Posts Tagged ‘Dog Photography’

Bruce’s Biscuit Treats

As promised, here is our recipe for Bruce’s every-day biscuits.

We made a batch for Valentines Day  Taken on an iPhone

We made a batch for Valentine’s Day
Taken on an iPhone

What you need:

450g wholemeal flour

170g porridge oats

30g lard

1 tbsp oil

40g grated parmesan cheese

400ml unsalted stock (chicken works well)

3 carrots

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 160ᵒC/Gas mark 3.

To start, mix the flour, oats, lard and cheese in a bowl. Then add the stock until it all comes together into a ball of dough.You may not need all the stock, so don’t quite add it all at once as you don’t want to end up with a sticky gloop of flour all over your hands (trust me, I’ve been there 😀 ).

Bruce thinks the biscuits are grate :D Taken on an iPhone

Bruce thinks the biscuits are grate 😀
Taken on an iPhone

Finely grate the carrots and work that into the dough ball. Next, tear off a piece of greaseproof paper the same size as the baking sheet you’re going to use and lightly flour it. Roll out the dough to about ½ a centimetre thick and then cut it into biscuits. I find that using a pizza wheel is the quickest way at carving the biscuit shapes. I like to keep some a bit bigger for more of a treat and also make tiny little ones to talk out on walkies.

Bake the biscuits towards the bottom of the oven for 40-50 minutes. When they are looking golden in colour, turn the oven off but leave them in the oven to dry out fully for that all important satisfying crunch.

These biscuits are not too shabby for human consumption either, so if you get a bit peckish out on your dog walk they’ve got you covered too.

Words: Michael Thompson

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots. Visit our website at http://www.themightypooch.co.uk/

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The A-Z of Bruce’s world: B

We may inhabit the same physical world as our four-legged friends, but we see that world in very different ways. This week, B is for …

Beef bites

If there’s one thing guaranteed to get Bruce salivating, it’s a homemade beef bite. There’s a world of processed dog treats out there but, like many off-the-shelf treats for humans, it’s not always clear what’s in them. These beef bites are 100% lean beef, so you can dish them out with confidence.

To make Bruce’s beef bites, buy some lean beef. Chop the meat into cubes, around 1cm big. Whack some baking parchment on a baking sheet and scatter the cubes of meat on it, fairly close together. Put the tray into a cold oven and heat it to 150°C. Cook the meat for one hour. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 100°C and prop open the oven door to let the moisture out. Leave the meat in the oven at 100°C with the door propped open for a further two hours to dry the meat. Once out of the oven, let the beef bites dry overnight at room temperature and pop them into an airtight container the next day. They’ll keep for up to year in there. Beef bites, done.

Bruce wins again! Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

Bruce leaves the other standing
Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

Ball

The guy adores his ball. Nothing else – and no one else – exists if he’s running after his ball. It’s funny, he never used to be into playing with a ball, until he realised he could beat his best friend Buddy at the chase and win every time. Since then, he’s been mad for it. He literally runs as fast as he can and, if another dog comes to play, they don’t stand much chance of winning the race.

Best chums

Buddy and Monkey – two miniature dachshunds belonging to our best friends – are Bruce’s best friends, which is handy. Buddy is the eldest, and he did a dreadful job of disciplining Bruce when Bruce arrived as a puppy. Bruce used to terrorise poor Bud, and it was a dark day for the dachshund when he discovered Bruce was now big enough to jump onto the sofa and there was no longer any sanctuary to be found. It’s not pleasant having a puppy swinging from your cheeks night and day. Monkey is the youngest – he may be the smallest but he’s definitely the loudest.

There's no point even throwing it - you know I'm going to win! Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

There’s no point even throwing it – you know I’m going to win!
Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

Biscuits

The word ‘biscuits’ is banned in our house (as is the word ‘bone’), unless we want to send Bruce into a frenzy of excitement at the mere mention of the word. Biscuits are also known as ‘bribery’ at Mighty Pooch HQ – we use them to ensure Bruce is pleasant on the lead as he passes other dogs. He has learned to expect a biscuit if he doesn’t grizzle at other dogs while he’s on the lead. While Bruce is lovely off the lead and will play with other dogs happily, he’s not perfect on it at all times. We think it stems from the time a dog who was off the lead leaped on him unpleasantly while Bruce was on the lead. Nonetheless, with the aid of our trusty biscuits, Bruce gets better every week. We’ll share a delicious homemade biscuit recipe next week (even Michael loves to snack on them!).

