Amazing finds for the furry kind

Dougal's Den Blog

  • 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!

  • Don't Cook Your Dog

    Even in cloudy weather the temperature inside a car can reach extremely high levels, in this video from the Kennel Club, Nick Blayney conducts an experiment that all dog owners who travel with their dogs in a car should watch. We have been in full support of the Don't Cook Your Dog campaign right from the beginning and every summer we include a free sticker in all orders we send out. As many of you prepare to go away on holiday in the next few weeks please do not leave your dog in a car even if it is only for a short period of time. If you want to know what you should do if you see a dog in distress in a hot car you can find out more on the Dogs Today Campaign page. At Dougal's Den we are 100% committed to this campaign and if you want to show your support too we are more than happy to send you one of the Don't Cook Your Dog stickers , simply send your name and address details to and we will pop you a sticker in the post. Don't Cook Your Dog Sticker If you only do one thing then please store this phone number in your mobile phone ......If you see a dog in distress and if the police are unable to attend, call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or if you are in Scotland: 03000 999 999 for SSPCA. Your call could help save a dog's life.

  • 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.

  • Dougal's Den on BBC London Radio 21st June

    Dougal at London Phone Box


    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 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!

  • Sad day for Lennox

    SaveLennox Supporters


    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 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:
    • 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.

  • 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!

  • Jubilee Dogs

    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.

    Daily Mail Corgi


    The Savoy's Jubilee Corgi's


    Cute Dog on Jubilee Day


    Royal Pooches


    Royal Dogs


    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!!
    Royal Cat



  • Muddy Pups

    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!

  • Jubilee Time

    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. Royal Jubilee   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.

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