Is everything the same or changed?


So apart from my last post, which was the long overdue post to its predecessor, the blogging world hasn’t heard from me in over a year and a half. So has anything changed? Of course.

Bambi is now seven and Cinderella is four, and she will be starting school after this summer. What hasn’t changed is how much I love them, no wait, that’s incorrect. When I learn something new about them it makes me love them even more, and makes me proud to be their aunt, so a year and a half later I love them far more than I did.

2016 was a crazy year for me, well everyone really. My heart broke with a death of a pet, but it was shattered watching the kids go through it. The pet was their nine year old dog, that my brother and sister-in-law had since he was about 10 weeks old. From the maths you’ll realise that means the kids grew up with him. Their dog was there watching over them, playing with them and in a world that changes, having him be there as a constant loving being. To relive it just now describing why and how he died would be too much for me, maybe some other time I’ll blog about it, but it’s been about 8 months, and I still see their grief every time I see them. I know grief doesn’t have a set time to go away, but watching them be torn apart by their dog’s death is heart wrenching. 

In 2016 my health also took a downturn, and as that is a long story to explain what health issues I have I’ll have to address them in another post. I just thought I’d mention it in this long list of changes in my life. 

Without going into too many details, I also, last year, became a volunteer contributor for a newsletter for a charity. I have loved doing this, and can’t wait to keep doing more contributions. The reason I won’t go into many details is my real name is used on the contributions, and for various reasons I chose when setting up this blog to use a pseudonym. To say a lot about the volunteering may lead to putting two and two together, so I hope you understand why I’m not sharing too much.

I guess the major change would be what happened for me in 2015. It happened about 2 months after my last post mentioned above, so although I had been delayed writing my blog entry that I finally posted last week, this just pushed it into impossible to do at this time. So what happened? Excitingly for me I got a home. I had lived with my parents and my dog, but had been looking for my own place. I finally got one, it’s a flat (for those more familiar with American terminology – apartment – though is it technically an apartment if it’s just two floors of homes?). My one bedroom flat is rented from the local authority. Max isn’t one hundred percent thrilled, as people come through “his” main door. If the main door bangs shut, not only do I hear it, but I then have to hear his disapproving bark. I love my dog, but sometimes I wish he had a mute button lol.

I think that’s all the major in my life in the last year and a half, sorry that it’s only a brief review of them. With all them changes though, it means I’ll have to update my About Me page. I hope to be able to do that and post about my health issues soon. If my regular readers are on my blog, they may notice that I have updated the blog slightly. Rather than the image of a field there is now a pen and paper, in the hopes it might inspire me to write more.

For my previous readers, how have you been? For any new readers, glad you have stopped by. Feel free to leave comments and to ask questions.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Doggie Rice Pudding Recipe

I promised you I would give you the recipe for rice pudding that I use for Max. I’ve adapted it slightly from a recipe I got in a dog magazine. It was a series of magazines and each issue focused on a different breed, so this is a recipe that has quantities set for a westie, so if you have a larger/ smaller breed you would obviously have to adapt the quantities to satisfy your pooch. Quantities given are for one day’s daily allowance (so other than treats your dog won’t need food).

As I said in my post here, this recipe is given to Max when he is continually being sick as he is allergic to lots of foods or as a little treat. We always used a ceramic dish but cleaning the dish it gets cooked in can be a nightmare, so the last couple of times we have made it in one of those disposable foil trays and it works just as well.

I decided to make the recipe as a free print-out for you, so if you wish to print it out it will be easy for you. As I put in the print-out, the original recipe had full fat milk but I have substituted semi-skimmed milk in the past when we didn’t have full fat milk. The semi-skimmed milk works just as well for creating the rice pudding, but from a nutrition standpoint I don’t know if this substitution changes the amount of nutrients your dog will get, so I recommend getting full fat milk but if you can’t then try semi-skimmed milk.

If you’re a dog owner are you going to give this recipe a try for a treat for your loyal friend? Or does your dog suffer with allergies too and you’re trying to find something that agrees with him/her? Or are you someone who loves to cook, and is going to try this recipe? (I wouldn’t quite recommend this recipe for humans as it might be “plain” tasting, but if you wish to try it go ahead). Leave a comment if you wish.

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Image courtesy of debspoons/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A little update

So yesterday I finally managed to do my post on my views of the winner of Britain’s Got Talent, but other than that you haven’t heard from me for over a month so I thought I’d give my loyal readers a little update.

I’ve been working on my post about my trip to Ikea since May. Yes I know that is a long time to take on one post but as I said in this post I’m not currently doing big posts and as this will be a huge post I’m doing it a couple of paragraphs at a time.

Max, my dog, is a very nervous wee dog and one with quite a few allergies. He is allergic like many westies to chicken, but most westies have a reaction on the skin. Max ends up with vomiting and diarrhoea to chicken, in fact to all poultry and lamb. I refuse to give him rabbit (having pet rabbits in the past and the fact my brother and sister-in-law recently got bunnies for Bambi and Cinderella might have something to do with it). Max may therefore be fine with rabbit, but I’ll never know, that said when we have gave him game before he has vomited that too so he would probably end up sick with rabbit anyway. He can handle a small amount of ham/bacon but too big a portion and he again will vomit. The only meat he is fine with is beef and he can handle fish though he is not particularly fond of dog food with fish, he prefers fresh home cooked fish.

