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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Scout's Visit to Buckham Fair!

Sunday the 20th of August saw this year's Buckham Fair, a good old-fashioned country show, held on the outskirts of Beaminster, which is not too far from Hubble and Hattie HQ. 


First established in 2008, by none other than Martin Clunes himself, Buckham Fair, which includes a small pony and dog show, has been going from strength to strength for near a decade.

One of our very own authors, Tracey Ison, and her loveable pooch Scout, of For the Love of Scout fame, were in attendance and Scout was entered into the Best Rescue class – and he only went and placed first!

Photo courtesy of Nicky Woods Photography


The Best Rescue class is open to all breeds of dog that have been re-homed, and there are a number of factors that judges look for before deciding who should take the crown, which include:

  • The condition of the dog, according to the length of time in their new home
  • Any mental or physical problems that they have, or are in the process of being addressed
  • The benefits the dog has brought to their new family

This is a huge testament to not only Scout himself, but to Tracey and her family, for the love and care they have given to their latest poochy pal since taking him in, not forgetting the effect that he has had in his new home! So, huge congratulations are in order all round!


Tracey even managed to give a copy of her book to Martin whilst he was awarding Scout's rosette. We hope he enjoys it as much as everyone else seems to have, because it really is a great book!

Photo courtesy of Nicky Woods Photography


If you want to purchase your own copy of For the Love of Scout, you can do so right here.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Dog Power vs Horsepower

Remember a short while back, when all anyone could talk about was Michael Phelps racing a shark? Well, we believe Land Rover have hit on something far better, with their mutt vs machine snow tunnel challenge!


Let's break it down:


  • Discovery Sport takes on a dog sled team in a unique race at Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland, pitting their 286HP Ingenium 4-cylinder power against champion sled 'dog power'
  • Intelligent all-wheel drive technology, Terrain Response system1 and advanced Ingenium® gas engine to help the Discovery Sport handle the slippery Arctic weather conditions
  • Land Rover helps sled dogs resume cold-weather training during the Finnish summer
  • Versatile Discovery Sport is now Land Rover's best-selling model, with 75,000 customers taking delivery globally so far in 2017
  • Watch the full race here: https://youtu.be/AUz01Cgr-ac


August 25th, 2017


With an estimated 50 percent of Land Rover customers globally owning or regularly traveling with a dog, Land Rover has put its canine capability to the test by transporting a team of sled dogs to an underground snow tunnel in Finland for a unique training challenge.

This year's warm summer had left much of Northern Europe without snow. Land Rover took a team of husky dogs in need of training ahead of winter championships to the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland, for a much-needed sprint around a snow track.

The Discovery Sport SUV provided stiff competition for Finnish middle distance champion, Laura  Kääriäinen and her tea of six sled dogs. They went head-to-head in Vesileppis Ski Tunnel, Finland, in a unique 1km sprint around the dedicated underground tunnel.

The undulating tunnel is carved into the bedrock 115-ft below ground level and kept at a constant 28.4 °F to maintain a blanket of snow 8-in deep through the summer, making it the perfect place to put the Discovery Sport vehicle's all-terrain capability the test. 

Setting off in opposite directions, the dogs had a straightforward task. Once they had negotiated the first incline they were able to pick up and maintain speed – typically around 22mph. In contrast, the path of the Discovery Sport was blocked by a set of ice blocks, which put its wheel articulation and traction control systems to the test, on one of its laps.


Over two laps of the tunnel, the sled team and Discovery Sport were closely matched but the Land Rover, which was forced to negotiate a set of unique ice obstacles along the way, won the challenge by a nose.

