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 …

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!

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!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Bye bye to Liz and Maggie May

Last month, Hubble & Hattie waved a fond farewell to Lizbeth, and her trusty Office Pooch Maggie May.

Hello. Do you have an appointment?
Liz and Maggie have been with us for some time now, ensuring all our customers get the best books and customer service. Both have been instrumental in keeping us calm, focussed, and on the ball during hectic times, and making sure that the H&H Office runs smoothly.

Over the years, Maggie (and Liz, of course), have become firm friends with many staff and visitors to H&H HQ. And a few have become firm favourites with Maggie.

"Hello? Yes … that's right … a bag of sprats. It's very urgent."
You may recognise Maggie from previous blog and newsletter posts, including  #BringYourDogToWorkDay, where Maggie took on the role of Official BYDTWD Warden, ensuring pooches were present and correct when required.

In recognition of all that the pair have done at H&H, and with Liz being particularly fond of Vegan food, what better way to show our appreciation than with a selection of fantastic foody gifts … olives, dressings and sauces, from local deli Olives et al … and a gargantuan tin of dolmades (which, being one of her fav foods, only lasted a week).

Still waiting for that BBQ invite …
Of course, you can't live off olives and dolmades alone  (though Liz disagrees) so, with the summer now with us, we also gave her a compact portable BBQ, and a few very broad hints about how nice it would be to be invited to sample her BBQ cooking … I'm sure it'll arrive any day now.

And we ensured Maggie May (aka Dinkatron, Pooch Brisket, Piglet-Pudding) was well catered for, too, with plenty of fuss being made, some mini doggy squeaky tennis balls being thrown, and a bumper bag of her all-time favourite morning treat: dried sprats.

"Top yummers," as Liz would say.

We'd like to wish Liz and Maggie all the best in their new endeavour, and we look forward to trying her new BBQ recipes. Any time. Whenever you like.

So, it's just left to say …

"Maggie; take a bow!"

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Keeping up with Kyrenia

Today, we catch-up with our friends Kyrenia Animal Rescue. Continuing its fantastic work helping pets get to and from Cyprus, here's the latest news from KAR Pet Travel …

Summer is very nearly here, and it has been a busy spring for KAR Pet Travel – with an even busier summer coming,  so it seems.

The Spring Imports – all wanting to get here before the summer heat – came from a variety of destinations: Russia, Turkey, USA, UAE, India, EU, and UK, to name just a few. Many flew in on Turkish Airlines flights, with their owners, and, often, the Customs hall at Ercan resounded with excited barks, as the dogs saw their owners after being parted from them during the flight.

Others (cats and small dogs) were carefully carried into the Customs hall by owners who had flown with their beloved pets by their side (or feet), in the cabin.

Customs officials and airport staff are still often amazed at the distances some of the pets have travelled, and yet they arrive, often excited and happy – rarely do we hear a growl, hiss or screech. 

KAR Pet Travel representatives (meeting incoming pets) are regularly approached by other travellers wanting to know why there are cats/dogs/birds in the Customs hall. For some, it may be the closest that they have been to a dog/cat/bird, and their questions are wide and varied. These travelling pets show them that animals can be part of the family, and are very much loved – something, sadly, that many travellers had not realised or thought of before. Many a time, after speaking to us and the pet owners, we have responses such as "I did not know that you bring animals here," "I did not think that they would survive a flight," and "How can I bring mine?" … and so it goes on. It is a real learning curve for some, one that they have learnt via KAR Pet Travel, our travelling pets and their owners.

Other pets fly into Larnaca or Paphos, and, after being cleared at the airport by colleagues in RoC, are transported into TRNC, and delivered home by KAR Pet Travel. During the entry process at the border, we are often approached by the public with questions. It seems that there is nothing like a large dog in a large box to attract their attention! 

Their questions are answered, but we always ensure, that, although they may be able to see the pets in their boxes in the van, they cannot touch or pester them: they are still strangers, however well meaning and inquisitive! The welfare of the pets is paramount, and we do all that we can to minimise any stress for them.

Delivery to their new home can sometimes cause us more stress than the rest of the import process. It is often dark, and we are trying to find properties, following directions made during daylight hours. The road signs cannot be seen, landmarks are not easily visible in the pitch black, and there have been new roads and properties built after the directions were written.

