About Me

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I am a home educating mum of 2 living in the Northwest of England. I long to travel with my family (including the fluffs) to see the world and have amazing adventures, because life is too short to worry about paying off a mortgage!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Pet Goodies

It's always exciting when new products hit the pet scene, but especially so when they stray from the normal pet toy fare and bring something a little more unusual to the table.
I'd love to get my paws on some of these and get a closer look but as they're mainly in the US I'll have to make do with the pictures instead. So here's a quick round up of the new finds:

HabitCat - by Griffith Designs.

A smart piece of furniture for cats to jump on. I can imagine Dexter loving this since his new favourite place is on top of a wardrobe. Unlike other cat furniture it actually looks like a piece of wall art so at least it blends in which I can imagine is perfect for modern homes. Personally I prefer the paw print look but I don't pay the mortgage so my opinion doesn't count...

Next up The Pet Wash

A pretty nifty way of transforming your shower into a dog friendly shower! Always a bonus. Being a dog that hates showers I'm pretty sure this will help me feel less traumatised by the whole ordeal, mainly because I won't have spray in my face every minute. 

Finally Tee Bone

A cute doggy pillow any dog would love to have it can be stuffed with a piece of your clothing to provide a familiar scent perfect for us dogs when you're away from us! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pet Gift Hampers - Ideal for Christmas

Well it's nearly the end of November and Christmas is upon us. The mulled wine is on the kitchen side - not that I get a taste! Christmas trees are appearing in shops and houses and amazing twinkling lights are popping up everywhere, something that always keeps me amused for hours is watching twinkling lights, they're so pretty! So it can only mean one thing here at Little Fluff..... The pet gift hampers have come out. It's not Christmas if I'm not laid  paw deep in cellophane and sticky tape whilst the amazing hampers are put together, with my approval of course.

So why not show your furry one just how loved and adored they are this Christmas with lots of hugs and a super special pet gift hamper. We have plenty to choose from for dogs and cats, and even better if there's something you really want they can build one up for you and to meet your budget. See we really are accommodating here!
And to top it all off you can be assured that every hamper has had my seal of approval (sniff test!) and I personally overlook the creation of these hampers - I may look asleep but I promise I'm not.
Every hamper is unique so make sure you bag yours today! Happy shopping.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Discover Dogs Competition Winners

Congratulations to our two winners Vicky and Tracy who each nabbed a pair of Discover Dogs tickets to the show. I'm a little sad that I didn't get a pair myself but obviously in the interest of fairness all my entries were removed by mum the big spoilsport! She wouldn't even let me select the winner myself for fear that I would eat the entry slip, which is ridiculous really as she knows I'll only eat tasty things like cheese and sour cream.

The show was a huge success I hear, with thousands of people visiting and getting to see hundreds of dog breeds and amazing displays. For all you pooches who also missed out on this spectacular occasion the winners kindly sent us through a bit about their show experience which we've put up on our articles page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Discover Dogs 2011 - The Place To Be For Dog Lovers - Win Tickets

It's nearly November and that can only mean one thing - well apart from horrible fireworks night but that's for my next post! It's the Discover Dogs show.
If you've not heard of it before Discover Dogs is an amazing show run by the Kennel Club. It's in London (like so many of the best doggy shows!) at Earls Court and is on the 12th and 13th November.
Jam packed full of all things canine, the show features over 200 pedigree breeds and is the ideal place to learn about the different types of dogs and if you're thinking of a new furry addition to your family you can ask loads of questions to make sure you get the right breed for you. It's really family friendly as kids under 12 go free and although *sniff* you can't take your own pooch (unless they are lucky enough to be a finalist in one of the competitions) there's plenty to do and you can always take a treat or two back for your faithful friend at home.
There's also more information and displays from the Good Citizen Dog Training which aims to promote responsible dog ownership. I think this is pretty important at the moment given the negative press us dogs keep receiving (see my previous post on dogs in the media!). There are even flyball, agility and heelwork to music demos and a series of seminars on a wide range of doggy topics such as choosing a good dog trainer and reiki for dogs!

So if you fancy a fun weekend Discover Dogs really is worth checking out. If you want to buy tickets you can purchase Discover Dogs Tickets through their website, or if you're feeling lucky why not enter our competition? I've managed to get two pairs of tickets to give away thanks to the lovely people at the Kennel Club so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a pair then just enter Little Fluff's competition, but hurry as the closing date is 12 noon on Friday 4th November.

Two winners will be chosen at random, I would like to say by me but I've been banned from selecting the winner in the name of fairness as I keep trying to put my own name into the hat!

