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  • Win a Hamper with Freshpet

    Before I had children, I called this one my ‘practice baby’. She’s never really been a baby though, not least for as long as I have known her; I rescued her as a middle-aged thing, a pair of solemn dark eyes staring out of matted hair and dreadlocks down to her toes. And now that five years have passed, I am almost ready to use the ‘o’ word. Almost, but not quite. She still has so much life in her. She is still such a part of our family.

    I have always been a little in awe of how this lady acclimatised to life in a home, after spending her years previous as a stray on the streets and a long-term inmate at a Greek dog shelter. She has embraced everything from cats (they ate rats at the shelter, but cats are our friends) to the Underground, to standing on the right on the escalators. Not to mention, four children. She gave me her whole heart when I brought her home, and I feel the weight of that heart keenly. I am never sure what to call myself in relation to Josephine. ‘Owner’ makes her sound like a possession, ‘parent’ too infantilising, ‘guardian’ suits, but is a little too formal. I settle for ‘friend’.

    I don’t know if she remembers how things used to be. When we were a three, me and Kirsty and Josephine and she came everywhere with us, trotting calmly by my side or sat on my lap to peer out of the window at the world rushing past. But sometimes I think she misses me. Misses the time when it was just us and I had forever to brush her long grey hair, watch her snuffle through the autumn leaves, eat out at restaurants “and the salmon for the dog”. I love my new life, but I miss it too. Everything felt simple then. I promise myself that we will walk more, play more, that I will make the time to hold her more, to touch her in ways that are affectionate rather than practical.

    I have been trying to find little ways to make her life better. We recently started using a dog walker to take some of the pressure off of Kirsty and ensure that at least a few times each week she gets a proper walk – not one of those toddlers-dragging-their-feet quick and dirty jobs. She adores her dog walker, Lauren, and the dogs she does out with; her joy is one hundred per cent worth the expense, and the hassle of flinging her in the bath after (girlfriend never fails to return caked in mud and bits of leaf!). We have dedicated ‘snuggle time’ after the children are in bed, where I rest my face in her dark fur and gently pull her ears whilst I catch up on social media. My boss laughs at me because sometimes we fall asleep like that, Kirsty on one side of the bed and me on the other, with fifteen kilos of dog snoring between us. But it makes her happy.

    Freshpet have asked me to let my fellow dog-owning blog-readers know that Tesco is now stocking their new refrigerated fresh pet food, which is perfect for those of us that want to do a little better but simply don’t have the time. The range has been developed by scientists, nutritionists and veterinarians to incorporate everything your dog needs.

    Freshpet tells me that:

    ‘All Freshpet foods are:
    · Fresh meat-based with vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables
    · 100% complete and balanced
    · Refrigerated for freshness, just like fresh human foods
    · All natural, with NO preservatives
    · Free of corn, wheat, soy by-products or fillers’

    They have offered five readers the chance to win a Freshpet hamper (worth £15 each), including two rolls of dog food, a cool bag, chopping board, bandana, storage tub and pen.


    Freshpet Hamper

    Best of luck!



    1. Tracy Nixon
      September 21, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Sounds a treat for my chihuahua! Thanks x

    2. Vivien Baird
      September 21, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      My Spud would love this

    3. Gill Williams
      September 21, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Fab prize for my best friend. Thanks for the chance. x

    4. Rebecca Sutton
      September 21, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      I have a Cavaliar King Charles Spaniel, so this would be perfect!

    5. Katie Skeoch
      September 21, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      My border collie loves his food, this gets a thumbs up from us!

    6. Lisa Williams
      September 21, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Would love this for my 2 pups!

    7. Hali Kinson
      September 21, 2017 / 11:13 pm

      Sounds fab thanks!

    8. Anthony Harrington
      September 21, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      my 2 Border Collies have their paws crossed!

    9. Emma Potter
      September 22, 2017 / 2:18 am

      I love it. Thank you 🙂

    10. barbara clarke
      September 22, 2017 / 6:01 am

      i’m sure my pup would love this

    11. Sarah Carter
      September 22, 2017 / 9:29 am

      fantastic giveaway fingers crossed

    12. amy bondoc
      September 22, 2017 / 10:21 am

      would love to win for my pup rasco x

    13. Jo Carroll
      September 22, 2017 / 11:36 am

      It’s always really nice to be able to treat your faithful friend every once in a while as they’re the least expecting. x

    14. Debbie Bird
      September 22, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Macy wpuld love a treat

    15. Louise Comb
      September 22, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      My Hugo is crossing his paws in hope of winning 🙂

    16. Sheena Batey
      September 22, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      Pepper will love all these goodies.

