Merlin the Magic Dog

Little dogs of the world listen up. It's Denzil here. I’ve been through some strange times recently and thought it was about time to share my story, to help any of you guys who might end up in my situation. So for the past 3 years I’ve been living with my human Leanne. We’ve had a great time together, sharing our breakfasts, going on long walks and getting snuggled in bed on a morning. Life was swell.

A couple of months back I noticed that Leanne was disappearing on a weekend, I moved in with grumpa and grumpma a lot and they looked after me. Where was my human disappearing too?! Then one weekend human Leanne took me out on an adventure, said I was going to meet a new friend and I had to get along with him because we would be spending a lot of time together. When we met he was huge and scary, goes by the name of Merlin and something told me he was a magic dog.

When I go to sleep on the sofa there is lots of room to spread out and get comfy. However, when Merlin gets on the sofa it suddenly gets smaller. How does he do that!? And don’t even get me started on the kitchen. All that delicious food our humans cook up in the sky, Merlin can get to it!! He told me that there’s more in the food sky than what there seems. How can he see up there?! Sometimes Merlin even gets more attention than I do, even though I’m the cuter dog, he can do these fancy moves that I’ve never seen another dog do before. Did the dog gods teach him this?!

Merlin comes to stay a lot more often now and I sometimes get to go and stay at his house, but even though we spend much more time together he still won’t tell me if he’s magic or not. I like waking up early, but Merlin gets up super early, some dogs would call it magic that he wakes up that early! He will wake me up too so we can go for a quick run around the garden, and then we usually get back into bed and I get a magic ear wash. What is magic about Merlin’s ear washes? He can clean my ear in one lick. His tongue is sooooo big he can usually cover my whole face and ears in one lap of the tongue and then I’m ready to start the day!  

I then like to get all my toys out so he can see what we can play with for the day. Only when we play he always wins, he has magic strength and always wins at tug of war. Not only that but Merlin has a magic sense for bad humans. We enjoy sitting and looking out of the window, and when Merlin sees a bad human we will bork bork bork at them. Merlin taught me a bork that is a spell to scare bad humans away, I am still practicing but I think it is working!

My favourite is when we go for walks in the long grass because I can have fun hiding and Merlin can look over the grass and look out for any danger. Merlin told me once that he isn’t allowed off his walking rope when we go outside because he can fly and if his human Jayna takes him off he might not be able to land again. I wish I could fly but Merlin said that Denzil isn’t a magic name.

I hope Merlin can teach me some magic, the more time we spend together the more he is teaching me. As well as the bad human bork spell, Merlin has also taught me how to find the perfect stick, sometimes he trains me when we go on walks and I will have stick fetching lessons. Maybe in a couple of years I too will be able to see what is in the food sky, and have magic strength to beat him at tug of war.

If Merlin shares with me some of his magic powers I'll be sure to check back in and tell you all about it! 

 

House Training an Adult Dog

When a dog gets older you should remember that just like us human’s things don’t work as well as they used to. A dog’s bladder can weaken the older it gets and accidents in the house can start becoming as frequent as when they were a puppy. If any problems worsen or something becomes unusual in your dog’s behaviour be sure to get them checked out before to rule out any medical problems.

Below some tips that could help getting your older dog back on track with toilet breaks and the most efficient way to clean up after an accident has occurred.

1. Take time out to house train your dog properly

Just like when they were puppies getting them back into a solid routine of regular bathroom breaks can help huge amounts. If you work then nipping home at lunch will be the best way to make sure that they are still getting a relief mid-day. Although puppy pads aren’t a permanent solution introducing them into the house on occasions where you can’t get home could save on the floor cleaning later.

2. Shower him/her with praise when he/she does good

Yes, this means going out and telling them they’ve been good and rewarding treats every time they wee or poop outside. If you catch your dog about to go in the house startle them midstream by making a loud noise and get them to go outside. If they carry on outside then a treat and praise can be rewarded.

