Dougal's Den Blog
We are very excited to be getting ready to go to Crufts later this week for what has to be the greatest dog show on earth. This year we have a larger stand in Hall One ( for Crufts newbies Turn Left when you come through the entrance doors this will take you into Hall One ). All of the Dougal's Den team will be on the stand at some point during the four day event and we are very much looking forward to seeing friends old and new.
Having a larger stand means that we can bring even more goodies for you and your dogs along to the show.We will have the ever popular Kyjen range of dog toys, as well as a few new additions to our range, the Hear Doggy silent squeaking dog toys are great for your dogs as only poochie ears can hear the squeak, so great fun for your dog and peaceful playtimes for you and yours.
The Poochie Bells range will also be available for those of you who want to train your dog to politely let you know when they want to go outside, the only decision you have to make is which colour and design to pick.
If you have a dog who loves to chew you might want to check out the Stag Bars we will have on the stand, this completely natural product is great for keeping your dog's teeth clean, and is safter than giving your dog a bone as Stag Bars will not splinter. We will have the full range of sizes available from small right up to extra large.
Our new additions also include the Dogs Rock range of wall art photo frames and magnets, we have only had this range available for a few weeks and already it is becoming one of our top sellers. If you are looking for a gift for a dog loving friend then you must have a look at the gorgeous canvasses and metallic wall art.
We will be taking orders for our new range of personalised key chains, again a great gift for loving friends, they are available in a number of different colours and you can select from a single name up to three pet names.
Finally we have a very special just for Crufts doggie treat biscuit made for us by the team at Doggielicious, why not take home a special treat for your doggie made with honey and ginger these super cute treats are sure to be a hit with your pooch.
So very soon we will be on our way to the NEC to get the stand organised, and we will be updating our facebook page with lots of pictures of all of the doggies we meet as well as any great new products we find at Crufts.
This week is a busy week at Dougal's Den as it is the annual visit to Spring Fair where we will be hunting down the latest gifts available for dog lovers. We will be at Spring Fair on Wednesday hoping to find some great new gift ideas for all you dog lovers ( and cat lovers out there ). Don't worry the shop is open as usual thanks to the lovely Molly and the dogs' dad who will be holding the fort while I make my way round the gazillions of stands at the NEC. We hope to find some card suppliers who can provide us with some lovely greetings cards both "from the dog" and "to the dog" and we will also be on the look out for some pet inspired stationery items as we know how much you all love to cheer up your desk or study with some pet related stuff. We will also be on hunt for some pet inspired signs as well as some cushions and throws with pawsitive appeal. We have been asked for kitchen items with a pet feel...tea towels, oven gloves so they are all on the list as well. We would love to find some pet inspired games, having seen the dog version of Monopoly hopefully we can track them down at the show. This time I will be taking along my trusty wheeled suitcase and looking a bit like an air hostess! Having been to this type of show before I know only too well how many leaflets, handouts and brochures I tend to come away with and while I am still recovering from the broken toe incident I think I need to make sure the carrying process as easy as possible. Of course even though it is a 'gift' show there are some pet specific suppliers there so we will be hunting them down to see if their products fit with the type of things we stock at Dougal's Den. Finally because we love to support our local businesses we are also on the lookout for our friends next door at Becalmed and Bo Belles opposite, we will no doubt come back with lots of lovely pampering gift product ideas as well as some beautiful baby gift items and kiddie stuff. It will be a long and a busy day, but hopefully a fruitful visit to the NEC. We can't wait to tell you all about the new gifts we find on our visit. Is there a pet inspired product you have been trying to find? Let us know by posting a comment and we will let you know if we find it!
Dougal's Den, you can drop your dog off for a fur cut! Leah has been dog grooming for a number of years and was previously running a mobile grooming business in the Leek and surrounding area. Leah is committed to ensuring that your dog has a pleasant experience while grooming and we arrange appointments so that your dog does not have to be kept in a crate for extended periods of time. A grooming session with Top Dogs Leek involves a thorough body check before grooming starts, followed by a good brush to remove any loose fur and remove any tangles, then its into the tub for a soak with some bubbles before the fur cut begins! There's even the option of a Blueberry facial! Appointments are currently available on Monday, Saturday and the first Sunday of every month where we are also open at Dougal's Den as part of the Leek Sunday Supplement. To make an appointment, pop into the shop or contact Leah on 07725 900483.We are very excited to share the news that Leah who owns Top Dogs Grooming has decided to join us at 10 Stanley Street in Leek. So not only can you pop in with your pooch for a look at the new toys, accessories and treats available ay
Last week we said goodbye to most of the snow around Leek and the surrounding areas but while it was still around we took the opportunity to have a competition our facebook page. We know lots of you have been out and about with your dogs in the snow so we asked for pictures of your dogs enjoying the white stuff. There were lots of great pictures of your pooches prancing around in the cold and frosty weather having great fun ( most of the time ) and also a few pictures of snow babies who were experiencing their first tentative paw prints in the snow. Picking a winner was not easy but we finally decided on Arnie who is an Airedale Terrier who lives in Cheddleton with his family. This is the winning photo of ArnieArnie won one pack of each of the Hungry Hector Treats, so that was nine packets of treats and here he is pictures with all of his stash of tasty treats. We can't wait to hear which of the treats were Arnie's favourites and we hope that he will come into the shop to visit us very soon. Thanks to everyone else for entering the competition we had a great time looking at all of your pictures. Keep an eye on our facebook page as we are having a competition in February to win a set of tickets to Crufts where we hope to meet some more of our customers from all over the UK.
