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Copy Cats

Date: Friday, June 21, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

Yesterday, Lola cocked her head on the side of her little thick bulldog neck and asked me “what exactly is a copy cat?”

It’s an interesting question when you think about it.  Cats are really not known for behavior that imitates anything much beyond their own self importance.  So well may Lola ask her question.

In fact, if we were going to be totally accurate about it all, we probably should be saying “don’t be a copy monkey or don’t be a copy parrot”.  After all, that pair is far more likely to copy what you’re doing and saying than a cat. 

Cats by and large do their own thing and given that I think they believe the rest of us are lesser beings, it seems hard to believe they would want to imitate anything we would do.

That aside, cats do seem to get a bit of bad rap.  They have long been associated with witches, dabbling in all sorts of mischief and hanging out in dark.

No, I am not softening in my old age in my attitude towards our feline friends but when you start to think about it, there is not much good in most of the words involving the word “cat”.

To think of a few:  Catastrophe, Hell-cat, cataracts, catty, catatonic and of course copycat.  And then there is the old wives tale about a black cat crossing your path, no good luck there.

Cats even have their own special place at Halloween on the back of a broomstick!

So how did I answer Lola’s question?  Well that was simple, I told her to go and ask a cat!




Copy Cats

Like Chocolate For Dogs

Date: Monday, April 15, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

After last years little fiasco, Lola and I were banned from the chocolate Easter egg hunt this year.

We were really not to blame for what went wrong, but when Lola forgot to rub off the chocolate she had smeared across her nose, it was very difficult to claim we had no idea where the eggs had gone. 

The night before Easter Sunday Lola and I had sneaked out to watch the Easter bunnies hide the eggs.  We could see the shiny foil wrapping on the eggs glistening in the moonlight and the temptation was too much for us.  After the bunny disappeared Lola and I had massive fun collecting the eggs, which were on the ground in easy reach, and burying them like we do with our bones.

Mrs T was furious with us when all the little children came to find them and there was not one Easter egg to be found.

I know I am not alone when it comes to being overwhelmed by the desire for chocolate, despite its very bad reputation with dogs.  But it seems really unfair that something that tastes so good can have such painful consequences for us pooches.   

I took this problem to the resourceful Sparky who did a bit of research and presented me with a dog-fantastic solution.


Almost Chocolate Treats for Dogs


1lb carob chips
1/3c peanut butter
1/4c cheddar cheese, shredded
2-3 Tbsp real bacon bits


Place medium saucepan over low heat. Add chips. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter to combine. Add cheese and bacon. Stir well. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool to set. Refrigerate.

Thanks to Sparky, Easter turned out to be a tasty one after all!



Like Chocolate For Dogs

Hot and Cross

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

Have you ever wondered why they call them hot cross buns?

Well, I know why! Because by the time you have finished trying to bake them you are exceedingly hot under the dog collar and very cross and frustrated with how difficult it all is.

It was Lola who came up with the bright idea that we should make our own buns this Easter and in theory it seemed a fun thing to do. I mean how hard can it be when the internet is full of “easy” “simple” “kids can make” recipes for hot cross buns?

Sparky was the one who said, “there is a reason why people buy them already made”.

Anyway, we picked a recipe from the “so easy” selection and proceeded to get the cooking underway.

But as Lola and I pawed over the instructions, we began to become unstuck. I mean, for those of us who are not regular Gordon Ramsay’s in the kitchen, we became very quickly cooking - confused.

To the humble dog, it was simply beyond us as to how we would “rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand” or how we would “knock all the air from the dough and knead again”.

Or even more magically “Roll each small dough ball into a long thin sausage”. Who would have thought that is how you made a sausage?

We did manage to create the sticky dough, or maybe more accurately, we managed to get the dough to stick to us, everywhere!

In short, the whole operation was a disaster and yes, I was hot and I was cross by the end of it all.

Not being a dog with much patience, I convinced Lola to abandon the exercise and we headed to the local bakery and purchased 6 warm glazed buns that had nothing hot or cross about them.

Home baking is so over rated!



Hot and Cross

Applying Myself

Date: Friday, March 08, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

This year is racing away on me and I have to run to keep up.

Easter is almost here and it seems to have caught me totally by surprise. I try to remember everything but I have had to resort to a collection of bright coloured sticky note papers all over the place just so I can remember where I should be and what I should be doing when I get there!

I will not admit to it being old age that makes me think I cannot remember everything, as I sure that is not the case. I just think I am a popular dog with a lot of commitments.

