Review: No Virgin (Anne Cassidy)

file_000Title: No Virgin

Author: Anne Cassidy

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Release: 3rd November 2016

Genre: Contemporary

Which animal is similar to this book? Okay, this comparison is going to be out there and difficult to explain, so just bear with me please…For me, this book is a pitbull. It (rape) needs talking about more, victims need more defense and more protection, and victims are often left badly emotionally (and sometimes) physically damaged for life. Pitbulls are commonly used in fighting rings (which is very illegal) and you may have heard horror stories of pitbulls killing chihuahuas or mauling young children. This is never the dog’s fault and can often be traced back to a triggering incident. Take the chihuahua death; a pitbull is a dog sadly bred to fight other dogs. Unfortunately, due to this, many are abused or actually taught to fight. This leaves them with a built-in aggression towards other dogs, hence the dog attack. They are very easily emotionally damaged; after a pitull is attacked by a person wrongfully expecting them to be vicious, they then become wary and will respond with violence. A rape victim is usually very emotionally damaged and shouldn’t be blamed for any of their actions (whether they’re towards their attacker or whether they just want to hide from it all and become more nervous). Another angle is that rape isn’t talked about as a big issue enough; women are taught not to wear short skirts but men aren’t taught not to sexually harass/abuse someone. In the same way, people are happy to accept that pitbull fighting is wrong, but many don’t do anything to prevent it.

The blurb on Netgalley says: My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped. Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey’s story.

This book was so good, I read it in less than a day. The way everything was written made it so much more realistic and I felt genuinely connected to Stacey. It’s raw, honest and emotional as hell but despite the rape in the story, it’s a lovely story of friendship. Stacey’s best friend, Patrice, encourages her to write the events leading up to the attack as well as the actual attack so that she can show the sexual assault help line/the police and (quite rightly) she’s disgusted this happens at all.

The story starts with the reader knowing Stacey was raped, but they have to wait to see the story unfold to see who by and how it happens. The suspense is awful though because throughout the story, you will inevitably bond with Stacey and you’ll predict all these bad situations she’s getting into but some play out, whereas some don’t so you’re left stressed for her but also relieved as well as worried for the next situation.

Stacey’s a nice girl, if a little naive, and makes a lot of mistakes during the plot, but obviously nothing she could possibly do would justify the rape. My favourite thing about this story is the way the victim blames herself and is immediately shut down and rational (correct) responses are given. This is realistic and also good to address since most rape victims feel like they are to blame, and often the rapists will use their feelings 20160804_163746to encourage the ‘blame the victim’ idea. This book directly addresses that, and the brutality of rape in unflinching detail which is what makes it so honest and brilliant.

I’m so lucky to have read this from Netgalley, and I’d love to own the hard copy of it when it’s released, so I’d give this 9 out of 10 paw prints! I’d love to see a sequel too!

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He’s An Agility Champion! (Furry Friday #3)

So this month was the month of the long-awaited agility fun day at our training club and we decided to go along for some fun and to see what would happen! Well, a lot did happen but it was a very good d

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Training!

ay and we all enjoyed it!

Hunter has been doing agility for a while but he’s a lurcher and in case any of you don’t know, lurchers aren’t exactly known for their agility skills; in fact they’re known for getting overexcited by the agility and doing laps of the field. Hunter is a prime example of this and will do this every single time we go to agility, however by the end of the session he’s focused and having fun actually doing agility. For this reason, we were put into the “pre-beginners” group for people with loopy lurchers like mine and people who had been doing agility for less than a year.

 

We entered two classes; “jumping” and “helter-skelter”. Jumping consists of a lot of jumps (shocker) in a relatively simple arrangement, and there were a couple of tunnels thrown in too, while helter-skelter is the same but more complicated and has more twists and turns to the course which means it takes more thought and careful planning.

The first class we did was jumping and we did quite well; he was actually focused and did the course perfectly first time. I was so impressed because in his class there are about 8 dogs, but at the fun day there were around 40 but he didn’t get distracted or over-excited! We weren’t quick, mostly because it’s very hard to keep up with a dog bred for speed so there’s a lot of running over a jump then coming back to check on me, but we didn’t get any faults and we did it cleanly with no incidents.

