Wednesday 20 December 2017

Worzel says hello to the SCBWI!

We've told you all about Worzel and Catherine Pickles' latest book, Worzel says hello! Will you be my friend? as we can't get enough of it! 

All of those involved with this book have been hard at work spreading this incredible message, and recently, Worzel illustrator Chantel Bourgonje took the charming book to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isle Conference.

The SCBWI was founded in 1971, and is an international non-profit organisation that acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, and many others who are involved in children's book making and creating.

During the last weekend in November, the British Isle region of the SCBWI held its annual conference. This year's theme was humour, with the Seriously Funny Party and Mass Book Launch closing off the Saturday. This event was to celebrate all children's books by members of the SCBWI over the course of 2017.

Chantal says: "In groups of 5 all writers and illustrators were called to the stage and 'honoured' and everybody got a few moments in the limelight. It was nice to get public recognition for the work you've done. Having the opportunity to chat with other writers and illustrators was great. We're often experiencing similar things and it was good to share experiences and make new contacts with people who do the same job."

To top it off, they had an amazing cake decorated with a marzipan cover of all the books that were celebrated that evening. See if you can spot Worzel!

What a great way to round off what has been a truly fabumazing year for team Worzel!

Friday 15 December 2017

The weather outside is frightful!

With the recent bout of arctic weather, there's no denying that winter is well and truly here! Whilst we can easily bundle up in coats, scarves, and woolly hats, spare a thought for your pets, as they can't bundle up as easily! Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks to help keep your furry loved ones just as warm – and safe – this winter. 

Out and about

It may be hard to motivate yourself to get up and take your dog for a walk when it's freezing outside, but as they need regular exercise, they'll thank you for it! Certain pooches, such as small dogs, elderly dogs, and breeds with fine hair, will benefit from their own doggy coat when you both venture outside.

Although it may look like fun to them, keep your dog away from frozen lakes and other bodies of water, as there is no way to determine how strong the ice is until it's too late – better to be safe than sorry!

With shorter daylight hours, tendencies for fog, and the odd snow fall, visibility can be severely reduced. In order to combat this, good recall is key, and using an LED collar or collar attachment is a great idea.

Your cat should never be left outside for long periods of time during winter, even if he does have his own thick winter coat! If their fur gets wet, cats will be at a greater risk of contracting hypothermia. Long, dark evenings and adverse weather conditions will also make them harder for drivers to see, so keep your kitty safe inside once night draws in.

During the colder months, bang on the hood of your car before turning on the engine; this will alert any cats that may have taken refuge under the car due to the previous night's warm engine. It's also a good idea to provide cats with an alternative place to take cover, enticing them away from the shelter of the car. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; a shed with a cat flap, and an upturned box lined with straw will suffice.

Just like us, our furry friends can hate the cold. Shivering, an unwillingness to go outside, and slow, clumsy movements are signs that your pet has become too cold. Hypothermia is the more extreme end of "being cold," and the signs of this are notable and intense. If you are worried that your pet may have become too cold, make sure they are indoors and wrapped up in warm blankets. Contact a vet to assess your pet for any possible long-term effects.

With the nights drawing in early, it's an ideal time to check that your pet's microchip details are up-to-date, to ensure a safe and speedy return should they go missing. You can do this by contacting your microchip database provider.

At home

After your dog walk, make sure to dry and check your pooch's paws thoroughly. Grains of sand or grit used to de-ice the roads have a nasty habit of getting lodged in-between toes, which can cause serious harm and discomfort. Long-haired breeds are especially prone to this.

The same goes for cats! Always check paws for grit or ice, and make sure they are thoroughly dried.

Aim to provide your feline with fresh water, especially if they normally drink from an outside water source. This means that they are always able to quench their thirst, even if their outside water source freezes over. It's also good to provide an indoor litter tray, so they can do their business inside if they wish.

It's also a good idea to have your pet's bed located somewhere warm and cosy, away from any draughts. Heated pet mats are a great way to help offset the chill from outside.