Recently Max had been so unwell we stripped back his diet to sticking to one type of treat (we chose a biscuit brand he likes and is fine with) and put him on hypoallergenic food. Even that didn’t help much so I did what we do when he is really bad and gave him rice pudding. It is a recipe I got out of a dog magazine and I will share it with you in a future post. We use this recipe when we either want to give him a little change and a treat or as I said when he is very sick. The few days with that rice pudding recipe has now settled his poor tummy and we are beginning to reintroduce foods back into diet.

I’m not quite ready yet to go back to my challenge but hopefully soon I will be. As I said earlier I’m working on my post about my trip with Bambi and Cinderella to Ikea. I will also do a post about the rice pudding recipe for dogs. I will also do a post as promised with a 3-D shapes printable pack.

Leave your comments below. If you have a dog with food allergies what foods have you found to work for them? I’m always looking for ideas due to Max being super sensitive.

Top 5 reasons my dog barks

***This post contains a review of a product which I am not receiving any financial benefit for and have not been given as a freebie to produce a review, it is just my opinion.***

So I was thinking of doing a top 5 list but would never wish to post on a topic I don’t know about as I wish to be truthful. One thing I do know about is Max, my West Highland White Terrier. A common, well should I call it past-time with him is barking therefore I decided to tell you the 5 most common reasons he barks. That said trust me when I say with westies sometimes a reason isn’t even required, they just like their voice to be heard… I often feel bad for our neighbours having to putting up with him.

Reason 1: The Postman
Oh yes, the most widely known arch-enemy of dogs – the postman, in fact any delivery man Max hates with a vengeance.

Max: I must tell them don’t ever put anything in my letterbox again!

Reason 2: People or Animals Going Past “His Territory”
Max must bark each time at anyone or any animal to let them know each time this is his home.

Max: How dare that person get out their car, walk past my house to get to their own home! How dare a bird fly by my garden! How dare a dog owner bring another dog for a walk near my home… I must bark to let them know this is my home!

Reason 3: The Vacuum
Carpets need to be vacuumed to be kept clean, that is reasonable right? Not in Max’s head. This is another arch-enemy and it must be barked at and attacked.

Max: Oh no that thing has started up again going over and over the carpet I love to roll on and put my scent all over. I only just got the scent back and that thing is taking it away. I’m going bark at it and pounce on it and hold on to it for dear life to stop it.

Reason 4: Loud Noises
Max must bark each time a loud noise happens near his home. From the poor neighbour trying to mow her lawn or the men that come to pick up the rubbish/ recycling every week or to the noise that can annoy me too of late night revellers loudly shouting in the street.

Max: That woman is out there making that awful noise again with that big machine on her grass, I must bark to tell her stop! Those men are back this week chucking those bags into that huge noisy machine, I must bark to tell them to stop it and not come back. I’m trying to sleep and those people are making noise and am going to let them know I’m sleeping and to be quiet by barking!

Reason 5: Friendly Play
Max sometimes barks when we are playing all different types of games with him but this is a friendly type of bark. The most common game he barks in is what we call “chase me, chase me”, which is just like it sounds. Max *loves* to be chased around the house and play games like hide and seek and he will bark until you chase him or bark at you until you come out of your hiding place. Bambi loves playing “chase me, chase me” with Max but often prefers Max to run after him. Max is glad somebody wants to play with him and therefore happily chases Bambi around the house.

Max: If I bark then they’ll know I’m ready to play. I want them to chase me so I’ll bark until they come running after me.

What most of the reasons above for barking and those not mentioned are based upon is nervousness. Max has been an anxious and nervous dog from the minute I got him. He backs away from adults when they come to him, hence why he barks at them to stop them coming to him in the first place. Though with most kids he is fine including Bambi and Cinderella and let’s them come near him.

A product that significantly helps to keep him calm and less nervous is DAP, which stands for dog appeasing pheromone. A quick explanation of how it works is that when a dog gives birth, she produces a pheromone for her puppies that keeps them relaxed and calm. Scientists have managed to synthetically reproduce this pheromone which can help dog owners as no matter the age of the dog the pheromone is able to relax the dog. DAP is especially recommend for times that are unsettling for dogs like when you first bring home the puppy, moving house, bringing a new addition into the home(like another pet or a baby) and at times when fireworks are known to be going off. You can find out more here. I’ve been using the plug-in diffuser in the hallway for a few years now and when we do have it on (I sometimes forget to get a refill so he can go without it for sometime until I do get the refill) his behaviour improves. Max is often less stressed and more laid back and my ears get a break from the barking. The plug-in diffuser lasts for about a month but as the pheromone is undetectable to humans you don’t have to worry that there will be a weird smell in your home.

Do you have a dog that loves to bark? What common reasons is it for your dog? Or are you fortunate enough to have a quiet dog? Have you tried DAP or a similar product? Or are you glad your dog-free therefore bark-free? Or are you dog-free but desperately want a dog even though it could mean a lot of barks? Leave your comments below, and hope you enjoyed reading. Follow if you wish 🙂 .