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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Worzel's Quite Very Actual Busy Summer

Ever since becoming an internet sensation with his acclaimed bloggy fing, Worzel Wooface has been on the fast-track to being a sellebberty dog. And the past few months have been especially busy, as he has had not one, but two new books published!


Of course, if you're an avid follower of all things Hubble & Hattie, you'll know about Worzel, but if you are new to this literary Lurcher, let's quickly get you up to speed. Taken in by Hounds First Sighthounds Rescue, and then adopted into his forever home by Catherine Pickles and her famberly, Worzel sees it as his very himportant duty to be an ambassador for rescue pups. And he's doing a fins job of it, too! In addition to his bloggy fing – which was a finalist in the 2015 UK Blog Awards – he has a collie-um-num in his local newspaper, and a total of four published works!

Three Quite Very Actual Cheers for Worzel Wooface! is his latest literary offering, which details his third year. The list of adventures he has embarked on is endless: the famberly's bid to save Worzel's favourite beach, heading out on a foreign holiday, and how to handle a foster brother, to name but a few! 

Reviews are just starting to reach us here at Hubble & Hattie HQ, and are quite actual fabumazing! Here are a couple of snippets:

"Totally delighted with the third book in the series, I think they just get better and better, and long may it last!"
– Dog Training Weekly

"Live and laugh with Worzel! Learn to speak Lurcher, too!"
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

Worzel's mum, Catherine, always wanted to write a children's book that features her luffly boykin, and back in August her wish was realised with the release of Worzel Says Hello! Will You Be My Friend? The praise for this book has been outstanding, and rightly so! Combined with Chantal Bourgonje's marvellous illustrations, the book aims to teach children how to interact and make friends with dogs in a safe and happy way.

"This book for children addresses the issues of introducing a potentially nervous rescue dog to young children."
– Australian Dog Lover

"Watch as Worzel goes from shy and scared to girl's best friend in this delightful read, fit for any child's book collection."
– Dogs Monthly



"An accurate, aesthetic, artistic, literary delight! Hubble & Hattie has set a formidable benchmark for canine educators, opting for the popular picture storybook format."
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club


"This book is gorgeous. Every child (and an awful lot of adults) should read this book: it could make their whole lives a lot happier."
– The Bookbag

If all that excitement wasn't enough Worzel for you, then you're in luck, as there's more! Worzel was hinterviewed for PeTA by its very own doggy reporter, Jasper Bossyboots. Jasper, a fuge fan of Worzel's, had a whole list of questions to ask, from what is it like being a sellebberty dog, how he writes his books, and more. You can read the full hinterview here.

Now, I know what you're thinking: that's still not enough of the luffly boykin for you! Well, you can keep up with Worzel in many different ways, whether through his bloggy fing, or his Facebook, or Twitter, so you'll never be without a bit of Worzel for long!


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Find-o and Rescue!

In recent weeks, Mexico has been hit by a number of earthquakes, with the most devastating affecting Mexico City on the 19th of September. With rescue efforts still under way, we've heard of a very special four-legged-friend who is making a huge contribution.


Omar Torres-AFP/GettyImages
Meet Frida, the 7-year-old yellow Labrador rescue dog, deployed by the Mexican navy (SEMAR) to help the search effort in the event of natural disasters. Kitted out in her protective goggles, harness, and two pairs of booties, her services were called upon after both the Mexico City and 7th of September Oaxaca earthquakes to help search for survivors. In her career, she has recovered 52 people, although, sadly, only 12 of them alive. This number does not include the latest Mexico disasters, as the recovery is still on going.

When details of her work made the news, Frida became a viral sensation: a tweet posted by the Mexican navy, featuring a collage of pictures of her, reportedly received over 4000 retweets and almost 7000 likes alone! The people of Twitter love Frida, with many hailing her a hero, or viewing her as a symbol of hope during this troubled time.

As reported by the LA Times, Frida's handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, described the training that she, and other pups, undertake in order to become detector dogs. Puppies are selected from the age of two months, and training varies depending on whether they will go into the detection of explosives, narcotics, or people. The form of training that Frida would have received included a seemingly normal game of fetch; once the dog gets used to this idea, the trainer then begins running with the toy in hand, instead of throwing it for them to retrieve. This aides the pup in associating the smell of a human with the reward of the toy. Then dogs train for three hours a day for a whole year before they are deployed to disaster sites. 

