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A Helping Hand For Toronto Beagles

October 23rd, 2013


Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell Oddi and Laura Ducharme published a column recently in On The GO Magazine about the great work being done by Toronto’s Big On Beagles. We’re grateful to Jen and Laura for giving us an opportunity to share the article on The Pet Network blog!

Our friend and colleague Angela Jager and her husband Nick are blessed with the most entertaining and cuddly little beagle named Olive. One of the many things we respect and admire about Angela is that she has committed to helping fundraise and promote the assistance/adoption agency Big On Beagles. Here’s what she has to say about the dogs and the cause.

Beagles have an insatiable zest for life and are known for following their noses — and hearts — in most situations. Along with soulful eyes and silly grins, they have amiable, even-tempered personalities and rank high on the intelligence scale. Despite these great qualities, their stubborn tenacity combined with a tendency to howl first and think later get these often misunderstood hounds landed in shelters at an alarming rate.

That’s where Big On Beagles comes in. A Toronto-based assistance agency for beagles experiencing troubled times, B.O.B has spent over 10 years helping down-on-their-luck beagles with health, weight, and emotional issues find foster and forever homes. Veterinary care for these homeless howlers is expensive, but B.O.B is committed to getting every beagle that enters the program the best care possible, regardless of cost.

Fundraising events like the annual “Beagle Bash for Cash” along with donations — both big and small — make these life-changing efforts possible. In short, B.O.B founder Marna Gale and the rest of the B.O.B team strive to give second chances to dogs that might otherwise be forgotten.

If you have a big heart for hounds, the Big on Beagles community would love to meet you! B.O.B meets frequently in dog parks all over the Toronto & Mississauga area to fundraise, mingle, and watch their dogs play. It’s a great way to meet new people and socialize your dog.

For more information on fostering, adoption and meet-ups, please visit www.bigonbeagles.ca.

Stay tuned: we’ll be posting Jen and Laura’s Halloween tips for pet owners soon!

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She posts a ton of great recipes and ideas for folks who want to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their canine companions.


A Fish Tale

May 9th, 2012


You know, there’s more to the world of pets than dogs and cats. As Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell and Laura Ducharme point out in their latest column for On The Go magazine, fish represent one of the fastest growing pet categories. Check out the article below for lots of fascinating fishy facts.

On the Go is available at TTC and GO Train stations in the Greater Toronto Area. CLICK HERE to check out the current issue.

Don’t forget to catch Fido & Wine on The Pet Network every Tuesday and Saturday at 8 pm ET/PT.



Cookie See, Cookie Dough

April 30th, 2012


No, we’re not sure what that post title means, either. But anyway. We love checking in on Fido & Wine producer Jen Mitchell‘s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She’s always got wonderfully creative, road-tested new recipes for homemade doggie meals and snacks. Some are delightfully offbeat — like her latest offering: dog cookies studded with colourful veggie chips, so that they resemble those ever-popular M & M’s cookies. (Never feed the latter to your pooch by the way: chocolate is extremely bad for our canine friends.)

Jen says the recipe took a few tries to get right. Here’s the final version:


- 4 tbsp. butter or margarine

- 1/2 cup honey

- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1 cup dry milk

- 1/2 tsp baking soda

- 1/2 tsp sea salt

- 2 tbsp. water or carrot juice

- 2 eggs

- 1 cup of “Veggie chips,” dealer’s choice: frozen peas, carrots, beets, potato, etc. Basically, cut up tiny chip-like pieces of dog-friendly veggies. (I used dehydrated ones I bought from my fave Heronview Raw And Natural: you just soak them in hot water and they are ready to use. I also used lots of frozen peas, which I left frozen for additional water content.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by adding soft butter or margarine to your mixing bowl. Give it a good forking until it’s a little whipped! Then, add your carrot juice or water, and the eggs. Beat lightly. Then, add the honey, sea salt, baking soda, and stir together. Finally, in portions, stir in the whole wheat flour. Lastly, add 1/3 of your veggie chips and gently mix into the cookie dough.