Good Luck and remember I'd love to post the winner's pics up of their trip to the show as part of a future blog post.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scruffts Competition at Discover Dogs

Now although I'm pretty sure I'm all Border Collie, despite some people's reluctance to believe it, I think this is a great idea for all of those pups who are crossbreeds. Some of the most interesting dogs I've met are crossbreeds  and it's great that the Kennel Club are acknowledging this.

This is where the Scruffts competition comes in and it's purely for crossbreed dogs. Heats are being held throughout the UK and the winners from these heats are then being invited to the amazing Discover Dogs show in London this November for the grand final.

Now here's a show I'd love to visit one day, crammed full of award winning dogs, scrummy treats and a million different smells it's like a canine paradise! Ahem I digress....

A lot of the heats have been done already but there are still some remaining and you can view them at the Scruffts Competition page  to see if you can enter.
If that's not incentive enough entrants to the heats also get some free James Wellbeloved treats - I put my paw up I have tried and tested these treats and can honestly say they are delicious!

Now I think I will go back to my day dreaming of winning a huge rosette and cup full of treats for being the prettiest dog in show!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Puppy Awareness Week

Although I know this post is a little late we're still in Puppy Awareness Week - running from the 12th to the 18th September.

What a great way to raise awareness of the plight of millions of puppies being raised in horrific conditions in puppy farms and to educate potential owners in what to look for when choosing a new puppy to make sure they avoid further funding of these awful places!
I've been lucky enough to have never been inside one of these farms but I've seen pictures and heard the stories and it makes me so angry that my fellow pooches are starting their lives in this way.
It makes me thankful that there are great things going on such as Pup Aid in Brighton this weekend and the Kennel Club's Puppy Farming Campaign to really show what happens in these places and to encourage the government to ban them completely.
It's a sad state of affairs in this day and age when cruel places such as puppy farms can still exist and lying here on my soft, fluffy mat I count myself lucky that I have such luxurious surroundings.

So how can you help? There's an e-petition to the government at the moment calling for a way to stop puppy farms which is incredibly important and every name counts (although unfortunately as a dog I'm not allowed to add mine!) so please get signing this now!
The other thing is, if you or someone you know is thinking of getting a puppy make sure you know how to avoid buying one from a puppy farm with the Kennel Club's guidelines.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Kennel Club's Dog Photographer of the Year Competition

Now here's something exciting the Kennel Club are running a great competition to find the best dog photographer of the year!
If only I had a camera I'd enter myself - mum won't let me near hers as I tend to get a little excited and try to play fetch with it!

Anyone can enter and there are 5 categories to choose from:

  • Dogs at work
  • Dogs at play
  • Dog portrait
  • Man's best friend
  • I love dogs because (for entrants 16 and under)
There are prizes of a digital camera, tickets to Discover Dogs and for the pictures to be displayed on the front of the Kennel Gazette.

Now if I can just find a way to sneak mum's camera then I can enter my own picture and might just win a camera of my very own..... hmmm now that doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Take Your Dog to Work Day - A Dog's Dream

Yep, today it's the worldwide event of Take Your Dog To Work Day! People all over the world have persuaded their managers to take part in this glorious event and what a great idea it is.

I'm a pretty lucky pooch as I'm always at work with mum no matter where she is so I get to meet a lot of people, chew on cardboard boxes, play with new toys and go for plenty of wanders. It beats being at home on my own, well, with the cats but talking about tuna all day is not my idea of fun. Plus I get so much fuss and attention and I get to play with Jess - my doggy playmate.

It's interesting how studies have shown that having your dog at work with you increases productivity and creativity and decreases absenteeism, I haven't seen the study myself but will have to have a good read up on that later. I always knew us dogs were a good influence but didn't realise quite how much!

Jess giving up on her paperwork
Me dreaming about cardboard chews
So to leave you here's a couple of piccys of Jess and myself contributing to the office work and showing just how stuck in we get when we're at the office! Happy working day fellow pooches.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do Animals Wonder - Of Course!

I cannot believe that it's taken so long for you humans to figure out that us animals do have more than 'pre-wired-in thoughts' in our heads. I mean, reading some books on dog psychology you'd think we are a bunch of robot dogs who only respond to treats and have instinctive, innate messages pre-programmed from birth to make us behave the way we do. Although we may not share some of the same feelings as you people do or react in ways you would consider inappropriate in your culture doesn't mean we don't have internal thoughts.

I'm sure anyone who shares their home with a furry friend would agree that there is more going on beneath the surface than you can truly understand. Take Poppy my fellow feline house mate for example, sometimes she just sits on the stairs watching around her and occasionally glancing about to check out other areas. She's contemplating her surroundings and probably what to go and do next, (I'd know for certain if I went and asked her but she talks a lot about tuna and frankly that's just boring to dogs!).