So many places to be, and so many places to see.

That said, Mrs T glided past my desk yesterday and saw my computer which she described as being dressed up like a mardis gras float ready for the parade. She gasped in horror.

“Sam what are you doing? You can hardly see the screen!”

I glowed a small dog flush of embarrassment. It did look a bit like a multi coloured artwork.

She disappeared but within minutes I got a text message from her on my mobile. It read – “you need to download the Rachael Hale® Calendar App”.  The link was there in big bold doggie print so that even a short-sighted pup like me could read:


I instantly downloaded what has now become my best friend!

Check it out!



Applying Myself

Getting Your Teeth Into It

Date: Friday, March 01, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

What is worse than a bear with a sore head?… A dog with a sore tooth!!

I knew I’d heard a crunch when I chewed on a bone the night before, but I was hoping it was the bone, and not me.

Mrs T could tell instantly I was not myself when she saw me avoiding my morning doggie nuts.  I was cringing at the thought of having to chew anything.  She leaned over and tried to prise open my clenched mouth.  We dogs can be very tight lipped when we choose.

Anyway, long dog tale short, it was off to the Vet.  It’s not that I have anything against Vets personally, but I have to say it’s not a great dog day afternoon when it involves an appointment with the Vet.

My Vet does give me chicken treats at the end of the appointment but it is what goes on during the consultation that makes me not want to hurry back.

It seems to be a universal thing that no one likes going to the dentist, but according to the Vet it can be hard to catch teeth problems early in canines so teeth should be checked regularly.  Whereas I would’ve thought catching the dog to look at his teeth would be the hardest part of it.

I have to say, thinking about going to the dentist was actually worse than the event.  She took one look in my mouth and then inserted some large metal tool and pulled out a little sharp piece of bone which had wedged itself behind my tooth.

I did not feel anything but relief and was doglighted when the Vet gave me my own tooth brush and tasty dog tooth paste.  I was even able to persuade Mrs T to let me have a Rachael Hale® Mug keep my toothbrush in.


Getting Your Teeth Into It

Dog Watch

Date: Friday, February 22, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

I noticed Lola tucked up on the couch with the remote control in one paw and the TV guide and a pen in the other paw.  I was curious about what she was up to.  She had her head down and seemed to be highlighting various things with her bright coloured pen.

She looked up over her pretty pink glasses and asked if I wanted to join her.

I was more than curious when I asked “What exactly are you doing?” 

She smiled sweetly and said “I am highlighting all the dog television shows I want to watch tonight". 

Even more curious, I leaned over to glance at her list and I had to slap my front paw over my snout to stop me howling with laughter.  Dear Lola, she really has no idea.

Under a bright pink highlight I could see that she had a ring around “Bones”.

Holding myself together I asked her if she knew what the program “Bones” was about and she smiled back and said  “The show is about Temperance Brennan who finds bones, digs them up and then works out who they belong to and how they got there” 

I buried my head in my paws to muffle my giggles, I could not even argue with her, that was exactly what went on in the show, give or take a bit. 

It reminded me that TV is becoming more like the internet.  You think you have got the words or the title right for what you’re looking for until you push search and you get back a screen full of options that you could not have imagined.

I notice she has also got the show “New Tricks” circled so I am off to break her the news that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.



Dog Watch

Nothing Like A Rose

Date: Friday, February 15, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

It would seem that I am not like most boys when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

Rumor has it, most lads leave it all to the last minute before they rush to the florist to get flowers.  But by then it is usually too late to get red roses, or they are so shocked by the price of them, that they have to re-route to the chocolate store.

A wise old dog once told me that a bit of planning never went astray when you were dealing with affairs of the heart.

Of course when it comes to Valentines, the odds are usually in my favor; I’m short, I’m cute and I’m cuddly so that gives me a paw over the competition.

That said, as cute as I might be, I still have to buy the roses as I rarely get them sent to me.  I fear ladies never send as many roses as they should.

The red rose has for centuries been the symbol of love and romance and the long stem rose the jewel in the crown.  It has to be said that Valentine’s Day must singularly inspire the world’s biggest demand for long-stemmed roses.

Sparky, always the environmentalist wags his paw at me and says “get wild ones, long stem roses mean the loss of all those rosebuds that are beheaded in the process of creating the single long-stemmed rose”.  I remind him that beauty never came without some pain. 


Lola delights in Valentines, she is all about love, romance and anything that makes the heart smile.  Bless her little bulldog ways.

