Meet Charlie Our Cocker Spaniel

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of our family.  His name is Charlie, he’s a pure bred Cocker Spaniel we rescued from a dog shelter.  It all happened just over a week ago now on a Saturday afternoon when my husband and I were filling in time before we had to pick my daughter up from school where she was engaged in school musical rehearsals.
We decided to have a coffee and read the papers at a cafe at Albert Park Lake, a lake 3kms from the heart of Melbourne city that is popular for dog walking, running, biking, sailing and rowing.  Come March each year the roads around the lake also become the Formula One Grand Prix Track.
It was raining heavily and whilst I was purchasing a parking ticket to place on the windscreen of the car, my husband spotted this beautiful dog who was muddy and wet, he went over to pat him and thought what a great dog he was.  Upon chatting to the guy walking him, whose name was Alex, he learnt the dog was from a shelter and they were looking for a new home for him.  We thought he was such a lovely dog, we took a few photos of him, asked Alex for his mobile number and said goodbye.
Nick and I went into the cafe and tried to find the dog on the shelter’s website.  We couldn’t find him and he went out of our heads until Sunday afternoon.  On Sunday afternoon, having all family members home at the same time for a change, we decided to go for a drive and have a pub lunch somewhere.  It was after having a beautiful meal and a glass of rose in front of an open fire on a very cold day, I showed my youngest daughter Hayley a photo of the dog and that was it…she had to be the person to rescue him (those eyes!!!)  
Nick rang Alex, who asked us to come over at 7pm that night.  After chatting with Alex and his beautiful wife they thought we’d be great new owners.  He came home with us then and there.
The ride home with him was very exciting and it took us a couple of hours to find the right name for him…Charlie was chosen, I think it really suits him.  He is very active and needs at least two walks a day (morning and night) and in between if he had his way.  He is very sweet and obedient but with a cheeky side you cant help but love.  His hair was longer, I took him to the groomers and he was cut right back due to heavy matting and knots.  He is a delight, a joy and I’m so glad he’s a part of our family.  Do you have a dog?  How long have you had yours for?  What breed?  I need some tips on how to keep him quiet in the backyard when I’m out as I don’t want him disturbing the neighbours barking unnecessarily.

Of course I had to bake Charlie some doggie biscuits as a welcome gesture..I’m happy to report he loves them.  The recipe is from a very popular vet here in Australia called Dr Harry, who’s had various veterinary television shows over the years and now has a segment on Better Homes and Gardens.  These are healthy biscuits and the parsley will make their breath smell great.

Dr Harry’s Canine Biscuits

1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
2 Tblsp unprocessed bran flakes
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place non stick baking paper on two cookie trays.
In a bowl, mix parsley, carrots, cheese and oil.
In another bowl stir together flour, bran and baking powder.  Add parsley and stir well.
Gradually add 1/2 cup of water.  Mix well, adding more water if needed to make the dough moist. Knead for 1 minute on a floured surface.

Roll the dough to 1cm thickness.  Using a small dog bone cookie cutter cut as many shapes as you can (I got 47 biscuits from this dough), re-rolling the scraps.  Place on baking trays and bake for 20-30 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.  Cool on a rack, the biscuits will harden as they cool.  Store in an airtight and dogproof container for up to two months.

Charlie approved!

Catherine x

19 Comments

  1. Amanda @ Gourmanda

    Oh Catherine, he's just beautiful! I love animals, and have a cat myself – I'd love a dog as well but it's just too hard right now with living in an apartment and all that! Good on you guys for adopting Charlie, and I hope he settles in well!

  2. Lauren

    What a sweet, sweet boy! And we have to try those biscuits!

    I think you know by now that we have three terrors (!) here, and we love each of them madly. I'm a firm believer that if your heart is open, the right dog will come to you. Clearly, this is just what happened for your family! Welcome home, Charlie!

  3. di

    Catherine, that is the best story ever! I'm almost in tears…tears of joy! I am a huge animal lover, I'm sure this is going to a beautiful life for little Charlie with your family.
    I have a silky terrier who is just gorgeous, and a Scottish shorthair cat-they are best friends x

  4. Catherine Bedson

    @Amanda thanks Amanda, he's settling in beautifully.

    @Lauren, thank you Lauren, I agree our hearts were open and Charlie walked right into our lives.

    @Christine yes he's been a wonderful companion and follows me around the house when I'm doing things.

    @Misspiggy, aww shame I missed out on your long comment, hate it when my computer does that!

  5. noreen

    hooray for your family, catherine! a dog is such a lovely pet. we had a collie and she was the dearest dog. we can't really have a dog now, because we're out of the house too long each day. but my daughter and i love them. one day.

    there's no secrets to stopping barking when you're away. some breeds are naturally quieter than others, so you'll find out!

  6. tina @ colourliving

    I read this post when you published it and started welling up. I was on my iPhone and cannot comment on Blogger from it:-((

    Charlie is adorable and your story of how it all happened and was meant to be really touched me. I love the openess of your entire family and I LOVE that you made him home-made bone biscuits. If there ever was a declaration of love and 'welcome to the Bedson

  7. Catherine Bedson

    @Caroline couldn't help myself with the doggie biscuits and dug out all cookie cutters! Yes it's hard to know why nobody wanted him, he's so sweet and such a good dog. xx

    @Noreen, we're the same Noreen, my youngest daughter and I just love dogs, they have such a beautiful nature and are so loyal. xx

    @Tina thank you, so touched by your comment. He's

  8. mel

    Such a lovely story Catherine! I had a blue (black) cocker spaniel when I was a little girl called Beau. He had the loveliest nature as they're known for. He's a lucky little man to find your family and get some homemade treats – only chez "Farmhouse Home"! Mel x

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  10. Nicki

    I came across your article whilst googling cocker spaniel cookie cutters to use for my gold boys first birthday party this month. You have had your Charlie over a year now so you will understand the complete devoted love & affection cockers are capable of. We have 4 of our own & foster & rehome others as needed. They are a beautiful breed & it makes me happy to know that there are lovely homes out there waiting for the special ones who need a loving forever home

    1. Catherine

      Hi Nicki, yes I sure do, our Charlie is so loving and loyal and likes nothing better than being with the family. Having four must bring you alot of joy, they are a special breed and I always prefer to save a dog and give it a home than buy one from a breeder. Thanks so much for telling me about your special ones and I pray you find good homes for the ones that come across your path that need to be re-homed. xx

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