Dougal's Den had a mention in the last two editions of the Leek Post and Times. Just before we opened in amongst floor cleaning, stock pricing up and a million and one other things a photographer arrived to take my picture with a selection of the lovely dog toys we have in the shop. Apart from the amount of double chin on show I think it's a great pic! Then last night I was working late at the shop when a lovely lady knocked on the door to ask me if I had seen this week's Leek Post and Times as there was a letter in there about the new Pet place on Stanley Street. I managed to grab a copy on the way home and saw on the letters page a letter from a lady who had been in to the shop on opening day.
It was great to read that she appreciated the advice I gave about not needing another dog coat and also that trying to ease her dog into wearing a coat seems to be working. I think the letter sums up how we operate at Dougal's Den, we are not about hard sell, we would rather chat to customers about what they need and if it's not actually something that we sell then we will recommend where you can get it. We have had a tremendous amount of support from the local community and to see our efforts appreciated in print was fantastic. An extra big thanks to Angela for taking the time to write such a lovely letter, and to the lady who told us about the letter in the first place.
Yesterday we got the very sad news that Dougal's brother Scooby has crossed the rainbow bridge, this is particularly poignant for us as Scooby is obviously the same age as our oldie, and Scooby lived with my best friend Karen. It was as always a very hard decision for Karen and her family, Scooby had started to have little mini fits and has had problems over the past few months with various forms of stomach upset and like Dougal he had recurrent problems with his eyes getting infections. He had lost a lot of weight and for the past few weeks was not able to keep even the tasty tuna and poached chicken Karen cooked for him in his little body. So yesterday Karen did the kindest thing that anyone who has spent almost 17 years with a pet can do. It is so hard because of course it is easy to think maybe if we had this test or that test he could have some treatment which would extend his life for a few more months or maybe even a year. However putting a dog who has lived for 16 happy years through the stress of tests and visits to the vet is a tough call. We have already made the decision that if Dougal needs any emergency treatment or invasive tests that we will not put him through this, he hates the vet visits and I would not want his last memory to be a scary stressful experience. So I totally agree with the hard choice that Karen made yesterday to let Scooby go. One of my funniest memories of Scooby was how he always seemed to manage to escape from the garden every christmas morning and had to be chased and caught before presents could be opened. I also remember us shouting for them both until we almost lost our voices when they went rabbit chasing around Oakamoor, one of their favourite places to walk. I don't think that either of us believed nearly 17 years ago that these two little dogs would be with us for so long, they have been with us through births, deaths, marriages, divorces, house moves and job changes, the pooches have been with us through a lot of sad and also many very happy times. I remember when we first had them we immediately purchased every new toy, treat, comfy bed going and we stressed over every little cough or sneeze, much like mothers do over new babies.Both dogs have moved around a bit, Dougal more than Scooby, but I know that he loved his time on the farm, looking out on the beautiful countryside, walking by the canal, Dougal really loved to visit him on the farm with all of the exciting new smells and animals to inspect! Scooby came to stay with us earlier this year when the weather took a turn for the worse and he loved being around Dougal and Ozzy. Scooby has his final resting place at the farm, and the memory of this little dog will live on in our hearts forever, rest in peace Scooby, until we meet again.