Once on site, trained dogs bark if they detect life signs, or stop and proceed cautiously, if there is a scent, but no life signs. Some of the smaller spaces Frida and the other dogs will have to search on site are no more than 20 inches hight, but crawling, the dogs can get much further than a human.

It's great to see that, in their hour of need, dogs truly are Man's Best Friend! If this heart-warming tale has piqued your interest in the work of service dogs, we have just the book for you. Partners by Nan Walton includes an array of real life stories on service dogs, from Search and Rescue canines like Frida, to guide dogs. You can find it here.



Monday, 2 October 2017

International Animal Rescue with Four Paws Charity

Whether it's the constant news stories in the media, or JK Rowling's efforts last year on Twitter to save a family from the war-torn capital of Aleppo, it's hard to escape hearing about the Syrian civil war. Despite how much is being reported on the people within the country, not much is heard about the animals that are also suffering because of the ongoing conflict. Well, lucky for some four-legged-friends, Four Paws have been able to help!


Four Paws is a UK animal welfare charity that operates internationally, and its main aim is to help create a world where humans treat animals respectfully, with empathy, and have a full understanding of their way of life. Amongst a huge number of ways in which it executes its plans to provide direct assistance to animals in need and re-home them in its own sanctuaries. This is exactly what happened when it came to rescuing the animals at the Magic World Zoo, situated near Aleppo. 

Over the course of the summer months, the team at Four Paws worked tirelessly in order to save the remaining 13 animals from the zoo. With the help of the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Management, Turkish aides, and a local security team, they were able to cross the boarder into Syria, rescue the animals, and bring them to a rehabilitation centre in Turkey, before transporting them on to their new homes. 

Amongst the animals were five lions, two bears, two tigers, two hyenas, and two dogs, all of which showed signs of physical and mental trauma, as well as being malnourished and emaciated. One of the hyenas was even found to have been suffering from kidney failure. All animals had to receive veterinary care at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Karacabey, Turkey, before they were able to be transported to their new home, Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jordan, a Four Paws project partnership.


Most of the animals will now stay and make Al Ma'wa their new home, apart from the two tigers, who will be moved to a specialist Four Paws sanctuary in the Netherlands. Although the lasting psychological effects will have had a profound, and unfortunately irreversible, effect on the animals, they are now at least safe, well cared for, and exploring their new surroundings with excitement, all thanks to the amazing team at Four Paws!



Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WDC EU success!



Our friends, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, have recently had a great success: the majority of EU parliamentarians have voted in favour of a resolution to ban the movement of whale meat through EU ports … all thanks to WDC's tireless campaigning.




For many years, WDC's Stop Whaling team, along with other NGOs, such as Humane Society International, have campaigned to stop whaling, and this is a big step in the right direction.

The EU currently allows whale meat and whale meat products to be carried by ships docking at EU ports, despite the UK and many other EU countries being opposed to whaling. Southampton, Rotterdam, and Hamburg have handled Icelandic and Norwegian ships carrying whale products in the past, and a recent WDC campaign to end the practice was supported by over 100,000 people.


The resolution being put forward strongly condemns Norway's whaling, and it's trade in whale products, and the vote by MEPs shows that the vast majority are against whaling. Of course, it's early days, and there is still much work for WDC and other organisations to do, to ensure that MEP's support is turned into a legal ban, but it's a very promising step.

Astrid Fuchs, the WDC Stop Whaling lead, says:
"WDC has worked very hard with MEPs to get them to support our view on this issue, and we are delighted with the outcome as it sends a strong signal to the EU Commission and all Member States: Killing whales is cruel and unnecessary and not at all in line with EU policies. WDC has campaigned on this issue for years and it is good to see progress."
With the resolution, the EU Commission now has a clear mandate to stop the indirect support of whaling activities, calling for it to 'look into all possible ways of ensuring that whale meat is no longer legally allowed to transit through EU ports, including by recommending a ban on such transits as an exceptional measure.' It also calls on Norway to cease all commercial whaling operations, and to abide by the current international ban on commercial whaling and trade in whale meat products.