So when I spotted this blog post citing research that's been done, showing that monkeys do indeed have internal thoughts, I was so excited my tail wouldn't stop wagging and mum thought I needed another walk!

Do Monkeys Wonder Blog Post - BBC

It's an area I am so interested in as it always seems odd that despite living in such close proximity all these years us animals still haven't found a way to communicate freely with people, and if this brings us a step closer to finding that common ground then we'd be all the better for it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Post from The Kennel Club on Dog Attacks

I was very exited to get the following in my inbox from The Kennel Club themselves in response to my post on dog attacks. I'm so pleased that they have such an important campaign running and thank them very much for their reply!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dog Attacks in the Media - Is it biased?

After having a leisurely read of the newspapers (yep dogs do like to get the latest news updates!) I was a little worried about the disturbing trend that's emerging when reading about dog attacks on children.
Being a complete softie I can't imagine why a dog would attack unprovoked. What I really can't put my paw on though, is why the papers always focus on the result of the action and pay little to no attention to what's happened leading up to these terrible events?

For starters here's the most recent articles I've seen about a Collie who mauled a 7yr old and a Labrador that bit a 3yr old.

Is it a case of younger children not understanding how to act around an animal, particularly dogs, or are these just cases of unprovoked dog attacks? It seems a lot of reported attacks are often on younger children and it saddens me that a dog and human relationship is being ruined in this kind of way.

What I would like to know is, how come every article I've read that's about a dog attack always claims to be it is unprovoked? This to me either means there is a serious lack of understanding dog behaviour or the media aren't relating the full facts.

I can't for one minute believe that every attack on a child happens because a perfectly well behaved dog used to children suddenly snaps and attacks, it doesn't seem logical (even in my dog world).
Dogs have been domesticated for years and lived happily with adults and children alike and whether this is just a recent phenomenon or increased reporting on the issue I'm not sure - although I would love anyone to have some input with that.

From a dog's eye view I can see two big reasons why a dog may attack:

1) The owners are not carrying out enough training so fellow dogs just don't understand what is right and wrong. I don't deny that there are some who should just not own a dog as they seem to want one for the wrong reasons, but that's a whole other debate!
2) Parents are not teaching their children how to behave properly around animals; any animal should be treated with caution if you don't know it (although this goes for adults too). I may submit if I'm scared or cornered but there are others who will defend themselves.

Parents of small toddlers must remember that they are scary to us, they shout, run quick, grab things they shouldn't and are a little alien to a lot of us if we're not used to them in the home. Some parents seem to think it's ok to let toddlers run up to us and shout, wave, prod and poke and really it's not, we're not unthinking robots who allow humans to do as they wish we are living creatures too and strangers don't know what our quirks are. There are also huge breed and temperament differences, some are fiercely loyal, some have guarding and territorial instincts, some of us have horrific pasts that a stranger couldn't possibly know about.

I know this is a touchy subject and will open up a whole debate on trusting your pet, and if you can't trust a dog then don't leave it tied outside a shop or loose in a park, but the same goes for your toddler, if you can't trust them to not approach things they don't know and shouldn't touch then they should be carefully supervised. Surely it works both ways? I also wonder when it became ok to approach a dog you didn't know. I always remember being told that you should never approach or touch a strange dog for all the reasons above and to be honest this made perfect sense to me and seemed a very sensible human behaviour.

So this goes right back to where my problem is with the media, there's never a side for the dog, just because it's an animal involved doesn't make it automatically in the wrong. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the tug toy but I thought that human papers were supposed to be impartial and present the facts objectively, without an anti dog undertone?

From all this I can only see one perfect solution, better training and understanding all round for all living species that must live together, that goes for dogs and humans. Surely then these incidents will happen much less and we can create a better harmony, rather than breeding this fear in people that their beloved family pet will for no reason at all suddenly turn on a human?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Injured wildlife what to do?

So there I was last night doing my usual round of the garden and winding up the neighbouring dogs when I got side tracked by a small fluffy thing running through the undergrowth. Being a dog my natural instinct was to chase and catch but that was soon stopped by mum who gave me a good telling off. After sulking for a bit, I decided sulking was too boring and this new brown toy was much more interesting!

I must admit I feel really guilty now as it turns out my new toy was in fact a little bird with a broken leg, not really very sporting of me given its lack of flying ability and bad leg, but I do blame my quick reflexes and slow thinking!