We had to wait for our next class which was of course the last class of the day so we killed time watching his friends and eating chips. By the time our class came around, he had spent a lot of time lying down so he’d built up some energy.

The helter-skelter was more complicated so I had to really think and by the time I let go of him and told him to do the first jump, he had become over-excited…He ran to the judge and then ran along the fence separating the rings and just as I caught his attention, the worst thing possible happened…Another dog slipped its lead and ran into the ring with him! Naturally, Hunter forgot about me calling him and ran around with his new friend until I managed to corner him at the back of the field and brought him back. Of course the dog’s owner was sorry, and the judge let us start again but no one got hurt so it could’ve been a lot worse! Once we’d restarted, he was still very over-excited what with the drama, so this run was a lot less smooth! It was still fault-free, but it was very slow because he kept running off and running around the field and back to me to do the next obstacle (honestly it was quite funny when I thought about it afterwards, but at the time it was quite embarrassing) . The judges were both lurcher owners though so appreciated my struggle!

For the jumping class, there had been roughly 20 competitors at our level, but for helter-skelter many had gone home so there were only 3 of us, meaning we’d come third! However, when they called out third, it wasn’t our names called! We’d somehow beaten someone and we came second! It was amazing and I was so happy because I had honestly worked so hard in that specific class to keep him focused and with me so I was thrilled! Then they announced the jumping winners and we’d come second in that too! It was a miracle and purely because of his speed! It made me wonder how well we’d do if he could stay focused and I could run faster!

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All in all, it was an amazing day and I’m so proud of my little lunatic for doing so well, not only in the ring but out of the ring; he just lay down the whole time and didn’t bother any other dogs to play with him. I really didn’t think we’d ever win anything and I’m so happy we did because it just proves we can do it!

I will see you next month with November’s Furry Friday!

October Favourites 2016

This month it got even colder! Hooray! I’ve enjoyed a lot of indoor things and a lot of cosy things too!

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First off I have been absolutely loving this electric oil diffuser from Amazon (Aroma Diffuser) because it’s so easy to use and, obviously depending on the oils you use, smells amazing! It’s so pretty at night too because it glows different colours, and it will also automatically turn itself off once it’s run out of water so that it doesn’t overheat etc.

My favourite book this month was probably Am I Normal Yet? (Holly Bourne) but I read so many it’s hard to choose. But this one was definitely amazing and I loved it a lot. It shows OCD so honestly and there’s obviously been so much research (or own knowledge) which has gone into it; it’s just a beautifully written book. You can read my review here: Review: Am I Normal Yet? (Holly Bourne).

The CD I’ve listened to most is actually Red by Taylor Swift because I’m a huge swiftie and honestly I don’t usually enjoy Red so much but lately it’s the majority of what I’ve listened to!

I have loved Lush! I was given a gift set for my birthday which had a fantastic soap in it (Honey I Washed The Kids) and I also bought two bubble bars and a bath bomb! I bought the Nevermind The Ballistics bath bomb (smells amazing, can’t wait to use it!), the Magic Wand bubble bar (smells like Snow Fairy which isn’t everyone’s favourite but I love it!) and the Comforter bubble bar which is a long-term favourite of mine and the only thing from Lush I’ve bought more than once!

Another thing I’ve enjoyed this month is Schwarzkopf hair dye since I dyed my hair purple for the colder months and their Mystic Violet shade was amazing. It covered every strand of my previously-pink hair, evenly despite the fact it wasn’t particularly even before. It’s a nice, dark shade and I’m very impressed that I only needed one box of it when I needed two when I used their pink shade.

Anyway, see you next month for a possibly longer Favourites post!

Top Five Books I Can’t Wait To Read

I have a pretty tall TBR pile (physically and not physically) so I thought I’d share some of those books with you because I’m sure many of you will agree with me!