3. Longer walks can be key

If your dog is going to be on their own a lot of the day then longer walks in a morning will be better. Getting them outside and exercising can reap lots of health benefits and keep them happy. If they have emptied just before you leave the house then the chances are you’ll come back to less mess.

4. Keep an eye out for signs

Most dogs give very clear signals when they need to go. These can vary from scratching at the door to whining and circling. Starting your training can be as simple as keeping a close eye on your dog and watching for any regular signs.

5. Consider a crate

If you have raised your dog without a crate then this will be something completely new to introduce to your dog. If the problems worsen or your training isn’t fitting in with work etc. then a crate can be an excellent way to introduce an “elimination station”. Dogs rarely soil their own beds and if a crate is introduced they can adapt to having a safe place they know not to soil.

 

Cleaning Tips

1. Try cleaning up straight away

If you can catch it just after it happened the better. Often you are greeted with a dirty protest when you arrive home with no idea of how long it’s been there but when you can, clean the mess up as soon as it happens. This will retract any bad smells and stop staining in a carpet.

2. Stay away from Ammonia based cleaning products

Dog urine has an ammonia odour, something that will attract them back to that same spot to mess again. The best ways to clean up are to soak up the urine with a paper towel, mix a solution of 50% vinegar, 50% water and pour onto the urine stain. Scrubbing the stain the vinegar should help to neutralise the ammonia in the urine. Although this won’t clear the smell of urine, any kind of Shake N Vac can freshen up the carpet after it has been scrubbed and dried.

8 Things All Dog Owners Can Relate To

1. When all you think about is your dog

As soon as you leave the house and all day when you’re out of the house you are thinking “I can’t wait to get home and sit with my dog.”

2. Your pockets are littered with poo bags

https://www.chewy.com/frisco-dog-poop-bags-dispenser/dp/117261

https://www.chewy.com/frisco-dog-poop-bags-dispenser/dp/117261

You take an extra one with you when you head out. But seriously those things reproduce in your pockets.

3. There’s something about that ‘dog smell’

Whether it’s inside your dog’s ears or their paw pads, there’s always that nasty smell that you find yourself sniffing more often than not.

4. No one can insult your dog apart from you

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/738520038864621808/

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/738520038864621808/

“Call my dog fat again, I dare you, I’ll punch you in the face”
“But you call him fat all the time”
“Yeah but it’s my dog”.

5. Your dog certainly ranks higher than your partner

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/AZ8gq7cdqe7j7P8npThYbKd6YTNkyZzpFrZ8Fxgg3yc8PyTDZLgUU30/

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/AZ8gq7cdqe7j7P8npThYbKd6YTNkyZzpFrZ8Fxgg3yc8PyTDZLgUU30/

Take this quiz. When you’re choosing to let your dog sleep in the bed over your partner you’ll see what I mean.

6. Your dog somehow ends up with more clothes than you

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/86975836530848501/

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/86975836530848501/

Does my dog really need a dressing gown? Yes. Yes he does.

7. When you meet fellow dog lovers you click straight away

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/207165651590355456/

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/207165651590355456/

Conversations usually go something like this

“So this is a picture of my dog. This is him in the bath. This is him on a walk. This is him on his birthday”.

8. You can’t walk down the street without stroking or saying hello to at least one dog

Fellow dog walkers never judge when you talk to their dogs over them.

 

March Pawsome Box

This month it was Archie's birthday so I've used this months Pawsome box as a present to him for turning 10. When I signed up to Pawsome box I can't remember if I entered Archie's birthday or not but there was nothing extra to say "Happy Birthday", or the fact that he's now classed as a senior dog for there to be no acknowledgement of that was a little bit of a let down. Nevertheless, here's the goodies from this month:

Toys

Once again another squeaker arrived for Archie to sink his teeth into a rip to shreds in a matter of minutes. The whole novelty of a dog having human lips and teeth was also wasted on Archie as he much preferred holding it on the side of his mouth than at the front. Even when he did his face was too small to make the effect work anyway. 
Last months toys did not last long at all however the rope bunch of grapes is still going. It's a little bit too large for his mouth so he doesn't reach to play with it that often but it is still in one piece and may stay that way for a decent amount of time. 