assessed by renowned dog behaviourists who have stated that he is not a risk, but it seems that the 'system' we have in place does not recognise the evidence of these experts. Instead choosing to believe the words of a police dog handler. As #savelennox supporters of Lennox heard the news break around mid day on the 12th June Twitter and Facebook came alive with messages of support, condolence and outright outrage at the decision of Lord Justice Girvan that the original judgement should stand and that Lennox should be destroyed. Much of the anger was directed against Belfast City Council who were responsible for taking Lennox from his home in 2010. The council's Facebook account was bombarded with messages of anger, dismay and disbelief making it necessary for them to remove the ability for other users to post in their page at around 8pm on the 12th June. They have so far decided to leave the recommendations free to post on and as I type supporters have continued to post their views on the Council's page, although the Council have removed the ability for all of the 2900 comments supporting Lennox and directly criticising the Council to be easily viewed. My guess is that they will remove the recommendations tab later today. Belfast itself is also being targeted with the initiation of a Boycott Belfast Site which had received over 11,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. Lennox has a massive amount of support from all over the world and the geography of the situation is confusing to many who do not appreciate that Belfast is part of the UK and as such is covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act ( albeit an amended version of the act ) . Many have called for a boycott of Ireland which ironically does not have any such laws, indeed many people have come forward from Southern Ireland offering shelter to Lennox so that he does not have to be destroyed. Twitter came alive with a Howl for Lennox tweetstorm using the hashtags #savelennox and #lennoxarmy at 9pm UK time on the 12th June with supporters tweeting message of support, dismay and disgust at the decision. News early on the 13th June that Ceasar Milan is trying to help may give some hope, despite the fact that the dog loving community is widely split on his methods, at this stage anything that can give some hope is welcomed. This campaign has gone on for over two years, for two years Lennox has been kept away from his family and if the reports of his condition are as described by Victoria Stillwell are true then he has not been well cared for by his captors with images of an pre existing skin condition , damage to his neck and a paw injury described on a recent podcast. Little wonder then that unconfirmed reports have emerged that the family are not going to be allowed to say a final goodbye to Lennox, for then they would be able to see the condition of their treasured pet. I simply cannot imagine how they must be feeling, none of us can. They have fought a valiant battle in the face of a seemingly uncaring opponent who are hellbent on imposing a deeply flawed law at the expense of common sense and compassion. As heartbreaking as it will be I do believe that the family should be allowed to be with Lennox one last time, although I do not hold out much hope for the authorities allowing this to happen, I do not believe that they will even release his body, I sincerely hope that I am proved wrong. Whatever happens their commitment to Lennox can never be questioned, they have fought a long emotional battle for one who cannot speak for himself. What I find hard to believe is that the current amendments under the Dangerous Dog Act do not do very much to clarify the situation for another Lennox type case. Despite the fact that the new sentencing proposals which are meant to act as a more consistent guideline to courts in the following situations "The draft guideline covers six dangerous dog offences in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991:Responsible dog owners all over the UK and indeed the world were devastated yesterday to hear the news that owners of Lennox the dog who has been incarcerated by Belfast City Council for over two years have lost their final chance of an appeal. As a result Lennox will be (if I say it kindly, and I do hope that he is treated with kindness) put to sleep, another way of describing what will happen is that he will be destroyed, a horrible phrase which seeks to dehumanise the act that someone will have to carry out to conform with the ruling of the court. During his time away from his family Lennox has been
- owner or person in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place injuring any person;
- owner or person in charge allowing a dog to be in a private place where the dog is not permitted to be injuring any person;
- owner or person in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place;
- owner or person in charge allowing a dog to be in a private place where the dog not permitted to be;
- possession of a prohibited dog (these are the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro); and
- breeding, selling or exchanging a prohibited dog."
Their current guidelines do not note any Sentencing Scenario for the situation which I believe led to the removal of Lennox from his home ~ "possession of a prohibited dog (these are the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro)", as there is no scenario which states what to do in a case like the Lennox's. Some small measure of hope for the future remains within the draft proposals which state the aim of "Giving the police more discretion to take common sense decisions by ending an anomaly requiring dogs be seized and kennelled, at great cost to the taxpayer and distress to the owner and dog involved, while a decision is taken on whether to exempt the dog from being destroyed under the Dangerous Dogs Act" If adopted one would hope that this would mean that dogs who are subject to detainment under the DDA would not necessarily have to go through the two years of hell that Lennox has endured. Consultation on amendments to the DDA ends in 2 days time on the 15th June 2012 so there is a very limited time for those who have been made aware of the issues through the Lennox case to give their input. The situation is made worse by the fact that the laws are varied across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales so we can only hope that a consistent approach is adopted. The case of Lennox highlights in the worst possible way what is wrong with the current laws and their interpretation throughout the whole of the UK. As the world waits holding out for a last minute reprieve for Lennox one thing is certain...
