Category Archives: Shop

Fundraising: CALENDAR 2019 – BUY NOW!

Fundraising for Canine Concern – Calendar 2019

For the last few years I have been producing a calendar for friends and family.  This year I have decided to go all out and try a bit of fundraising while I’m at it…

The first couple of years I made calendars using photos taken by two amazing dog photographers – Kate Everall Photography and Bridget Davey Photography.  These two are highly skilled at their job and if you want gorgeous photos of your dogs, look no further. Kate  also takes fabulous photos of people, including newborn babies, children and families with their dogs – I highly recommend her.

fundraising2019 Calendar

Last year, I made a calendar using my own photographs for the first time.  Obviously I am not a professional photographer, but thanks to some lessons from Kate and a decent camera, I have been pleased with the results.

The advantage of using my own photos, vs ones taken by the professionals, is that I am able to take pictures throughout the year.  My goals with my pictures for next year’s calendar have been as follows:

  • seasonal pictures – preferably with flowers (collie flowers – get it?)
  • different dogs – there are 8 different dogs on next year’s calendar
  • different poses – lying down is the easy one, but I have tried to get some variety as well
  • showing off what makes Border Collies SO special.

fundraisingAvailable to buy

I have decided to offer a number of these calendars for sale, within the UK only.  In addition, I have decided to do this as a fundraising exercise for a charity very close to my heart: Canine Concern.

I am therefore offering these calendars for sale for £10+p&p.  For each calendar sold, £2 will be donated to Canine Concern.  I hope you agree that this is a worthwhile cause.  I am very proud of the fact that three of the dogs I have bred have now joined this charity and are working in schools.  It is my hope that others may be inspired to join the work done, which makes such a difference to a huge number of children and adults.

fundraisingFundraising

I do have a target figure in mind, but I will have to see how things go.  I have ordered a number of calendars to get going, so let’s see what happens.

TO ORDER

Please can you CONTACT ME with details of your order?  As this is only a small, personal fundraising project, I have not been able to set up an official shop (that is not what I’m about), so please bear with me?  I’ve added a contact form for you to fill in if that’s easier?

CALENDARS COST £10+p&p (UK only). 

Order now – while stocks last!

Thank you for your support xx

Norwex – cleaning power with less chemicals

Norwex – my new passion

I thought it would be helpful to introduce you to my new passion; a company called Norwex.  I did write about their cleaning products and philosophy a few months ago, but I need to tell you what has happened since then.

I love their stuff so much I signed up to become a Consultant!  I am now an Independent Norwex Consultant and am so excited about this new venture.

norwexWhat I have found amazing since I purchased those first few products is how effective they are.  I basically clean everything with just water now.  My granite worktops have never been so clean!  They are black and although they look amazing when clean, they quickly look terrible.  I was using a granite polish spray to clean them.  But because I don’t like using loads of chemical products I used to leave it a day or two between polishes.  Now I don’t have to worry – my worktops always look fantastic!

New Products

Being an Independent Norwex Consultant is exciting!  I get to share my passion for all things green and hopefully help people find products that work for them and their house.  The brilliant thing is that you don’t need much to clean your whole house.  Using Norwex products you will:

  • use less chemicals
  • make your house cleaner
  • save money (less products required)
  • use less plastic
  • save the planet

norwexThe future of Dentbros Dogs

I’m just doing this post because I won’t be writing so much about dogs and training for the time being.  There is already a huge amount of content on this site.  As promised on my Home Page, I provide information on all aspects of finding and owning a dog.

It is challenging to make money this way, I’ll be honest.  People don’t want advice before they get a dog – they think they know what they’re doing.  I was recently asked to recommend a dog for a family with four children, including an autistic girl aged 8.  It had to be a small dog because ‘they weren’t allowed to keep big dogs’.  My advice?  Get a cat.  They didn’t reply.

For now then, I’m going to focus on the cleaning, partying and socialising associated with being an Independent Norwex Consultant.  Of course I will still share dog news (pupdates!) and the occasional post on training.  I’m sure that Ounce will continue to have adventures :D.

norwexRemember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my Norwex products?  You can like my Norwex Facebook page too, then you will see the lovely things on offer and news about events and parties I’ll be hosting.

