Tuesday 28 February 2012

Leap to it for pet charity giveaway

Tomorrow is Leap Day. But I started early and have been leaping (and digging) in the garden lots today. There's definitely a spring in my step.

Leap Day is apparently a day that crops up once every four years when we get an extra day - February 29. I am told that ladies get the chance to propose.

Well, I proposed an idea to the Lady Of The House instead. She was looking for inspiration for a small giveaway to do on the February newsletter for her Lost and Fond email newsletter.

I said 'Why don't you just let people nominate a pet charity they would like to receive a little donation of £15 from Lost and Fond?' The great thing about this is that all my friends outside the UK can join in as well. As long as the charity or rescue has a website we can have a look at so we can arrange to send them the money if their nominator is drawn out as the winner.

She said 'yes', so the newsletter will go out tomorrow night (Wednesday February 29) with full details, so if you sign up asap (it's really quick and only takes a minute on this page) you can be in with a chance of winning a small donation for your favourite good cause. We'll draw one winner at random from the nominations we receive by the closing date of March 11. If you read this post when Leap Day has been and gone you can still take part as long as you sign up to the newsletter before March 11. The LOTH will keep an eye on new registrations and send you an email telling you how to nominate your favourite good cause.

  • The Lady Of The House runs Lost and Fond as a volunteer in her spare time. She does it to raise awareness of pet charities and to give people somewhere to create free online memorials for the pets they have lost in the past. Anyone can register free on the site and log in to create their own pet memorial page online or you can email the LOTH and she'll create one for you from words and pictures you supply. Read more about Lost and Fond here

Thursday 23 February 2012

Moderation in all things

Just a quick post to say that I've had a few problems with spam comments on my blog since I took OFF the word verification earlier this week (after Blogger made it REALLY hard with two Captcha words that were super-difficult to read), so I am now going to TRY moderating all comments for a bit and see how that works.

But I DO love hearing from you so PLEASE don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm just ignoring the silly spammers.

So please bear with me if your comments might sometimes take a while to probably means I'm taking a nap.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Poodle Doodle Doo

Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden, I'm told - we have poodles.

When I say at the bottom of the garden, I actually mean that they live in a house that is sideways on behind our back garden fence.

Three miniature poodles live there. They look like they should be in a cute picture book. One is black, one is white and one is brown.

I should really have talked about this on Mischief Monday because if I go into the back garden and I can tell that they are out in THEIR garden, sniffing and being quiet, I run straight to the fence between us and just give one really loud and deep "WOOF" to make them jump.

This kicks off the most amazing barking in three part harmony from the poodles who just go crazy barking back in wild excitement for ages and ages. I just turn and walk away as if nothing's happened. I look so casual as if it's nothing to do with me. I am almost whistling, I am so casual.

Who? Me? No, surely not.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Tasty Tuesday - fish and chips of love

Forget romantic candlelit restaurants - the Lady Of The House tells me that when you're young and in love (though how she can remember that far back I DON'T KNOW) the good old British 'chippy' is the place where love often blossoms over the fish and chips.

So this Valentine's Day she got up early to try out a recipe for dog-friendly fish and chips on me!

You may recognise that the 'chips' are carrot batons drizzled with cod liver oil and baked in the oven.

The 'fish' is a pattie made from mixing together the following ingredients:
  • Cooked fish
  • Cooked quinoa
  • 1 beaten egg
  • About a couple of tablespoons of plain flour.
The recipe we were following came from the More Than pet insurance website where they are currently promoting dog AND cat-friendly version of takeaway favourites. Apart from fish and chips they also have recipes for healthy chicken burgers, chicken tikka masala, pizza, a fry-up and a Sunday roast conjured up by animal nutritionist Stephanie Mehanna.

Their fish and chip version also included blackstrap molasses - but we didn't include that because we couldn't find it and it didn't seem to matter.

We also didn't follow their quantities. We didn't want to use tinned fish (not even in spring water) so the LOTH bought some lovely, boneless (VERY important) white fish which she cooked and then she just added one egg and enough cooked quinoa and flour to make firm patties that she could mould into fish shapes.

Here is the fishy mixture as she was stirring it up. Notice there is still a LOT of cooked quinoa in the saucepan behind.... not sure what she's going to do with all that......

Here are the 'fish' and 'chips' waiting to go in the oven.

Now, while this was going on I was pacing the kitchen and in and out of the utility room (where I take my meals) and 'roo-ing' a bit.

"Do you want your breakfast, Win?" asks the LOTH.

"NO!! I answered. "I want some of that fishy stuff that smells LOVELY."

She didn't understand. She said: "Well the fish and chips has to be cooked and cooled, so you have your breakfast and you can have this for tea."


So she dishes out my usual breakfast and then wonders why I am standing there staring at her and saying (quite clearly, I thought) "You ARE kidding me?"

I went and lay on my bed in disgust.

I did go and nibble a bit.... but when the 'fish' and 'chips' started to cook the smell was even nicer and I took up position next to the oven to make it clear exactly what I was waiting for.

The 'chips' cooked first, so they started cooling while we waited for the 'fish'. They looked all golden and lovely when they came out of the oven.

