Claire Nash is used to cooking for 50: herself, her husband and their four children, plus 44 dogs.
Every Sunday, Nash makes a full roast dinner not only for her family, but for the residents of Cardiff Dogs’ Home in Wales. The lucky pups get chicken, gravy, carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and even sausages wrapped in bacon – all cooked by Claire’s own hands, and paid for out of her own pocket.
It all started in March, when Nash – who has four dogs of her own and volunteers at the shelter as a walker – began bringing the family’s leftovers to give to the rescue dogs. But there was never enough to go round and it was too hard choosing which dogs should get such tasty treats, so Nash decided she’d simply have to make more.
Now she starts cooking on Saturday afternoon to be sure that every bowl is full come Sunday.
“The dogs love it,” she recently told news site Wales Online. “They can smell it coming the moment I arrive and open the boot of the car. They bark and go mad when they smell it but when the food is in front of them you could hear a pin drop it goes so quiet.”
For some of the dogs who arrive in poor health, Nash’s home-cooking is just what the vet ordered. When one dog, Molly, first arrived, recounts fellow volunteer Susie James, “we couldn’t get her to eat anything. She is a tiny little girl, couldn’t afford to lose an ounce, yet was getting skinnier by the day. [Claire’s] Yorkshire pudding was the first thing she would take, she absolutely loves them!”
This Christmas, the dogs are in for an extra special treat: a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Nash plans to make it on Christmas Eve and take it over on Christmas Day, just as soon as she and her family have eaten their own lunch.
Doesn’t that seem like an awful lot of trouble? Not to Claire.
“The dogs are here through no fault of their own, and there’s nothing better than them having a good bit of home-cooked dinner,” she tells Made in Cardiff TV.
“It’s just a bit of home brought into the kennels for the dogs.”
Be careful when sharing human food with your dog, especially if it’s something that has bones or lots of fat. Read Wamiz UK’s advice about dangerous foods for dogs here.