Lennox will never be forgotten
I sincerely hope that he is around to see the day when the laws are changed and enforced in a way that ensure that this can never happen again. Our thoughts are with Lennox an his family. You can keep up to date with the unfolding events on twitter search for #savelennox and of course on the official SaveLennox site.
We had a little incident at the weekend while we were having a lovely stroll to the Holly Bush pub at Denford for a Sunday lunch time drink. Walking along the canal with two lively springers Albert and Daisy and one lively terrier Ozzy McDougal we were all surprised when the old'un Dougal decided to take a little dip in the canal. Now this is not at all unusual behaviour as he has always loved swimming, however what was a surprise and a source of mild panic was the fact that he had decided to go in to the canal at a point where it was impossible for him to get out himself. We all had visions of having to jump in to get him or walk miles around to the the other side where he could get out more easily.Thankfully Albert springer came to the rescue by jumping in and guiding Dougal to the side of the canal where we could grab him and fish him out. So one very happy pooch and two slightly soaking wet owners later we decided it was time for a bath. Canals can be extremely smelly places so a lovely Pet Head Shampoo and Conditioner pampering session soon restored all to sweet smells all round. To celebrate the lucky rescue we have a special offer on all Pet Head products and for a limited time we are giving away a free scunchie with every purchase of Pet Head Shampoo. We have found that this is by far the best thing to use to get the shampoo into a dogs thick fur, and it means you don't have to use so much shampoo which has to be a good thing. We reflected on the events of the day and the dog's dad revealed that he was about to get his phone out of his pocket and remove his watch when he saw the pooch heading for the opposite bank. All I could think was why didn't I think of that ? I never even thought about my phone as I too was ready to launch myself head first into the canal. Thankfully it all ended happily and we all had a good old chuckle and it all goes to prove there is plenty of life in the old dog yet!
We had a very lazy sunday morning, as you can see Dougal and Ozzy McDougal had a lie in as well. No such luck this morning as we have a busy day ahead and the pooches were awake from around 5:45am!Hope you all had a lovely weekend and with a bit of luck we will all have some warm sunny weather.
Well we are almost recovered from our very 1st visit to Crufts as Dougal's Den. We returned with very sore feet, lots of new customers and very little stock. But we had a ball and really enjoyed meeting our customers face to face as well as a whole bunch of our twitter pals.The most popular toy was as expected the Hide a Squirrel dog toy, closely followed by the Bottle Buddies and I hope all of you remember out little tip about filling the bottle with water and popping it in the freezer to help keep your pooches cool when the weather starts to warm up. The great news is that we have some limited stock of all of these toys available online! Thanks for all of your positive comments about the Poochie Bells product, the best seller was Best Friend in Purple and in case you are wondering some of the designs are not available on the website yet as we only just got them in time for Crufts but they should be on the site by the end of this week at the latest. We also hope to have some doggie bells available for those of you who asked about bells to place on your dog's collar or harness so watch this space over the next few weeks. We are now busy trying to get a whole boat load of Kyjen Toys over from the USA as well as researching some new products that visitors to our stand helpfully mentioned they had spotted on their travels. So if the shop looks a bit empty at the moment please try again in a few weeks time. This was our 1st year at Crufts and we totally underestimated the amount of toys you guys would buy!! We would love to see your pics of your doggies with their new toys and poochie bells so why not post a photo on our facebook page , we will pick a winner at the end of the week and they will get a special delivery of some yummy fish4dogs treats!