Alternative, indoor exercise

Some dogs may be as reluctant as you are to leave the warmth of indoors. If that is the case, don't force them to go out for a walk. Instead, have plenty of toys to hand and devise a variety of games to encourage regular exercise. Books such as Dog Games – Stimulating play to entertain your dog, Exercising your puppy – a gentle & natural approach and No walks? No worries! provide useful ideas to keep your dog active when going outside is not a viable option. Just remember to adjust your dog's diet in accordance with the decrease in exercise, to avoid unnecessary weight gain!

There are a great many ways to keep your cat entertained indoors, too. We all know how much cats love a cardboard box, chasing ping pong balls, or just darting about the house. Check out Fun and games for cats! for more fun, indoor activities. Again, you should adjust your cat's diet to avoid weight gain.

Toxic substances

Antifreeze contains the chemical compound ethylene glycol, and is one of the biggest winter hazards for cats and dogs. It can be found in a number of car-related items, such as de-icer, screen wash, and car radiators. Make sure to keep these well away from your pet, and if any does happen to spill, clean it up straight away. It only takes a small amount ingested to be fatal, so if you suspect that they have lapped some up, contact your vet immediately as prompt attention is essential.

Christmas cautions

As it's Christmas time, there are bound to be other toxins present in your home. Here's a handy little list of what to look out for:

  • Chocolate: try not to leave chocolate – whether it be a selection box, advent calendar or tree decorations – unattended. Dogs in particular can scoff a lot in a small amount of time, and this can affect the heart and nervous system, sometimes fatally! 
  • Pudding and pie: Mince pies, Christmas pud, or any other raisin/current/sultana/grape-based treat can cause kidney failure in pets. Clear away any uneaten treats out of harm's way.
  • Onions: Stuffing and a Boxing Day turkey curry may be an integral part of the festive season, but these contain onions, which can lead to anaemia. Don't be tempted into placing food scrapes in their food bowls!
  • Leftovers in general: Dogs often have no qualms when it comes to eating food that may be past its best, leading them to develop gastric problems. Clean up throughly after every meal. 
  • Alcohol: Just as we feel the effects of a tipple, pets can, too – although it takes a much smaller amount before it can become dangerous. Be vigilant about unattended glasses, and keep them out of paws reach!
  • Flora and fauna: Poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe may be Christmas staples, but are a hazard to your pet if they get their paws on some! These plants may cause vomiting if eaten, and holly is particularly nasty due to the prickly nature of the leaves.

Here's wishing you a warm Yuletide filled with festive – and safe – fun for all!

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Have yourself a Merry Little Hubble & Hattie Christmas!

Can you believe that 2017 is nearly at an end? Neither can we! Before we know it, good old Saint Nick will be doing his rounds, delivering joy in the form of presents under the tree. However, it's not too late to write your letter to the big guy, and we have ten books and deals that you may like to add ... 'Yule' not regret it!

Get all three 'Quite Very Actual' Worzel books for just £19.99 (+p&p) – a whopping saving of £9.98!

First off, we have a Hubble & Hattie favourite. Taken in by Hounds First Sighthounds Rescue, and then adopted into his forever home by Catherine Pickles and famberly, Worzel sees it as his very himportant duty to be an ambassador for rescue pups. The Quite Very Actual Adventures of Worzel Wooface, Worzel Wooface – The Quite Very Actual Terribibble Twos, and Three Quite Very Actual Cheers for Worzel Wooface! detail the first three years of Worzel in his forever home, and are packed full of hilarious stories to keep you entertained, long after Christmas. And now, you can buy all three books for just £19.99 (+p&p)! What a fabumazing offer!

Worzel says hello! Will you be my friend?

This children's book featuring everyone's favourite literary lurcher will teach your little one about how to approach a dog, from Worzel's point of view. Including gorgeous illustrations from the hugely talented Chantal Bourgonje, Worzel says hello! Will you be my friend? is a true delight that will enchant any child this festive season!