 

Trainers – what are the best for you and your dogs?

Trainers: looking after your feet

Ah yes, those sort of trainers.  Not the trainers we give all our money to, lol.  I often see posts on the agilitynet Facebook group, asking about the best footwear to have when training or walking our dogs.

Recommended makes of footwear

My no 1 choice is Asics.  This is my latest pair:

They are comfortable, supportive, a good fit and OK to look at.  Most importantly, the soles have a good grip.  I have discovered over the years that I need ‘running shoes’ which seems a bit of a joke when I stumble around, but it’s what works for me.

Another recommended brand is Salomon which many agility people swear by.

I have found Sketchers to be very comfortable, but they are not really running shoes; soles not as grippy.

Winter walking

In winter we need a whole other kind of shoe; something to keep us warm and dry, still with grip and also support.  I think I’ll cover that another time..

Trainers – the other kind

Just before I go, I would like to recommend a few trainers – the human kind.  I have recently met two dog trainers – Dan Callaghan from Barkers Trail who is a dog behaviourist and runs a variety of training classes.  And Adam Delderfield, from Delders Dogs.  I haven’t worked with either of these trainers, but they both know what they are talking about so I recommend them as people.

I am also excited to have started working with Emma Conlisk of Beancroft Agility.  I love the facilities, the class setup and the teaching style :-).  Looking forward to more!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

NB: If you read my posts in an email, you may be missing out on the lovely pictures!  Please click through to my website to see the post in all its glory!

Cat Kennel – a snug home for your feline friend

What is a cat kennel? Why would you need one?

I have previously talked about Cages and Crates for dogs, but why would I need a cat kennel?  Mainly so that he can be self-sufficient.

Poor Tatsu!  He is a sweet boy, who has always been a bit damaged.  Unlike my dogs, I got him through an advert in a pet shop.  I decided I wanted a tabby girl, having mainly had black and white boys.  My mum came with me, assuring me that he was a girl.  ‘Tatsu’ means dragon in Japanese and I thought it would be a fitting name for a tatty tabby girl.

cat kennelUnfortunately, apart from the fact that he is a boy not a girl, lol, he also has a heart murmur, so has never been particularly strong.  Having had my son’s cat to stay a few times, I have realised that he is actually quite weak.  He can clamber over the fence and the gate, but he has no strength to jump up onto a worktop surface.

With 5 dogs in the house, I do obviously have to feed him on the worktop.  But now that I’ve established that he cannot jump that high, how can I leave food out for him, where the dogs can’t get it?  I designed a solution for him in my mind, then found what I wanted online – simple!

Cat Kennel

This is a great solution for him.  It also means he can come and go as he pleases.  He had previously had a cat flap, but not surprisingly Chris is not keen to saw a hole in our back door – especially as it is unlikely we will have another cat..

cat kennelThis kennel is pretty sturdy, but also light enough to be moved if necessary.  There is room for a bed and a couple of dishes of food.  So he can have dry and wet food available, whenever he wants them.

Water

Cats apparently like their water to be in a different place to their food.  Did you know that?  They really like to drink from a tap, but will find some water outside if possible.  I therefore make sure there is a water bowl and a bucket of water available, filled from our water butt.

cat kennelWhy have a cat?

You might be asking yourself why I have a cat, when I am clearly a dog person?  Well puppies need to learn about cats as part of their socialisation programme, that’s why!  Oh and he is a nice pet, really.

 

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Remember..

If you like receiving updates on my recommended products and services, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you would like me to write about a specific topic?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think?

Medication for your dog

Medication – where do you buy yours?

Until recently, I was able to buy any medication from my vet, as you should do.  However, since Luna’s diabetes diagnosis in December 2017, I have had a bit of a re-think.  She has to have an insulin injection every 12 hours.  See my post about caring for your  diabetic dog for more details.  It’s pretty straightforward, but I must admit the cost of it all does start to add up.