Mum made a quiet spot for it in a box with some hay and then tried feeding it some cat food, luckily the cats were far too distracted by the tinned tuna to care about the flapping bird. It was quite sad really as the parents were outside calling away but in some ways lucky for the bird that I found it first and not a mean cat, I know what they do with wildlife (Dexter, my catmate, explained later on - not that he gets the chance being an indoor cat and all!)

So that, in a nutshell, is how we came to have a baby Blackbird in a cat food box in the lounge.

First thing this morning mum took beaky, (yes I named it) to the vets and paws crossed they can fix its little leg and get it back out into the wild in no time. Meanwhile I have learnt my lesson, no more chasing small furry/feathery/fluffy things as mum gets cross, I end up sulking and the cats get tinned tuna but I don't, oh and a little bird gets hurt of course!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zombie Ants - Now That's Scary!

There aren't many things that scare us dogs, well apart from the cat getting the last scrap of tuna/ham/beef instead of us or generally loud bangs from fireworks and thunder, and I generally don't bother when mum pops on a scary film but this new concept of zombie ants has me a little hot under the collar!

So in a nutshell the ants brains are taken over by a fungus which then controls them and leads them to a place to die where the fungus has a better chance of multiplying. Like something out of a scary zombie horror film the fungus then erupts out of the head before growing and trying to infect others.

This in iteslf is quite disturbing, but then I saw that it's not just ants it affects but there are different strains of the fungus that attack certain species. My question is if this fungus can adapt to a variety of different species in the insect world can it eventually adapt into the animal kingdom and cause a whole pile of mess there?

I somehow can't imagine a world where zombie dogs are roaming the streets and although not quite as gory as some of the films on the TV it's still a frightening idea.
It's great knowing all these quirks of the world, but sometimes I wish I was a little more ignorant to these things, bit like cats are really. I tried explaining all my worries to Dexter and all he cared about was grooming his tail, although if anything does kick off there's no doubt who he'll come miaowing to!!

Here's a video for all of you intrigued by the idea of these zombie ants.

Rabbit Awareness Week

Well it's a Monday again (and also wet and rainy what a surprise!) and it's Rabbit Awareness Week. Running until Sunday, Burgess dedicate a week to our mini bunny fluffs to raise awareness of their needs.

Given that rabbits are said to be one of the most neglected pets in the country I think this is a really important event and anything that raises awareness on an individual animal's needs can only help keep us all living happily together. Us dogs and cats tend to get a better ride; for starters we live indoors and occasionally get to sleep on the sofa - granted mum doesn't always know about that! Second we get a great variety of food and for most dogs a daily walk is a common occurrence. Rabbits on the other hand do seem to get a raw deal sometimes, they live outside no matter what the weather, I've read about some that never get let out into a run never mind getting a yummy selection of treats like I do. According to Burgess some bunnies don't even get access to the correct diet, fresh water and attention!

I think the bunnies I share my garden with are pretty lucky they have the biggest hutch I've seen, a huge run to play in, daily dandelion leaves, lots of fresh hay and herbage to nibble on as well as their Burgess food, and fresh water every day. In fact even when they are allowed out in their run they tend to spend more time in their hutch, I think that shows how roomy it is!

Although I can't test the small animal goodies we stock I have had a peek at the lovely designed hutches and personally I really like the pink princess castle rabbit hutch maybe it's because of the girlie pink and I'm always being mistaken for a boy... Here's a selection of my favourite bunny homes:
Fort Bunlop, a castle for your bunny to call their own!
A bunny's dream house, princess pink castle rabbit hutch

All in one hutch and run for extra space

Finally to leave you with some inspiration on how to make it a great week for your bunny here's my top bunny toy tip of the year, how to make a cardboard tube treat toy (don't expect too much here I am just a dog after all!):

You will need:
1 x long cardboard tube from the centre of kitchen towel or foil.
1 x pair of scissors
1 x pack of yummy yoghurt drops/locust bean treats/ anything else your rabbit finds tasty

To make:

Step 1 - using those scissors cut holes in the cardboard tube just big enough for your treats to fit through, put a few of these along the tube so your bunny has to throw and roll the tube to get the treats to drop out, don't make the holes too big or it will be really easy, but don't make them too small either or the treats won't be able to drop out and your rabbit will get frustrated and bored.

Step 2 - fold one end of the tube inwards to form a seal so the treats don't just fall out the ends!

Step 3 - Stuff the tube full of treats and then fold the other end inwards as per step 2

Step 4 - Give this wonderful toy to your delighted bunny, and when they've finished getting all the treats out the tube will make a fantastic gnaw toy.