The supposedly enlightened person's guide to raising a dog

Having only previously been a cat owner, Kac Young never imagined having a dog, until she met Talulah; sometimes, the dog chooses you! Having consulted Lisa Tenzin-Dolma on all-things dog-related from the start, it is only natural that Kac's anecdotes should be followed by Lisa's observations and guidance. Combined, Kac and Lisa wrote The supposedly enlightened person's guide to raising a dog, providing vital insight into the best way to establish a loving and trusting relationship between you and your dog. Great for novice and experienced dog owners alike!

For the love of Scout – promises to a small dog

Adopting a rescue dog can be a journey into the unknown, but when Scout entered the lives of Tracey and Paul, he turned them upside down with his own brand of charismatic charm that melted not only their hearts, but those of everyone he met. Discover how Scout's carers learned to build on the unconditional trust and devotion that came from this clumsy, flat-footed, loveable Lurcher. And maybe – just maybe – For the love of Scout will answer the real question: who rescued who?

Ollie & Nina and ... Daft Doggy Doings!
A delightful book about two very silly doggies. Ollie and Nina's daft Dad has taken the liberty of recording their silly goings-on in an hilarious and insightful cartoon strip. Packed full with lots of colourful illustrations, and laugh-out-loud stories, Ollie and Nina and ... Daft Doggy Doings! will make the perfect gift for those who love to giggle!

Hounds who heal
The desire for human connection is a fundamental need. For some, however, the closest they come to this connection begins with a dog. This is the story of six abandoned dogs, who ended up living together and inspiring the development of the unique K9 Project. It's also the story of the people they met, the ones they helped, and the one's they couldn't ... An inspirational book full of true tales, Hounds who heal is life-enhancing. 

Gods, ghosts and black dogs
A rich collection of folklore, mythology and tall tales concerning dogs, providing a fascinating insight into the way we think about dogs, and our emotional bond with them. Spooky, funny, sad, and inspiring stories – some of which engage that part of our brain we use when reading detective stories – trying to figure out what's going to happen next ... Gods, ghosts and black dogs is the ideal bedtime book for any dog lover! 

Unleashing the healing power of animals

Written by Dale Preece-Kelly, an animal-assisted therapy practitioner, and founder of Critterish Allsorts, Unleashing the healing power of animals takes you on ten journeys with ten animals  – nine non-humans and one human – where, in each case, an animal in need of rescue overcomes their issues, and goes on to help people overcome theirs. Heartwarming tales for this heartwarming time of year!

Buy Mike& Scrabble and Mike&ScrabbleToo, and receive a Mike&Scrabble 2018 Calendar absolutely FREE!

Another Hubble & Hattie favourite, Mike&Scrabble is an often funny, sometimes melancholy, and occasionally accurate guide to understanding the relationship between a dog and a human. A picture book for adults that grew out of one human trying to remember why he ended up with a dog, and sharing his thoughts as pictures on social media. And, Mike&ScrabbleToo is Scrabble's further attempt at helping dogs the world over train their humans. As an added bonus, when you buy both of these books – or any two or more Hubble & Hattie titles – you'll receive a copy of the fabulous Mike&Scrabble2018 Calendar, absolutely FREE!

Mike&Scrabble 2018 Calendar with FREE UK postage!

If you're already an avid fan of Mike&Scrabble, and have the two books, you can opt for just the calendar, and get FREE postage (UK only)! Packed with seasonal illustrations the Mike&Scrabble 2018 Calendar will be sure to keep you smiling long after the January blues have come and gone!

From all of us here at Hubble & Hattie, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! We'll see you in 2018, when we'll have lots of new and exciting titles heading your way ... 

Friday 24 November 2017

Hero hound has his day!

November is the month for remembrance, and giving thanks to all those who have served our country – including our four-legged friends! So, it's fitting that today we bring you this story: Mali, receiver of the Dickin medal!

Dogs who help rescue others in any capacity are truly wonderful – just see our post on Frida from the beginning of last month – but Mali is a member of the armed forces who has gone above and beyond in the line of duty. Awarded the Dickin medal for saving the lives of Special Boat Service troops during an military operation in 2012, the accolade has been likened to the Victoria Cross – which is the UK's highest hour for gallantry – for stature. The PDSA has described Mali, a Belgian Malinois, as an "incredibly worthy recipient" of the medal, as it recognises the vital role he played within the force that day.

