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!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Walking Pet Balloons

Wandering around Crufts Mum spied these My Own Pet Balloons earlier this year and I reckon they will be a hit! I think all children who really want a pet should be challenged with one of these critters first, if they can keep it 'alive' for a minimum of 2 weeks then they are showing their parents that they are on the right path to being a responsible pet owner. If not then hey ho it's just a balloon!

I can see these balloons being pretty popular with adults as well as children, but I don't think they will last long in a cat household somehow. My instincts tell me that cats like our Dexter will manage a whole minute before pouncing and killing the defenceless balloon (sometimes cats really do spoil the fun!). 

All I need to do it send my idea off to a load of parenting sites and then source the balloons over here, take it from a wise old pooch any kids Birthday party now these cute balloons will be making an appearance.... now does anyone know where they are being sold?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Olympic Torch Comes to Morecambe

Yesterday (Friday 22nd) saw an amazing event (well according to humans, to me it meant a walk in the rain which is a first!) the Olympic Torch passed through out little town. It had to be the wettest day in Britain's Summer time history, I promise the rain was horizontal! Yet with true British grit there was a great turnout and lots of people lined the street. I was a little disappointed with the canine turnout though, there weren't many to be seen at all.

I proudly donned my waterproof coat (it did nothing) and my bright yellow collar in the hope that it would tempt the sun out and ease the rain (the collar also did nothing) but despite the rain driving into my eyes I enjoyed the party atmosphere and watching all the parade pass by. We were lucky enough to be stood at the point where the torch was passed over from one runner to the next although how they kept that flame going I'll never know, it gave me a sleepless night pondering it.

Here are some pics of me 'enjoying' my watery walk, all that excitement tired me out and I had to take to my bed for the afternoon!

A big well done to all the runners and people in the parade (including the police escorts) who braved the elements, I was outside for about 40mins and was soaked and frozen by the time I got in, nothing a good rub down with the towel didn't cure by the way, so I can only imagine how they felt by the time they finished. It was a great scene though and no doubt something I'll never get to see again so I feel a very privileged pooch indeed!

How Hard is it to Find a Cat Litter Tray?

Apparently, pretty difficult.
To find a cat litter tray that is! Since Dexter had his cystitis he has been on a 'soup' of food once a day. This consists of half a tin of moist cat food flooded with water to make sure that he gets his daily quota of water. Seems like drinking is a common basic survival tool to me but I think this was missed on Dexter!
Anyway of course with all this added fluid going in, it inevitably has to, ahem, come out. So given the extra amount of waste he's producing the litter tray is really getting some good use.

The only problem is that this extra volume of waste has really highlighted that the current litter tray isn't up to the job, oh and also that Dexter wees with the same force as a pressure washer.
All our kitchen needs is a litter tray with a lid to keep those pesky whiffs at bay, (cat owners will understand) and to keep a certain dog's delicate snout out (humpf my fun is always spoilt). A tray that can contain wee, not allow litter to be spread over a mile radius and that is big enough for Dexter to actually get his lanky frame into. It's not a hard ask surely?

Well after a little sniffing around (not literally unfortunately) we have a few solutions to paw through:

Option A the Booda Cleanstep Litter Tray

Smart, functional and totally enclosed with its own little stairs to capture any stray cat litter I really think this looks like a good combo. Apparently it's a good size (perfect for Dexter's hulking frame!) and nice and deep.  The reviews seem positive (from human perspectives of course dog's give it a paws down I'm afraid) and it keeps stinky cat smells at bay which is a positive for the whole household.

Option B the Tray Hider

I thought this was pretty neat as you can make your own designs (perfect to fit in with any decor) and you can buy huge trays to fit inside. The boxes are waterproof, great if you have a cat as daft as Dexter who seems to miss the litter completely at times, and they have a carpet base so the litter gets caught inside.

Option C - A sneaky dog trick.

I secretly and quietly open the door and let Dexter out and then not let him back in again until he's done his business, as long as he doesn't meow too loudly Mum will never know. This way is perfect as not only will I have more space in the house for my bowls and toys with no large cat tray taking up the room, Dexter will also be out of my way for at least an hour or so a day!