Place your cookie dough balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make them the appropriate size for your dog(s). Mine are huge as my dogs are of the pig variety. Then, place your veggie chips on top of the cookies and slightly press in. Leave most of them exposed as the dough will puff up a bit around them. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool before letting the dogs have a taste.

Follow Jen’s blog HERE.


The Pet Effect

April 16th, 2012


Here’s a little secret that just about every pet owner knows: having animals in our makes us healthier and happier. Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell and Laura Ducharme devote their column in this month’s On The Go magazine to the mental and physical benefits of pet ownership — and suggest ways that people without pets can still soak up some of the benefits of befriending an animal.

On the Go is available at TTC and GO Train stations in the Greater Toronto Area. CLICK HERE to check out the current issue.

Don’t forget to catch the newest episode of Fido & Wine, “Dogtoberfest,” tomorrow (Tuesday April 17) at 8 pm ET/PT. Repeats on Saturday.



New FIDO & WINE Web Exclusives

April 9th, 2012


The Fido & Wine production team are busy putting the finishing touches on two new episodes of The Pet Network’s flagship series. Check out the Web exclusive clips we’ve posted for “The Luck Of The Irish” and “Dogtoberfest” — the latter airing next Tuesday April 17 & Saturday April 21 @ 8 pm ET/PT.

Behind the scenes on FIDO & WINE‘s upcoming “Luck of the Irish” episode, The Pet Network’s Melissa Auger gets schooled in the mysteries of the oyster — and gets her first taste of bivalve — courtesy of master shucker Patrick McMurray.

Join the FIDO & WINE team behind the scenes on their “Dogtoberfest” episode at Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewing, where editor Wes Champion finds out what hops taste like before they go into making that delicious pint of beer. Prost!


Cheap Chow For Bow Wows

March 20th, 2012


A salmon dinner for just $1.25? A French omelette for 97 cents? Yup, you read that right. Tonight’s episode of FIDO & WINE (airing at 8 pm ET/PT) reveals the secrets of making “Doggie Dinners On A Dime.” Producer extraordinaire Jen Mitchell has the scoop in the latest post on her must-bookmark blog, My Dog’s Breakfast:

Our latest episode of Fido & Wine, Dog Dinners on a Dime, set out to bust the myth that it’s too expensive to home cook for your dog. My team (Hey-yo Melissa Auger!) went on a mission to pet stores and grocery stores in our area and calculated the average cost of a half a can of wet food and a cup of kibble. (The amount of food each of my labs would need to eat twice per day). The processed meal averaged out at $1.45, so it was a challenge to create some divine dinners with wow factor for less than this!

In the first part of our episode, Kim Clancy of the popular website frugalshopper.ca shared cost saving tips with our hostess with the mostest, Laura Ducharme. She had a lot of great suggestions, and the one that worked really well for us in this case was to check the flyers for sales. We found a great deal on frozen wild salmon filets: Four bucks each. Portioned into four, and served with two sides,  this dinner deal rang in at even less than the average processed meal. TAKE THAT PROCESSED FOOD!

Fresh, wild salmon, pot barley (a better carb for dogs than rice), and vibrant green peas that we always have kicking around – topped with dollop of plain yogurt. I know a lot of people say that salmon is too expensive to eat often, and yes, the unfrozen, thick ruby beauties at the seafood counter are more appealing and cost more than these – but you can turn the less expensive frozen filets into a beautiful meal – just look at the picture! The trick, which I learned while developing this recipe, is to dry the bejeezus out of the filet first with some paper towels. You will get a mushy result if you simply thaw and broil, but a dry fish to roast will give you a nice crust on it like you see in the picture [above].

The other dinner Laura Pants will show you is a Fluffy French Omelette – only 97 cents! KA-CHING!! Get cooking for your dog already – and don’t let me hear you say it’s too expensive! OK, sure, if you’re feeding cheap kibble only, it’s going to be cheaper than these meals … but if you’re buying even a medium priced kibble and mixing with cans or feeding a can as a meal, you will not be breaking your bank with these dinners! Real food for your dog IS an option.

Find recipes and more from tonight’s episode HERE. Follow Jen’s blog HERE.


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