Dougal's Den Blog
I usually blog about dog related subjects but we thought you might like to see our fancy pants cat house that we recently purchased from a lovely chap on ebay.Now then let me explain the reason for the cat house. Since we moved to our new house with a fully enclosed rear garden we have had a slight problem with Mr Tini who unfortunately loves to chase anything that moves faster than a tortoise. So imagine the scene, Mille (come near me and I'll swat you) and Zack (I'm frightened of my own shadow) saunter at a leisurely pace through the garden...spotted seconds later by eagle eye Tini, they break into the scared cat sprint followed by a yipping Cairn Terrier at a gazillion miles an hour. Just in case you you are worried he did not catch them but suffice to say he scared Zack enough to make him go AWOL for a few days. So I needed to find some kind of safe haven for the cats so that they too could enjoy the lovely new garden too. I was really just looking for something which was raised enough so the cats could escape from the yipping beast below. We also have yet to get a cat flap fitted to the back door so once the cat are out they are our until someone opens the door to let them back in. So a a trawl of the internet produced this lovely outside cat house. Ideal as you can see because the cats can climb up the little ladder and disappear inside their new home safe and sound away from the Tini monster. There were lots of designs to choose from but for me it needed to have a cat flap, and be raised so it would work as a cat shelter in the rain and let the cats feel safe enough to venture into the garden. I could not resist having the option with little window even though the cats are probably not that bothered about watching the world go by. Another great thing with this design is that I can leave dried food outside for the cats without it getting wet, although there is no protection from the dogs who both love to snaffle the odd munchie cat biscuit if one presents itself. So I guess the big question is has it solved the problem? Well despite the fact that we are in summer supposedly (!) the cats have been doing the cat thing and staying outside overnight so most mornings when I open the back door to call them I can hear the cat flap swinging open as they climb down the stairs from their penthouse palace. So it solves the no cat flap yet problem. They also appear quite comfortable sitting inside the house even if Mr Tini is barking up at them, which he does still do on some occasions. I think they quite like sitting there looking out of their little window in a na na na na na kinda way! So yes it works to an extent... the dog will still chase them and if they break into a run then at least they have somewhere extra safe to escape to. But I knew I was never going to be able to stop Mr Tini from chasing anything that runs fast he is a terrier after all. I have so far resisted the urge to make some curtains for the penthouse cat house even though when it was delivered it was one of the things that the lovely chap said a lot of people had done. Now then where did I leave the sewing machine.......
July is gearing up to be very busy on the local front! We love being located in the Staffordshire Moorlands it really is the most beautiful place to live and work. Following on from out trip to the big smoke in June we will be concentrating our work at more of a local level, kicking off with a little experiment in our local market on Wednesday 4th July. We will be taking part in the Love Your Local Market event which is running from the June 23rd to July 8th to encourage local traders to try out having a stand at Leek Market. We have managed to get a stand on the indoor trestle market and we are really looking forward to showing off all our latest pet products. Then at the end of the month we will be at the Leek Show, we had a great time at the show last year and we will will of course be bringing the doggie paddling pool with us in the hope that we will have some great weather and that all of the local doggies will need somewhere to cool down!
Everyone is expecting this show to be a special one as it is the 50th Anniversary so we hope it will be a great event. We do love to be out and about meeting customers and talking dogs, cats and everything pet related so we hope that the people of Leek and the local area come out to support local businesses.
Late Show Barking at the Moon with Joanne Good and Anna Webb! We have been getting ourselves all organised for the interview, swotting up on all of our new products as well as packing a few surprises for Joanne and Anna! If you want to listen live to the show it starts at 10pm on the 21st and we should be on around about 11pm, if that's too late for you then you can always catch up on BBC iPlayer , and while you are at it you could have a listen to some of the previous shows. We will be taking along some of our Poochie Bells so if you want to hear exactly what the bells sound like then listen in for the tinkling bells. We will also be taking the opportunity to have a mooch around some pet shops in lovely London and to meet up with some friends. Wish us luck!Calling all Dougal's Den fans! We are very excited to have been invited to go to London this week to take part in the BBC London Radio
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.
Well what a day we have had here at Dougal's Den! We have spent the day looking at lots of lovely pictures of Jubilee Dogs ( while we should have been sorting out some boring accountancy stuff! ). So here goes with our with our favourites of the Jubilee Dog , royal pooches.We love all of these pictures and it just goes to show how important dogs are even when we are all busy celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We hope you have all had a lovely day and that you have a few more days of fun or relaxation planned to celebrate what must be a once in a lifetime event for all of us. But we could not leave you without a picture of how the other half have celebrated this weekend...even the cats get to celebrate this weekend just like this lucky moggie!!
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!
No doubt everyone is getting excited ready for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations on the 4th and 5th on June. Obviously we all know that the queen is a keen animal lover and she has had a special connection with the Corgi breed for many years, so we though this would be the ideal time to do a little research into how this all came about. You can check out our special Jubilee Infographic and join in the celebrations as well as finding out some interesting info about the history of the Corgi in the Royal Family as well as some other interesting facts about other animals the royal family have been given as gifts. We will be having a few days off to celebrate so we do hope that the lovely weather continues for a while, whatever you are up to this weekend and bank holiday be sure to have fun.
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.
It's not often that we get the chance to say that we personally know a TV star so we were very happy to hear at the weekend that our good friend Andre will be appearing in the BBC1 series on Chatsworth House. We watched the first episode on Monday evening and we thought that Andre was an absolute star, we loved his reaction to the underpants left in the farm shop toilets! We did not realise all of the things that he has to deal with. Anyhow we believe that Andre will feature again in episode three with his lovely dog Freddie so we thought we would show you a sneak preview of the lovely Freddie with one of our Seamsters tough dog toys. Freddie is a lovely Cocker Spaniel and he lives on the Chatsworth estate with Andre and David, and you will be able to see him in action on telly on the 28th May at 9pm on BBC1