Photo: PDSA
The story is incredible. Mali was sent through direct fire twice – with two explosions causing injuries to his chest and legs – and was hoisted up outside of the multi-storey building several times to gain entry, in order to assist the British troops in securing this enemy stronghold. A third explosion detonated close to his face, causing him to lose one of his front teeth and suffer damage to his ear. But this didn't stop Mali, as he pushed forward, and was able to determine the locations of enemy fighters, giving the British forces time to react in close-quarters combat.

Lt Col Abby DuBaree, from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) to which Mali is attached, says the medal, which was first introduced by PDSA founder Maria Dickin in 1943, is "extremely well deserved" in Mali's case, and that stories similar to his are "sobering to read and help to demonstrate the key role that animals continue to play in our armed forces."

"As long as we've had soldiers, we've had animals, and I think we always will have them," says Brig Roly Walker, colonel commandant of the RAVC. He goes on to add that the award was in recognition of the unique bond that soldiers have with service animals. And it's true: all bonds with animals should be recognised and celebrated, whether they are domestic or service, each animal's bond with a human is something to be cherished. And treating animals as our equals is something close to our hearts here at Hubble and Hattie, so you can see why this story is such a hit with us!

"Mali has displayed a truly awesome ability and determination to seek out explosives and insurgents during a key operation," says PDSA director general Jan McLouhlin. "To achieve this while exposed to close combat and such intense enemy attack, makes him an incredibly worthy recipient of the PDSA Dickin medal."

If ever there was a dog worthy of the Dickin medal, I can think of none more deserving than Mali! Maybe this post has whetted your appetite for more heroic pet stores, if so, make sure you check out our book Partners – everyday working dogs being heroes every day, by Nan Walton. 


Friday 10 November 2017

Oobe Doo, I really am like you!

We are all well aware of how closely humans are related to chimpanzees – we share a total of 99% DNA! – but latest research has shed even more light on the subject: chimpanzees have distinct and stable personalities that develop as they age, just like us!

This new study, carried out by the University of Edinburgh, and published in the journal Scientific Data, provides fresh insight, suggesting that, over time, chimpanzee personalities become stable. Like humans, a chimpanzee might have playful, nurturing, affectionate or aggressive traits. As they get older they appear to become less extrovert, and a little neurotic, but also become more conscientious and agreeable – similar to how our personalities develop and change as we grow older. 

The study built upon the research of Dr Jane Goodall. Back in the 1970s, the British primatologist conducted some ground-breaking research with the wild chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, in which she was able to establish that the apes had unique personalities. Furthermore, she found that female chimpanzees tended to be more trustful, timid or depressed, whilst the males tended to be more aggressive and sociable. This kind of research into animal personalities was ahead of its time, with a scientific interest in this field only taking hold at the turn of the millennium.

Going back to the same group of chimps from Dr Goodall's original study, the Edinburgh university researchers discovered that their personalities had remained stable, whilst developing over time. Lead researcher Dr Alexander Weiss and his team collected more than 11,000 survey responses from those who had been observing the park's chimpanzees for 35 years, applied their own ratings system to their findings, and then compared their results to Dr Goodall's older Emotions Profile Index (EPI) questionnaire ... and found a distinct correlation.

Long-time studies of chimpanzees in the wild can ultimately be a highly beneficial source of insight into the evolution of human personality and behaviour. The stability of the chimpanzees' personalities could help scientists test how different personalities affect reproductive success, and other life outcomes in humans. Dr Weiss added: "Chimpanzees very likely differ as much from one another as we do as humans."

This research only begins to scratch the surface of the similarities between humans and chimpanzees, and opens up new possibilities for further exploration. It seems that Disney's King Louie had the right idea after all ...

Friday 3 November 2017

Remember, remember your pets this November!

It's that time of year again when we all enjoy a good fireworks display, but not everyone finds it as enjoyable as us humans. Remember to look out for your furry friends at this time of year!