  1. What’s A Girl Gotta Do? (Holly Bourne) – I have it, as well as the other two which come before it in the series, but I’ve only read Am I Normal Yet? so far. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Lottie but I’ve heard so many positive things about the book that I think I’ll love it anyway. The feminist messages I’m sure it contains are something I just know I’ll enjoy (and probably recite to many males in my life around college). Cannot wait!
  2. Frozen Charlotte (Alex Bell) – I bought this when the new Zoella Book Club books were announced because although I hadn’t heard of it before (I’m shameful, I know), it looked like something a lot different to what I usually read. I don’t often read things like horrors because I’m very easily scared but this one is about the Frozen Charlotte dolls (google them if you don’t know; they’re creepy!) and I will never have any of them in my room! It would be worse if it was something I’d see a lot but I think it’ll be good because I can just avoid them…
  3. Beautiful Broken Things (Sara Barnard) – I read A Quiet Kind Of Thunder because it looked exactly like something I’d love (I did; look out for a review closer to the release date!) but I never actually got around to reading Beautiful Broken Things! I will do, but I need to buy it first…but when I do, I’m sure I’ll love it a lot! The story contains friendship and confidence issues/maybe anxiety from what I’ve seen.
  4. Girl In Pieces (Kathleen Glasgow) – I saw a review of this online and thought it sounded like something I’d love but I haven’t got round to reading it yet either! My Mum actually has it downstairs so I just need to actually read it…It’s about self harm, abuse and recovery and is apparently beautifully written. I shall see!
  5. Wing Jones (Katherine Webber) – I’ve seen some amazing things said about it online and I really want to read it. I can’t wait for it to come out, it looks absolutely amazing! It follows the story of a girl who discovers a talent for running when there is a tragedy in her life. I’ve seen people say it’s very blunt about racial issues and I love that so I can’t wait!

My Top 10 Villains (TV/film)

My favourite characters are often the villains because I love their lack of morals, honestly and often lack of sanity. I don’t know but you tell me if you prefer Stefan or Damon Salvatore (if you answered Stefan, you’re wrong. Leave.). So I created a list of my top ten and honestly, the closer you get to number one, the less they’re actually in an order and they’re just kind of crammed up there in no particular order, but 10 up to about 6 is in order. So here we go! BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

10. Klaus (The Originals/The Vampire Diaries). Okay, I haven’t watched The Originals yet but in The Vampire Diaries, he’s quite evil. He messes around with Stefan’s humanity, kills Aunt Jenna (!!) and manipulates Tyler and eventually comes between him and Caroline. His problem is he’s very narcissistic and self-obsessed. He will defend his family but if they’re his problem, or if they don’t want to help him be evil, he will happily dagger them. Sort it out dude.

9. Vee (Orange Is The New Black). She was a good bad guy, she got stuff done but oh my god I hate her. She manipulated Suzanne/Crazy Eyes so much so that when Vee died, Suzanne won’t accept it and won’t accept she did anything wrong. It turns her into an even more unpredictable/violent person as well as very emotional. Not only that, but Vee hurt Red and everyone loves her so I’m not sure anyone’s a Vee fan anyway. But she had to be on this list because she is a horrible person.

8. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter series). I love her and I don’t care. She murdered Neville’s parents and she has no regrets. She’s fully insane, hair is on point all the time and she isn’t scared of anyone but Voldemort. She taunts Neville, she’s always ready for murder and eventually her downfall is her insanity and arrogance as she picks a battle with someone she had made too angry for her ever to beat.

7. The Evil Queen (Once Upon A Time). When characters have a dual personality (Stefan/evil Stefan, Evil Queen/Regina, Angel/Angelus), I always prefer the evil personality and this is no exception. The Evil Queen is sassy, confident, honest, flirty, powerful and an all-round badass. She’s also bitter and vengeful which is a bit sad but I still love her…

6. Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad – I haven’t read the comics so none of this is based on that, don’t yell at me). I’m a little bit in love with her because she’s great. She’s absolutely insane and I think she knows it, her hair is on point and that girl is damn good with a baseball bat. Unfortunately she is well and truly controlled by the Joker and that’s pretty tragic although I doubt she’d be a role model for girls anyway, what with the murder and using her body as a weapon…

5. Kilgrave (Jessica Jones). This guy is cruel. Like, really damn cruel. He can control people’s minds and make them do what he wants and he really does use that to his advantage to do things like murder, suicide (as a threat) and also sex. He’s a messed up guy and he really does ruin Jessica Jones’ life but his arrogance is eventually the reason he’s beaten.

