Food of Champions

Hello fiends,

What’s been happening…. Max has gone home as Auntie Jill is back. We had a great week together, even fursister number 1, Thumbelina, was sad to see him go…… or was it just his bed she’ll miss!?! And guess what – Buster is staying this week – more fun and games!!  It was British Pie Week. And the Six Nations rugby was won by England –  what a win, what a match!!

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And, hurray it was Clare Balding and Crufts again at the weekend – one of the World’s biggest dog shows. We loved watching all the rounds and the hero dogs in the Friends for Life competition and the fly ball and then the rescue dog agility competition are best. And we all love Clare Balding – just think when she grows up, she’ll be Mary Berry.

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A Border Collie hasn’t won Best in Show at Crufts yet and English Cocker Spaniels have won the most number of times! That’ll please Max that the Spaniel clan are tops! And it was a type of Spaniel who won Best in Show again this year –  a young American Spaniel – though he’s actually from Blackpool!?! He had a very fetching long, brushed coat, am not sure I could carry that off….. I’d probably trip.

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I often dream of trotting round the show ring on my lap of honour in Birmingham and being interviewed by Clare but, so far have only had a go in a local job show – it certainly isn’t as easy as it looks – even the mums have to prance round!! You can see my efforts in my Adventures of Ragamuffin episode Every Dog Has His Day   ah well you can’t win ‘em all.

It was great fun though and I made lots of new fiends but, didn’t bring any rosettes home…. still it’s all about the taking part not the winning. Mum had my favourite dinner for when we got back – she calls it the ‘food of champions’ which is a better prize than any rose vase or silver cup and sash!

It’s a pretty easy recipe if you want to have a go:

Mums Champions Liver Cake

  • 2 kilos liver (cheapest) probably pigs
  • Approx. 150g of wholemeal flour
  • 1 egg or stock to add moisture

Put the liver and egg or stock in a blender till smooth or the liver is in very small pieces. Add the flour until the mixture is thick like brownies – if it’s too thick add a little milk or more flour if it’s too runny. Put the mixture in a baking tin about an inch deep will be enough. Put in oven at 170c fan for approx. 20 mins the mixture should still be a little moist and a knife will come out clean if you stick it in the middle. Leave to cool. If you want to use it as treats; cut into cubes and store in the freezer in bags. Eat within three days if kept in the fridge.If you can make it last that long!

As an extra you could try mums’ very special topping use; mashed potatoes made with a little butter and semi-skimmed milk – spread the mash on the liver cake and top with low fat natural yogurt when the mash is cool. For special occasions, you can decorate with those lovely little cocktail sausages. And most importantly always lick the spoon and bowl (the dogs, not the mums!!).

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Think Buster will help me polish off the lot!!

 

Until next time

Rx

If it isn’t fun it shouldn’t be done

Hi fiends,

If you’ve read my blog before you know we look at stuff that’s informative, current and often funny…. this week we look at something that’s a little worrying.

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A little while back we talked about me doing The Adventures of Ragamuffin films and being in that brilliant charity show with the great kids, think I said something like; “being on stage is very different to making our  films – mum and her clever fiends do editing and stuff to so, it doesn’t matter if you fluff it as, they can kinda fix it afterwards……….”

Should say too; if you fluff it on stage it’s part of the fun and always made us all giggle. And  when you’re working with us animals and children anything can happen so,  whether you’re an amateur, small production company or perhaps; DreamWorks for instance, you should always be prepared for the unexpected.

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The editing and stuff that mum and her ‘technical’ fiends do in the editing place make the final film look fantastic in the end. With all that wizardry technology around you can fill in any gaps you didn’t get when you were filming  Think you can even rub out the rain!!!

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Which is why we’re worried, shocked, sad, angry and fuming to hear about, and see for ourselves, the cruel treatment of a German Shepherd dog in a very big budget feature film. The film is going to be in cinemas across the whole wide world very soon – not just on You Tube like me.

The lovely dog was there to film a scene for ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ –  the film of a popular book of the same title – this poor dog was forced to do something it really, really didn’t want to do, it was terrified and hurt and in danger.

We’re puzzled because, those big film companies have ZILLIONS of pounds and dollars to spend on the best special effects and computer technology (called CGI) in the whole world so, there’s no reason to make any dog (or any animal or person) do something that’s very dangerous and in this case left our fiend terrified and scared.

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If the Director was good he wouldn’t even need technology, he would just shoot the right film pictures to cover that section of the script…… not everything has to be illustrated literally (according to Auntie Jules – she used to work in filmey stuff with mum), specially when it’s just a few seconds out of the whole thing. If we can do it with our little films so can they!!!!