Luna needs:

  • One VetPen kit
  • Needles – 2 per day
  • Caninsulin cartridges – 1 per week
  • Sharps disposal bin

She also has a special diet – Royal Canin Dry Dog Food Diabetic, which you can’t buy from Royal Canin 🙁

After a few months of getting her stabilised, things are generally settled, but we continue to need supplies.  Luna also has to have her ‘glucose curve’ done, which means a whole day at the vet with a blood glucose check done every hour.  The vet usually sends off her blood to the lab for analysis, so that they can see how things have been going for her.

medicationBuying medication online

Some of this is pretty straightforward.  I buy the Royal Canin Diabetic food from Amazon.  Or I can buy the food and the needles from Pet Drugs Online.  They are a  great company, really easy to use.  Delivery is normally free and it’s pretty prompt.

There is a challenge though; buying prescription drugs online.  For these, you must get a written prescription  from your vet.  You will have to pay a fee for this (about £14).  It’s a bit of a faff, but you do then pay a fraction of the price for the drugs themselves.

Once you have the written prescription, you then scan it and upload it onto the site in order to place the order.

A word of warning

I was not able to buy the VetPen cartridges from Pet Drugs Online as they don’t appear to sell these.  They sell vials for syringes, but I use the pen.  It cost over £60 to buy (from the vet’s), but it is so easy to use.
medicationAnyway, I then went to Animed to buy the cartridges.  Using their site was nothing like as straightforward and I wasn’t very happy with their service.  To be fair, this was partly because I tried to order more cartridges than it said on the prescription, thinking I could just order a bigger stock.  But they didn’t make it clear that I couldn’t do this and then didn’t tell me why they hadn’t sent my order.   This meant I had a total panic as I ran out of insulin for Luna!  Fortunately the vet was able to give me some and I did receive the order, so I do now have a bit of stock.
medication

Other medication

I give Sunny Metacam to help ease her arthritis.  I have saved around £50 ordering this online.  Overall, it has already saved me a significant amount of money buying the meds online, but it is more hassle.

NB:  I do not insure my dogs.  This is partly because I have so many and partly because I resent paying insurance when my dogs are generally pretty healthy.  Obviously I would have been able to claim for some of Luna’s treatments and meds, but I suspect there would have been an annual limit on this.

I appreciate that many people feel it is irresponsible not to insure your pets, because you might then be unable to pay for the treatment they need.  Personally, I would rather save the money elsewhere and use that fund when needed.  What do you think?  Do you buy stuff online?   What would you recommend?

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Remember..

If you enjoy hearing about Ounce and her family and want more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you would like me to write about a specific topic?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think?

Fabric Dog Collars

Fabric flat collars for your dog

Well it is her birthday!  Some people give their dogs cake for their birthday (see the pic of Lenny in yesterday’s post, or the lovely Woofs Treats I talked about last week).  I just keep buying collars ;-p

fabric collarI don’t generally dress my dogs up in costumes, but I do like a nice collar.  And I found one, made by Rocky and Bud Isn’t it lovely?

fabric collarI had previously bought her a rainbow collar, as she was from The Rainbow Litter but I always wanted a lilac collar.  This one does not disappoint!

Collar types

There are two main types of collar – flat and rolled.  As you know, I am quite partial to a rolled leather collar, such as those sold by Dogs & Horses

fabric collarHowever, these are no good for agility.  You need a flat collar with no ‘dangly bits’ when competing.  If you have something hanging from the collar you will be eliminated.  Basically, it’s a risk to the dog as it could become caught on the equipment.

So we need flat collars.  I must admit I do love a flat collar, when they have a design as lovely as this one.  They are comfortable for the dog to wear and lovely and personal.  The D ring to which the lead attaches is bigger than on rolled collars, so it is easier to clip on.

fabric collarID Tags

If you need an ID tag to go on the collar, I recommend going to Indigo Collar Tags.  They are a bit pricey for a dog tag, but such great quality.  They last forever and are very secure, fitting easily but safely onto the collar.  In fact I struggled to take a picture where you couldn’t read the address on this one!

Lucky puppy!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Remember..

If you enjoy hearing about Ounce and her family and want more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you would like me to write about a specific topic?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think?

NB: If you read my posts in an email, you may be missing out on the lovely pictures!  Please click through to my website to see the post in all its glory?