4. Drusilla (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). She’s always been my favourite character. She killed my least favourite slayer (Kendra’s too cocky, please leave) and dated my favourite vampire and dumped my favourite vampire. The woman’s insane but you feel kind of sorry for her because she was a good little Catholic girl driven insane by Angelus and her fashion sense is on fleek!

3. President Snow (The Hunger Games series). He’s one of the few people on this list who actually does what he says he’s going to do. He doesn’t wait around to taunt the other characters, he doesn’t mess around being insane, he’s just evil and cruel. He’s also a human and hides behind the peacekeepers/other members of the Capitol. He controls the media, he uses threats to get what he wants and he never takes part in the violence himself. However, he does taunt Katniss since he thinks he can put her off fighting against him but when it becomes clear that won’t work, he does stop messing about and start to kill people… He’s evil and he loves it.

2. A (Pretty Little Liars). For the first few seasons, A is genuinely scary. They’re manipulative, dangerous and use a lot of threats which they follow through on. They’re anonymous yet they know everything and seem to be everywhere and they’re cruel (remember how they forced Hanna to eat all those cupcakes when she was on a diet because she used to be fat? – cruel!).

1. Katherine Pierce (The Vampire Diaries). She’s easily my favourite character from this series and I cried when she left. Nina Dobrev is a fantastic actress and the difference between Elena and Katherine is immense yet she can still play both with ease. Katherine is evil evil. She wants people to suffer yet her reasons aren’t always clear (or logical). She manipulates people, she controls them with sex and she has some of the best lines on the show (the others being from Damon of course).

Do you agree/disagree with this list? Let me know!

My Favourite Dog Treat Recipes (super easy!)

Our dogs are fed a raw diet so everything is either meat, bone or offal. This means that I prefer to feed them healthier treats rather than your standard store-bought ones (some are great for dogs and some do great things like Pooch and Mutt do some fab calming and digestive treats the dogs love, but also some contain things dogs don’t need and won’t benefit from) because then you can directly control what your dog eats. There are different things you can put into homemade treats to make them for different purposes, for example: turmeric will help joints and chamomile leaves are great for calming and relaxing for high-strung or nervous dogs. Our dogs love them, as well as a lot of other dogs too. Not one dog has refused any of my homemade treats, even the picky ones! I thought I’d share some of my favourite recipes and I’ll leave links to the websites I used to find them. (These recipes can both be frozen until needed.)

Liver Cake (Credit: Agility Net Canine Cook):
Ingredients:
450g liver
450g self raising flour
3 eggs
2 cloves of garlic
milk or water

  1. Beat the eggs in a separate jug or mug and then add an equal amount of milk or water to that.
  2. Blend the liver and garlic in a food processor and then combine the two separate mixtures until they resemble cake mixture. I also sometimes grate some cheese into it, or add a few tablespoons of turmeric into it.
  3. Bake on a greased/lined baking tray at gas mark 6 for 45-60 minutes then leave to cool.

Tuna Loaf (Credit: Bishopton Dog Walking Services):
Ingredients:
2 160g tins of tuna in oil
2 eggs
160g of oil
1 clove of garlic (I never used the garlic and it was fine without)

  1. Combine the two tins of tuna (use the oil too) with the two eggs and beat together.
  2. Add the flour and the garlic if you’re using it.
  3. Mix everything together and mush together to form a very thick paste.
  4. Spread it out across a small plate and microwave for 4 minutes (I found 6-8 minutes worked better for me because my microwave is a bit rubbish).
  5. Flip it over and cook for another minute (in my case, 3-4).
  6. Leave to cool then cut up and serve to your pooch! = HAPPY DOGS!

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If any of you do make these, be sure you tell me on twitter (@furrybookshelf)!