So despite what some say about the price of a rose on Valentines Day, my love knows no bounds.  To see my true love smile and her eyes twinkle with delight as she howls out loud at the sight of her dozen roses, is priceless.

Happy Valentines                                                                                                         





Nothing Like A Rose

The World Needs Love

Date: Friday, February 08, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

I was browsing through the Rachael Hale® Valentines Day e-cards, choosing which ones I was going to send to some lovely doggies I know, when Lola and Sparky appeared.

As usual, Sparky was full of knowledge and, on the topic of Valentines, he told us that Valentine’s Day is second to New Years day for being the most celebrated holiday around the world, and that teachers are said to be the ones who get the most Valentines Day cards.  Not that I can say I have ever sent any Valentines to my puppy school teachers.

However, with the roaring trade that florists and chocolate shops do on February 14th, it would seem that everyone just loves love. Even though, not everyone admits to it.

A lot of my boy dog mates bark off any thought of Valentines, but I watch them whenever a bouquet of flowers arrives at the office, they all crowd around the front desk to see if, by chance, they are the lucky one with a secret admirer.


Lola loves the thought of Valentines Day.  She loves roses and chocolate, even though she knows chocolate is very bad for her.  She’s been hoping, out loud, that Jean-Claude sends her a Valentines Day card from France.  In her mind, the fact that he is French makes it all so much more romantic.

I love Valentines Day because it’s really a day made for dogs.  We are all about love, we do not know any other way but to love, love more and then love more again.

So to have a day where the world celebrates love, in all its many forms, has to be a dog-gone good idea!





The World Needs Love

A Winter Tail

Date: Friday, February 01, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

As winter draws to a close I always feel sorry to see it melt away.  As far as I am concerned winter is considerably underrated as a season.

I know it can be cold and windy and the snow is hard work, but there is something magic about winter.  It always seems to make my tail wag faster.

To me, the whiteness of the snow looks like a blanket of softness coating the fields, and when it all melts away; there is spring - fresh, blooming and full of sweet wonderful smells.  Without winter there would be no joys of spring.

As the ice melts and I can get to the bones I safely buried in the garden, the cold of winter has kept them as fresh as if they had been in the fridge inside.

When winter disappears, so too does the log fires and lounging across the warm hearth.  There are less dog gone delicious roast dinners and sweet short pastry apple pies.  The Thanksgiving turkey and the delights of Christmas also belong to the winter months.

And let’s face it; for the dog, winter is the season most likely for getting to sleep on the bed.  I think we all agree there is nothing quite like the warmth of a cuddly dog to keep you snug on a chilly night.  Even the cat can get a berth on the bed in winter.

Sparky often barks the song “to everything there is a season…turn turn turn”   and if I think about it, it is quite amazing how the seasons all come and go, turning over like they do, each one needing the other and each one unique in itself.

This is Lola’s first winter and she was delighted with the snow.

She even managed to take a great photo or two.

Like magic, snow flakes flutter softly to the ground, quietly coating the world without a sound.




A Winter Tail

The Long and Short Of It

Date: Friday, January 25, 2013

Author: Sam at Rachael Hale®

Lola got a camera for Christmas and since then she has been so busy with it, we hardly ever see her.

Although, the same could not be said of Lola and all of what she was seeing of us. It would seem she’s been happily snapping photos while we had no idea what she was doing.

In years gone by, it used to take ages and ages to take a photo.  You had to stand still while the photographer adjusted the camera, got the focus and the lighting right, shuffled everyone in to place and then had everyone smiling together by saying “CHEESE”.  You certainly knew, well in advance, that a photo was happening.

However, these days it appears you don’t even have to give your permission.  Lola has merrily shot photo after photo of us, at work, at play and even sleeping and now she is talking about loading them up on her Facebook page for the entire world to see.

As I did not want any unflattering photos of myself appearing anywhere, I thought it was best to talk to her about some basic photography etiquette rules.

I suggested that asking a dog whether he would like his photo taken was always polite and also giving a dog time to brush his hair or shake off the various bits of grass that may be stuck to his head, was good manners.

I also barked my concern about cheeky photos that may catch a dog in an unflattering pose and the possible embarrassment of showing that to all the world.  We dogs have big egos.

Lola listened to me as I went on and then she very sheepishly asked if I wanted to see any of her photos.

Of course I did.  And when I did, I smiled to myself.  What a silly dog I had been, I had forgotten how short Lola was….. take a look for yourself:


 That will teach me to bark my head off before I know all the facts!







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