I've got a feeling that as daft as Dexter is even he won't fall for this one, especially if it's raining outside and I'm sure Mum won't be too pleased if she found out. So realistically it's looking like option A or B will be the winner, but you never know, a dog can dream.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Price Reduction on Snappies

Mum's recently been road testing the Snappies Scented Doggie Doo Bags as they get such rave reviews, and we can confirm that they are extremely good! They have to be the thickest poo bags we've seen which is ideal for those unpleasant pick up moments and the lovely aroma really helps make the job a little easier apparently. Even I don't mind carrying them around as they smell so fresh (and that's not something you can often say about dog poo bags trust me!) As a bonus Little Fluff have also just made them even more affordable at £1.19 per pack of 20. If your usual poo bags aren't quite cutting it I'd really recommend giving these a go, any product that makes walkies with your furry friend easier is a winner in my book.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Docker Park Farm - Dog Friendly Day Out

It can be a real struggle for Mum finding a family friendly day out that also allows yours truly to tag along, so when she made a quick call to our local farm she (and I too of course) was chuffed to bits to hear dogs were welcome. So off we trundled to Docker Park Farm and it was AMAZING! My canine senses were tingling all over, my nose ventured into every nook and cranny and not only was I allowed in the main farm part, but dogs are also welcomed into the cafe! The staff were really friendly and I even got a sneaky piece of very crispy bacon (thank you to the lovely lady in the cafe for that, she could obviously tell I was on my best behaviour). The food was tasty (yes I sampled a piece of the jacket potato with brie, but I left the caramelised red onion chutney for Mum) I spied it also came with home made coleslaw and fresh salad. Dad had a meaty home made burger with crispy, chunky chips, downed with a latte, delish!
Next we wandered through to the farm and I was in heaven, no doubt I will have plenty of dreams about that tonight. There were the most unbelievable smells of horses, pigs, alpacas (a llama-esque animal with soft fur, see I learnt something new today too), cows, sheep, ducks, hens, goats, donkeys and owls.

Me enjoying my day out at Docker Park Farm in Cumbria
The walk round was great and there are loads of things to keep the kids busy (always a relief as it means I get left alone!)
Apparently it was a very affordable £5.50 entrance fee for adults, but free for me so I didn't take much notice.
All in all a super day out and it means I don't get left home alone. Highly recommended and I give it a big paws up, in fact I can't wait until we go again, I think I'll go mark a day up on the calendar!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dog Friendly Dog App

I like to think of myself as a technology savvy pup but I've been a little slow on the App uptake if I'm honest. So when a fellow dog park friend mentioned My Dog Uk I had to get my mobile skills up to scratch so I could see what all the fuss was about! It turns out that My Dog Uk is a free dog profile app that has also teamed up with Petlog to create Lost Pet Alerts. Confused? Well here's a bit more info; Petlog is a really valuable online service that has the largest microchip database of pets, so if your dog, like me, enjoys a good wander every now and again you can create alerts using this website to help get them back home safely. This means a whole heap of important contacts will be alerted that your dog is where they shouldn't be and they can help keep an eye out for them.

LPA button
Petlog My Dog UK App

The My Dog Uk app contains a convenient, mobile version of this service so if you're out for a walk in unfamiliar territory and your dog decides to do a runner (on an amazing scent trail of course) you can use the app to send an immediate alert out, pretty nifty isn't it?
The only downside I can see to this is any dogs with wanderlust may get their sneaky trips cut short, so no more nipping off to find tasty tidbits. I suppose us dogs shouldn't really be doing that anyway!

The main focus of the app is on creating a profile and building a doggy network, you can store photos and important details and build up contacts, great if you have a dog looking to make new friends with like minded canines. You can even search for dog friendly places near you so if you're out for a walk and fancy a quick drink you can check to make sure the local cafe (or pub) would be happy for a furry to join you! There's also loads of information at your paw (or fingertips!) on dog care, products, and insurance etc which is really handy.

My only growl would be that a couple of the pages took a little while to load, but given that I have loads of free time and I'm sure these things are constantly being improved on I'm sure it can only get better.