My Journey to a Rainbow Cake

For my sister’s birthday, I made her a secret rainbow cake and I used Tanya Burr’s recipe (here’s a link to her book: Tanya Bakes) but instead of leaving the icing a pretty, simple white, I did chocolate and decorated it to hell so my sister would be excited for the cake only to be more surprised when it was rainbow inside! It worked, of course, she nearly died a little bit and she definitely squealed when we cut it and she saw colours! So for the actual cake, I used Tanya Burr’s recipe, but for the icing, I used one from BBC Food mixed with a standard buttercream icing recipe.

For the cake, you will need:
675g butter, softened
675g caster sugar
12 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
675g self-raising flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
7 food colourings (I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple).

  1. Preheat your oven (gas mark 4) and line your baking tins (I only had 2 so I had to keep going back and forth lining them and baking the cakes so it might be a good idea to cut the 7 you’ll eventually need so that they’re ready to go!)
  2. In a very large bowl, cream together the butter (it’s worth mentioning your butter should be quite softened so if it hasn’t been out for a few days, microwave it the tiniest bit then stir and repeat this until the butter is fully soft else your batter will be lumpy!) and sugar. I found that once all the ingredients were in my bowl, my little scales could no longer cope with telling me the weight so beware you will need a huge bowl.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract, but crack/whisk the eggs separately in a bowl or mug so that you avoid any shell.
  4. Add in the flour and baking powder and at this point it should form a smooth batter.
  5. Split it into 7 bowls as equally as possible (you could weigh it but my scales would not cope and died a little bit that day so I just did it by eye).
  6. Add in your dyes to each bowl and each dye is different so you may need a little but you may need a lot. I used nearly the whole tube of each dye because I wanted strong, bright colours.
  7. Bake your cakes in the oven for 18-20 minutes (honestly, mine took around 24 but I think each oven is different).
  8. Allow to cool fully and then you can ice!

For the icing:
150g good-quality dark chocolate
300g unsalted butter, softened
600g icing sugar
3tsp vanilla extract
milk, if needed to loosen.
For the second batch of icing:
170g butter
350g icing sugar
4tbsp cocoa powder
2tbsp milk

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water (don’t let the water touch the bowl!) and stir it to prevent sticking/burning.
  2. Allow to fully cool and then beat the butter in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly add the icing sugar so that it doesn’t fly everywhere and then add the vanilla extract too.
  4. Fold in the melted chocolate and then you can add a bit of milk if it’s too stiff to work with.
  5. (For the second batch) Beat the butter until soft and then slowly add the icing sugar.
  6. Add the cocoa powder carefully and finally the milk to loosen it up.

I piped a small amount between each layer of cake and used an offset spatula to spread it across evenly. Then I stacked them all up (didn’t bother with a straw or piece of dowling to keep it steady and upright because I live life on the edge) and smeared icing all around the visible surfaces. Once I’d coated it pretty evenly, I piped on some fancy dots and some small flower-type shapes as well as sticking on some m&ms and maltesers. Finally, I used a tube of chocolate to pipe on the number 13 (it was her 13th birthday) and covered the whole cake in edible glitter! How great! It was huge and probably served around 20 or more people overtime so it would be great for a birthday party or any kind of party involving a fair amount of people.

The Gifts Any Dog Owner Secretly/Not So Secretly Wants

Many dog owners will agree with me when I say that our dogs are firmly a part of our family. We wouldn’t go on holiday somewhere they couldn’t come with us because we know they would just be stressed in kennels/staying with a friend. We decide what to do every day based on/around the dog walk and we love them. So if someone didn’t know what to get me for my birthday(it’s October 10th by the way…) or for Christmas, it would be easy for them to figure out that something dog-related would make me very happy! I thought I’d put together a list (in no particular order) of products/companies/ideas that are often not considered but would make great gifts and are maybe from smaller businesses that you might not have seen.img_20161010_213324

First off, we have the standard pet portrait, which a lot of people won’t actually think of when thinking of a present for a dog owner, but it makes a perfect gift, and if you’re lucky, they might even cry! Here are a few websites that I know of/know the artist from which do great portraits. The artist from the first website is the one who did the gorgeous portrait of my dog, Hunter!
Kat Compton Pet Portraits Jim Griffiths Pet Portraits Bowwow Dog Portraits

