Alfie Update

Who’s a smoochie puppy then?

So – vet check up today – William’s boosters were due too – so we all went – Rachel is amazing with them – how many vet consultations have you had that take place on the floor at dog level!

Rachel was really pleased with the progress that Alf has made these past 2 months.  He has put on weight – his coat looks amazing – his teeth are cleaner – he is standing up sooo big and tall – – and – – he is interacting with others.  He is so keen to learn and get involved – and is responding to the outside world – bless him – he is trying sooo hard.

Because of his start in life Alfie has a special type of worming tablet- and he has to have one every month instead of the normal 6 or 12 months.  All puppies are born with worms – but – because of our treatments in the UK they are blasted out of the dogs system in the first 12 months and you just have to keep it topped up.  Alfie has not had this and we have to take extra care for the next few years.

The same thing applies to his other parasite regime.  Normally a dose of Frontline every 4 – 6 weeks will take take care of this – but because of his street life Alfie has a mite problem.  We use advocate – a stronger, slightly different formula than normal that includes a chemical to control mites.  Apparently they will be there even though we can’t see them – and they are a bad thing!

I am so proud of him and the progress he has made is such a short time

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This week’s bakes

This week I have baked liver treats – still my most popular bake – using fresh lamb’s liver from Lee round the corner.I am actually at the point where I need to do 2 bakes a week – so I am going to get some fruit on the way home and bake again tomorrow.

Bev over at Ribbon Reel Printing – who has done all our labels for years – also makes clear stamps.  She has made the cutest stamp from hubby’s logo.  It’s our same doggie doing the baking.  I am absolutely thrilled with it – thank you Bev.

Alfie Update

I made a HUGE mistake the other day.  I told Alfie off!!

I was tired – and cranky – and I wanted to get on with what I was doing – and he was barking and carrying on and I needed to talk to someone – so I barked back and tapped his bottom.

– Totally normal training reaction  – for a totally normal dog.

The instant I had done it I thought to myself – you silly cow – you can’t do that!

And Alfie went of in a total panic and hid for the rest of the day.

A split seconds loss of concentration – bugger!

That’s the thing with trying to train a nervous dog – my training rule book has totally been thrown out of the widow.  No normal rules apply.  You can’t scold a nervous dog – not can you put them in their place or dominate them.  You have to coax them out to do the right thing.

So – he went off and hid in absolute terror for the rest of the day – he would not be coaxed into bed to snuggle – and it was 2 days later that he started to interact with me again.  I feel such a muppet – but it was a really good wake up call.  Alfie has made huge progress in the past couple of months – but it has only been a couple of months and there is such a long way to go yet.

Last week his toilet habits were disastrous to say the least – was that a consequence of his telling off and him losing confidence?  or just a bad week?  Who knows – this will be a long road of humps and bumps – but I hold my hands up – I could have done better this week.

A couple of days later – we are in recovery mode!  I think I am forgiven

This weeks bake

Dogs love vegetables – they really do!

This week I have started developing a new bake – Vegetable Nests.  Made with fresh grated vegetables – and kept rough looking.  I have not pureed the vegetables first and I have added rolled oats – I made them into small ‘nest’ shapes rather than rolling and cutting so they look chunky and rustic.I am going to sneak in a quick extra bake tomorrow – I seem to be desperately short of a selection and there won’t be any for in the week.

I am also going to make 2 different sizes of each bake.  I have loads of small chaps who like a little treat – but there are the bigger guys too.  The weights will be equal – but you will get more in the small bites bags.

This week’s bake

This week I have made Salmon Nibbles – mainly because I have just bought a new fish shape cutter.
Alfie adores them – he nearly took my fingers off for one when they came out of the oven – and he’s been bumping me ever since.  He was even brave enough to ask a customer who comes in every Thursday morning to pick up this week’s bake for one – that’s HUGE progress.  She was so chuffed that he went up to her.

I did experiment with adding a bit of wheat bran (English and organic) into the dough.  It did make the treats more crisp – but I found it dried the dough out quite a bit more than normal and I had to add more olive oil than I usually do.  Unless anyone can give me a good reason that it adds healthy benefits to the treats – once the pack has gone I will go back to oatmeal or try something else to add a bit more texture.

My paperwork is now with the DEFRA vet and I am waiting for my kitchen inspection to find out what else I need to or change.

Candy Gram for Keiser

Poor little Keiser got beaten up the other day.  I am actually hearing of several dogs that have been attacked lately – perhaps it’s the lighter summer evenings and more people out – don’t know – but this little chap (and his owner) came out of it the worse for wear.  Nothing major – but it’s the shock as much as anything.

Anyway – I have to send him a little care package didn’t I – he is just such a poppet.

 

 

The boxes I bought make super gift packages – I can’t wait until I get my full licence so I can sell on line properly.  My paperwork is with the government vet at the moment – I am waiting for his feedback.

Summer colours

It’s been a rough week health wise – but I have finally managed to get a few collars in summer colours made.

This is Williams new collar in the seaside theme – Alfie ate the buckle off his old one!

 

 

Here is the selection so far – I will be listing them in the shop as soon as the camera battery has recharged and I can take photos.

