#Win with AGA Cookshop + Sardine & Oats Dog Cookies

#Win with AGA Cookshop + Sardine & Oats Dog CookiesIn the end of April AGA Cookshop added a beautiful Top Dog Textiles collection into their range. The collection is fashioned from stylish hand-drawn images of the most popular dogs, dotted across a base of warm cloth framed with a black trim.

Top Dog Textiles from AGA CookshopThere are five pieces in the collection and they all look truly beautiful and I am sure they would brighten up the kitchen of any dog lover. But this isn’t all, to share the love AGA is working with Dogs Trust and will donate 5% of all the proceeds to support this longstanding dog charity.

In the spirit of sharing love, I wanted to do something nice too, so I baked some yummy dog cookies for my furry friends 🙂

If you want to create a lovely treat for your own dog, you will need the following ingredients:Sardine & Oats Dog Cookies - Ingredients

  • 270g sardines in oil
  • 300g oats
  • 60g wholemeal flour
  • 1tsp garlic
  • 50ml stock (we used a chicken one)
  • A dash of olive oil (if your mixture is too dry)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Prepare a large baking tray and line it with some baking paper.

Place your sardines in a large bowl, oil included, and mash them up with your fork.

Add garlic, flour, oats plus the stock of your choosing and mix until everything is nicely combined. If you mixture is too dry add a dash of olive oil.

Once you are able to form a ball which isn’t falling apart, move it onto your worktop and roll out flat until the mixture is about 1cm thick.

Sardine & Oats Dog Cookies in the makingUse a cookie cutter to cut out the doggy cookies and place them onto the earlier prepared baking sheet. They do not grow to any real extent so you don’t have to worry about spacing them out too much.

Pop your cookies into the preheated oven and bake for around 25 minutes, or until golden in colour and firm to the touch.

Sardine & Oats Dog CookiesSardine & Oats Dog Cookies straight from the ovenRemove from the oven and allow them to cool completely before serving.

Easy peasy isn’t it?

Both Lilly and Bunk went totally mad for the cookies.

Bunk & Lilly and Sardine & Oats Dog CookiesAfter all what’s not to like? They contain a lot of great tasting ingredients.

#Win with AGA Cookshop + Sardine & Oats Dog Cookies.#Win with AGA Cookshop + Sardine and Oats Dog CookiesWin with AGA Cookshop + Sardine & Oats Dog CookiesSo this is my treat for the week for my dogs.

As for you, my lovely readers, AGA Cookshop has offered to sponsor a giveaway for you in celebration of their new Top Dog Textile range. I have two double oven gloves to giveaway to two of you 🙂

To enter the giveaway and be in with a chance of winning one of these two fabulous looking and very useful double oven gloves simply complete the Gleam application below.

#Win a Double Oven Glove from AGA Cookshop Top Dog Textiles Collection

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by AGA Cookshop.
3. There will be 2 winners chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. Each winner will receive 1 x Top Dog Double Oven Glove. The prize will only be fulfilled by AGA Cookshop.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Friday 26/06/2015 at 23:59pm, any entry made after this time will not be counted.

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Dogs Trust | Behind the Scenes

As you have probably gathered from reading my blog I am a doggy kind of girl. I love dogs and I live in a dog loving country so everything doggy should be perfect, or so you would think at face value. Now for the last year or so I have been in contact with the PR department at the Dogs Trust through various campaigns and general communications and we have built up a good relationship, and last Thursday were given an amazing opportunity to visit one of their re-homing centres – Dogs Trust Harefield.

It might come as a surprise to some of you, mainly due to the fact that we have a rescue dog at home; I have never actually been in a rescue centre. Our Lilly is a rescue but she was lucky enough to be actually passed from one family to another – her old family dropped her off and we were already waiting to pick her up, so she never set a foot in the shelter, so neither did I.

I really wanted to go to the Dogs Trust Harefield centre. Mark however was concerned and was trying to tell me that it could be a traumatic experience and that maybe I should politely refuse, obviously confused as to why he would suggest such a thing I asked why. He told me the story of how all through his childhood his parents operated a dog rescue and re-homing service with their Local Authority. This arrangement played out by his family going to the local authority to see what dogs they had collected and picking one to bring home. Then through local advertising and word of mouth they would seek to find a permanent home for that dog and when successful they would go back and pick another one. I was still curious as to how this wonderful act could still be cause of a traumatic experience so Mark explained that the policy was that when the Local Authority collected an abandoned dog they would only look after it for 7 days and that if by the end of that week the dog had not been claimed that it would be put to sleep by a vet. So Mark remembers as a child looking through rows of metal cages at all the dogs that were on their 7th day knowing that they could only realistically save one of them, and that when his family did pick one to take home that when they left the others were probably not going to be alive the next day. So yes there was happiness regarding the now happy dog in the car on its way to a bright new future but it was tinged with great darkness as many had been left behind, this was traumatic. I could not reconcile what I knew about the Dogs Trust with this story so I still wanted to go and Mark agreed to come with me just in case as emotional support.

1. Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes

Apparently the world has moved on quite a bit since Marks childhood and we didn’t need to be apprehensive of any traumatic experiences as become evident from the second we passed through the wide welcoming gateway into the Dogs Trust compound. Impressive from the outset was our initial thoughts and we suspect the 15,000 dogs they have re-homed in the last year as well.

Yes you read that right, this one charity re-homes 15,000 dogs a year on average, and they are only one of many charities hard at work in this much needed field of care. That’s a jaw dropping fact right there.

We were met on arrival by the centre manager and the PR advisor and given the tour and chatted about the facilities and services they offer, it took 3 hours! And trust me we didn’t dally anywhere this was an engaging and informative tour it’s just that they offer so much it takes that long just to go and have a quick peek at all the parts of this centre and at the end of it all we wanted to do was change our careers and join them.

From the wide, open plan brightly lit reception where the public can sit down and have a chat with a staff member you can venture into an equally large library part. Yes, you are reading it right – they have a private library filled with donated books waiting there to be read or taken home in exchange for a small donation.

Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes

Once you pass through a half glassed door designed with a bone shaped glass in it, you enter the dog re-homing part where you can actually see all the lovely dogs waiting for a new forever home.

This place was nothing like I was expecting.

In my head I imagined dark boxes filled with unhappy dogs making puppy eyes at every person who passed by… in reality each “dog room” is large and well lit with comfy beds or even giant arm chairs or single sofas; the place is filled with various toys and most importantly access to the outside. I never imagined it will look like this… All the dogs out there actually looked happy and content. Their daily routine includes outdoor activities plus a cuddle time with a member of staff.

3. Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes 4. Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes 5. Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes

In addition to the public sections there are other parts of the centre in which dogs live…

There is a training section – this part is reserved for dogs which have just come in and are now undergoing a seven day assessment;

There is a puppy section – yes, puppies are brought to the shelter as well, we actually had a chance to meet some and participate in a cuddle time with them… and this little fellow is still looking for a home…

Dogs Trust  - Behind the Scenes - still looking for home

There is a “home room” section – this one is actually very interesting; it is reserved for dogs which have been through some traumatic experiences and they need reintroducing to a more home like environment and importantly relearn how to behave in such an environment; these rooms look like a proper front room in yours or my house; filled with furniture to resemble a home.

There is also a section for dogs which will stay in the centre for ever as they can’t be put for adoption.

The Dogs Trust Harefield has re-homed just over 150 dogs since the beginning of this year… that’s over three dogs per day… not bad is it?

The Dogs Trust is a charity and as a charity it is funded by people, people like you and I, people of good will, people who despite the current economic climate can still find compassion in their hearts to help others, to help animals in need who aren’t able to help themselves.

The Dogs Trust is doing a fantastic job. All the dogs we’ve seen and met were well looked after but even the best shelter isn’t going to replace a loving home with a family of your own.

If you are planning on getting a dog, please consider re-homing instead of buying a puppy. All dogs coming from the Dogs Trust are fully assessed when it comes to their behaviour, potential likes and dislikes as well as vet checked; they will be neutered or spayed, vaccinated, de-warmed and anti-flea treated before you take them home.

And if you aren’t looking for a new four legged companion maybe you could sponsor a dog? There are dogs which will never find their forever home. This is not always necessarily the dogs fault but for one reason or another they will never have a chance of adoption; they will always live in Dogs Trust Centre.

Looking for Love - – Dogs Trust Harefield

I left the Dogs Trust Harefield with a heavy heart. I wanted to stay and help. We brought a bag of toys to the centre and purchased some books but I just felt like this wasn’t enough; I felt like I should do something more to help.

I can’t visit the Dogs Trust too often; I can’t become a volunteer; it is simply too far for me to travel, but I can write… I have my little internet space where I can share… so I am going to write to you in hope that you will read and help… share with others to spread the word… share in hope that more people of good heart will stand behind the Dogs Trust and the fantastic job they are doing.

I would like to say thank you to Emily and Richard for spending this time with us on Thursday. It was really time well spent and we both learnt so much.

Thank you.