Fuchs concludes:
"WDC will continue to push to ensure that the calls of the EU Parliament – which acts as the voice of the public in Europe – are followed by the necessary actions."
The WDC will be continuing its work, engaging with EU Member States, and pressing for diplomatic action against Norway, unless it stops whaling. We'll keep you posted on the latest updates and news from WDC and its fight to end whaling. In the meantime, find out more about its efforts on its website … click the logo, left, or keep up-to-date with all the latest developments on Facebook and twitter.





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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!


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 http://www.kartrnc.org 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 …

BE HYPER-CAUTIOUS and HYPER-VIGILANT: DISTRESSED DOGS CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE AND AGGRESSIVE

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 https://dcarvsgt.wordpress.com

 You can head over to the PETA UK website http://www.peta.org.uk


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

Friday, 12 May 2017

Oven-dried treats for dogs (and humans)

In today's post, we're sharing some recipes, from Robin Youl and the K9 Kookbook, for oven-dried jerky that you can create simply at home.

Homemade treats are great: not only do dogs love them, but you'll know precisely where the ingredients come from, and what goes into them. You can tailor you treats to your dog's taste, or dietary requirements … and you can even eat them yourself! All the treats shown here are human-friendly and fine to eat. They have no added salt or sugar either – so are super healthy.


Jerky: Oven-dried Dog Rewards

Exactly what are the nutritional requirements for dogs? Puppies, especially, need every mouthful to be nutritionally beneficial. Small breeds can be a problem, because their tiny tummies fill quickly! Try some healthy home oven-dried alternatives.

Before we get to the specifics, here are a few tips to help tailor your jerky to your dog's needs …

  • Partially freeze meat before slicing and removing fat or sinew: this makes it easier.
  • Leave meat on its packaging tray, or separate portions into individual plastic bags. 
  • Lightly dust chicken livers with cornflour before freezing to make them easier to separate. 
  • Put small quantities in a plastic bag, with ½ cup of cornflour, and shake until all are coated (add more cornflour if needed). 
  • Freeze on the original tray or in portioned bags. 
  • Slicing meat with the grain will make it dry chewier. Slicing against the grain makes it softer.
  • 6.5mm (approx ¼”) is the strip length for the drying time recommended here: if you go bigger, you'll ned to dry for longer.
  • It's easier to cut cooled, larger portions with scissors or a pizza cutter, than with a knife.
  • Dry the meat on a rack in a roasting dish lined with baking paper. 
  • Oven racks can be used, but you'll need to line the base of the oven with aluminium foil – unless you LOVE cleaning your oven!
  • If your oven racks are too wide, put non-galvanized wire mesh on your oven rack. A barbecue grill mesh is designed to be heat-tolerant, but you should check cake cooling trays for heat tolerance, before using.
  • You can also try drying on stainless steel or soaked wooden shaslik or kebab sticks. Cut them so that your product will thread, and adjust cooking times.
  • I dry liver and chicken in the oven on baking paper. Meat and fish is dried on racks in a baking dish, because the oven racks are too big to go in the dishwasher!
  • Space everything evenly, so the meat isn't touching.
  • Jerky should be firm and dry, NOT soft & spongy: remember that you're DRYING the meat, fish, or liver, NOT cooking it.
  • Do NOT refrigerate in plastic bags: it causes sweating. Use plastic containers.
  • Leave the oven door slightly ajar, to enable moisture to escape. You may have to use a well-soaked wooden spoon, or ball of aluminium foil, as a wedge.
  • Oven temperature should be 160ºC / 140º (fan ovens). This may need adjusting – ovens differ!

Method

Lamb or Chicken Liver Jerky
  1. Remove all sinew
  2. Slice into strips
  3. Space on a baking tray lined with baking paper sprayed with non-stick spray. Make sure the strips are not touching
  4. Bake/dry for two hours – turning after one hour
  5. CHECK a sample. Make sure it's DRY before you take it out
  6. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes

Keeps for two weeks in the fridge, or four months in the freezer.