The film production company and other filmey people involved seem to be trying to say that nothing really bad had gone wrong and they were ‘investigating’ and ‘looking at’ the ‘incident’……. Thanks to the land of Tweeter and all those other Apes; the incident was on film for all the world to see exactly what happened.

Decent, professional  and kind animal trainers and handlers (and owners, of course) know when an animal is; unhappy or scared or hurting or nervous or tired or just plain bored and stops…….. so, there’s no excuse to be cruel or for this incident to have happened. Mum and our film crew fellas always know right away if me, and my canine ‘co-stars’ and little  fiends in the films, aren’t having fun or have just had enough for the day.

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We send our prayers, best wishes and love to the dear fiend involved – we will not be going to see it.

Until next time fiends

Rx

New Year’s Revolutions

Hello again fiends,

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas. We had a great one; Mum and me were at Uncle David’s with it’s fantastic countryside nearby. Our morning country walks are frosty and foggy though no snow, so far.

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Did you see or hear the Queens Speech on Christmas Day? I wondered if she’d been reading my recent blogs as, she was talking warmly about small acts of kindness and we’ve been talking about that a lot in our blogs!!

I will include some pictures of Corgi’s in future ma’am.

It’s nearly New Year’s Eve – a time to reflect on the last year and look forward to the next. Hmm last year…. my run in with that crafty snake sticks in my mind but, all the good fun I’ve had and meeting new fiends top that; making the new films for the second Adventures of Ragamuffin series that you can see on You Tube was brilliant and I’ve made new fiends all round the world via Instagram including; Meg in Wales who looks just like me!! And of course I spent time with my very special fiends here.

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Mum and her fiends keep talking about making their New Year’s Resolutions – apparently, you decide things and plans that you’re going to do for the year and stick to them – though it seems a lot of folk only seem to do them until the end of January!?! And these Resolutions can be anything from; not to eat any more cake or pies, giving up that second dry sherry to something very big like a new job or moving house. Think Aunty Jules is going to do the cake one……again.

I heard on the radio a man that made a kindness New Year Resolution; he’s been kind every single day of 2016 and he’s going to do it in 2017 too. That’s brilliant – and he said it can be as simple as taking the time visit someone instead of just a quick hello, that little chat can really cheer someone up.

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We’ve all heard in recent days of the many  kind things that the late singer/songwriter George Michael did. He kept those good deeds private because, you don’t need to be showy about what you do. From helping the support children who needed someone to talk to, volunteering at a homeless shelter to helping the campaign against puppy farms – he spread kindness far and wide.

 

Last year we helped out Pets as Therapy and visited our chosen hospice,  took part in charity walks and the charity show and my fiends and I helped pick up litter and we’ll do tons more things in the next year.

Have a think about what you can do, a tiny gesture to you but, can be huge to others.

Our Resolutions could start a Kindness Revolution!!!

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Happy New Year.

Until next time

Rx

An Actors Life for Me?

Hello fiends,

Have been mooching around the house or sitting with mum as, had a giant splinter in my paw! Another trip to the vets to have it removed…ouch it was painful so,  we had to be brave….again….remember the snake incident!

Mooching is good, it gives you time to think…..hmm let’s see; had a great summer shooting the films for the second series of The Adventures of Ragamuffin. This time they’re starring me as a grown-up dog – none of that puppy malarkey!! You can see The Adventures of Ragamuffin Lewis on You Tube.

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My fiends were in some of the films too. Poor Buster got a little bored hanging around waiting for mum to decide what she wanted to film next. She does have a very long list  that she works through with the film crew but, things can easily change – like it might start raining or be very noisy so, you must wait (and wait) until it’s quiet or sunny again.

Buster said he wasn’t sure if ‘this filming lark’ was for him though he liked the ‘acting’ bit and thought he was good (steady on Buster you only had to dig up sand on the beach – it was hardly Lassie Come Home!).

 

Acting or singing is really good fun and a cool way to use up your energy and much better than just hanging around the shops or with your nose stuck to a computer screen!

I suggested to Buster that he should go and join a local amateur dramatics group – was hedging my bets there as, not sure if any of them take dogs!

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Anyway, it’s as it sounds; local people doing plays and musicals on the stage in a little theatre or hall with a stage. Normally they make all their own props, costumes and scenery so, even if you’re not sure acting you can do the backstage stuff. I did some performing on stage in the summer too I had a good time and got to eat some of the props – you can read about it here.