Treats & Misc

This month saw treats from Good Boy, a brand that we have frequently bought from in the past and Archie loves so I was happy about this. He absolutely loves the Chicken and Cheese Mini Bites, they're perfect for when we're out and about. The chicken filled bone, I may be wrong but I think there may be an 8 or 9 year old one of them buried in the garden somewhere... Archie has never been a bone chewer, despite ruining all his toys, when it comes to bones he buries them in the garden, leaves them to mature and comes back to them when they are soggy and can be eaten quicker. 
The Leber Wurst pate was a nice touch to the box. All three of our Jack Russell's are terrible at taking their tablets if there's anything ever wrong. The only thing we've found to be 100% effective is if we hide it in a big chunk of pate. Possibly the smooth texture triggers to the fact they can just swallow it. However, I feel like this pate is going to come in very handy. 

The final thing in the box was a yellow towel. I didn't actually get a picture of it and I haven't even opened it yet as we have several doggy towels for Arch, so I may come back and do a separate review on that one. 

 

Why you need a dog through teenage years

So my little old man Archie turned 10 today. 10 whole years of fury cuddles and walks in the freezing cold and pouring rain. I never thought having a dog would make as much of an impact on me as it has, so as a birthday celebration this post will be dedicated to Mr Archie Pants and how him being in my life changed me. 

We got Archie when I was 11 years old. I've always had a massive love for dogs and after pestering and pestering my Mum and Dad finally agreed that we could have one. At that age it didn't really cross my mind how much Archie would be with me throughout the most important times in my life, and how much I would end up relying on him for comfort. From 11 to 21 I've started secondary school, sat my GCSE's, sat my A-Levels, finished my degree, got a full time job, learnt to drive, been in several relationships, been through several heartbreaks, lost family members and gained them too, so I think it's safe to say that these 10 years have been some of the most important in my life. All these highs and lows I've been through has taken it's toll on my mental health, physical health and who's never missed a moment of that? Archie. The way Archie helps my mental health is incredible, having him laid with me keeping me warm and safe can calm me down. When I'm having a bad day getting home to see Archie is the only thing I can think about and as soon as I am home every bad moment just goes. 

Without a doubt Archie has been the one person (Don't get all literal on me. I know he's not a person) that has been next to me making sure I'm ok when I'm poorly, sat listening to me when I just need to let out all my thoughts, been patient and let me dress him up and take silly photos together, and licked away my tears when I've been at my lowest points. Dogs are capable of looking out for you in so many ways. We wouldn't use them to help the blind or disabled if not and they connect with you on an emotional level that I believe no other animal, possibly even human, is capable of doing. 

All the drama you go through in your teenage years there's enough to write series and series of books, whether it's the girls sleepovers or the nights spent under the duvet Archie was at the forefront of it all, waiting until he was needed. It annoys me how much of a bad stigma Jack Russell's can have with them, people don't like them because they are yappy, because they knew someone who was bitten by one, because they are too hyperactive and to that I say poor you. You've had a bad experience with a breed of dog and haven't been bothered to give any other dogs a chance.  A lot of my friends have said to me "I never liked Jack Russell's until I met Archie", and I know those people will be sat nodding and smiling at this now because they've seen how much of a strong bond me and Archie have and that they can be just as loving and loyal as any other dog when brought up in the right family environment. 

So for anyone reading this who's pestering their parents for a dog, or any parent's reading this that are being pestered right now think about whether your family are in a situation to look after a dog. There's a lot to consider before getting a dog but it could just change your children's life. There will be a lot of people that read this thinking I'm an insane person that's being dramatic, but unless you've loved something the way I love Arch you have no idea. Be like Archie, don't pass judgement. 