Fish Jerky
Use fish fillets, and ensure the fish is lean, not an oily fish.
[Editor's note: Robyn says, "Our Australian Barramundi has the highest Omega 3 content of any white fish. Basa is cheap. Use only fillets!" European or North American readers may be unable to source these species, but ask your fishmonger for a sustainable fish that could be substituted. You can find out which fish are okay to eat at the Marine Conservation Society's Good Fish Guide website.]


Because of its high water content, fish needs to be cut larger – TWICE as big
  1. Space in baking dish or on your oven tray
  2. Bake/dry for two hours, turning after one hour
  3. CHECK: is it DRY and FIRM?
  4. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes
Keeps two weeks in a fridge or freezer.

Chicken Breast Fillet Jerky
  1. Place sliced fillets in the oven on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray
  2. Bake/dry two hours, turn after one hour
  3. CHECK: is it DRY and FIRM?
  4. Cool on a wire cooling rack
Keeps for three weeks in the fridge, or eight months in the freezer.

Meat Jerky
Use gravy beef, stewing steak, lean pork, or lamb. The leanest and most nutritious is kangaroo. Check supermarket shelves for specials close to their expiry date.
  1. Place jerky strips directly onto a rack in the oven or use a rack in a baking dish
  2. Bake/dry for up to three hours, and turn regularly
  3. Cool on a wire cooling rack
Keeps for three weeks in the fridge, or eight months in the freezer.

Marinades

DO NOT ADD SALT OR SUGAR!

I make small quantities of jerky (about 500g at a time), and I don’t marinade, but if you want to, all jerky is human-friendly: here's some tips …
  • To marinade 1kg of meat, you'll need two cups of fluid
  • Marinades should just cover the meat, fish, or chicken 
Oils
Use flaxseed oil (expensive but highly recommended), coconut cooking oil, or extra virgin olive oil (cheapest). Olive oil does not lose its anti-oxidant qualities when heated.

Berries
Use ½ cup of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or cranberries (these may a little tart for some dogs).

Grapes and grape by-products are toxic to dogs – NEVER USE THEM. 

Use a blender to mix your marinade, and sweeten with honey if desired. Slice meat/fish/chicken, and place in a plastic bag, along with your marinade. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Here's some marinade ideas:
  1. Unsweetened pineapple juice, minced ginger to taste
  2. Equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and unsweetened apple juice
  3. Peanut Butter – blend and add oil until liquefied to runny consistency
  4. Applesauce – blend and add oil until liquefied to runny consistency
  5. Add one of the recommended berries to your blender to enhance the marinade

A big 'thank you' to Robyn for these recipes. Give them a go: we think you'll find that your dog loves them even more than shop treats, and they make excellent training aids. And snacks for yourself!

If your interest in homemade doggy treats has been piqued, then why not take things a step further? We have two books that are guaranteed to make your dog's mouth water … and yours, too.

Dinner with Rover – Delicious, nutritious meals for you and your dog to share
Share breakfast, lunch or dinner with your canine friend. This book is packed with scrumptious recipes that you and your dog will love! Tried and tested by Rambo and his doggy chums, and approved by a vet for nutritional value, the recipes in this full-colour book will transform mealtimes!
HH4313 • Paperback • 205 x 205mm • 144 pages • 109 colour pictures • ISBN 978-1-845843-13-7
UPC 6-36847-04313-1 • Published November 2010 • ONLY £5.99! eBook edition available



Dog Cookies – Healthy, allergen-free treat recipes for your dog
Do you enjoy treating your dog every now and then with something delicious? The answer is, of course you do! Whether you want to reward him for an achievement during training or just give him a treat from time to time, these little extras will increase his motivation and strengthen the bond between the two of you.
HH4380 • Paperback • 205 x 205mm • 96 pages • 47 colour pictures • ISBN 978-1-845843-80-9
UPC 6-36847-04380-3 • Published April 2011
ONLY £9.99! eBook edition also available

Just a few of the recipes from Dinner with Rover … now doesn't that look appetising. Vegetarian options, too!