I think you'll find it's tea time Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

I think you’ll find it’s tea time
Photograph taken on an iPhone (not professional!)

Boss pot

Bruce is a dreadful boss pot. He demands star treatment every day. For example, he won’t arrange a blanket around himself on the sofa; instead, he has a little paw action he does to order the nearest human to do it for him. He (like many other dogs I’m sure) will also demand his tea at five o’clock sharp with a hard stare. He also orders extra walks with a hard stare and an exasperated huff. We once asked a dog behaviourist what that huff means and she confirmed it – he’s basically saying “Come on now, get a move on!” We hear the huff a lot if we’re all ready to go out and someone has lost a glove, which delays departure. Personally, I think it’s rude to swear, but try telling that to Bruce!

Next time in Bruce’s world, we check out the Cs. Head back to A is for … here.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots. Visit our website at http://www.themightypooch.co.uk/

Bruno and his biscuit crush

So, it’s Valentine’s Day. While many of us show our loved ones how much they mean to us with a bunch of scraggy roses from the local garage (I’m a hopeless romantic, can’t you tell?!), I’m pretty sure that Bruno here, if he had a girlfriend, would shower her with a thousand biscuits. This lovely hound has a penchant for the crunchy kind.

Another biscuit? Don't mind if I do!

Another biscuit? Don’t mind if I do!
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Bruno has a gorgeous character – he clearly loves life and has a soft nature. Some of the most cheerful dogs seem to be former rescues, which I suppose could be rather a surprise. Perhaps they are just so happy to finally be happy. They certainly have a lot of love to give.

Is that a biscuit I see?

Is that a biscuit I see?
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Bruno enjoyed bounding across the grass if there was a tasty morsel at the end of it. In fact, he was a pretty good catch, too. Years of practice! This photograph was a tricky one to capture – we had to throw the biscuit accurately and anticipate where Bruno would catch it to get the shot in focus. We also had to make sure his nose didn’t reach too high and cover his eyes up.

Some predictions had to be made before we could take this photograph!  Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Some predictions had to be made before we could take this photograph
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Bruno04

Camouflage
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Bruno is a very clever chap. He has his own bell by the back door at home, which he rings with his paw if he wants to go to the loo. He’s also learned to close the sitting room door at his owner’s request on chilly evenings. Large paws can be extremely handy!

As the sun began to sink and turn the sky a rich orange, we enticed Bruno up onto a rock for a silhouette. He looks a little like a character in a children’s book with those fabulous handlebar ears.

The ears are the hero of this shot Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Bruno’s ears show his character in this image
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch.

Words: Aislinn Kelly. Photographs: Aislinn Kelly and Michael Thompson at The Mighty pooch.

Email: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some more of our shoots. Head to our website: http://www.themightypooch.co.uk/

The A-Z of Bruce’s world

We may inhabit the same physical world as our four-legged friends, but we see that world in very different ways. Here’s our A to Z of the world according to Bruce. This week, A is for …

Leaping in the snow

Leaping in the snow

Agility

Leaping over stiles, scrambling up banks, jumping onto walls and diving for his ball … being a fell terrier, Bruce is super agile. He runs so fast that he’s been known to somersault in flight as he accelerates to catch a ball before it comes to a stop. If the England football team had half the ball-eye co-ordination and speed of a little terrier, we wouldn’t have to hark back, misty-eyed, to 1966 all the time. I mean, come on, some of us weren’t even born then!

Cuddles (taken on a camera phone)

Cuddles (taken on a camera phone)

Aislinn

That’s me. Michael and I took the unconventional pet parent step of not referring to ourselves as Mummy and Daddy. This has caused some confusion at times – at the vet’s, for instance, when ‘Mummy’ is referred to and Bruce looks around blankly, wondering who the devil Mummy is and why she’s going to hold his head while he has his ears examined! From me, he gets lots of cuddles – but I’m not the best one at throwing his ball, although he still seems to drop it at my feet no matter who is wielding the ball flinger.