Driver Karl Richards, Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems at Jaguar Land Rover, said "Snow is one of the most demanding surfaces drivers will encounter during winter around the world and Discovery Sport proved to be as comfortable in these conditions as the dogs. Land Rover's advanced Terrain Response® technology and intelligent four-wheel drive system ensure our premium compact SUV is in a class of its own when it comes to off-road driving – whether you've got two legs or four.1"

Before the race, the dedicated accessories in the Discovery Sport ensured that lead husky Jami was safely transported to the snow tunnel to join his snow-starved pack. An optional full height luggage divider from Land Rover prevents pets from accessing the passenger compartment and easily fits into anchor points inside the vehicle, while an available rubber trunk mat protects the trunk floor and even contains minor spills.

Available convenience features including Land Rover's Gesture Tailgate made easy work of getting Jami in and out of the premium compact SUV while the surround camera system, accessed through the 10-inch central touchscreen1, allowed driver Richards to keep an eye on the dogs when manoeuvring inside the tunnel.



1These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgement in driving. Please consult the owner's manual or your local authorised Land Rover Retailer for more details.
2Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so.

About Land Rover


Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For almost 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart of the city or traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is full engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website at www.landroverusa.com.

About Jaguar Land Rover


Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world's leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world's premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques. 

The company employs over 40,000 people globally, with 330 in the US and supports around 275,000 more through our dealerships, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing is centred in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, India and Slovakia.

At Jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to create class-leading products that deliver great customer experiences. The largest investor in R&D in the UK manufacturing sector, we have invested £12 billion (USD $15.7 billion) in the last five years and in the current year alone will spend over £3.5 billion (USD $4.5 billion) on new product creation and capital expenditure. Last year Jaguar Land Rover sold over 583,000 vehicles in 136 countries, with nearly 80 percent of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad. 


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mike&Scrabble&TheBBD&PA!

Now, if the title of this blog has you confused, let me explain. The latest book from Scrabble, and her human Mike, Mike&ScrabbleToo – Further tips for training your human, has been shortlisted for an actual award! 


That's right, one of our very own is up for judging in the Graphic Novel category in this year's British Book Design and Production Awards!


To Quote the official BBD&PA website, the awards are "one of the most prestigious and popular literary events of the year, [recognising and promoting] the excellence of the British book design and production industry by celebrating the best books of the year." So, as you can probably guess, we are all super excited! Fancy a copy of the book to see what all the fuss is about? You can purchase one through our website. You won't regret it, promise!

This year's awards gala is taking place on the 18th of November at the very swanky Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair, and we are keeping all our fingers and claws crossed that Mike & Scrabble take home the biscuit!



Congratulations Scrabble on producing another fabulous, now potentially award winning book- and congrats to Mike for assisting her to greatness by being her muse!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Dale slithers to the rescue!

Have you ever come across a rare snake whilst out for a leisurely stroll? Dale Preece-Kelly did just that the other day, and, in the process, has rescued another abandoned pet from an unimaginable fate. The adventure even made the local news!


The author of Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals was out for a walk across Kinver Edge, when, a couple passers-by made him aware of a snake that had slithered across their path. "It's like they try to find me," Dale said in the article published by the Express & Star. And lucky for this little guy, he did find him! If it wasn't for Dale, our slithery little friend would'nt have been able to survive in the wild. "It appears, sadly, that he was an unwanted pet who was abandoned. Kinver Edge is literally miles from civilisation ... so highly unlikely to be an escapee."

The snake is question is a Western Hognose. Haven't heard of one before? Never fear, as we've whipped up a handy little infographic to tell you more about this little known, but very interesting, species!



Now given the name Edge, Dale has rescued this lovely snake, giving him the happy and healthy life that he deserves! Once Edge has settled into his new home, he will be inducted into Dale's team of critters. "He is awesome, one of my favourite ever snakes!"

Dale runs Critterish Allsorts, an animal assisted therapy and educational organisation specialising in teaching the benefits that animals can bring to our health – and vice versa! If this all sounds familiar, it should, as it is covered in Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals. for those of you who don't know, or are unfamiliar with Dale's 'critters', why not grab yourself a copy and learn all about Dale and his wonderful work!



