Doggy friendly places to stay

The Wild Rabbit, Kingham, Oxfordshire, Cotswolds

Well our staycation planning for next year is in full waggy tail mode. It is November after all and we all need a paw-me-up when the nights get dark.  Last summer we went on a road trip to the Cotswolds.

It was our last staycation before the little rascal (my dog brother Dexter) arrived. After being in the car for what felt paw-ever, I’d never been happier to see the countryside, or to receive the furiendliest welcome at my new home for the weekend – The Wild Rabbit, Kingham.

The Little Rascal aka my little brother Dexter

Us doggies felt like Corgi royalty when shown to our room at The Wild Rabbit, which, complete with a dog bed, water bowl and treats, made us furlegged ones feel as important as the humans.

The doggy friendly ‘Mole Room’ at The Wild Rabbit

It was exceptionally hot during the height of summer in 2018 for us doggies, with only panting and sweating through our paws to cool down, the lack of air conditioned rooms, meant the nights were a little more uncomfortable for us larger dog breeds.

The hot summer nights of July 2018

Next time the humans said we’ll stay in a one of the new doggy friendly cottages at The Wild Rabbit, which will be much more relaxing for everyone. Being a fur-legged friend, we like to guard our territory and our humans. So a room next to the entrance meant we tended to welcome too many guests with a good strong bark! Much to our pawrents annoyance in the early hours!

Adventures from The Wild Rabbit to find Daylesford Organic Farm
Daylesford Organic Farm map featuring The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

Early Saturday morning we headed off on a pawventure to find Daylesford Organic Farm. We sniffed our way through the village onto a country farm track and then I was off, roaming my new streets, smelling what had crossed these tracks before me. We passed the market garden, then buildings labelled the ‘kitchens’ and finally stumbled across a herd of cows. They were on the moo-ve, heading out for the morning into the grassy fields. Fur-tunately they were behind a gate, or we’d have been taken out into the pasture with them. It was the pawfect walk discovering our new stomping ground.

Daylesford Organic Farm cows on the moo-ve

Eventually the trail leads you to Daylesford Organic Farm shop and cottages.

Checking our the cottages at Daylesford Organic Farm
Daylesford Organic farm walk

After an hour or so, back at the Wild Rabbit we ventured into the bar.  Everypawdy knows that a good bar is always rated by its doggy treats, and this bar gets several waggy tails and the biscuits are wooftastic. Dogs are allowed on the terraces and in the bar where the snug just feels like home.

The Wild Rabbit front terrace

The Wild Rabbit terrace by night

Of course, we indulged in the Wild Rabbit breakfast (daily).  The highlight of my mornings was my greeting from Leslie.  She was a super friendly dog lover, I think she was French, and had dogs back in her home nation.  You could tell she just loved us four-legged creatures.

Probably the best modern British inn breakfast in the world!

Hunting for rabbits

On Saturday evening I got to try RABBIT!! Oh my dogness. Yep – the place lives up to its name.  Not only does it have rabbits attached to the walls, but it serves a very DROOLICIOUS wild rabbit…slobber…slobber…

The Wild Rabbit bar dog treats…re-BARK-able!
Dinner in the bar at The Wild Rabbit
Rabbit at The Wild Rabbit

We ventured back to Daylesford the following day, heading to the farm shop.

Farm shop at Daylesford Organic Farm
The cheese room at Daylesford Organic Farm
Artisan hand crafted breads at Daylesford Organic Farm

The flower workshop at Daylesford Organic Farm
The home store at Daylesford Farm

This place even has a thing called a Doggy Park – woohoo – playtime.  There was a black dog like me there already.  I was pawfectly polite. I introduced myself and gave the doogy play bow, enquiring ‘do you want to play’? – but I got nothing.  A stoney silence, no waggy tail… not even one hair moved. HOW RUDE I thought!!!  Turns out it was a statue and the dog park is a place for us dogs to wait for our HUMANS whilst they popped to the shop for some retail therapy and not a park to play in – Oh well!

The dog park at Daylesford Organic Farm
Playtime
ReTAIL therapy

Appawrently there is a wonderful wellness retreat on the premises that the pawrents were raving about…maybe by next year the Bamford Haybarn will have added a dog spa…now would that be a dog treat!

The Haybarn Spa at Daylesford Organic Farm
Bamford Haybarn Wellness Retreat
Treatment rooms at The Haybarn

Bamford products at The Haybarn

What an adventure, I’m pawstively sure I’d like to return.

I think i’ve caught the bug for The Wild Rabbit …

Dylan

Doggy friendly places to eat & drink, Doggy friendly places to stay

The Boat House, Rothiemurchas, Highlands of Scotland

Nestled in the highlands of Scotland lies the ultiMUTT holiday location and PAWsible the best place we’re ever sniffed.