      September 25, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Our Connie would love this hamper

    18. Sarah Hutt
      September 25, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      would be great for my toby

    19. jules eley
      September 25, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      This would be fab for my two boys Ronnie and Reggie

    20. purpleshoes
      September 28, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      this would be ideal!

    21. Katrina Adams
      September 28, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      It’s really good to hear there are no preservatives etc in the dog food. Would love to give this a try as our girl can be really fussy.

    22. Laura Corrall
      September 29, 2017 / 5:32 pm

      Oooh I’m sure my girl Ruby would love this. She is my last baby, I can’t have anymore children due to bad health so I had my dog Ruby. I love that it’s all natural and fresh.

    23. Wendy Becker
      September 30, 2017 / 11:52 am

      dogs will love this

    24. Phil Oneill
      October 1, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Great Giveaway 🙂

    25. Kim Neville
      October 1, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Sounds wonderful

    26. Josh G
      October 2, 2017 / 7:09 pm

      Great prize for my puppy!

    27. Ursula Hunt
      October 3, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Perfect prize as I have just got a new puppy

    28. louise lumsden
      October 3, 2017 / 5:25 pm

      thanks for the chance to win a lovely treat for my dog

    29. Jenny Jones
      October 3, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      this would be lovely for my Thor

    30. sherri hough
      October 3, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      If I win I would love to give to my mums dog and I had to have mine put to sleep in may.

      October 3, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      This is great i know my dog would love this.

    32. Ellen Stafford
      October 3, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      My dogs Jack and Shortie would love this! Thanks for the chance x

    33. Mary H
      October 4, 2017 / 8:38 am

      This would be amazing for my pooch Greggo.

    34. Lisa Houston
      October 4, 2017 / 11:21 am

      fab prize

    35. Lisa Wilkinson
      October 4, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Thanks for the giveaway

    36. Rich Tyler
      October 4, 2017 / 1:39 pm

      Would be great for our little beloved pets

    37. donna l jones
      October 4, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      would be great for molly

    38. Stevie
      October 4, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      This is a nice range of goodies. Our Stitch would love it, especially the rolls of food.

    39. carol boffey
      October 4, 2017 / 4:13 pm

      lovely prize thank you

    40. leonie birch
      October 4, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you, my four rescue german shepherds would be most grateful of this x they age range from 13.7 yrs to 4years old. 2 from the uk 2 from Romania x

    41. Andrew Fearon
      October 4, 2017 / 6:29 pm

      Pets love prizes! especially if it needs preparing in the kitchen!

    42. Maria Jane Knight
      October 4, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Perfect for our pooch Tiny!

    43. Christine McTaggart
      October 4, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Great prize to give to my friend’s dog Calin who is a rescue dog. 🙂

    44. Adrian Bold
      October 5, 2017 / 2:08 am

      Thanks for the great prize and competition – perfect for Gizmo! Good luck everyone!

    45. alice lightning
      October 5, 2017 / 2:13 am

      sounds great I have two little doggies sitting here with their paws crossed for this great prize giveaway

    46. ellie spider
      October 5, 2017 / 4:21 am

      this sounds great for my jack russell x shih tzu

      Dogs adapt super well to changes – so long as she is still getting some 1 2 1 time with you guys I’m sure she is loving the family life and newer additions 🙂

    47. amanda greensmith
      October 5, 2017 / 8:41 am

      my fur babies would love this

    48. Kim W
      October 5, 2017 / 8:45 am

      How lovely, thank you

    49. Teresa sheldon
      October 5, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Mr Tozie Beagle would really like this arriving in the post

    50. Jodie A Green
      October 5, 2017 / 10:15 am

      lovely prize! perfect for our pooch

    51. Heather Hibbert
      October 5, 2017 / 6:28 pm

      Sounds great for my jrts

    52. Allan Fullarton
      October 5, 2017 / 6:37 pm

      Sounds great.

    53. Marjoleine Kok
      October 5, 2017 / 7:04 pm

      Lovely giveaway x I know Vegas would love to try this !

    54. Catherine Gregory
      October 5, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Such a cool prize!

    55. George Wright
      October 5, 2017 / 10:30 pm

      Our dogs would love to share this fantastic bundle!

    56. Jessica Barber
      October 5, 2017 / 10:57 pm

      Lovely giveaway! Thank you! My cheeky pups would be delighted!

    57. Jane Gorton
      October 5, 2017 / 11:11 pm

      Fantastic prize for our 4 dogs Merlin, Max, Bella & Amy x ???? and ???????? crossed

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