Another great idea for a dog owner is a lovely collar. A beautiful collar is a very20160814_143557 good way to get a ‘doggy’ person to like you because we all appreciate a stunning new collar for our pet pooch. There are plenty online, on Etsy and on eBay, but of course, it’s import
ant to get the right kind/size for the dog. For example, a big old greyhound isn’t going to appreciate a small/narrow, clasp collar as it’ll cut into its neck, but a wide, martingale collar gives it room to pull so there won’t be much pressure (as long as it’s not a ‘pully’ dog) and it won’t dig into its neck. A great place to get dog collars from is PinkFluffyKitty Boutique, which make collars (of various types), leads, snoods, bags, keyrings etc… They also make things for cats, as well as dogs. Here is the link to their website, but they also have a very active Facebook page with a monthly prize draw. Pink Fluffy Kitty Boutique

fb_img_1476827996405Every dog owner has a soft spot for their own dog; they’re more annoyed when they misbehave, they’re more proud when they learn something new or achieve something…wouldn’t it be great if you could give them a gift that meant they could have their dog with them wherever they went? Well, that’s where Specially Made come in. They make a glass bead which will look exactly like your dog, they’ll fit most necklaces (even Pandora/similar, I’m told) and only cost £12. It’s a lovely present and all you’ll need is to send them a clear photo of the dog’s head/face. Please click this link to see their website: Specially Made

A gift, possibly more directed at sighthound owners, although they are very cute, would be a flat hound. It’s a hound sewn together and they’re completely flat, rather than a stuffed toy. This means they can be hung up on the wall etc. They’re well-made and lovely as you can see, of course. They’re made by Haberdash Hounds and the link to their Facebook page is Haberdash Hounds

If the person is a fan of a specific breed, it’s so easy to find beautiful products on websites like Etsy. For example, for a budding author or stationery fanatic who has three labradors, just type in “labrador notebook”or anything similar and you will be amazed! Easy shopping and they are often so stunning that you may regret not ordering one for yourself while you were there!

What YOU Can Do To Help Animals

Do you love animals but you don’t know how to help animals in need? Or maybe you can’t afford to donate to charities on a regular basis and actually would love to adopt all the staffies but can’t afford the money or the space to even have one? Well, worry no more! I have thought of a few ways that either require no money, little money or just your time and will help a variety of animals! Here we go…

  • If you have a reasonable amount of time, you could volunteer with your local animal rescue. Large companies eg: Dogs Trust have an application process similar to job applications and require you to explain why you want to do it etc. That doesn’t mean that a person with no experience won’t get chosen to do it. Companies like that need all the volunteers they can get and as long as you can display a passion or a willingness to learn, they’re likely to accept you. Others won’t have any application process and are happy for near enough anyone to start working straight away. Hours obviously vary, for example Dogs Trust ask for four-hour shifts and often that’s once a week, but can be more regular if you choose so, but other companies may want you to work a full day, whilst others may only want volunteers for fundraising…which brings me to my next point!
  • If you have a little bit of time, such as a weekend or even just one day, you could help a rescue or charity with a fundraising day. If you just ring them, they’ll be more than happy to tell you if you’re needed and when it is etc. On the other hand, you could do something completely on your own! You could do a sponsored silence, run, walk or even a cake or car boot sale to raise money for your chosen cause!
  • If you want to rescue animals directly but have very little space or time to spend with a rescue dog/cat, there are other options. Firstly, retired racing greyhounds make perfect little-time dogs because they take very little walking, don’t tend to destroy things at home and are very happy to just snuggle up all day and sleep. I will warn you though; be prepared to share your sofa! Check out British Greyhound Protection and the Retired Greyhound Trust websites for more detail if you’re interested. If not, there are plenty of mice/rats which need rescuing from people who will live-feed them to pet reptiles without thinking of the mouse/rat as an animal itself. You can often find rescue rodents at Pets At Home in their “Support Adoption” area of the store where you can find guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters and any other rodent which might have come from situations like hoarders, accidental breeders, abandonments etc. So there are ways to adopt pets which take up very little space, time and money.
  • If you do have some money to spare but don’t want to commit to a sponsorship or regular donations, why not attend a fundraising day yourself and buy some things which you/your family can enjoy but also help animals in need? You could also visit websites which donate their profits to charities such as WWF or the RSPCA store.
  • If you have some spare money or if you have some spare items (blankets, old toys, balls/dog toys etc.), you could donate things like that to your local rescue as they could either be used for the animals there or sold in charity shops to give money to the rescue centre. If you’re a relatively skilled baker, you could try baking some dog treats yourself! There are plenty of recipes online and it’s easy to find things which will benefit dogs such as turmeric biscuits (good for joints) or liver cake, which can easily be adapted to include cheese as well as other meats/types of offal. However, some rescues won’t take homemade treats because in the past ‘people’ have taken in homemade treats containing blades and types of poisons to ‘cull’ the dogs so some may be a bit cautious, so do always check first!