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This week’s bake

I swapped some curtains for a huge jar of peanut butter this week – I love swaps – so this weeks bake is the final working of the peanut butter cookie recipe.

The cookies are now a much better texture – not as solid – but still as crisp.  I used an egg to break up the peanut butter – the eggs are amazing at the moment – they are nearly all double yolks – and a little water to make a more ‘sloppy’ mix for the flour to soak up.  I have also added a little bran for texture and roughage.

so far – it’s a thumbs up from Alfie and Sukie

Make over

I originally made this little dresser for my mum’s anniversary.  I have been using it as yarn storage in my summerhouse work shop – there is loads of shelf space and a cupboard to hide things in.  It’s years old and very dated – but it’s solid pine and a lovely little piece of furniture and I wanted to keep it.

I got some of the new Rustoleum Furniture Paint because it’s designed to use directly on the surface with no prep or sanding – which will make things so much easier for me to cope with.

It has taken me 3 weeks to repaint it – 2 coats of Chalk White all over (inside as well) – and a coat of sealing polish – and new door knobs!!

I am so thrilled with it – especially the ‘diamond’ door knobs.  I will finish filling the shelves with my knitting machine cones after I get my new carpet down.  My winter blankets are hidden in the cupboard – and my old 1890s Singer sits on the top.  It looks amazing with my black and white scheme

Alfie update

OK – SO Alf has just turned 1 years old.  Yeah – got that – 1 year old – just turned one – getting to be a grown up – testing his boundaries – doing grown up doggie stuff.  SOOOOO – past the nerve tingling, gut wrenching puppy tricks then?

Yeah – Right – – – SOOOO Wrong!!!!!

Bring on the shoes, books and toilet roll!!!

I have been struggling to get my head round the shoes issue for the past couple of weeks.  I have lost 2 pairs of shoes (one was my good pair that I was hoping to get at least another year out of) – a pair of cheepie old slippers – and the old goat has lost a pair of crappie canvas shoes.  I understand that behavior in babies – lost loads of shoes when Wills was a pup – big people smells and teething!!!  ( We don’t ‘Teethe’ as a 1 year old???)

Add to the mix – we have now just discovered toilet rolls – and newspapers – and scrumpled paper – and balls of wool.

Oh – I get it – I know the ‘whys’ – at 3 months old – NOT 12 months.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place here.  You can’t tell a dog with anxiety off in the ‘normal’ way – in ‘theory’ you have to praise the good and distract from what you don’t want them to do with other things.

Bless him – it’s as if we have hit the reset button and now he is starting as a baby puppy – he is soooo funny.

We are still having house training issues – food issues – street / people issues – but every week it is like we have a new animal, learning new skills and coping with the world in his weird way of thinking – but we have baby steps of learning to cope and deal with it rather than bullying the animal into repression/submission.  It takes waaaay longer – but is much healthier for the dog – and he is such a superstar!!

Oh – and – by the way – he has just run off with a wooden spoon from  – somewhere – no idea where he found that one!!!!

 

Experiments this week

So – Bobby has a condition that means he is on a really restricted diet.  No meat – no dairy – no wheat – no cereals – no rice – no processed anything – no fats/ /oils / sugars.  Basically – he can have fruit and vegetables and a little white fish.

I love a challenge!!!
These weird looking things are Sweet Potato chews.  Just Sweet potatoes – nothing else – slow baked / dried.  They go crunchy – and are really sweet.  It’s like molasses toffee – the old goat went off last night happily chewing on one!  Alfie likes them – and so does Suki – but then they like everything I give them – still waiting to hear back from Jack and Dexter.

These will become part of our offerings – along with Chicken Jerky and Liver Jerky.  But perhaps more towards the winter when it’s more comfortable to have the oven on!

Serious pot

How about this one then?

 

 

 

 

 

This is one serious pot of peanut butter.  I thought crunchy would give a bit of extra texture and crunch.  It contains – peanuts – nothing else – no extra oils or sugars – just whole peanuts.  I have started my goods in book so that I have a proper record of ingredients and their code numbers.  Loving all this!

 

New look for the Joseph Jumpers

The best thing anyone has ever told me – and it’s become one of my favorite tricks – 2 strands of DK weight yarn worked together is the same as a strand of chunky weight yarn.  And you can create some amazing effects.
 

Worked with a ‘light’ or ‘dark’ theme – they look amazing.  I am working on 5 different sizes for this – and now I have a long, skinny dog I am much more aware that I need to do some longer back lengths.  I have worked the backs and next week I plan to tackle the underbody sizing.  The Joseph is a full body jumper with no buttons – so the underbody / chest piece sizing needs to be right.

They should start to appear in the shop in a couple of weeks – and work will go on to refine the written pattern for sale if you want to work your own jumper.

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This week’s bake

This week I have a totally new recipe for you – BBQ ChickenI wanted to try something totally new – and what better for summer than a B-B-Q dish.

I could not find a sugar – salt – onion free sauce – so again – created my own using a salt – sugar free tomato paste with honey and balsamic.

Based on a fresh chicken breast from Lee (Watson and Wollard) – with whole meal flour for texture and a free range egg.