A Beginners Guide to Crufts

Calling this a beginner's guide wouldn't be the most accurate thing as this was my second year attending Crufts. However, for any dog lover their first time attending Crufts can be one huge blur. I was so overwhelmed last year I couldn't tell you what I did during the day and I probably missed a lot of things aimlessly wandering and getting caught up in the crowds so for anyone who is thinking of going to Crufts next year I've put together a few pointers to help you survive the biggest dog show in the world. 

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1. Educate yourself as much as possible
Where better to find out all about your favourite breeds of dogs than Crufts. A lot of people there will have attended the event for years and know the industry inside out. Talk to the owners, talk to the charities and companies with stalls and pick up leaflets. I can guarantee there will be breeds of dogs you've never heard of before so take the time to learn their backgrounds and what their origins were. 

2. Take your time
Whether you go to the exhibition or get tickets for the best of breed/show as well it can be a long day. My favourite part is going round the Eukanuba exhibition where you can have a person experience with every breed of dog from around the world. This usually takes up a lot of time and can be great to get photos and talk to breeders. This year I found myself watching more of the class judging for the Cardigan Welsh Corgis and the St. Bernard's, getting more of an understanding of the process that leads up to best of breed, group and eventually best in show. 

3. Let yourself be overwhelmed
The amount of people and dogs that are there is overwhelming in itself and it's ok to just wander and let yourself drift off to the cutest dog you see. 

 

4. Treat your pooch
A lot of the stalls at Crufts have some amazing things on offer for your pets and at good prices to. Offering the latest in dog tech and some stylish accessories even if you can't afford to buy anything on the day (I suggest you put some money aside beforehand) there's always chances to pick up vouchers and money off to buy online. 

5. Immerse yourself in dogs
You're at the biggest dog show in the world. Here is your chance to get down and cuddle as many dogs as you can. For the main exhibition and judging it's best to ask permission to stroke the dogs but it's not often people won't let you have a cuddle of their dog. However, the guide dogs and Pets as Therapy stands bring their working dogs where you can sit for as long as your heart wishes and love any dog that comes your way. 

6. Look down
There's a lot of people that attend Crufts over the 4 days and it's very easy to get caught up in crowds, especially when there's a popular stand or exhibition going on. When you're walking around don't forget to look down or you may end up falling over a four legged companion. 

Introducing a baby to the family

The order in which you first get a dog to first having a baby can differ between everyone. In Dexter's case he was the first 'baby' of the family and has had to learn how to adapt to the routine of a baby being brought into the household. Dexter has always had a lot of attention, been allowed to sleep cuddled into you and craves physical contact. Ever since the start of the pregnancy he has been aware of something growing inside his owners stomach and felt a connection whether it be sleeping on the bump or always being near, especially towards the end of the pregnancy. 

For a dog to meet a new baby for the first time is a big deal and can be overwhelming for both mother, baby and dog. When Dougie was brought home Dexter did not go back to his house until a couple of days after, giving people a chance to come in and see the baby. This also gave Dexter the recognition that the baby already being in the house meant that he was there to stay. 

Staying calm and acting as if everything was normal was key to getting Dexter settled into a new environment, giving him chance to have one on one investigation with mother and baby and familiarise himself with noises, scents and what is baby territory. Rewarding Dexter and giving him lots of positive attention when he interacts with the baby gives him confidence and confirmation that being with the baby is OK. 

From the get go Dexter was very gentle and willing to investigate. Offering signs of friendship by taking Dougie a ball or sitting with whoever held him. Settling into his new environment is still in the early stages but he seems to be coping with it very well, forming a strong bond with his new brother and offering a helping hand. 

Possibly the next steps to helping Dexter adapt with a baby is to start getting him used to Dougie's touch. Soon he will be able to poke, grab and pull meaning Dexter will have to learn to tolerate and not retaliate to this. 