These apps are suprisingly easy to get on your phone, (of course I used Mums when she wasn't looking, she really should stop leaving it lying around as I'm sure I overheard Dexter the cat plotting to order a pallet of tuna with it) and they are pretty straight forward to use. Even with my short attention span I managed to .........oooh a bird...... ahem, sorry, I mean even with my attention span I got the app downloaded and running in seconds, added a photo and a few bits and pieces of info and had a peek at local dog friendly cafes.
I've had to let Dexter in on the My Cat Uk app that will be appearing soon too, although he seemed a bit busy, muttering something about fish and tins and how many could they fit on a truck, I think he was texting someone!? It's a good idea anyway even if he's too busy being naughty to have a look.

So in a nutshell it's worth a look and if you have a bored dog at home why not let them have a play around on it, I bet they'll have a superb profile up and running by the time you've made a brew and before you know it they'll have a whole canine network set up and you'll be filling the calendar with park dates and dog parties! What more could a dog ask for?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hurrah to Pudsey

So pleased that the British public have such good taste and the fabulous Pudsey won the show! It's high time we had to positive doggy role models in the media instead of the doom and gloom on dogs we normally see. So it just goes to show that a dog just needs the right home and trainer (I see humans as trainers not owners!). A big well done to Pudsey, enjoy the dizzying heights of stardom as you've earned it!

See Pudsey and Ashleigh's highlights video.

Go Pudsey

Ahhh im in love with a fluffy white pooch named Pudsey! As usual mum's watching a dog act in awe and secretly despairing that I can't concentrate on even one thing at once nevermind attempting dancing. I'm cheering on Pudsey all the way in Britains Got Talent, I reckon the Queen would love to see them performing (that's if she's not caught them on the TV yet, does she watch TV?) It's great seeing a dog champion us pooches and show that not all of us in the media are vicious, deviant dogs. I'd happily share a chew with him and really have my paws crossed for the final result. Go Pudsey!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Loving the new Harvey advert by Thinkbox

I was just sat watching a bit of TV with mum when, yay, the new Every Home Needs A Harvey ad came on, this time with the anazingly talented Harvey's new friend rabbit. As usual I was transfixed, I too have a favourite toy that is looking a little bedraggled now and it's my moo cow! Mum tried to hide it in the bin once but my fabulous sense of smell found it ha! Anyway enjoy the talents of Harvey - Watch "Harvey and Rabbit TV ad by Thinkbox" on YouTube

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crufts Day 4

So sadly today marks the final of Crufts until next year. I suppose I will have to be content watching the dog next door for now until another canine programme starts on the TV!

The final day began with some more stunning group winners:

Terrier Group - Norwich Terrier called Ragus Merry Gentleman from North Yorkshire.
Hound Group - Borzoi called Ch RothesbySholwood Snow Hawk from Newark.

Then the day raced along with a fantastic heelwork to music routine by Mary Ray (I was a little star struck, I'd love to win a day's session in training with her) and Jennifer Saunders presented the award for Friends for Life which went to Buster the RAF dog.  A very worthy title I think, I do admire all the service dogs and the jobs they do, although being a blog dog and product tester does have its trials (!) it's a cushy job compared to my fellow canines risking paw and tail to protect the country and they deserve a lot of respect.

Finally the glitzy ceremony ends with the ultimate prize, Best in Show, and what a title to take away. After seeing all those trimmed and obedient dogs it must be such a difficult decision to make but there had to be a winner and it went to the very lucky Lhasa Apso, Elizabeth.

Photo courtesy of onEdition shows Margaret Anderson from Coventry with her Lhasa Apso called Elizabeth, after winning Best in Show 11.03.12, the final day of Crufts 2012.
So to all the wonderful competitors and winners I raise my paw to you and an extra big tail wag to the very pretty Elizabeth. Congratulations and I hope you will get spoilt with plenty of chewy bones and toys for your win!