So once they were cooled I got the smallest 'fish' (the one on the left that looks as if he's got a little eye) and some 'chips' chopped up and mixed in with my breakfast.

THAT was better.

Hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day. I hope another little 'fishy' is lined up to go with my tea later.

I am joining the Tasty Tuesday blog hop celebrating good food and hosted by Kol's Notes & Sugar the Golden Retriever.

If you would like to join in, just write a food-related blog post, follow your two hosts, grab this Tasty Tuesday badge and add the linky code and link in your post too.

Have fun in the kitchen.

Monday 13 February 2012

Dog food advert is just one big yawn

Tonight they showed the first television advert supposedly aimed at dogs.

It was for a brand of dog food - that I do not eat - and it apparently included high pitched noises that only dogs can hear.

If it was supposed to make me sit up and take notice - it didn't work. This is me with the advert on in the background.

Please note - on this final picture I am not howling with excitement. I am just yawning.
Advertising companies please take note.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Ice Ice Baby

There's been a fair amount of slipping and sliding on the frozen paths around here this week. It's starting to melt - but they've predicted more on the way.

But I'm not one to complain - as you know - despite my sad expression in this picture on the left.

The family braved the worst of the snow on Saturday night to go and watch a charity show organised by the Girl Of The House's boyfriend and his mates. I stayed tucked up in my bed thank you very much.

When they got home they found the family across the road building an igloo in front of their house. They were STILL building it when we all turned in for the night at half past midnight! It looked like this:

When we got up in the morning it was finished and lots of people wanted their pictures taken with it. It looked like this:

But the roof quickly caved in after all their hard work.

Yesterday, me and the Lady Of The House set off to see how the ducks and the swans were doing at Brook Hollows in the village of Rolleston (we thought we'd share the bread around after visiting the canal ducks last week).

The brook ducks were very pleased to see us. There was a lot of ice spreading out from the bank as you can see:

We were a bit worried about this swan that was sitting on the ice:

But we threw him/her some bread that landed near enough for him/her to get.

His/her mate was a bit more forward.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Ducks dancing on ice - and the LOTH gets all a-Twitter over Donny

It's January, it's cold, what did you expect in England at this time of year? A heatwave? I don't understand all this fuss the people make. I still LOVE going out on my walks (but to be honest I'm less keen on going out in the garden between times and I'm tending to cross my legs until I REALLY have to go).

But put my dog coat on, dress yourself up like an eskimo and I'll happily walk along the frozen canal towpaths with you for as long as you want.

Yesterday morning we were a bit worried about the ducks so the Lady Of The House raided the bread bin, put on goodness knows HOW many layers of clothes, and we set out to see what was happening out on the local canal.

I'd never seen it completely frozen before and we walked quite a long way before we found a little groups of ducks and moor hens who'd were hovering in a small patch of water under some trees near the canal bank.

The LOTH started tossing some crumbs to them and a couple of the bravest (probably most desperate) ducks came hopping out of the water and scuttling across the ice towards us. The LOTH tried to tell them to slow down a bit as she worrying about them hurting themselves as they slid around. But they seemed very keen to eat so we were glad we'd gone down.

The we heard a mighty honking and the LOTH and I looked up to see a pair of swans swooping gracefully through the air just above the frozen surface of the water. We held our breath as they lowered their legs to land and then crashed right through the ice sending large frozen chunks and slices hurtling through the air!! Yes, pictures would have been nice but we had our mouths open watching them in amazement so photography wasn't an option!

We thought they might boss the ducks and bully them out of the way, or march across the rest of the ice and mug us for our remaining crumbs, but they didn't. They sat very patiently in the little pool of water they had created (possibly slightly shocked by their dramatic landing) and let us throw some bread to them while the ducks carrying on skating for their breakfast.

On this picture below, we thought the swans were making quite a nice heart shape with their elegant necks. We love how a pair of swans stay together through thick and thin (including ice). A lesson to us all as Valentine's Day approaches.

Speaking of matters of the heart - there was a HUGE rumpus from the upstairs office last night while I was catching some zzz's downstairs in the living room. I thought the swans had flown in through a window, and the Boy Of The House ran up because he thought the LOTH was crying.

It turned out she was on Twitter and had seen Donny Osmond (the object of her affections since she was 10, apparently) tweeting about the Superbowl and how he was supporting the Giants because they had knocked his 49ers out, so the LOTH replied that she was a 49ers fan too, and DONNY REPLIED TO HER.

I write this in capital letters because apparently it is a big deal judging by the fuss that followed. The LOTH was taking screenshots and 'favouriting' the Tweet and generally behaving as if she'd won the lottery or something. She says I have to show you the evidence in case any of your mums and people are excited for her too.

So there you go. If you want a slice of the exciting life the LOTH leads, she says you are welcome to follow her @EllaJP

I think I need some more sensible pet friends, to get me away from this madness, so I'm taking part in the Saturday Pet Blog Hop hosted by Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.

If you'd like to join in and make new pet blogger friends, please follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste this week's new Linky code into the html editor of your own blog. The list will automatically update on everyone's blogs as new sites add themselves over this weekend and we can all hop from blog to blog and find out everybody's news.

Thanks again to our three hosts for putting on the hop!

If you follow a new blog after finding them in the blog hop - please let them know that you found them on the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.