Amazing finds for the furry kind

Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Dogs Dinner PawPawty

    Dogs Dinner Logo We are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a Dogs Dinner virtual event on twitter to help raise funds for Hounds for Heroes. As some of you may know we have been hosting PawPawty events on twitter for the past few years raising over £45,000 for various animal related charities all over the world. Well when I say we I mean my dog @frugaldougal who came up with the original idea many moons ago, he usually hosts the PawPawty events so we will be taking direction from him on how to make the events we have planned go with a bang! AND of course he will be making an appearance or two at the events so he can say hello to all of his old pals, and perhaps make some new ones too. Dougal has been away from the PawPawty scene on twitter for the past 6 months, but while there is still life in the old dog we felt that he was up to helping us host the two mini events which are planned for the 14th and 15th September. You can find details of the events as well as your own virtual invite here so please make sure you RSVP so we can make enough Barkeritas and Niptinis! As we mentioned we are helping raise funds for Hounds for Heroes and we have a target of rising £1000 from the two events, even if you cannot attend the virtual event you can donate here on our Hounds for Heroes PawPawty Page. We will have the usual competitions with some great prizes up for grabs and we will publish details of the quiz schedule in the next week or so ( if any other companies or individuals want to get involved by offering a prize for the event then please get in touch with @dougalsden on twitter) At the moment we are not sure if we have enough time to get all of the Barktenders, Quizmasters, DJ's and PawPawty Security orgainsed in time but if anyone wants to volunteer for duty then please contact @dougalsden even if you have not taken part in a virtual PawPawty before we have lots of experience and can hold your paw if you need some help. For those of you who have never been to a virtual party on twitter well its a bit like being at a real party with people who are passionate about animals and raising money for animal related charities except you are all sitting in the comfort of your own home while all the action takes place on twitter so even if you are on your own on the 14th and 15th September you can still join in the fun! All you need to so is put the dates of the 14th and 15th September in your diary and pop on line on twitter between 6pm and 1am on both days and search for the hashtag #dogsdinner and you will be able to join in the fun and games. Remember to check back on our blog where we will be posting details of the great prizes we have on offer as well as more details about the events themselves.    

  • Dimmingsdale Memories

    Dimmingsdale has always been a very special place for us at Dougal's Den. When the pooches were pups it was one of our most favourite places to go for a walk so as I was feeling a tad sentimental after the passing of Dougal's brother Scooby last week I decided to have the morning off work and have a trip down memory lane. Dimmingsdale is often described as one of Staffordshire’s hidden gems. It is a beautiful valley which is a haven for walkers, nature lovers and those seeking tranquillity and spectacular scenery. It was very quiet when I arrived at 9am yesterday morning with only myself and two other walkers spotted. The stunning woodland walk has Lakes, streams and rivers and a mixture of broad leaf trees and spectacular Scots Pines and huge sandstone rocky outcrops which create spectacular scenery and an amazing haven for wildlife, which is beautiful at anytime of the year. It has changed a little over the years apart from the addition of a fence around the first lake where we spotted some ducks or rather they spotted us, unfortunately I had forgotten to bring any tasty treats for them but it was lovely to see them in the early morning sunshine.