February Pawsome Box

Subscription boxes have never been high on my list of things to investigate. The only ones I'd ever really heard of were beauty ones and the idea of having little miniature products cluttering my drawer is my worst nightmare. However, when I found out that having a subscription box for you dog was an actual thing I decided to investigate. I found the Pawsome box and signed Archie up to the world of monthly treats.

Here's what we got in February's box and ultimately how they've been going down with Mr. Pants. 

Treats

Starting off with treats, the theme of this box seemed to be salmon which I was very happy about because all three Russell's love their salmon flavoured treats. The salmon sticks as always went down no problem, other than the fact they stink the house out for a good ten minutes my dogs really do love their salmon sticks so it is worth it. 
What was a disappointment was the Healthy Centres salmon bites. None of the dogs would accept these treats and apart from Denzil they aren't fussy dogs. These were the ones I was most excited about too as they're easy to put in your pocket and didn't leave that horrible rotten fish smell anywhere. 
The final one is a concept of a treat I can get on board with. When I take the dogs for a walk I usually have loads of treats floating around my pockets, meaning I either smell like dog treats on a daily basis or I end up washing my coat far too often. However, the chicken and carrot pocket bar has been an absolute dream to call the dogs back and just break chunks off as and when I need to. 

Toys

As soon as I saw these toys I knew they were a goner. Anything with a squeaker gets instantly destroyed or buried in the garden and the poor Camon bone got both. After doing the rounds of the garden soil it was ripped to shreds and never seen again. 
I thought the keys might stand a chance in lasting a bit longer considering they were rubber. Unfortunately they were no match for the jaws of a Jack Russell and were also ripped to shreds and never seen again. 

So Pawsome if you have any indestructible toys, they would be much more beneficial as my terriers enjoy ripping everything apart. All I can say is R.I.P toys, you've joined a long list of demolished goods. Maybe next month will be better. 

Healthcare

Finally the only item of healthcare we received in our box was a multivitamin paste. I didn't actually know this was a thing and Archie doesn't even seem to notice the little bit that's positioned on his food so that is a bonus. I haven't really noticed any significant difference in him since taking it but then I don't even know if I should? If it's doing his insides good then I can't be disappointed with that! 

 

That is everything from our February Pawsome box. I'm going to keep them coming for another couple of months to see if there's anymore goodies to be had. I must admit the excitement of them being delivered is already addictive and seeing Archie's face when I hand him a new toy or treat is priceless. 

A tiny human has arrived

Hi humans, Dexter here. I has a very exciting tale to tell that happened to me last week. 

It was very very early in the morning, Mummy woke me up and I knew she wasn't happy. Was it time for walkies? Nope. Had I done an oops in the hallway and forgotten about it? Nope. I tried to think of alls the things it could be but seeing as I wasn't in trouble I thought I would try and lay next to her and make her better. Usually Mummy and Daddy leave for works in the morning but that morning they did not. Instead I had to go and see brother Denzil. Little did I know I would be there for days and days.  

I missed my Mummy and her growing belly very much. Since her belly has been growing it has been very warm and soft to rest my head on and sleep. Only, when I finally returned home her belly was not hard and big anymore and something even more unusual, a tiny sleepy human had appeared. 

Tiny human goes by the name of Dougie and he has been living with us now for just over a week. People say he's my brother so I looks after him and keeps him company when he sleeps, but he does not throw my ball or give me strokes. Mummy and Daddy say that I am number 1 but now when other humans come to my home they give tiny human strokes instead of me. 

Although tiny human Dougie gets more strokes than me it's ok because he hasn't been here very long and I got lots of strokes when I first met Mummy and Daddy. I hope tiny human Dougie will throw balls for me one day and take me for walkies. Until then I will just lay with him and keeps hims warm like I did with my Mummy's belly when it was big. 

Even brother Denzil likes tiny human Dougie and we thinks it's going to be great fun with him around.