I've very much enjoyed the Crufts experience this year and if you didn't manage to get there Mum would definitely recommend it, it's great watching it on TV but it never quites beat being there yourself. Maybe next year she can smuggle me there in her oversized handbag. Either that or I better start working on my obedience skills now, if only I could maintain concentration for more than 5 minutes at a time.......

Crufts Day 3

So what's the roundup news from Day 3?

Saturday saw the first ever Crufts factor final and there were some great acts, the eventual winner though was a Shiba Inu called Elee with her amazing talents including  dancing, acrobatics and bongo playing. I really loved her walking on her owner's shoes, I might try that with Mum next time we're out for a walk and my paws get tired!
Unfortunately another dog failed it's Vet checks, so the Basset Hound wasn't represented at the Best of Breed.

The final winners of the day were:
Working Dogs - Newfoundland called Ch King of Helluland Feel the Win (Brutus) all the way from Slovakia.
Pastoral Group - Old English Sheepdog called Ch Bottomshaker My Secret (Jimmy) from Hungary.
Photo courtesy of onEdition shows Sonia Krorkvei from Slovakia with her Newfoundland called Brutus, who won vBest of Group in the Working Group on the 10.03.12 at Crufts 2012.

Photo courtesy of onEdition shows Zsholt Hano from Hungary with his Old English Sheepdog called Jimmy, who won Best of Group in the Pastoral group on the 10.03.12 at Crufts 2012.
The flyball competition was fast paced and very exciting, I still want to try my paw at that, my next mission is to get Mum on a search for a local group. I would just encourage her to use our own garden but I have a habit of churning up grass wherever I run, in fact maybe that could be my talent in next year's Crufts Factor?

The agility was great I followed that very intently and I loved the smaller dogs flying round the course, it was a little unfortunate as one pup was obviously desperate for a wee and ignoring her handler had to relieve herself on the weave section. I've been there sometimes, I get so excited at what I'm doing that I forget I was dying for the loo!

The Southern Golden Retriever display team were fabulous and very attentive, there wasn't a tail out of place. I think Mum would love to see me in a display like this but I'm not quite sure my attention span would stretch to that much concentration.....

I'm looking forward to what Day 4 brings and to see the ultimate Best in Show!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's A Hard Life.... Watching Crufts!

After a long day walking, and a long evening watching the events if Crufts and being told about all the action by Mum, I'm shattered! I can't even keep my eyes open to watch the dogs on the screen. That's not like me. I've been debriefed and will get all the photos up tomorrow but for now I'm retiring to my bed to have yet more doggy dreams on competing at Crufts!

Enjoying the arena at crufts 2012

Update from mum at crufts today " stunning display by the southern golden retriever display team amazing obedience! Agility next photos to follow" sounds like she's having fun wish I was there!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Crufts 2012 Day 2

Ahh I'm in heaven, I've spent the evening watching lots of very pretty and talented dogs on TV whilst I lounge on the sofa. Occasionally I growl a little and sometimes I even manage to force myself to leap off the sofa and get nose to nose with the dog on TV and give them a good growl up close. It's a perfect evening for me!

Day 2 of Crufts was great viewing I particularly enjoyed the flyball and agility, some of the competitors were practically flying. I was sat on the edge of the seat as each dog seemed to get faster than the last, although I'm sure I would outrun them all if I was in the competition, but I'd be smart and miss most of them daft obstacles out they just slow you down! Mum thinks I miss the point of agility but logically why go over jumps when you can just run huge laps around the arena and bark a lot? Actually, maybe that's why we don't do agility anymore....

So what did Day 2 bring? The focus was on the Gundog group and the eventual winner of the day was a perky Irish Water Spaniel called Sh Ch / Am Ch Whistlestop's Elements of Magic from Carlisle. I really loved the hairdo of this breed, I just wish I could grow mine that long.

Image courtesy of onEdition - Picture shows judith Caruthers from Carlisle with her Irish Water Spaniel called Merlin, who won Best of Breed in the Gundog group today 09.03.12, the second day of Crufts 2012, at the Birmingham NEC.
There was an interesting piece on how to buy a puppy and avoid puppy farms, some of the images got me quaking on my very comfy sofa at the thought of those poor pups living in conditions like that. I didn't have the best start to life (although not from a puppy farm but still not a good beginning) so I can sympathise with these poor dogs and it really is down to you humans to make sure you're not encouraging these terrible breeders by getting a puppy through a reliable source.

