Amazing finds for the furry kind


  • No Peeing Please


    As many of you know we have a lovely little shop in Leek in Staffordshire as well as a website and some of you might also know that we were the people who set up Dog Friendly Leek ....Leek is exceptionally dog friendly with over 60 shops, cafe's and pubs with the woof factor. We define the woof factor as places which allow you to enjoy mooching with your pooch, so if you come to Leek your dog and you will be welcome in lots of places. But we have a complaint...... We recently invested in a very posh dog topiary frame, a lovely little scottie dog and after several attempts and help from Possibilities florists we filled said dog with some gorgeous moss. We decided to trial the moss as we expected it might not last unless misted with water every day, and also we are really not sure how it will survive a Leek winter. ( In case you were not aware, the Leek to Buxton road is one of the first to be closed in winter!) What I did not expect was to have to worry about how long little Hamish ( that's his name) would last if the local dogs peed on him. Let me explain... Tonight when I closed up I went to pick up the little dog, loving stuffed with moss, purchased from a local florist and next to his face, no actually dripping down his face into a nice yellow pool was yes you guessed it dog wee. No I don't know about you but when I take my dogs for a walk, both boys of the leg cocking variety I am really careful about where I let them have a wee. Hedge in the field, Lamp post, bush on the canal path, a tree in the middle of the woods, but never and I mean NEVER on a decorative topiary dog placed outside a doggie boutique. Or on a hedge belonging to someone else, basically I am very very careful in public places. I have spoken to other local shop keepers and it seems our dog pee incident is not the only crime to have been committed in our dog friendly town...bay trees, potted plants, and wooden furniture are just some of the items which have been liberally sprayed with the dog scented yellow stuff. So this is a plea to all dog owners....when you put on the lead please do not disengage your brain...think that the thing that your dog might be peeing against might

    • belong to someone else
    • have to be picked up by someone else
    • or be part of someone's garden

    I rinsed little Hamish off before I brought him inside but I fear that the damage may have been done now some local doggie was allowed to pee in his face. Please do your bit to keep Leek Dog Friendly by making sure you pay attention to where your pooch spends a penny!

  • Love Walkies Dog Training

    Love Walkies Dog Training in Leek

    We often get questions in the shop about dog training in and around Leek, we are happy to recommend organisations which we have personal experience of, in fact we would not think of recommending them if we did not know them individually. Love Walkies which is owned by K-9 behaviourist Rachel Trafford holds classes every Sunday at Longsdon Village Hall. Rachel has over 20 years working experience with dogs initially as a veterinary nurse and then with greater focus on re-training and re-homing rescue or “difficult” dogs. If you want to find out more about the dog training offered by Rachel and her team then why not pop along to the Love Walkies website.

  • New Dog Grooming Salon in Leek

    Jack Dog Grooming Jack with his trendy bandana!
      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 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.

  • Staffordshire Moorlands Update on Dog Control Orders

    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.

    Captain Dog Photo Credit : La Voz
    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?

  • 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.  

  • Local Events Leek

    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. Love your Local Market 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!

    Leek Show 2012

     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.

  • Lovely Sunday Morning Walk

    Sunday Canal Walk


    Just got back from a lovely Sunday morning walk with the pooches, so great to get outside without getting wet!! We walked down the main Leek to Cheddleton road and then on to the canal at the Flint Mill, then along the canal, and back up through the sleepy hollow woods at Cheddleton.  According to the Walk meter I have used up 237 calories so just working out what my mid morning treat is going to be!


    Whatever you are all up to enjoy your Sunday!

  • Dog Grooming

    What a difference a day makes! Last night the DougalTinie ( Ozzy ) was looking like he not only needed a good brush, he did not smell to sweet either. This is him 'relaxing' on the sofa in the very hot snug sitting room - yes I have taken to lighting a roaring fire in there - well it is almost winter in Staffordshire.

    Ozzy McDougal before Dog Grooming


    Luckily we had booked him in with Leah who runs Top Dogs Mobile Grooming. So this morning at about 10am Leah turned up in her "all in one" mobile dog grooming van, parked up on the drive and plugged in to our power supply so she could have some warm water ready for his shower! We had a really good chat about pet business in the Leek area and swapped stories about recent shows that we had attended. We took Ozzy McDougal out into the mobile dog grooming van and I left them all alone for a few hours while I got on with some boring but necessary housework. Mr Tinie was having a hand strip as part of his dog grooming and it was not something which Leah had had the pleasure of performing much in the past, outside of her training. So after a few breaks to let the little boy have a play ( apparently he was quite well behaved and only tried to nibble her a few times during the grooming session)  a new and completely gorgeous pup emerged!
    Ozzy McDougal after hand striping


    Doesn't he look lovely? as you can see he even got a cute little bandanna from Leah as a finishing touch. We were amazed by the amount of fur that actually came out and we have vowed not to leave him so long again. Leah has a picture of the fur!! There was so much that the dogs's dad was tempted to salvage it and fashion his own Ozzy Wig from it! I think that finding a good person who knows what they are talking about in the dog grooming world is almost as hard as finding a good hairdresser. I am really happy to say that I am so glad that we found Top Dogs Mobile Grooming.  I already know that Mr Ozzy McDougal will be more than happy to see Leah again as evidenced by the way he was more than happy to play with her after the grooming session had finished! (although apparently he did growl a bit at the fur dryer!) . So tonight we are all sitting happily around the fire with a perfectly pampered pup who smells 200% better than the boy we had this morning. All thanks to Top Dogs Mobile Dog Grooming. If you live in the Leek area and need a well qualified dog groomer who is also a lovely lady to have a chat with then do give Leah a call. You can have a complete pamper session like Mr Dougaltinie had today or just a quick bath and nail trim. We will be having another visit from Leah in a few weeks time when oldtimer Dougal has a pamper session - I expect the old guy will be a lot easier for Leah to handle, she worked miracles today with the pup so we can't wait to see how good Dougal will look after a special grooming session. Huge thanks  to Leah for all her time and patience with a pup who is only just over a year old and apparently very attached to his dangle berries ( come on you know what I mean) I daren't reveal to him that by the time he has his next grooming session the dangle berries will be no more. But that will be another story for another day...
    Ozzy McDougal Face



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