These days you can get christmas cards for and from everyone, we have spotted "From the cat", "To the dogs", "To my favourite teacher" amongst others. We always sign our cards from all our our furry friends as well, and most of our friends send seasons greetings to them on their cards to us. We also send cards from the pooches to each other, obviously hand picked by paw by the pets themselves. This is the one that the boys have picked out this year!So it is no great surprise that we have a range of edible christmas cards for your pooch. Made from rawhide these cute cards even have their own card envelope so you can pop them in the post to your furry friends. They are quite tough and should keep even the most chew monsters happy for a few hours on christmas day. One word of caution is that the natural dyes used in the cards can get transferred onto light fabric and furnishings when the chew gets a tad soggy so best to keep an eye on your pooch when they have this treat. How to Enter To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is tell us how many cards your furry friends get a mention in! The competition is open from 10am on the 19th to 10am on the 20th, the winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime this week! We still have a few days worth of competitions before Christmas so be sure to check in each day for a chance to win a great gift for you or your furry friends.
Sometimes the things that dogs love to play with can be surprising. Mr Ozzy Mcdougal loves nothing more than an old water bottle to scrunch. I suppose it must be something to do with the noise it makes.With this in mind the clever guys at Kyjen have come up with something called a bottle buddy. These cute little toys are tougher than they look as they are made from a plush fabric that is backed with a tougher layer to help it withstand all that tooth action! All you do is place a small size used water bottle inside the toy, fasten it up with the tough Velcro fastening and let the fun begin. And a top tip for these toys is to fill a bottle with water, freeze it and you can use the toy as a soother for pooches who are teething! Just Make sure you keep an eye on them though as you don't want to end up with a puddle on the floor when the ice melts! We have various designs available, a cute cow, a precious pig and an adorable puppy! But for today's competition we have a very festive Santa! How to enter 1. Simply post a comment on our blog telling us what is the most unusual thing your dog has adopted as a toy. The competition is open from 10am on the 17th to 10am on the 18th, the winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime next week! We still have a full weeks worth of competitions before Christmas so be sure to check in each day for a chance to win a great gift for you or your furry friends
Does your pooch love squeaky toys? Ours do and one of their favourites is the alligator squeaker mat! Now then if you have not come across one of these toys before, let me explain the appeal. They have 16 yes that's right 16 squeakers! Your dog will love it .... You may require some ear plugs! We have alligators with Christmas hats on (the hats are easy to remove after the seasons festivities) so an alligator does not have to be just for Christmas.So if you fancy winning one if these lovely toys for your pooch here's all you have to do! How to enter: 1. Simply post a comment on our blog telling us what you dog's favourite squeaky toy is. The competition is open from 10am on the 16th to 10am on the 17th, the winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime next week! We still have a full weeks worth of competitions before Christmas so be sure to check in each day for a chance to win a great gift for you or your furry friends
In case you have not heard about the Love Pets Show which is being held in on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October at the EXEC in Peterborough we thought we would remind you because we are going to be there! We will be showcasing our Poochie Bells product which is an innovative doggie doorbell used to train your dog to let you know when they want to go outside to take care of some business! We are the only company in the UK who supply this product direct from our online shop. They come in a vast range of colours and designs so you are sure to find one that matches your decor or your doggie personality. We do hope that lots of you will come and see us at the show, but just in case you cannot make it to the event we have teamed up with the smashing Love Pets Show team to let you have a change of winning a set of poochie bells! Prize: One Set of Poochie Bells How To Enter:
- Leave a comment below saying which Poochie Bells design you would like to win, or just that you would like to win the prize!
- Like LovePetsShow on facebook and leave a comment on their wall saying hello.
Deadline: Contest closes September 21st, 11:59 PM BST. Good Luck !! We will be announcing the winner on the Love Pets Show facebook page as well as on our blog. If you are coming along to the LovePetsShow you will have a fantastic family day out, from Pooches to Parrots whatever your favourite type of pet you will see some great displays at the show. You will also be able to ask the pet experts for advice and of course have the change to pamper your pet with all the latest pet products. We hope to see you there.
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