And that's not all: if you are in the Kidderminster area on the 21st of September, Dale is holding a book launch at The Corn Exchange, which will include a Q&A session, book signing and lots more! For all the details, go check out our Facebook page under the Events tab, and you can buy your tickets here.

From all of us here at Hubble and Hattie, we are happy to hear that Edge has been taken in, and that Dale has found another animal companion to add to his ever expanding, and ever popular, team!




Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Sniffing out a great new book ... it's Detector Dog!

We've had a fair few new titles released recently at Hubble & Hattie, but one that stands out from the crowd is Detector Dog by Pam Mackinnon. Detector Dog is a step-by-step guide to teaching your dog how to become a pro at scentwork in no time; help turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby!


We've had countless reviews of the book here at Hubble & Hattie HQ, with not a bad word said about Pam's literary work! And rightly so; she has a wealth of experience on the subject, with her past work at HM Customs & Excise, and her current venture Talking Dogs  – check out its social media site for all the latest goings on!


Now, all of this sounds great, but why take our word for it? Here are a selection of superb review snippets to whet your appetite, that will hopefully leave you wanting more!

"The training techniques throughout the publication are suitable for all dogs. They are explained in a clear and comprehensive manner and include huge scope for people with a variety of search areas to have a go, indoors and out ... A little book which could open up a whole new range of training activity for you and your dog."
Dog Training Weekly


"Scentwork is something all dogs can do, and shouldn't be confined to working dogs. It involves both physical exercise and strong concentration, which, over time, will improve your dog's fitness, as well as ensuring they are satisfied and snoozing on the sofa by the end of the day ... Enjoy watching your dog become a detector dog!"
– Dogs Monthly

"This easy to follow book, with lots of great pictures and illustration will help guide you to help your dog reach his full potential as a cheese or scented mouse sniffer dog with all the fun that entails. Available to all types of dogs no matter what age, shape or size, you can have great fun together teaching your dog to follow his nose."
Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors

"Enter into teamwork that involves acknowledging the expertise of your dog in all things nasal. Unleash a powerful bonding experience that entices and balances you both ... The dog's response is one of uninhibited joy! ... Detector Dog is the journey of a lifetime through the nose of your dog."
 – Geelong Obedience Dog Club



Now, if that hasn't piqued your interest about Hubble & Hattie's latest and greatest book, I don't know what will! Go on, treat yourself – and your dog! – you know you want to!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Dying for some fish?

Think whale and dolphin conservation is all about far-off oceans and crystal-clear waters? That, sadly, couldn't be further from the truth …



Yes, balmy waters, blue bays, and breaching behemoths may be the first things that spring to mind when the words 'dolphin' and 'conservation' appear in the same sentence. But, even here in not-so-balmy Britain, efforts to protect and defend our sea creatures and marine mammals are even more important than ever.

You may be shocked to learn, that UK government estimates show that static net 'bycatch' (the term for unwanted creatures that become trapped in commercial nets) contained around 1250-1500 porpoises last year – in UK waters alone.

Current UK laws protecting sea mammals from dying in fishing gear come from the EU. Of course, the UK will be leaving the EU over the coming years, but EU laws will be used as the base for our own, new legislation, initially.

The EU, however, is currently reviewing its laws for marine mammal conservation, so Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) took its campaign to keep our whales, dolphins, and porpoises safe, to Brussels, to encourage MEPs to ensure that any new laws are stronger and better than the existing ones.

This is important, not only for the continued safety of our marine life, but also to ensure that laws created by the UK, after leaving the EU, are built on a sound, effective, scientific base. And that's where YOU come in.

English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish governments – each needs to ensure that the law is robust, fit for purpose, and policed. Of course, getting them in place won't be a quick process, and your support is absolutely vital, at every step …

Click here and sign the WDC petition and show your support 

The petition is targeted at George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affaris (Defra), and the more signatories, the better. There are other ways to help, too, including signing up to WDCs email newsletter, or making a donation – but whatever else you decide to do, please sign the petition.