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.
We just love this poster which describes why dogs need their own space and how what one owner thinks is Ok for their dog might not work for you. We often get worried ourselves on walks when a big dog runs up towards our two pooches so no wonder sometimes our dogs get scared too!
This and other posters from the talented Lili Chin will be on display in our shop in the information area so watch this space for more of these great designs which we think get the message across in a very colourful way.
What do you think, do you let your dogs off the lead to run up to other dogs? Have you been scared of a strange dog running towards you and yours at speed?
Plague Rat cat toy we stock. We have had these little bundles of cat cuteness right back from when we launched the website and they continue to be a best seller. If you are wondering what makes them so irresistible to felines, making them carry on like frisky fools well it's the extra strong catnip coupled with the valerian. I have to confess that yes they do smell a bit odd to humans, but to cats the smell is extremely attractive. Luckily we were around when the order arrived and the office cats were out and about, otherwise we may have walked in on the cats tearing the packaging apart to get in to the new Plague Rat Pack. In this new delivery we have a selection of rats with different coloured ears, red, cream or blank as well as a few different tail colours. If you order more than one Plague Rat we will try to send you a few different designs so that you know which of your cats owns which cat toy...we wouldn't want any unnecessary cat fights to break out! We had a tip from a customer to help keep your cats interested in the toys which is to store the rats in the fridge when your cat is not playing with it. ( in a plastic container of course... ) we would not want anyone erupting into a chorus of UB40's "there's a rat in the kitchen" now would we!Does your cat love catnip? If so then we can thoroughly recommend the
Two stories have struck me this week about dogs in cemeteries the first one was reported widely on social networks and told of a dog called Captain who for the last 6 years has slept next to the grave of his owner. According to reports as soon as Captain realised that his owner Miguel Guzman had passed away he sought out the grave and despite efforts to keep the dog at home he has always managed to get right back to the Cemetery so now that is where he lives looked after by the Cemetery Director and caretakers. Now Captain is very lucky to have people who are looking after him and also to live in Argentina where dogs appear to be allowed into cemeteries.If he were to be living in some parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands he would not even be allowed to set a paw inside the cemetery because as reported in this week's Leek Post and Times it will soon be an offence in four parish councils to allow a dog to be in a cemetery. The remainder of the parish councils (apart from Cheddleton and Ipstones who have rejected the plans) have opted for the softer regulation of having to have any dogs on a lead if they are entering a cemetery. Whilst I understand that irresponsible dog owners may allow their dogs to run around or foul on sacred ground, I also remember that taking a friend's dog around a local cemetery for a bit of peace and quiet was one of the things that my own mum enjoyed. What about the elderly relative who may want to pay their respects along with a loyal dog, sadly in some places this will be against the law. So yet another law, part of the Dog Control Orders which will require consultation ( read money ) design and wording of the signs ( read money ) and should anyone fall foul of this law....some enforcement activity noted as "where possible" ( read more money ). I believe this law will penalise responsible dog owners and the community who have to pay for its implementation. I expect that anyone who currently allows their dogs to run riot through local cemeteries will continue ignoring the law and any attempts to enforce it. So it seems the likes of Captain a latter day Greyfriars Bobby will soon not be welcome in some parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands. What do you think is this a law too far or do you agree with stricter controls on dogs in public areas?
We have just got back from a short hop across to New York where we took some time out check out the Dog and Pet Boutique scene stateside. It is always great to have a look around other pet businesses to get ideas for new products.In New York dogs are everywhere to be seen with owners out on early morning dogs walks around the city and yes we did see a fair amount of dogs being carried in bling carriers by equally blinged up owners! We visited pet shops in Greenwich Village, and Lexington Avenue as well as a few smaller shops dotted around the city. Whilst we did not see too many new products it was great to see how the shops were set out, it gave us lots of ideas for our new retail premises which we hope to set up very very soon. A visit to the Container Store also saw us leaving with various doggie themed items which we wish we could get in the UK!
Finally having shopped on almost every floor in Macy's we were delighted to find right next to the bar in the basement a huge doggie themed display of Marc Tetro products and we simply could not resist bringing a few of the pop up cards home with us as well as a beautiful scottie dog canvas print. ( which luckily made it back across the pond in one piece)We would love to hear what new dog or cat products you have spotted while you have been on holiday, and if we like the sound of it you might find them in stock at Dougal's Den!
Just a quick update about our Dogs Dinner event which we held last Friday. So far we have raised £392 for the charity Hounds For Heroes so a huge thank you goes out to everyone who made a donation. We had great fun at the virtual twitter event, it was great to say hello to some new friends who were joining in the fun on twitter for the 1st time, and of course @frugaldougal loved saying a big hello to all of his #pawpawty pals. Thanks also goes out to all of the generous people who donated a prize for the pawty, we believe that all of the prizes are now on their way to the lucky recipients. We posted ours out earlier this week, and we know that the UK winners have received theirs already. A huge thank you to all of our friends from all over the world who came together at short notice to help out so Hai Paw to all the barktenders and DJ's and schedule oeganisers, as always we could not do any of this without your help. The donations page is still open so if you have any spare pennies you can always help support Hound for Heroes on the donation page. We are busy in the background updating the PawPawty website where you can see all of the charities we have helped over the past three years. As soon as it is up and running we will let you know the new schedule of #pawpawy events.