However, one thing remains the same wherever we are: there will be lights ablaze at home, owners will be pacing up and down, either inside the property or as they hear/see us approaching, outside in the road. They are desperate to be reunited with their pets. All they want is for their pet to be out and have cuddles – lots of them. They know that they have been well looked after during their journey, and will have had updates, but it is not the same as physically seeing them, finally here in their new home in the TRNC.

Often, after we have finished with the formalities and have said our goodbyes, there is a tear in my eyes as we drive away. But it is a HAPPY tear at the very real and HAPPY scene that we are leaving behind.

We have loved meeting our spring import pets and owners, and we look forward to meeting those travelling with us in the summer and autumn.

You can keep up-to-date with KAR's latest work and goings-on on its website at or on Facebook.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

10 mins = 2 late

It's probably not escaped your notice, but there's been a bit of a heatwave here in Blighty. Yes: it's that time of year when we all want to head out to the beach, the woods, the hills … or to the kitchen, to get a cold drink from the fridge.

Not just dogs! This cockatiel was left unattended
and without cooling in a local car park (fear not:
it was fine in the end).
Of course, days out just aren't the same without our furry friends in-tow, and we all like to share our fun time with them. On REALLY hot days, however, it's best to leave your pet indoors, where it's shaded and cool … you can get tips on how best to keep your pets cool in this blog post from last year. But, if you do have to take them, never, EVER leave your pet in a car.

Many people still believe that it's fine to leave a dog, cat, or other pet, in a car on a warm day, as long as the windows are open, and the vehicle is parked in the shade. But don't be fooled: it's a highly dangerous situation for a dog, and other small animals, even in 'normal' temperatures.

Modern automotive glass acts like greenhouse glass, trapping heat, and causing a rapid rise in temperature. With an external temperature of 22ºC, inside a car it can be 47ºC within the hour. On a hot day, opening the windows simply won't make enough of a difference. Dogs pant to cool down, but the hotter and more humid it is, the less effective this becomes, and eventually, a dog simply cannot cool himself.

DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) warns that distress and suffering occurs for pets when temperatures go above 25ºC for more than a few minutes.

I'll just be 10 minutes …

Think you can wind down the window a crack, and pop into the shop for a few moments? Ten minutes is long enough for heat to cause soft tissue and brain damage in a dog … 10 minutes.

With temperatures here in Dorset recently nearing 30ºC, you probably need to think about that for a moment. In this sort of heat, even less than ten minutes in a hot car could be enough to cause permanent brain damage in your dog, and eventual death. How would that make you feel?

And it's not just cars. Caravans, campers, and mobile homes are prevalent on our roads at this time of year, and the temperature here can rise just as quickly.

Here's Sergeant Harry Tangye, from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, with some advice for the hotter days …

He looks happy enough

Heatstroke in dogs is particularly serious, but there are early warning signs to look for. One of the first, is heavy panting, barking, whining, and excessive salivation. Some dogs bark and whine more than others, of course, but even if you don't know the dog, you'll probably spot the signs of distress, even if he or she appears 'happy' to see you.

In warmer temperatures, such symptoms may only show for a few minutes: glassy eyes, and unresponsiveness soon follow. By this time, cells have started to die, and seizures, coma, and death are likely to follow. There is no time to waste.

There's a dog in there … smash the window!

What if you do find a dog trapped in a hot car, and they are clearly distressed? Do you just smash the window? Force the door open?

Well, the first thing to be aware of, is that only a Local Authority inspector or Police Constable have legal powers to enter a premises (including a vehicle) for the purpose of assisting an animal that is, or is likely to be, suffering.

Any member of the public who breaks into a vehicle to assist an animal would be subject to an investigation for the offence of Criminal Damage. Of course, it's possible that such an action could be classed as 'reasonable,' depending on the condition of the animal. UK law states that you have a 'lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.'

But, if Fido is fine, you'd best get a lawyer!

Who ya gonna call?

Whilst the RSPCA may seem like the first organisation to contact, it may not be able to attend quickly enough to help. Plus, the RSPCA does not have powers of entry, so cannot get into a vehicle without the owner's permission … it be would committing a criminal offence.