WDC has created a short film that we'd like to share with you … watch it, share it, and spread the word …



WDC is the leading charity dedicated to the protection of whales and dolphins. Its vision is a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free, and its mission is to amaze people with the wonder of whales and dolphins, and inspire global action to protect them. 

Visit the WDC website, and find out how you can help protect these amazing animals – everywhere in the world. And you can stay up-to-date with all the latest news in the world of WDC on its blog, via facebook, or on twitter.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

We're all going on a Doggy Holiday!

Summer has rolled around again, and for many it’s time to start thinking about going on our jolly holidays. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of planning a holiday, but what about your four-legged friend’s holiday needs? Well, lucky there’s this post to tell you more …


Staycations are as popular as ever, and with the beautiful countryside, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of places to explore all over the UK, it’s easy to see why. What’s more, taking your dog along for the ride is now easier than ever! Searching the internet for “Dog-friendly holidays” brings up a lengthy list of possible options, from campsites to cottages; We Accept Pets is a great site. Imagine all the adventures you and Fido could have!


With some helpful hints and tips from the RSPCA, mixed in with our own doggy smarts, we’ve compiled a useful guide on what to consider when holidaying with your canine companion!

Before you go

Do your research
Will there be enough activities to keep your dog happy? Will the weather be of concern? Make sure to plan your days around your pet and the weather forecast to maximise the fun!


Vet Check
Despite what your pooch may think, it’s wise to have your vet give them the once over before your travels. Also, it’s worth snooping around for details of a vet local to your vacation destination.


What to pack in their doggy suitcase

All the necessities
Leads; collar – both regular and LED for those night-time strolls – & ID tag; favourite toys; chews; enough food and medication if needed), for the whole trip; familiar-smelling items – and their own familiar bed!; treats; towels.

The journey …

Supplies
Make sure you pack enough fresh water, food and treats to satisfy your dog whilst on the road. It’s advised that you give pets their doggy dinner two hours before travelling, or no less than eight hours before if they suffer from motion sickness.

Safety First
Will they be secure in their harness or carrier? Make sure to allow plenty of ventilation, but discourage rebel antics such as sticking a head out of the window! Fun it may be; safe it is not!


Pitstop
Plan to take regular breaks to allow Fido to stretch his legs. Walking the dog has some great information on country walks alongside motorway services, but more on that later …

"You have arrived at your destination”


Roam free
Once you arrive at your home away from home, it’s natural to want to have a nose around, so let your dog do the same! He’ll also need time to rest, once all the excitement has passed!


“There’s no place like home!”
To help ease your dog into holiday mode, make the place seem as homely as possible. Remember those familiar-smelling items you packed? That’s where they come in! Plus, everyone loves to sleep in their own bed.

Routine is key
We all know that everything can go to pot due to ‘holiday mode’ when it comes to us humans, but it’ll be a huge help for your pooch if you could stick to their normal routine as much as possible, diet included! Just because you’re having a few cheat days, doesn’t mean your dog should, too!

Bonus! “It’s a dog eat dog world out there …”

The main thing to remember for the whole holiday? Stay. Safe! Walk your dog on the lead, unless you are certain that it’s ok to do otherwise. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behaviour and fitness – every dog acts differently on holiday! And, as always, never leave your dog in a situation in which they’re uncomfortable – especially in a vehicle.


Now, you may think that you are all set to go, but not before we tell you that in August's edition of Animal Magic, you can have the chance to win three great Hubble & Hattie titles that would make the perfect travelling companions. Along with a copy of the previously mentioned Walking the dog, we also have a copy of Dogs on wheels, and Emergency first aid for dogs, for one lucky reader! So, make sure you're subscribed to Animal Magic to find out how to get your paws on these fantastic books!