Top 10 Disney Animals

We all have our favourite films and for a lot of people, Disney features somewhere up there (especially if you have small children!). I love Disney films and I always have, but with this blog being primarily books and animals, I thought it was only right to talk about my favourite Disney animals because often they’re overlooked and it’s the main characters or the villains who get all the attention. So, here we go!

10. Tantor the elephant (Tarzan) is great because I think everyone can relate to a fear of something, but he seems to have a fear of everything! Despite being the biggest land mammal in the world, he is afraid of everything in the jungle he lives in. However, with a little help from his friends, his confidence does grow over time.

9. Peg the pekingese (Lady and the Tramp) is just so fabulous and she knows it. Her hair is glamorous and even the way she speaks is sophisticated and puts her above many of the other animals in the story. Not to mention the beautiful song which is “He’s a Tramp”!

8. Dory the blue tang (Finding Nemo) just had to be on this list since she’s adored by everyone and is making a huge comeback with the release of Finding Dory earlier this year. She’s funny, she’s brave and she’s very friendly and her popularity is only increased by the fact she’s voiced by Ellen Degeneres herself! I feel like if you don’t like Dory, you may not have a heart? Just a theory…

7. Pegasus the winged-horse (Hercules) is great because he’s very proud and moral so he doesn’t like to get dirty, but he is brave and is willing to help to save the day. He’s a funny character and he doesn’t talk (he just makes standard horse noises) but still manages to be very memorable and had a lot of kids owning Pegasus toys!

6. Pascal the chameleon (Tangled) is an interesting character because he too doesn’t speak, but uses a lot of body language to get his points across…He’s completely happy to show his displeasure by mimicking punching someone and is generally quite a feisty little chap!

5. Sebastian the crab (The Little Mermaid) is here because it isn’t really a top ten Disney animals list without him, is it? We all love Sebastian, with his sense of humor, great songs and protective but moral nature. Do I need to even say anything about him? Nah, we all love him.

4. Baloo the bear (The Jungle Book) is just a really fun character; he makes kids laugh with his not-so-bright nature and he makes them smile with his increase in courage when it’s needed to save Mowgli. He’s a true hero because he did things he was scared to do just to save his friend.

3. The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland) is great. I love him because he’s just so infuriating with his unhelpful advice and he’s hilarious with the jokes he makes and how sarcastic he actually is. Everyone laughs at him, although some very small children can be scared of him since he is arguably quite creepy…

2. Dug the dog (Up) isn’t a particularly big character but he’s still very popular because of his hilarious disposition. He’s very similar to a lot of dogs who react to squirrels in the same way with a sudden change in behaviour/stance and although real dogs can’t talk, since Up, a lot of people will narrate their dogs’ behaviour in the voice of Dug saying things like “SQUIRREL!” when they see something which proves the impact Dug actually had, considering he’s an animated dog.

10. Finally, last but not least, we have Nala the lion (The Lion King) who is just fantastic. She is bold, sassy, honest and feisty and she definitely will not stand for Simba messing around and leaving the pride to Scar. She tells him what he’s doing wrong and she’s a lot of the reason he ends up saving Pride Rock. You have to love Nala, she’s just great okay?

Honorable mentions:

  • Marie the kitten from The Aristocats
  • Abu the monkey from Aladdin
  • Flounder from The Little Mermaid
  • Nana the dog from Peter Pan