgotten to buy cornflour, so I had to substitute self-raising flour instead. I think the addition of semolina and poppy seeds make this a drier, lighter biscuit. The dough was great to work with but the first batch I probably made a bit too thick, as they needed a few more minutes to crisp up. The next lot I rolled the dough thinner and these turned out great! You can see the look on their little faces as Dad holds the tray up for me to get great pics…

I shall forever be grateful for finding Jamie’s blog and introducing me to home made biscuits for dogs. 😊

 

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Catch-up!

Well Zeus turned 1 year old last Friday. Where did the time go? I can’t believe we’ve had him almost a year now. He and Flake are bestest buds and my dilemmas are now all about sharing things with both of them, getting them to play with toys without fighting over them and trying to move them out of the kitchen when I’m baking! They watch their treats baking like a pair of greedy vultures! You’d think the oven door was a film screen, they pay it that much attention… Oh and Zeus, clever trickster that he is, can open the oven door if I leave it ajar to harden their biscuits, and pull the baking tray out far enough to get his mouth round a treat and sneak off with it! 🙂

"Are they done yet?"

“Are they done yet?”

He’s grown so much – he stands shoulder to shoulder with Flake now, has a suspiciously wavy streak of coat near the base of his tail (like a Rottweiler), and is still very wrinkly round his face. I keep wondering if his head will grow in proportion to the rest of him – it’d be nice if he broadened out a bit!

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

They’re asleep in the centre of the bed here – Flake normally sleeps in her bed on the floor at the foot of our bed, but Zeus won’t stay there. He usually waits till we put the lights out and then sneaks onto the bed…

Pork scratchings for dogs

Pork scratchings for dogs

These are from the lovely Jamie’s blog and they were really yummy (hot!). The dogs love them, but I have a habit of giving them too many new things at a time, so Flake had a bit of a loose bum, although Zeus could eat a tray full before it affected him! I have to be more disciplined!

Apple and carrot dumplings

Apple and carrot dumplings

These apple and carrot dumplings came from a recipe book that was sent to me by a doggy friend who also helps out with Loving Homes Dog Rescue. They have apple, carrot, flour, egg, oats and black treacle in them – much loved by both dogs! I try to alternate so that they have a sweet/fruity treat and a fishy or meaty one – sweet and savoury snacks as a reward.

The dogs do very well, but then I do love baking for them… it’s an addictive pastime. Nick says they eat as well as we do – well, they’re also family, so it seems only right, doesn’t it?

I have a few more posts to share with you, so expect more frequent updates… 🙂

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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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Unconditional love leads to…

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

This photo personifies the unconditional these two have for each other.

Thanks to our DD’s adoption of Flake, we adopted Zeus after our old boy passed. We love him to bits, already! We are heavily involved in helping and supporting our friends Chris and Paula who run Loving Homes Dog Rescue, and to that end, DD has become “Foster Co-ordinator”  and we are her lieutenants!

Her role is to keep a check on all the LHDR dogs currently in foster, support and help them wherever necessary. That’s quite a responsibility for a 19-year old – especially as she’s there for them 24/7! We have a Facebook group solely for Fosterers where they can post messages and photos so we can share how the dogs are doing and help with any problems.

So far, so good. This will enable Chris and Paula to free up a bit of their time doing all the other work needed to ensure the safety and rescue of more dogs. We are all also looking at ways to raise much needed funds to continue the work…

There is a Donate button on the website and I’ll advertise any campaigns we come up with here too. 🙂

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Learning to love one another…

So Zeus is now nearly 5 months old, growing beautifully, getting new teeth and developing his own character. He has the worst Staffy trait ever – stubborn as hell, but also the best – total willingness to please you! How to reconcile these two – one day I may discover the secret, but for now it eludes me.

He and Flake are getting to know each for longer periods every day. In the evenings when we sit in front of the telly, he comes out and lays on the sofa, happily chewing on a stag bar. Flake then chooses when she will come and greet him, and how long she’ll put up with his big puppy paws round her face and over her eyes! Last night, she came to play for the first time ever.

It started out calmly, with lots of mutual ear-licking and a bit of nibbling by Zeus. I had a loose (but secure), grip on his collar so that I could pull him away if he stressed her out, or vice versa.

Suddenly, the big girl lay down and rolled onto her back, he leant forward and they played the “Staffy-snarly” game, which looks a bit like mouth-to-mouth with teeth! Once this happens on a more regular basis, we’ll film it and I’ll post it on here – but for now, my hands are otherwise occupied and my senses on high alert!

However, Nick took a couple of pics with his phone…


free-play2

free-play

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