    Bottom Lake Dimmingsdale Lake at Dimmingsdale
    Ducks at Dimmingsdale Quack Quack
    While we wandered through the lovely shaded wood I remembered the times we had been there before on walks with the dogs when Dougal and Scooby were little pups, they used to run up into the woods searching for rabbits. Many evenings we were there until it was almost dark waiting for them to eventually return, recall was never one of their strong points!
    Dougal next to lake Feeling refreshed after a dip
    It was unusually quiet in terms of other visitors yesterday which was really appropriate as I wanted to concentrate on the dogs and making sure that Dougal enjoyed his walk.  We did hear and see some tree felling which was being carried out on the other side of the valley. It was indeed quite dramatic to hear the whining of the chain saw followed a few seconds later by the dramatic crash as the trees fell to earth, it really was a sight to behold from the safety of our side of the valley. I had to keep an eye on Dougal as some of the slopes down to the river are quite steep and I was a bit worried about his ability to get down in one piece, never mind my own ability to clamber down after him in the event of a rescue requirement. We are both almost 17 years older and our bodies don't always move like they used to. The new boy has only been there once before so he was kept firmly on the lead but I could tell that he was loving all the new sights and scents. It might be my imagination but I think that Dougal did remember where he was, especially when we got to the far lake and he simply could not resist going in for a cooling dip.
    Dog in Lake That's better
    Perhaps he remembered this is the place where he had his first proper swim, I remember that he and Scooby used to entertain the walkers by diving into the top lake to retrieve sticks and occasionally chase the odd duck or moorhen. It came as no surprise that Mr Tini (Ozzy) could not resist the inviting water.
    Dogs waiting for stick next to lake Wait Wait any minute now she will throw a stick
    Dog in Lake with stick Got it
    The top lake looked very dramatic in the still morning air.
    Top Lake Dimmingsdale Beautiful
    Even Dougal could not resist trying to fetch a stick from the water, he was not so keen on swimming so I had to throw it into the shallow water and he just paddled in, picked it up and had a little chew. Dog with Stick The contrast in the young pup and the old boy was very dramatic, one so full of energy and excitement that he could hardly contain, and the other having the odd flash of memories from long ago with a feint wag of his tail and a wistful look up at me as if to say I used to be just like him or I remember this place. Lots of memories came flooding back to me including the time I brought my mum to Dimmingsdale, she loved the place completely and she had a huge picture on her wall of Dougal standing proud on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by the most amazing green backdrop, ready to dive into the lake. I could almost feel her looking down on us as we walked around the place she loved so much.
    Ramblers Retreat Dimmingsdale Ramblers Retreat Dimmingsdale
    Dog waiting for Food Tini
    Dog waiting for food Dougal
    All too soon it was time to head back, but visit to Dimmingsdale is complete without stopping at the Ramblers Retreat for a tasty snack or a cool drink so I shared a bacon sandwich with the pooches, just me, Dougal and Ozzy surrounded by our memories and hoping to make a few more together.  

  • Monty what a lovely chap

    We had the pleasure of meeting Monty this weekend, his whole family were at Cheddleton Carnival and Monty was one of the lovely pups who came to say hello! Monty is a Cocker Spaniel and as you can see he is a lovely young pup. He was very friendly and loved all of the attention he got while we were trying to get him to pose for some pictures. Monty went home with a few items from Dougal's Den including a lovely new doormat and one of our Handmade in Staffordshire Bandanas as well as some of our homemade doggie treats.

    Monty the Cocker Spaniel Monty looking cute
    Cheddleton Carnival was a great day out for us as we got to meet lots of our existing customers and also some new ones. We did a roaring trade in our homemade dog treats so we are considering stocking them on our website as well as having them as special local show items. We also had lots of fun watching the dog show which was organised by Karen at Churnet Valley Dog Training. We were very lucky with the weather and managed to get all set up in plenty of time as you can see this is me and Ryan one of my godsons waiting for the crowds to arrive!  
    Dougal's Den Stand at Cheddleton Carnival 2012 All ready for the crowds to arrive
    We hope to hear lots more about Monty including how is is getting on with his new purchases from Dougal's Den and we also want to say a big thank you to Dan who is pictured here with Monty. Dan along with my Godson Ryan and their friend Cameron did a sterling job getting people to enter the dog show and they also helped us dismantle the stand at the end of the show.
    Dan and Monty Monty & Dan
    A grand day out was had by all!

  • Scooby

    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. Scooby 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.  

    Boys inspecting the herd Boys inspecting the herd
    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.
    Dougal and Scooby The Boys
    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.    

  • Holiday time for you and your pet

    For many of you it is now well and truly holiday time and you may be going away for a couple of weeks or maybe just a few days. We will be having a little holiday soon and we have had to get busy getting the holiday clothes out (mostly to see which one's still fit!) as well as some last minute shopping for holiday essentials. When we go away we have the usual list of instructions for the lovely Jacqui who looks after the pooches. The old boy is on lots of medication so we find ourselves writing out lots of instructions on when and how medication can be taken as well as the usual helpful notes to make sure that the dogs have a great time while we are away.

    Pet Sitter Note Pads

    We found these lovely Pet Sitter Note Pads from RiverDogPrints and thought what a great idea! The note pads are available in Dog or Cat versions and have plenty of space to put all of the vital information that your pet sitter might need! They are also printed on 100% recycled paper and each pad has 50 pages. They measure 13.5cm x 21.5cm and are backed with sturdy cardboard. The note pads have space for the following information Dogs/Cats Name, Contact Info, Food & Feedings, Alternate Contact Info, Rooms/Furniture off-limits, Veterinarian Contact Info, Play/Excerise Needed, Permissions, Houses to Avoid on Walks, Medications, Grooming, Household Tasks, Notes. So you can go on holiday safe in the knowledge that all of the vital information your pet sitter will need to make sure your furry friend has a great holiday too. The note pads are available in our shop and have 10% off while stocks last on the complete River Dog Prints range!

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