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From this..
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... to this!
To make Whisky feel better I decided to cook him some treats all of his own. I found some great recipes using ingredients I already had, and this one on the Austing Astronomist particularly caught my eye! I wanted to make it as healthy as possible, so made sure I used as much veg and as little flour by sifting in flour little by little. I also added in a little honey - I wanted to eat some myself!! Finally, I popped some turmeric in there. It's a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent - so hopefully it's going to help Whisky's foot heal, who knows?

1 cup (450g) butternut squash, roasted then puréed
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbs. peanut butter
1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. turmeric.
2 1/2 cups (300g) plain flour, try rice if your dog doesn't do well eating wheat.


The quick and easy instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven 180 centigrade.
  2. Mix wets together,
  3. Mix in turmeric.
  4. Then mix in flour, bit by bit, until the mixture pulls away from the bowl. 
  5. Pop the mixture in the fridge for 30 mins to harden up.
  6. Roll it out, on a liberally floured surface, to about 1cm thick, 
  7. Cut into squares - appropriately sized for your pooch.
  8. Cook for 20-30 mins depending on the biscuit size on baking sheets. 


I made 500g of treats in total, and Whisky doesn't seem to mind if they are a little crisp or more chewy. I froze most of them into 100g portions.

I decided to do some maths - 
cost of squash - £1 per kg, so I used 50p.
cost of flour - 45p for 1.5kg, so I used 9p.
eggs - 6 free range is £1.20, so 40p for 2.
The honey, peanut butter and turmeric were cupboard basics, so I'm not really including those.
Total cost - £1 for 500g of treats. (£2 per kg). 

Wowzers! It sounds cheap, but is it really? I decided to compare my 6 ingredient treats with some shop bought alternatives. 

The cheapest treats treats I found were "Mr Happy's Marvellous Munchies Dog Treats". They are cheaper, just, by weight, at 20p for 120g - £1.66 per kg, the ingredients read: Cereals, Meat and Animal Derivatives (Chicken 6%, Beef 4%), Oils and Fats.

A treat I have got for Whisky before, with a promise of no artificial colours or flavours is "Misfits Scruffy Bites" - costs £1.29 for 180g, £7.16 per kg. Despite the promises, the ingredient list doesn't actually give us much more information: Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Oils and Fats, Meat and Animal Derivatives (10% Meat), Cereals, Various Sugars, Vegetable Protein, Extracts, Minerals, Milk and Milk Derivatives

The cheapest treat of good natural quality, I feel, is "Wainwright's Training Treats" at £1.30 for 140g. This adds up to £9.29 per kg. The ingredients list, the first with actually named ingredients: Salmon (min 20%), Corn, Pea Pieces (min 4%), Molasses, Whole Brown Rice (min 4%), Sunflower Oil (min 4%), Beetroot Powder.

This makes my homemade treats almost 5x cheaper than those of equal quality - i.e. an ingredients list they can share without shame. Plus, Whisky has never looked more determined to get into the treat ball - yum!
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Dinner is served
 
 
Aww poor puppy! Whisky cut himself on something while chasing a bird up the stream. It was very deep and I had to use my tshirt to clean it up and bandage him on site, before carrying him the half hour walk back to the car. I have to say a huge thank you to my friend who was out with me - and to whoever trained her as a nurse. You kept me from freaking out - thank you :)

He's definitely heavier than he looks! He looks sweet with his blue bandage now though, and the vets think he'll heal without stitches, phew!

Also, after much advice from the awesome people of Craftster, I've completed my second, much improved,  needle felting picture of him. 
 
 
Isn't Whisky clever?! Unsurprisingly for any experienced poodle owners - this was the easiest trick yet!! My partner is calling it 'meercat' but I'm not sure it's a snappy enough name for a trick for him to associate it with the action. Any suggestions?

Now we're waiting for his leg muscles to strengthen up so he can walk on his hind legs.. SO CUTE!! At the moment he just jumps around and staggers like he's had one to many of his namesake!
He's also barking every time he hears a knock, so 'speak' is the next trick we plan for him! For anyone concerned about never ending barking - I've read during research that the best thing to do with unwanted traits (like pulling or barking) is to assign them a command (mush or speak respectively), so that you can let the dog release the desire to do the negative action, without reprimand. That way they know when to speak and when to shut up! Any opinions anyone?
Oh, and a photo of him on his grooming table (aka outdoors table) because I'm so proud of him for standing still for the first time while being groomed. He's obviously used to being clipped on a table and I'll stick with that set up from now on. Here he is before the clip, on the table, and after from both sides.
After many sleepless mornings with Whisky body slamming the living room door, does anyone have some suggestions for how to get him to settle into his routine here?
 
 
I have found a craft in which I certainly have plenty of room for improvement! Needle felting is such a tricky craft - you place wool roving (free fibres of wool) onto your backing (I've used felt, but you can use anything soft I believe). You then stab these fibres with a felting needle, which has a jagged edge. This fuses your roving with the backing - creating one single piece. I've felted a picture of my lovely Whisky. 

I love the softness of this craft, I could cuddle this picture all day long - hehe! 
 
 
 
 
Some photos from a trip to Lizard's point Lighthouse (the most southerly point in the UK.
 
 
Two pretty dresses... right? Except the yellow's lining barely covers your bottom, and the flowers' neckline is at least 10 years too old for me.
So.. I decided to combine them by turning the flowers into a slip for the yellow.. and walah..
This is the first time I've felt happy about the end result of a clothing project. I've asked for a sewing machine for christmas so I can have another go!! :) Finally.. Whisky's feeling left out with all the photos of Scarlett and none of him!
 
 
Some photos from one amazing trip to Perranporth :D
 
 
Top to bottom, March has been swinging forwards and backwards.. I was in my t-shirt and shorts one week, then back to gloves hat and scarf the next. I've bought some new colours too.. I imagine this will be happening throughout the year as yarns run out and new stock comes into the shops. Cream has become white, and my pale blue has split into a lighter blue for 25-50% blue days, and a mid blue for 50-75% blue days. 
Knitting this month gave me a good chance to learn how to read a knitting pattern. March also gave me plenty of opportunities to learn about Whisky. He is one naughty poodle who needs walking EVERY day! Even at 6 he's the life of the beach party. I've found some owners disapproving of how far off he runs, others impressed at his recall on command. Who knows?! He chewed right through my laptop cable, causing this blog to go on standstill, and causing his hair to go static for at least a week! He's started to wee indoors, even though we give him plenty of chances to go outside. I think he's testing our authority, and he gets a major telling off when he does it in front of us. Here he is ruining a lovely photo my friend took of the beach last week. 
Oh Whisky.. what AM I going to do with you?!
 
 
Awwww! Would love to go shorter, but spring has just sunk back to 5 degrees. Brrrr! I can't wait 
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Left: Before. Right: After.