Alternatively if you have neither a tube nor the patience simply buy a treat tumbler through us and we'll pop a few treats in with it to get you started! 

Happy rabbit awareness week I hope you all give yours an extra cuddle this week just to show all those bunnies out there that they don't get a RAW deal and are as valued members of the household as us dogs and cats!

For more information and advice on keeping your rabbit healthy and happy and to find events in your area (some are offering free health checks and micro chipping) then visit the Rabbit Awareness Website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Weird Nyan Cat

O.K. so I'm a half technology savvy pooch and I enjoy a good viral video as much as the next dog, especially when it has pictures of my fellow canines and felines doing funny things! There's something great about starting my (very busy) day with a feel good video of a dog sleep walking or cats with funny walks etc but I really can't get into this new Nyan Cat thing.

If you've not seen it yet it's a funny cat with a pop tart body (don't ask as there are no answers why) that's flying through space and has an odd song playing in the background, which to my untrained ears does sound a little like a cat meowing. The aim of it is to see how long you can stand being on the page and then you can share your score with friends - some things in a human world I don't think I'll ever get.

What I can't understand is how this is getting so many hits all over the world and yet my (clearly hilarious) dog in a bucket video posted up on You Tube by mum has hardly the same coverage?
Maybe if I turn myself into a cartoon dog with a pop tart body it will have the same effect? Hmmm don't think it will somehow, maybe I'm destined not to be a famous dog after all.....

Here's the link to the Nyan Cat if you have a spare few minutes and want to see what all the fuss is about, and if you have another two spare minutes here is my dog in a bucket video - please like it and make me famous too!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I should have been a Mediterranean Dog

So first of all I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break and are looking forward to the next long weekend? I certainly am! I got to spend all of mine taking quick walks to and from the local shop, chasing bees and wasps in the garden, barking at all the neighbouring dogs and winding them up and hiding from next door's scary electronic wheely thing (a kid's toy apparently but I don't believe that). A fantastic weekend for any outdoor loving dog. I must admit though I could get used to this lovely weather, at the slightest hint of sun I always find the heat patch and settle myself down for a good, long kip. Mum thinks I should have been a Mediterranean dog, as I tend to sit in the sun for so long that my fur is red hot by the time I move to find a shady spot, and even that takes me a while. There's nothing better than sunning yourself for an hour or so and then finding a cool place to pant it out.

The question is, are there any other dogs out there that do the same thing or is it just me?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My New Dinner - Barking Heads yum!

Despite the huge range of pet food on the market and after many taste trials - undertaken by myself of course, it's a tough job but some pup has got to do it, I am now settled on the Barking Heads range.
After sampling the TLC; chicken and rice that's gentle on the tummy, and the Bad Hair Day; lamb and rice to improve coat shine, I am now happily munching my way through the Golden Years - for the, ahem, older dog. Anyway I am pleased to report that I'm always happy to receive my bowl full and make sure I clear my plate and wag my tail to let mum know she's got it right.
After much persuasion - I can get away with so much with these big brown eyes, I have got mum to write a Barking & Meowing Heads article on why we love their range of food, and hopefully we can share this yummy meal with fellow furries across the UK. Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Do Dogs Like To Roll?

It's an age old question, why do dogs roll in smelly things? I've decided to cover this topic now, given that I've just come in from being doused in Lush Puppi shampoo to remove a gorgeous scent of Eau De'Fox Poop. I feel it's perfect timing to discuss this event in more detail.
I'm sure you humans know that a dog's sense of smell is so much more refined than your own and that we can detect a wealth of information from a single smell source but owners still seem to miss the point of us covering ourselves in these delicate aromas. Sure you think that fox poop is disgusting, but that's because you're not really smelling the information! A small piece of this substance provides us with an in-depth view of the animal it came from and by covering our fur in it we can then rush to show you the exciting news. Unfortunately all you do is moan, grab a sponge and bucket of water and drag us outside to remove this delight, replacing it instead with citrus pongs and wild flower essence - there's no story in those smells what's a flower ever done?
So now that I'm sat shivering with my fur crimped on the edges, something it only does when I've had a soaking, and generally feeling sorry for myself I thought it was about time you understood that when you're washing your dog of these smells you're ruining their day!

  So next time your faithful friend bounds over with a look of pure joy on their face to show you their amazing find don't drag them to the bath, indulge in this doggy smell heaven and allow them at least 10 minutes before slathering them in your stinky flowery scents.

Now I think I will spend my afternoon sulking and then I will try and think of a way shampoo manufacturers can create a wash that appeals to both dogs and their owners, maybe I can pitch it to Little Fluff!

Watch this space!