After 7 hours in the car, leaving Yorkshire at breakfast time, we finally pulled into Rothiemurchus, hidden just behind Aviemore, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Our bellies rumbling, we’d left Yorkshire at breakfast time, but this was no time for hunger. It was time to explore – a wood and the River Spey all on the doorstep – is this place is FUR’REAL.

The grounds of the Boat House

Then, whilst checking out the garden, we met another family that were staying on the estate. Marsli and her hairy Highland Cow crew. They we’re having a stomping time at the other side of our garden with their new babies.

Meeting Marsli the highland cow!

After some time exploring the grounds, sniffing out where the pheasants and deer had been the night before, we discovered the Boat House – one of the most PAWtastic places I’ve ever wagged.

The Boat House, Rothiemurchus

We met our hosts Amy and James, dog mad humans, the best type. ApPAWrently, I got a little too excited, embarrassing the humans by jumping up at the back door demanding to be let in to meet the visitors, and then jumping all over Amy. Everyone was singing ‘who let the dogs out!’ in their heads. They gracefully said we were adorable. Next time, YES…the humans said they’re will be a next time, we’re not allowed to meet anyPAWdy until we’ve settled down.

Come on in … welcome to our new home everyPAWdy.

The house was as exciting to discover inside as the outside setting. Lots of rooms and doors hiding new smells and comfy dog snoozing floors. Dog rules applied, as they do at home – no upstairs snooping or snoozing, and no sneaking on the sofas. But with such cosy and fluffy rugs who need a sofa! Dexter fell in LOVE with the rug in the snug.

Introducing the new Laird’s of Rothiemurchus!

Here is a sneaky peek of some of the rooms us dogs missed!

Ground floor bedroom
Ground floor view
Upstairs bedroom
Upstairs en-suite
Master bedroom
Upstairs bathroom

The ‘Chill Out’ room is unreal for a night in with PETflix. The PAWrents said it’s like having your own personal cinema. OBVs we’ve never been to the cinema – they’re not dog friendly, but this place certainly is, and we love it.

In the four days we spent at the Boat House, we sniffed out new places around the estate which has been with the Grant family for over 450 years! So many places and walks to explore.

Exploring Rothiemurchus Estate

On the boundary of the estate we discovered Inshriach Forest and Glenmore Forest Park. On our next trip we’re going to visit the beach at Loch Morlich. The beach is our favourite place to play. This time we hit Nairn beach, overlooking the Black Isle, whilst checking up on the grandPAWrent.

Back at Rothiemurchus estate, we discovered it hosts a Farm Shop with their own craft butcher. We tasted some delights at The Druie café restaurant before popping into the gift shop for some reTAIL therapy. It’s PAW liking good, and extremely PAWpular.

It’s imPAWsible to beat the tranquillity of the Boat House, it’s one of those places that gives you PAWspective and a new leash of life. So much so, I refused to get in the car when it was time to go home.

Dylan it’s home time, get in.

The PAWrents talked about taking how great it would be to spend a month at the house reading all the books. To us, Rothiemurchus is the real crown jewel of Scotland. BUT please don’t tell anyPAWdy about this special place – let’s just keep it our little secret.

We hope we be FURiends FURever with the clan at the Rothiemurchus Estate.

Be sure to say ‘hello’ from us when you visit.

Have you ever visited the area? Share your stories below.

Check out Rothimurchus http://www.rothiemurchus.net and the Boat House http://www.theboathouse.rothiemurchus.net

 

Dylan

 

My life 'tails'

Back in the world of the wagging with an addition to the family 

After keeping a low pawfile…I’m back!

Just over six months ago saw the arrival of my little brother, Dexter, a fox red Labrador puppy – you may have seen him popping up on my Instagram! He arrived and literally turned my life upside down!

At first, I thought hey, this is pretty cool – a little dude to play with, but after 48 hours of him following me around like my actual shadow and sleeping on my head…and I mean SLEEPING ON MY HEAD… I’d had enough! The naughty woofer was getting on my tail!! What were my pawrents thinking getting a puppy! Everyday, I wished that someone was going to pick him up and take him right back to where he came from. But it didn’t happen. Pawsonally, I felt my pawrents were paying far too much attention to this imposter, and the humans that visited were expressing how cute this new little ball of fluff was. It was like my worst nightmare had come true – it used to be me that people fussed over – was I losing my woof-tastic charisma?

He watches me whilst i’m sleeping!
He sits on my head!
He’s literally my shadow!

After a couple of months, I thought, this isn’t so ruff – he’s actually barking and pretty entertaining too! Some days you’d find him just sitting in a bush and other days he’d be sneaking up the stairs into the ‘dog free zone’. Since then, we’ve got up to all sorts of adventures. I’ve become his partner in crime (implicated by association and not always choice!) The good news is, I’m not even blamed for his mischievious behaviour.

My pawrents just hope that Dexter might learn some obedient behaviour from his extremely well-behaved older brother rather than the little rascal leading me astray! I think they are hoping for too much – but I guess anything is pawsible!