The toy apple

The toy apple

Apple

Here’s Bruce at around 6-8 weeks old. This was his first toy and, although it’s a fraction larger than a real apple, it’s a good indicator of how tiny he was. Like daft pet parents, we’ve kept this toy in a cupboard as a memento of his puppy days. These days, Bruce is at knee-cap level, so his view of the world involves plenty of table legs (lovely, as he likes to doze under the table in the day time), big feet (great, as where there are feet, there is the opportunity for a walk) and lamp-post bottoms (the local newspaper – a veritable noticeboard of who’s just moved to the area and all manner of other fascinating information extracted with one good sniff).

Aroma

If it’s in stock at the local perfumery (ie whichever field we happen to be playing in at the time), Bruce will often opt for a liberal spritz of eau de fox poop. Ah yes, the bottom notes of rotting vegetables, the mid notes of nose-wrinkling musk and those delightful top notes of bin-scavenging, putrid, indescribable poop. We once had to transport an extremely stinky Bruce in the car for over an hour – I had to sit with him wrapped firmly in a towel on my knee and we drove with all the windows open the whole way. If we see that shoulder start to dip during an avid sniff, we call him away quick sharp!

Enjoying a carrot on the authorised rug (taken on a camera phone)

Enjoying a carrot on the authorised rug (taken on a camera phone)

Authorised rug

We have two furry rugs in our kitchen – and Bruce has clearance to sit on one of them, which we call the authorised rug. It’s the perfect size for him. It’s soft and furry and he loves to chew a rawhide or play with one of his teds while reclining on there. He is not, however, allowed to sit on the unauthorised rug, a lovely, thick, shaggy rug in our reading area. Now, Bruce absolutely understands this, including the actual term ‘go to your authorised rug’. So, when we went out the other day and left a camera filming him to see what he gets up to when we’re out, it made funny viewing. As soon as he heard the door close and our footsteps recede, he came out of his bed and went straight onto the unauthorised rug to luxuriate. We’ve come to the conclusion this could be a good thing – having somewhere he’s not allowed to go perhaps makes the prospect of us going out quite attractive. What’s going through his mind? “Hoo-blooming-ray! Unauthorised rug, indeed! I’ve been sitting on this rug for the last 18 months on and off and they never even knew!” While the cat’s away and all that …!

Next time in Bruce’s world, we take a stroll around the Bs.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Oh no, not the dreaded vets!

Going to the vets demands a supremely honed plan of action. As soon as his paws touch the dreaded veterinary table, our delightful, gentle, soft little dog turns into a ferocious monster.

 

When Bruce was a tiny little man, we enrolled him at a nationwide chain of vets. This turned out to be a mistake, as the service left a lot to be desired. And the experience left Bruce with a very bad taste in his mouth. One particular instance, when he was just three months old and had stopped eating (we later realised he was just in a sulk as we’d been away for a few days, which had been booked before he came to live with us), he was prodded with a thermometer up the you-know-where, restrained with a muzzle (unnecessary we felt at such a young age and with little reason) and told off. After that incident, we left and joined the local vet.

Bruce and Michael

Bruce and Michael

Our local vet is fantastic, doling out biscuits, giving Bruce time to settle in when we get in the room and understanding Bruce’s worries perfectly but, unfortunately, the damage has been done as far as Bruce is concerned. He will take the biscuits, even offering his paw to the vet and pulling out his favourite trick – the salute – to please him. Then he’ll remember where he is, how much he’s supposed to hate it, and the anxiety points will go up again.

I remember one awful night a year ago when Bruce was terribly sick. He looked awful. I’m sure he actually turned green. Michael and I stayed up all night comforting him and it broke our hearts when he gave us his paw feebly with an imploring look, as if he was saying “Please help me. I feel horrible.” In fact, I’m sure that is what he was saying. Fortunately, he was much better by morning, if a little exhausted, so he escaped a visit to the vets.

But last week, he had to go. An ear infection, we thought. I was working, so Michael had to do the dastardly deed all by himself. As they sat in the waiting room and watched a Doberman pinchser dig his heels in on the threshold, refusing to put even one claw inside the tiny vet room, Bruce was fine. Even said hello to a couple of pugs. Got weighed. Had a couple of biscuits. Michael relaxed. This was going to be fine. Two boys together – they could handle it.