Did you know that approximately 60% of pets become scared or stressed upon hearing fireworks? There are a number of ways in which animals can show that they are anxious, and that includes, but is not limited to: trembling, cowering, refusing to eat, pacing, soiling, and destructive behaviour. Here, we have compiled a number of handy tips and tricks to help you take care of your pets this weekend. 

Birds, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rabbits

When taking your smallest pets into account, the first thing to consider doing is, if possible, to bring hutches and enclosures inside to a quiet room, whether that's actually inside the house, or in a garage or shed. If that isn't possible, at least make sure to change the direction the enclosure is facing, so it doesn't look out onto an open garden. For your furry little friends, make sure to provide lots of extra bedding that is perfect for burrowing into. And for your feathered friends, make sure to cover aviaries with a thick blanket to block out the sight and sound of fireworks, whilst still allowing enough ventilation – this is a good idea for all enclosed pets!

Cats and dogs

The main point to remember with our cats and canines is to always keep them inside when fireworks are being let off! Make sure your dog has been walked during daylight hours, and that once inside
for the night, all windows, doors, and cat flaps are secure, to prevent your pet venturing out. As an extra precaution ensure that your pet is wearing some form of easy-to-read ID; we don't all have microchip scanners!
If they're used to the noise of a TV, keep that on, to help normalise the situation. Normality is key: the calmer you are, the calmer they will be. This also includes not making a fuss of them on the off chance that they will be frightened; let them pace, meow, whine and hide. Create a den for them where they can shoot off to if they need it; if they hide, do not try to coax them out; they feel that that is where they are safest, with all that noise going on outside! 
Lastly, even if you think your pet is a zen master when it comes to fireworks, think again: you should ideally never leave them home alone, and you should most certainly not take your dog to a fireworks display!

Horses and ponies

As a general rule, fireworks must not be set off anywhere near livestock or horses. If you do keep your horse in a field, it would be worth contacting the local council for information on any firework displays that may be taking place nearby. If this is the case, make sure the organisers are aware, and
ask them to set off the fireworks in the opposite direction, so as not to startle your horse.
As with all animals, keeping to a routine as much as possible will aide them in staying calm. If you can, ensure that you or an experienced person is on-hand to observe the horse's behaviour, responding as necessary, and to safeguard them against harm. If you have to leave your horse in the care of someone else, give them clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet. If you know that your horse reacts badly to loud noises, consider moving them for the night of the event. 
And last, but by no means least, be careful yourself! Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled, as this may result in you getting injured. 

Here's to a fantastic and safe Bonfire Night! Suppose this means that Christmas is just around the corner ...

Friday 27 October 2017

Kac and Lisa are seeing stars!

Kac Young has many attributes to her name – producer, TV writer, director, multiple doctorates – and now, dog owner. Together with Lisa Tenzin-Dolma – founder of the Dog Issues Advice Line (DIAL) and The International School for Canine Practitioners (ISCP) – she has written The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog, an exceptional book that explores Kac's latest venture of becoming a 'dog mom.'

Having previously only been a cat owner, Kac never imagined having a dog, until she met Talulah; sometimes; the dog choses you! Having consulted Lisa on all-things dog-related from the start, it is only natural that Kac's anecdotes should be followed by Lisa's observations and guidance. Combined, Kac and Lisa provide a vital insight into the best way to establish a loving and trusting relationship between you and your dog.

This book is proving a very popular read amongst Hubble &Hattie fans, with multiple five star reviews; it seems that Kac and Lisa have hit upon a winning formula with their co-production!