Healthy Dog Treats – Good food for our dogs!

What are the best healthy treats to give your dog?

Following on from my post about Ounce’s prettiest eyes the other day, I thought I would just do a promotion for a lovely person I met at the Parks Trust event, the Big Doggie Do – Michelle from Woofs Treats.

treats

Michelle is clearly very knowledgeable about dogs and has worked hard to develop a great range of treats.  I was particularly impressed that she has researched and produced treats that are suitable for dogs on special diets, because I know how hard it can be to find something suitable for some dogs.

treatsOh and did I mention there are CAKES FOR DOGS!

Other Treats

Top treats can include:

  • cheese – mild cheddar is not too crumbly, nice and cheap.  Cut into small cubes
  • squirty cheese – lots of people buy tubes of cheese, which the dog can lick.  It’s a bit disgusting but dogs love it and it takes them longer to get a small amount
  • sausage – ordinary cooked sausage, cut small
  • frankfurters – I slice up quite finely and then cook in the oven for a while. This dries them out so them are easier to handle and last longer
  • liver cake – if you must.  I never do, but people swear by it: liver cake recipe

For now, I am going to keep buying these Wagg training treats I find them so easy to carry and use and the dogs still really love them.  I take them into school for the children to give to Busy when we are doing our voluntary work for Canine Concern.

 

However, if I am looking for something different, I will definitely visit this local company  for something homemade and healthy!

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have a problem you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.

Cleaning with less chemicals

Super Cleaning!

I realise I may possibly be revealing my somewhat OCD tendencies to clean, talking about cleaning yet again.  Trust me, when you have 5 dogs (and a cat) there is plenty of cleaning to do!  I do try hard NOT to over clean my house, because I don’t think that is a very healthy option, for me or the dogs.  It’s about getting the balance in being clean without going overboard.

Yesterday I had a meeting with the lovely Joanne Todd from Norwex They are a Norwegian company, whose mission is to help people learn how to make your home healthier and more sustainable while saving time and money.

I did learn!  I learnt that using a damp microfibre cloth and a dry  glass cloth is enough on its own to clean my kitchen.  Fantastic!

Less is more

I realised when talking to Joanne, just how much I do want to use less chemical sprays and cleaning products around the house.  I currently use the following:

  • descaling spray
  • kitchen cleaning spray
  • stainless steel spray
  • marble and granite spray
  • glass cleaner
  • furniture polish
  • anti-bacterial spray
  • disinfectant and odour removing floor cleaner
  • washing-up liquid
  • washing liquid
  • dishwasher tablets (plus rinse aid)
  • toilet cleaning blocks
  • toilet cleaner

OMG!! And all of these come in plastic bottles.  All contain any number of manufactured substances, which may or may not be harmful to my health and that of my animals.  Surely I can cut down? I will keep you posted with how I get on.

washing liquidWashing liquid

Here’s a good idea; let’s buy some washing liquid that is fantastically concentrated, rather than containing large amounts of ‘fillers’.  This includes things like cardboard and abrasive materials, which wear out clothes and damage washing machines.  Let’s buy Norwex Laundry Detergent 1kg that comes in small plastic pouch.  Buying it like this reduces the cost of transporting it too – it’s a win-win situation!

Bags and Food Covers

Finally, I have ordered some reusable food bags to take shopping and some silicone food covers to use instead of cling film.  Slowly, we chip away at it all and with any luck, we can remain clean, healthy and hygienic.

Happy shopping!

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have something you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.

Vacuum Cleaners

Only the best vacuum for my dogs.

When you have 5 hairy Border Collies AND a fluffy cat, you do need something that can cope!  Over the years I have had a variety of Dyson vacuum cleaners, but have finally decided they are too heavy and noisy, sorry Mr Dyson.

I have now decided to go with this one:

vacuum dog hairIt’s the Miele Blizzard Powerline Vacuum Cleaner – specifically the CX1 Cat and Dog.

I confess that we returned the first one, because the brush head couldn’t cope with the hair!  But I think I might have been using it incorrectly, because there is a non-brush head which sucks the hair up brilliantly.  I have hard floors throughout the downstairs and it wizzes around those really effectively.