Fast-forward to the table and all hell broke loose. No way was the vet seeing inside this little monster’s lughole. Despite the fact that we’ve taught the boy the names of his body parts so we can tell him in advance what’s going to happen (which works wonders at home when we want to peer into his ears or wipe his eyes), he wasn’t giving in. Even the threat of sedation should it not get any better didn’t see him sitting prettily and offering his ear for inspection.

So we’ve had to accept that that’s the way it goes. The battle lines are drawn and it’s an ordeal we all have to face. Roll on the annual booster jab. Can’t wait.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

Remember he’s a doggy

Bruce is such a character – and such a part of our family – that it can take a rather drastic situation to remind me that, actually, the little guy is first and foremost a dog with canine instincts.

 

The other week we camped at a farm and followed the farm’s code to the letter, always keeping Bruce on a lead when outside. There were plenty of chickens roaming around and, as our best friends have free-range chickens and ducks with which Bruce and his two best friends happily share the garden, we weren’t too worried. But we obeyed the rules to the letter in a typically British fashion.

Like butter wouldn't melt! (Photograph is a simple snap on an iPhone)

Like butter wouldn’t melt!

There was one particular cockerel who visited our camp every day. He was supremely unattractive but really rather friendly, and seemed to enjoy the company of people, following us about as we fiddled with tent pegs or cooked outdoors. It was all very amiable and we called him Colonel Sanders.

But all was not as it seemed as far as Bruce was concerned. He could tolerate this imposter only so far. And, on the fourth day, Bruce declared in spectacular fashion that Colonel Sanders had outstayed his welcome.

We were inside the tent, with the door zipped up, the tiniest gap at the bottom for airflow. Bruce could see Colonel Sanders through the window strutting about outside. All of a sudden, as quick as a flash, Bruce shot through the seemingly impossible gap and hurtled after poor Colonel Sanders, who could be seen dashing away at full pelt and squawking alarmingly, lifting his feathers like a lady in a huge skirt as he ran.

Heart in my mouth, I leapt to my feet, threw open the zip and charged out, yelling for Bruce, who came back promptly I was relieved to see. Until I noticed the three feathers in his mouth, arranged like a little white beard as if he’d aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. I was aghast. I HAD aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. And as for Colonel Sanders, I was terrified that the last 10 seconds had been his last 10 seconds on earth. There was absolutely no sign of him. I went to reception, recounted the terrible tale and asked if we could look in the hen houses to see if the Colonel was alright. I prayed that Bruce hadn’t harmed the old chap.

We found Sanders in one of the houses, with ruffled feathers but seemingly OK. I was so relieved that Bruce hadn’t bitten him – it would have been the first time he’d harmed anything and it would have been very upsetting for everyone – not least Sanders himself. Bruce surely could have killed the chicken if he’d wanted to. But, mercifully, Sanders had lived to tell the tale with just a few feathers out of place and a little less dignity than he’d displayed earlier that day.

It wasn’t until the next day that we saw Colonel Sanders brave the great outdoors and join his chums for the morning dirt scratch. And he never visited our tent again. We couldn’t blame him.

So Bruce may be the canine equivalent of Einstein (yes, OK, I’m biased) but he’s still a dog. And he makes sure I don’t forget it!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work we go!

The weather in the UK has been so incredible this summer that I rather fear The Mighty Pooch blog has suffered – for most of August I have swapped my view of the computer screen for views of the beach, dappled woodland and candlelight, but it’s now time to get back to work, as a fully booked September beckons on the other side of Michael’s birthday this weekend.

Evening sun in Cornwall - Bruce is reclining in his bed behind the table. It's a dog's life!

Evening sun in Cornwall – Bruce is reclining in his bed behind the table. It’s a dog’s life!

Bruce hasn’t known whether he’s been coming or going this month, as we collected our new trailer tent at the end of July. Cue lots of weekends spent cooking on a camping stove, blowing up our baby Chesterfields and enjoying long walks. Bruce has been powering up his sniff points at all the new, enticing smells. We’ve been to Cornwall, the New Forest (where the wild ponies were something of an enigma to Bruce and he discovered a crippling fear of lily pads – now cured thankfully!) and Norfolk, which was rather far for a weekend but, as always, wonderful.

How do you mean, these chairs aren't for dogs?!

How do you mean, these chairs aren’t for dogs?!

So, September calls. I’ll see you there, where I shall flex my fingers and get back to some writing!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael: hello@themightypooch.co.uk

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

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