If you're in a public carpark, such as a supermarket or store, ask the Manager to make a call on the store's tannoy, and request the owner immediately attends and removes or checks on the dog.

If the dog is already showing signs of distress, then the best thing to do is to dial 999 and report it to the local police. Calmly give as much information as you can: where you are, how long you've been aware of the pet in the car, whether the animal is responsive, showing signs of stress, etc, and the car details, along with any efforts you may have already made to contact the owner, or otherwise help.

Once you've alerted the Police, call the RSPCA. Tell them that you've called the Police, and give them the same info. Let them know what the outcome of your 999 call was – what the Police are planning to do, or when they're likely to arrive at the scene.

But it's going to be too late!

With the best will in the world, sometimes the Police just won't be able to get to you in time. If you think that it'll be too late by the time the Police arrive, and there is no other option than to smash the window, make sure to do the following, if there's time:

  • Tell the Police of your intentions
  • Take photos or a note of the car and licence plate
  • Take photos or videos of the dog
  • Take names and numbers of any witnesses

Even if you, personally, aren't directly taking action, it's worth doing the above if you find yourself in such a situation, and remember …


If you can, try to ensure that a crowd doesn't gather around the car, and that voices – and tempers – are kept low and calm. 

If the owner returns, and they become agitated, try to stay calm: being argumentative only results in more stress for everyone … including the dog. Express your concern, engage them, and be as civil as you can. The Police will be able to handle everything when they arrive.

If an animal has been removed from a vehicle, move him to a shaded area, and give him some water if you can. Soaking a chamois or t-shirt in water, and rubbing this over them can help to cool them, as can fanning them, or spraying a fine water mist over their coat. DO NOT GIVE ICE CUBES IN THIS SITUATION; this can cool them too quickly, leading to complications. 

This (ever so slightly) tongue-in-cheek video from PETA offers some sound advice …

Why are people allowed to do this?!

They're not. Yes, it's true that there is no law that prohibits someone leaving a dog in a car, but there is a law against animal cruelty. In the UK, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, if an animal becomes ill or dies from being left in a hot car, the person responsible could face six months in custody, and a fine of up to £20,000.

And if you're wondering what it would feel like to be stuck in a hot car on a hot day … why don't you try it? Park-up, and leave the car with the windows open a crack, and see how long you last. Don't forget, you can sweat to cool down – your dog can't, so he'll be feeling it 10 times worse than you. Just look how NFL Arizona Cardinals' player Tyrann Mathieu got on, when he tried to sit-out the heat for PETA … 

We hope you never need the above advice, but, should you come across an animal in distress in a vehicle, you know what to.

DON'T do anything rash.
DO keep calm.
Call the Police.

You can keep up with Sgt Tangye on Twitter – @DC_ARVSgt – or on his blog at

 You can head over to the PETA UK website

Monday, 15 May 2017

It's a Date!

Mike&Scrabble, our favourite graphic duo from Brighton, are well known to Hubble & Hattie readers. Packed with wisdom and advice to help any dog train their new human, Mike&Scrabble's books are both entertaining and enlightening. And they have lots of pictures. Just what I like.

Us humans can be forgetful, so what better way to remember those important dates than with a calendar. It may be a tad early to talk about 2018, but we do like to be prepared! And, this isn't just any old calendar: this is a Mike&Scrabble 2018 calendar! 

You can make a note of all your important appointments and dates, AND have access to Mike&Scrabble's worldly wisdom EVERY DAY! Never again forget that important walk … or teatime … or walk … or walk …

The Mike&Scrabble calendar is now in stock, waiting to be hung on your wall. It shows all the major holidays and high days of 2018, and each month dispenses advice for the human-owning dog, illustrated with Mike's colourful and stylish images.

With a convenient month-per-view layout, and square format that opens to 10.5cm x 21cm, it's the perfect size for kitchen, workshop, desk, or kennel.

Trot over to the website to pick up your copy.

The Mike&Scrabble 2018 Calendar
£9.95 • HH5067 • Staple-bound wall hanging • 10.5x10.5cm • 24 pages • 7 days a week • 365 days a year • ISBN 978-1-787110-67-0 • UPC 6-36847-01067-6