Thursday, 6 September 2012

Epworth Show and Radio Stardom

The bakery was great fun, doughnuts, pies, muffins,
 pizzas, all dog safe & yummy!
Daft Dog has now had its first outing at a country fair…
Totally unsure of what to expect from our first fair we may have over prepared and under slept! So the lead up to the fair was busy, slightly hectic and peppered with ‘appearances’ on national radio...
Firstly I had the honour of speaking about a particularly pernicious case of fleas Barry had last year on 'You and Yours' on BBC Radio4. My interviewer Winifred has the most fabulous voice (voice envy!) and they kindly edited me to sound less like a gabbling moron. 

''Super stardom is just exhausting!''
The show itself was extremely interesting, featuring a vet from Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and other people who work with dogs. They all talked about the best way to treat infestations, and more interestingly discussing whether or not products on the market are as effective as they were in the past. The idea of a ‘super flea’ roaming about in search of our dogs has me itching!

When Alex (the husband) listened to it on iplayer, he burst out laughing and hasn’t stopped doing an impression of me saying the word ‘horrific’. You can listen to some great chat about fleas and me saying ‘horrific’ in an apparently hilarious manner at

Our second radio mention was at 3:46am on Radio 2. We were up baking for the fresh doggy bakery, and in our delirium we decided to text Radio 2 to tell them why we were up at such an ungodly hour. Our plea did not go unheard and Alex, Daft Dogs and I got a mention. 

This little cutie did the sniff test to choose their treats
However, most importantly Barry &Mars had a mention, and a giggle from the presenter as we pointed out they had no intention to help & were sound asleep whilst we baked. I always knew they were meant for fame.                                               

Epworth Show it’s self was a resounding success. We battled against the winds and at some points thought we may have found ourselves flying over the fair attached to the legs of our gazebo, Mary Poppins style. 

Our stand proved a real talking point!

The bakery was a real talking point, the dog safe doughnuts were an immediate hit, and our gift boxed treats drew a fair amount of attention. Probably the most enjoyable aspect for me, as a paid up ‘dog addict’ was the opportunity to talk to so many other dog lovers and even better meet a full array of dogs. 

We came face to face with tiny Chihuahua (who’ve inspired me as a big dog owner to make some mini treats) to a gorgeous gentle and ginormous Great Dane. I also couldn’t talk about the day without talking about the fabulous Bernese that we saw out in force, including two of the fluffiest, most fabulous Bernese puppies, don’t tell Barry & Mars but I may have fallen a bit in love…

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Alex & I Got Trained!

The Dog Rocks in pride of place...

It’s been a busy few weeks at Daft Dogs HQ, we’ve been on ‘Operation Lawn’ the new Lawns UK seed is down, and we are seeing some growth, and I now have a jug with our Dog Rocks firmly in place on the windowsill. The Dog Rocks have proved a talking point as I’ve had to explain their purpose to some very confused house visitors ‘No I’ve not lost it and invested in some pet rocks they’re to give me a lawn a green keeper would lust over’’.

We’ve also had our second visit form our truly fabulous dog trainer, Sue from Sit Dog Training in Lincolnshire We decided to contact a trainer after Barry was bitten whilst out on a walk, after his bite he became very fearful and barked incessantly at other dogs, both distressing for him and rather embarrassing for us! After the decision to contact Sue we then came up with a list of the things we’d like help with and the flood gates opened. Before I met Sue she sent us a really detailed questionnaire, not just to see what our problems were but to get a handle on the dogs personalities and on ours. I’ll happily admit being really nervous before Sue arrived, our issues weren’t enormous, but I was dreading a fierce trainer, telling us where we’d gone wrong. I should really have known better as when speaking to Sue to arrange our assessment she was friendly and really positive. 

On Sue's arrival we spent a while going through the questionnaire and talking about Barry & Mars. Sue gave me some basic methods to help Barry deal with the stress of meeting dogs out and after just a few weeks he’s almost back to being his old friendly self. Our second problem to tackle was their jumping up and getting really excited when people arrive at the house. Sue saw this herself when she arrived to see two loopy dogs going crazy at a baby gate. Seeing the way Sue dealt with our dogs and the respect they showed her within minutes was genuinely awesome and with the training she gave me I was able to see results really quickly. My husband came home and was able to come through the door for the first time in two years without being launched on. We’ve kept up Sue’s methods with everyone who comes to the house and although we still have the odd day when we seem to back track they are constantly getting better, and I’m really proud when vistors come the house and see the enormous change in them. 
'This training is exhausting mum!'
Sue ran through various other techniques including clicker training (which now makes sense) and other ways to put us at the top of the pecking order. I had no idea that simple methods such as ‘door manners’ would have knock on effects, the dogs have now naturally stopped bolting their food, and meal times are now calm, it feels good to be in charge! 

It's not that we hadn't been to dog training, I just think we hadn't found the right trainer yet. So to have the help we were after has made a massive difference, we're also enjoying the training and I think this makes it fun for Barry & Mars.

In a later blog I’ll talk about our second visit… Sue had Barry (a real puller who wears a Halti) walking on a lose lead, won’t lie to you folks, it bought a tear to my eye…