Along with school drama clubs there are lots of kid’s groups around the country – often called Youth Theatre (sounds a bit posher than amateur dramatics). These little theatre adventures won’t very often lead to a big role in the sparkling West End – where all the famous plays are, though can help you develop into a better performer and give you confidence and enthusiasm which is helpful if you are sometimes a bit shy….Buster is rarely shy…….and you’ll make friends, too! You can look them up on the internet or ask at your local theatre.

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There are, of course, the television talent shows including: Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor but, though they can make people and dogs famous it’s only a very few each year. Local theatre will give you loads of experience and who knows you could then go for a big audition if you wanted to take it that far!! Lots of famous ‘proper’ actors started off in local theatres: Michael Caine started going to the Capitol Theatre group in Horsham when he was very young and Robert Pattinson went to the Barnes Theatre Company near his house. So, you never know……..

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Give it a try!

Until next time Rx

 

 

Dogs, dancing and music

Hello fiends

What a week it’s been! It included; being kind to all animals, reciting poetry and smiling a lot!

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There’s been lots of ‘special’ international days this week including: World Animal Day, International Poetry Day and World Smile Day.

World Smile Day is really special; organisations, all over the world, use it to promote the good work they do and encourage people to take part or donate money or things. The motto for the day is: ‘Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile’

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Mum believes we should all try to be the best that we can be, including doing things that’ll help others smile. And all of us fiends can do just that – you and your fiends don’t have to travel a long way away or give loads of money; you can just give just a little of your time locally. litterpick

My fiend Buster helped out in the summer, we picked up litter on our walks – he was good at it and pretty enthusiastic too! His mum did manage to find her purse which, he’d put in a waste bin by mistake.

I visit a nearby Care Home. Animals can be very therapeutic and calming for people in lots of situations. Everybody there enjoys our visits, including me – it’s lovely to see everybody and I sometimes get a tasty treat –  it takes just a little of our time to sit and listen and chat and give a happy tail wag.

What else, well, a couple of weeks ago I made, what mum called, my ‘stage debut’ at a fundraising concert for the Alzheimer’s Society, South West at the Landmark Theatre here in Ilfracombe.

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I’ve been on a stage before but, this concert was a bit bigger – I was nervous I can tell you! It’s very different to making our Adventures of Ragamuffin films  – mum and her clever fiends do editing and stuff to those so, it doesn’t matter if you fluff it as they fix it afterwards but, live on stage that’s a different story. Gulp!  dementia-concert-all-1-1

Thankfully, with loads of practice, it went well and I showed my agility and obedience skills with the help of mum and some very brilliant young assistants – though I might have eaten one of the sausages just a tiny bit early on the obedience section……it slipped…….an easy mistake! Was great to be part of the concert and meet everyone; we made the audience smile and we smiled too.

There’s loads of ways you can get involved in helping out locally – have a look at what’s near you; maybe there’s an animal sanctuary, community garden, church, charity shop or computer club that gives lessons. Or you could see if you have a local Volunteer Centre that you can drop in to and there’s also a great website called: Do-it  http://www.do-it.org.uk/ which matches up opportunities using your postcode.

‘Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile’ is a pretty cool motto to have.

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Until next time.

 

Rx

Viral Videos and Police Dog Trials

Hi fiends

What have you been up to this week? The weather has not been very nice in North Devon so I’ve been on a few very rainy walks. Some fiends in Ilfracombe even recognised me and came to say hello, which made me very happy.

I laughed and laughed on Friday when I saw the funniest video of a lady trying on a Chewbacca mask. Have you seen it? I think it really suits her and she is so happy… much happier than fancy dress made me when I dressed as an ewok.

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At the time of writing her video had over 106 MILLION views. That is lots and lots! My videos don’t get quite that many yet, maybe I should take some tips from her.

I read an article on Belfast Live about the National Police Dog Trials which are coming up on Friday. Working dogs are so amazing! The article talks about how the canines make concise and clear decisions, which is true but I thought that was a bit obvious. I make decisions all the time! Like will I give Mum the ball back? Shall I meet Moja for a walk? Should I steal the last bit of pizza? Normally I make good decisions, but Police Dogs can’t ever make the wrong decision otherwise people can get hurt.

I was pleased they still get to chase bouncy balls after training though. They also live with their handlers so although these dogs might look a bit scarier than me, they are just as loving and well looked after.

My new video will be up on Sunday evening as usual, and you can catch up on any you’ve missed on my YouTube page. Last week’s video was about when I met my neighbours, what do you think I was talking about with Skip?

Anyway, enough from me. It’s briefly stopped raining so I’ll go for a run around in the fresh air before it starts up again.

Until next time fiends,

R x