"The book takes the reader through rehoming centres, and how to find the right dog for you; this is all achieved in super true-story form in how Talulah settles in, and necessities such as toilet training, feeding, other pets … in this case six cats! Chapters follow with Talulah making appearances in photos throughout. I love the last paragraph, as I think it is so important: 'Have fun with your dogs, and make the most of every moment. Drink in his love and devotion and offer the same in return.' Both entertaining and informative, this book is totally delightful, and a wonderful read for dog owners new and old."
– Dog Training Weekly

"Enjoy an uplifting read about learning to love a dog, and learning to earn a dog's love too! Marc Bekoff's foreward to this book is an enduring endorsement of the pioneering work of Hubble & Hattie in publishing books written by ethical guardians of other species. Behind this superbly illustrated saga shines a beautiful bright light that will never be extinguished. Kac Young's gentle self-deprecating humour permeates The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog and offers comfort and wisdom to the newbie dog guardian. Lisa Tenzin-Dolma is the patient mentor strengthening the connection between Kac, Talulah, and then also Truffle. Lisa taught Kac the language of dogs in this insightful journey of developing an enduring, respectful relationship between species. Integrating an adopted dog into the busy lives of two professional adults is hard work. Kac's carefully documented account offers so much. It covers every imaginable aspect of helping a dog to understand the chaotic world of humans.
"Kac shares her aspirations as an adoptive guardian in a heart-warming read. She embraces her new role with humility, a willingness to learn and a heart full of unconditional love. Lisa's generous advice is also compressed into easy-to-follow dot points. The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog is irresistible."
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

"I loved this book so much! A proud rescuer myself, I related to everything Kac wrote about here, and even learned a few cool new things about my boy, this creature who never ceases to amaze me (and exasperate me) at the age of seven. If you're a dog lover – or a cat lover (or a something in between) – you'll enjoy this book. Happily, they also bring to light a few tips and tricks that will definitely come in handy if you're having trouble training your young and stubborn one. This is such a great book! Wonderful job, Kac and Lisa – and very well written, too!"
– J Randy and Spencer, NY Times Book List Best Seller

"The stories of life as a first-time adopter describe Kac's progression from slightly shell-shocked beginner to savvy, adoring dog guardian. Entertaining and informative, readers will see how Kac consulted with behaviourist Lisa Tenzin-Dolma on all-things dog-related, and will get Lisa's own observations and guidance on a wide range of subjects following Kac and Talulah's many stories. An engaging, entertaining, and informative read from cover to cover, The Supposedly Enlightened Person's Guide to Raising a Dog will help anyone with a new canine companion of their own start off on the right foot – or paw – with a new dog, or get reacquainted with a long-time canine friend and companion!"
– Midwest Book Review

"I have read this book at least three times before commencing this review, and, as someone who has been involved with the subject for a lifetime, learned something new each time I read it. I found it fascinating and am convinced that anyone, irrespective of experience, who has a new dog, no matter whether puppy or adult, will find it an extremely helpful guide. I found each chapter – no matter how short – interesting and instructive. I was learning without realising it! I am sure that it is not a book that will be left gathering dust on the shelf, but will be referred to time and the again. Buy it, read it, and be educated and entertained. Whatever your experience, I am sure you will not regret the decision."

– Trevor Turner, BVetMed, MRCVS, FRSH, MCIArb

In addition to all of these fabulous reviews, Kac has taken it upon herself to go on her own press tour, scheduling radio and television interviews around California and beyond, to talk about her book, ahead of its in-store release in the United States. During these interviews, we get to learn more about Kac's new found home life: how she simply fell in love with Talulah in an instant, despite being convinced that the only pets she ever needed were her cats; how Kac's and Lisa's friendship developed over the years; how Kac was inspired by Lisa's story with her own rescue dog, Charlie – which you can read for yourself in Lisa's book Charlie – The Dog Who Came in from the Wild, also from Hubble & Hattie – how the idea for this book came about … the list really does go on! Click the following links to hear Kac's and Lisa's interviews.

Radio host Wendy Garrett, from Conscious Living, also shared her own review of the book off-air, which we have for you here:
"Timely perspective and insight on so many relevant topics. Choc-full of compassionate understanding, gentle reproach and non-punitive, illustrative techniques to help reinforce and reward our cherished companions in ways that speak directly to them, you succeed in advocating guidance that is a win/win situation for the pet, especially for those who know their person has a heart but is flat-out of clues. The beautiful pictures are so well done and fun!"

See for yourself what makes this book so incredibly marvellous, by heading over to our online shop – as well as Lisa's book about Charlie –  and consider yourself 'supposedly enlightened' as well!


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.


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:

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

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.