Then it is a second’s work to swap to the brush head for the upstairs carpet.

Positive features:

  • light and easy to carry
  • bagless
  • head swivels and is easy to manoeuvre
  • quiet
  • great suction
  • brush head works well on carpet
  • non-brush head works well on hard floors and ‘scrubs’ dog beds effectively
  • Cord rewinds at the touch of a button

This last feature is of course standard for all cylinder vacuum cleaners, but I am an upright girl, having had these all my life, so this is the best thing as far as I’m concerned.

Negative features

  • cylinder not upright, so there’s always a tendency to bend over it – important to adjust the wand length correctly
  • dust compartment isn’t massive, so needs emptying after each use (bearing in mind I have lots of hairy dogs and don’t vacuum every day)
  • cord not quite long enough
  • red

OK I’m clutching at straws for the negatives, I don’t really mind it being red.  The Dyson was purple though…

Price:       £295.18    from Amazon Prime  BUY NOW!

(Don’t tell my hubby, we paid the RRP of £350 from John Lewis :-/)

Other options

vacuum dog hairI know that lots of people nowadays are going for the ”wand’ type vacuum cleaners.  I think these are great if you clean regularly and don’t do much at a time.  They are cordless and nice and light and manoeuvrable.  I’d love to have one for a quick wiz round the kitchen and maybe then I’d clean more often…

Alternatively, many pet owners are now recommending this one: The Shark DuoClean which gets good reviews.  I’m not going to say anything about it, as I haven’t used it, I am merely suggesting it as an option.

We love our dogs, but it is nice when the house is clean.

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have something you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.

 

14 Dog Walks in Milton Keynes – Get out and enjoy!

A guide to Dog Walks – recommendation

I recently talked about walking your dog and so when I was asked to promote this book for dog walkers, why wouldn’t I want to?  It’s a great looking guide, helping us make the most of living in the brilliant location that is Milton Keynes.

The town was designed in the ’60s to be a paragon of urban living, with a grid system (connected by roundabouts!) with the housing tucked away behind these wide roadways.  Each housing estate is linked to its neighbours via subways making it safe for local traffic to move around.  In addition, there are hundreds of miles of ‘redways’; cycle paths that allow you to travel from one side of the city to the other without touching a road.  There two large lakes; Caldecotte Lake, near my house, is around four and a half miles to walk round it.  Willen Lake, in the North of the city, is even bigger.

walkers guide milton keynes

A Dog Walkers Guide to Milton Keynes

This handy guide celebrates the best our area has to offer.  The walks are leisurely and circular, so the perfect way to enjoy our countryside.  This books gives you all the information you need to know, from parking, to poo bins, terrain and sites to see.  Oh and it also includes dog friendly pubs to visit at the end of the walk – the perfect incentive!

Dog walks Milton Keynes
Maps are provided and are easy to follow

Plenty of parkland

We have parkland running right through the heart of Milton Keynes, so you can walk along the river, through pasture, but along hard paths.  This is perfect for this time of year, when the ground is still wet and muddy – wellingtons are not required!  On the other hand, it is all safe for dogs to be off lead and running around – they love it!

dog walks in milton keynesLivestock

As I’ve said, there are areas of pasture, which do have sheep and cows in them over the summer.  These are usually dog friendly – I have walked my five dogs through the sheep and they barely notice!  You do of course need to pay attention to your dogs though; please do NOT let your dogs roar round livestock as this can be extremely dangerous for the animals and farmers are entitled to take action.

You also need to make sure that you keep gates closed as you go through these.  There are cattle grids at many of the gateways, which is great if you are on a bike, but not so good if the dogs are off lead!  There is usually an alternative gateway to go through.

Wildlife

I see a great deal of wildlife on my walks through the parks.  There are a wide variety of birds, including birds of prey and waterfowl.   There is a lovely variety of trees and plants to enjoy too.

To order the book

Please CONTACT ME to order the book, which costs £9.95.  Finally, I must ‘big up’ The Parks Trust, as they are responsible for the management of all our roadways, redways and parkland.

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have a problem you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.