I really enjoyed watching the Cani-Cross race and took quite a shine to the winner Africa, I wonder if Mum would fancy a go at running, if not maybe I can persuade Dad instead......

Finally there was another disappointment when the Clumber Spaniel group winner failed the Vet check, it's a real shame, but I'm all for fit and healthy dogs being in the spotlight and it's something the KC is taking very seriously. I do wonder what they would make of me in a breed check, that may be an idea for another project?

So Mum's off to see the action for herself tomorrow, I really wish I could go too, although small dogs I find quite noisy and big ones scare me so I'd probably be pulling to get back home to the sofa and TV after half an hour in there. After the long drive down I probably wouldn't be the most popular pooch in the household! Hopefully she'll bring back lots of photos and smells for me to evaluate from the comfort of my own bed instead.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crufts 2012 Has Begun

It's all go and Crufts is now open! I did intend on this post being a little earlier but a huge washing machine saga got me all delayed (before you ask I neither broke nor fixed the washing machine but Dexter and I did prove to be great spectators, and I do believe it helped get it fixed much quicker!)

So what did the first day hold? Well unfortunately as I was watching the water flow through the kitchen from the washing machine I didn't get to glue myself to the TV as often as I wanted, I tell you it was quite a dilemma as I love to paddle my paws in water but on the other paw it's Crufts!! Needless to say I managed to multi task as only a purebred (ahem no sniggering) Collie knows how and got the best of both worlds.

So here's a quick summary of the winners of the day:

Utility Group - Ch Zentarr Elizabeth a Lhasa Apso owned by Mrs M Anderson from Coventry
Toy Group - Belliver Unexpected Dream a Pomeranian owned by Mr F Nilsson and Mrs K Bertilsson from Skane in Sweden.
Kennel Gazette Junior Warrant Winner - Nikara Diamond Dancer JW a Samoyed owned by Mesdames V Freer and S A Smith.

Other notable events were Rosemary Conley promoting fitness to the visitors, the Best of Breed winners for the Bulldog and Pekingese category both failing their Vet checks and so sadly could not receive their awards or represent their breeds in the rest of the competition and shoppers getting an underwater view of the treadmill at the K9 Surf Canine Hydrotherapy stand.

Now there's something I'd love to have a go on an underwater treadmill, that and Dock dogs, I think I'd be awesome at that!

So a big tail wag for all the competitors in tomorrows Gundog group, I will make sure I tune in to see the judging as well as the heelwork to music competition and the agility displays, reminds me of when I dabbled my paw in a little bit of agility, I thought I did quite well but everyone else seemed to despair!
I'm off now for an early night so I can have some doggy dreams about winning the Best in Show...... a dog can dream!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

OMD! They have a Crufts Factor

I cannot believe such a thing exists, it's what my doggy dreams are made of! A dog talent show solely for us dogs to show off our greatness....

How exciting and what a great idea. So if any of you dogs out there have a super talent like doggy singing, dancing or the best jumper for example get entering as you might find yourself at Crufts this year.
I'm heading over to You Tube now to see if I can find any videos and see what the competition is, although to be honest I need to first decide what my talent will be.... Hmmm do you think scooting my rear end delicately on the grass, rolling in things or dragging myself through puddles on my tummy will count as a talent? I may have to have a good re-think of this, I must have some hidden talent surely?

I must have this breed in me?

After scrolling through some amazing underwater pictures of my fellow canine swimming enthusaiasts, I had a quick peek at the normal dog gallery too and found this brilliant portrait:
Little Friends photo gallery

It's from Little Friends Photo gallery and I think it could be a related family member, from somewhere along the tree anyway.
There are also some stunning shots from dogs underwater, showing just how much effort we put in when we're swimming, especially if we're after a ball or stick.