Both my testers were dead impressed!

PS – there are still a few cheese treats left from last week’s bake as it has been really quiet in the town.

Incy, wincy spider

Well – it looks like a spider to me!

I have spent all weekend working on the food hygiene plan that I have to produce.  I started with the one for liver – it is 5 pages long – yes – really.  I thought you might like to see the flowchart from it.

It’s upside down – I can’t get it right way up – mind you – that’s pretty much of my brain at the moment!

Any one off to Scotland?

Posh Dog has a new outlet – Check HERE 

Trishy at No 26
26 Kempock Street
Gourock
Scotland
PA19 1NA
It is a craft gallery – with all sorts of makers contributing.  I wish they were a bit nearer – their stuff looks amazing.  I love the little hand painted bags – and the soaps – and they have wands – and home baked treats – soooo yummie.
Trishy is very active in supporting her crafters.  The Facebook page is full of gorgeous images to drool over – and she is always holding events or taking stuff out to shows and events.  Ohh to have that much energy these days!
It is quite a busy tourist and walkers area – so I am hoping that it will be a boost for us – there are not all that many people making for dogs.
They are not selling on line – but with the gorgeous things they have in stock they have – they so should! – this is their Facebook page

This week’s bake

Running late – I have tweaked the labels a bit in line with what I am learning from DEFRA.  It is complicated – but it is very interesting.

This week I have perfected the Cheese Love recipe.  I have to say – they smell divine.  Alfi e’s nose was twitching all the time they were baking – he loves them!

As I used eggs as a liquid binder in these I thought I would share with you where the eggs come from.  I only use free range eggs from a local farm at Levens.  They come The South Lakeland Free Range Eggs – Low Foulshaw Farm

Summer fun

I have finally got some new summer fabric bandannas listed.  Do you know how hard it has been to find 100% cotton fabric in a gingham check?  Don’t schools have summer uniforms anymore?

These are from Rose & Hubble – I love their designs – quite often use their fabrics (and the are CE approved).

Some have bright backs – but some have more soft, muted colours and are really pretty.

 

 

 

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Alfie Update

Alfie update – I think we have had a bit of a revolution – well 2 steps forward at least.

Alfie is taking more notice of the outside world – he is ducking in and out to the garden.   Look at dear old Wills watching him!

Alf understands that the summer house is at the end of the garden – all I have to do now is get the keys and shout that we are going ‘summer house’ and he dashes about the garden round me.  4 weeks ago I was dragging him down on the lead.

He is out first in the morning to get his wees (still coming in to use the paper for his business – but at least he is keeping it one place!)  Routine is the key.  He has the sweetest nature and is trying so hard to please me

I need to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all my customers!!  You are amazing.  I have people dropping in every day just to say hello to Alfie and get him used to being talked too – and I have people bringing in their dogs to say hi as well.  Everyone says how much he has changed already and I am so grateful for their feedback – it’s hard to know how you are doing when you are working day after day – you see the teeny tiny steps – but you mis that it all adds together.

His body posture is so much better now – I didn’t realise quite how big he is!  He cowed in just below knee height when I first met him – now his nose bumps my bottom!!

Love and licks

Posh Dog Pals

Since signing up The Posh Dog clothing Company with the selling platform Conscious Crafties – a selling site specifically for those with disabilities and chronic conditions – I have met some amazing, skilled makers – and some amazing, clever dogs!

This is Nimbus.

He is a Medical Alert dog.  His owner has a condition that causes her to pass out frequently – Nimbus can sense it coming on and makes her lie down quickly so that she does not harm herself.  Just how amazing is that.  It is not something you can train the dog to do – it is an instinct that some of them just have.  So – of course he deserves treats!

I am working on a gift box for birthdays – gifts – thank yous etc.  I am still waiting for my licence – so at the moment these are only available in the shop while I practice my baking and all the paperwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s bakes

Right – I am there – sorry it’s late – it’s been hectic this morning – and I did 2 bakes last night so more labels and packing to do.

The main bake this week is liver – made with fresh liver from Lee round the corner.  Good old fashioned butchers with local fresh meat.

I am also starting to work on our own peanut butter cookie.  There is a bake ready today – and all feedback will be welcome to help improve the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s bake

A special request from Charlie this week – he loved the carrot sticks and wants more!  How can you refuse?

It has given me the chance to go back to the carrot recipe that I made before and re work it with all I have learnt so far.

I have used fresh carrots – grated – cooked – & pureed by me.  It does take longer than using carrot puree but it get’s rid of a few more additives.  It also gives the treat a bit of texture – which means that the edges of the cookie are more rough – but I like the home baked rather than machine made looks.  I much prefer using fresh – so from now on all carrots I use will be cooked by me and not bought ready pureed.

I thought it would be fun to share where I get my ingredients from.  I do try to shop local and fresh – and apart from the dry store (flours, tins, honey type stuff) – I don’t keep things for weeks.

This is Beenies stall in the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Good – solig – proper – wholesome fruit and veg at decent prices.  When I got my veg for the week – I also picked up 3 carrots just to make the treats this week.

Yeah – most people in the town think I am a bit odd!!