These photos are truly beautiful, and now I've found this pup I feel like making it my mission to find my double, so expect plenty more pictures up in my quest.... Does yout dog have a double? I'd love to know there may be some truth in this. I mean they say every human has a double, well so I've heard, so why not every dog too?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crufts Essentials

So for any newbie Crufts visitors out there I thought I would put together a few essential facts and figures so you can brush up on some Crufts basics in one quick read.

  • First Crufts show was in 1891
  • Founder was Charles Cruft
  • Crufts is a celebration of dogs and highlights the diverse role they play
  • Crufts is run by The Kennel Club
  • At the Crufts show you will find hundreds of trade stands, loads of displays and events and plenty of knowledgable doggy people to ask for advice.
  • The first ever winner of Best in Show was a Greyhound called Primley Sceptre
  • Around 26,000 dogs will be at Crufts 2012
  • 21,029 dogs at Crufts 2012 will be in the judging line
  • More 4 will be the channel broadcasting the show, along with Cruft's You Tube channel.
  • Last years winner was a flat coated Retriever called The Kentuckian
  • Crufts 2012 runs from the 8th to the 11th March
I'll keep it short and sweet, I know I shouldn't go off my attention span (non existant!) but I think there is such a thing as information overload....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crufts Competition 2012

I'm so excited as I've just been told that the lovely folks at The Kennel Club have given us 2 pairs of tickets to this years Crufts! Although I would dearly love to nab one for myself I'm unfortunately just not quite Crufts material - if you've seen my previous posts you no doubt will agree. So in the essence of fairness Little Fluff is once again running a competition for some lucky people to win themselves a pair.

All you have to do is visit their Crufts Competition Page and get entering but hurry as the deadline is 28th Feb 2012!

If you're wanting your tickets now though you can also buy them online from the Crufts ticket office and as a bonus if you buy early you save on the ticket price, how good is that!

Crufts 2012

It's that time of year again and Crufts is rapidly approaching. I'm sure there are lots of nervous dogs out there waiting for their turn in the show ring and a chance at a trophy or rosette. I sometimes have little daydreams of what it would be like to be named best in show, but unfortunately I don't think they accept Collies with under short jaws and slightly bent back legs!! Never mind, I'm sure if there's a competition for quirkiest dog (or dogs with blogs) then I might just stand a chance.

So what's on the menu at this years show? The organisers have really pulled out the stops and crammed the 4 days with a delight of trade stands, displays, demonstrations and of course the competitions themselves.

Now I'm off to get my grooming brush out and preen my paws, although I know I'll never be quite as pretty as the pooches in the ring I do like to posh myself up when I'm watching them on the TV, maybe they inspire me! I do scrub up quite well when I try but no doubt I'll end up ruining it by rolling in something dubious, oh well at least I can do that without worrying too much about my fur!

I'm all ready with my grooming box!

Don't forget to buy your tickets now from the Crufts ticket office so you can check out all the action!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dogs and Babies

So you may have noticed that I have been a little quiet over the last two months and that is because we have had a new addition to the household, and it's not one of the furry kinds!

I've had to contend with a new baby! Human babies are very odd totally different to puppies (not that I have huge experience with them), they are totally dependent for ages and are very noisy and believe me they cry quite a lot.

The whole situation was made a bit more delicate by Dexter completely freaking out resulting in an overnight stay at the vets with a catheter in. Trust a cat to overreact they are no-where near as hardy as us dogs. I'm pleased to say that he's now back to his usual annoying self, smacking me over the head whenever I get too near to his food bowl, nightmare.

So it's been a lot to adjust to and although I still get lots of cuddles it's a bit of a change to before, and all my efforts at barking to get attention isn't going down too well but then I suppose the barking wasn't a great hit before the baby either. On the plus side I'm getting plenty of walks, even if they are with a pram in tow I'm not complaining, and I got a huge chew the other night as a reward for being so good, it was nice that my patience has finally been recognised.

It's now four months in and I'm getting disturbed less at night which is a bonus and I get to clean up milk splashes on the floor and there's plenty to sniff at and new toys to steal. The only problem I'd say is that mum is going to have to start saying our names when she talks to us as I can never tell who she's directing things at, me or the baby!