Who will be leading who? Keep posted to find out…

Dylan

 

My life 'tails'

Bramham Horse Trials 2018, Bramham, Yorkshire

It seems like a lifetime (well in dog years it probably is!) but this time three weeks ago, I was galloping around Bramham Horse Trials trying my best to blend in with my four-legged friends of the horsey variety!!

It was a PAWFECT day for it, if not a little hot for a black lab like me! (pant…pant), but there were plenty of watering holes, including the dapper Dubarry stand. We only popped in to get some boot cream (not for me obviously!) and I couldn’t help but think that the Dubarry staff must have been the only people that felt hotter than me in their very beautiful tweed jackets!!

Bramham Horse Trails 2018

There were lots of stalls to visit, and luckily, not all of them were human or horse related! We were tail-wagged to find stands for us dogs too, including a pet shop with dog treats – WOOF, WOOF, WOOF –  move aside a very waggy dog trying to get through…drool…drool…

After a little bit of shopping, we ventured onto the cross country course where I could hear lots of sharp-sounding whistles. It took me a little while to realise it wasn’t a command for me at all, but instructions for everyone to clear the track ready for the HUGE horses that were coming through!

Curious me decided to check out one of the jumps that the horses were needing to conquer – it was ENORMOUS compared to me and I’m a BIG Labrador (even if i do say so myself!) Absolutely no way could I even start to attempt this course!! BOW WOW WOW for the horses and riders from Dylan – they’re pretty PAWSOME and courageous!!

It was quite a long day at the trials so it is no surprise that I had to find a few shaded areas to cool me down throughout the event, especially when the midday heat was BARKING HOT…pant…chill…pant…chill

A little bit of shade required #hotdoggy
It’s a dog’s life!

After scoffing lunch (both mine and other peoples of course!), we hunted around for shaded viewing points of the course. I had a WOOFTASTIC time moving around the jumps. From checking out the FETCHING local country style, to getting a pretty close up view of the riders and my four-legged friends – the ground tremored as the horses galloped past. It freaked me out a little the first time but as I got used to it I began to think I might like this adrenaline junky vibe!! Waggy Waggy – wait for me!!

A shaded view showing the horses coming out the water jump…a perfect spot for me!
I can feel that horse thunder past!

Bramham Horse Trials is a highly recommended day out – I can’t wait till next year. The 6th & 7th of June are already pencilled in the doggy diary!

Selfie with mama and papa – eh…that’s my biscuit!

 

Dylan

Dog walks in Yorkshire, My life 'tails'

My top five watering holes

You’ll know by now that my favourite pastime is swimming and that I’m OBSESSED with water – BOW WOW WOW! So, I thought I’d share my top five watering holes with my fellow furry friends.

1. Wetherby, North Yorkshire

This is the elite of the local outdoor pawools that I’ve wet my nose in.  A popular dog walking spot, it has two pawsome points to swim in the River Wharfe – Wetherby Ings and Kings George’s Field.  On one visit to the river I saw what looked like a seal …WOOF! WOOF! Grrrr… understandably I started barking I hadn’t see something like this before.  It turned out to be a hooman in a wet suit – yep my thoughts too – BARKING!

2. Burnsall, North Yorkshire

Wharfedale is WOOFTASTIC – after all its home to the River Wharfe.  We took an adventure along the river to the stepping stones near the suspension bridge at Hebden. On the trail there are several points to dip your paw in and usually a few canine friendlies to run around with.

I’ve also swam near the five-arched stone bridge in the heart of Burnsall enjoying hours of fun paddling after the ducks…my pawrents call it my ‘Fenton in Richmond Park moment’(worth a google if you haven’t seen this) but I don’t know what they are BARKING about – I was just having a gentle swim!!! (smiling dog teeth face) #fentonismyhero #naughtydoggy

3. Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

The River Nidd heading towards Nidd Gorge towards the end of Conyngham Hall long stay car park is the PAWFECT doggy paddle pool. SPLASH…PADDLE…DUNK…SHAKE…REPEAT. I never want to leave…throw me the ball again!

4. Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Hidden behind the Yorkshire Show Ground in Crimple Valley is the River Cimple or Crimple Beck and it’s PAWSOME for a doggy dip. Many canine friends agree as it’s a popular spot for a splash and a paddle.

5. Blanchland, Northumberland

I don’t get here often but it doesn’t mean that Blanchland shouldn’t make the top five places where I like to swim, paddle and play.  Great adventures have been had here – there is nothing like a DOGGY dip in the Derwent.

Where do you go for your doggy dips? Are there places I need to visit? Share your favourite watering hole below.

Dylan

Dog walks in Yorkshire

Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire Moors National Park

This place is BARKING! It’s 8000 acres of wooftastic woods! Filled with lots of humans walking, cycling and playing with their canine family members – it’s just bow wow WOW! No wonder it’s called ‘The Great Yorkshire Forest’.

After a couple of hours car journey, our road trip took us into the fun filled forest – the home to Go Ape (where humans monkey around and hang from trees!). I told you this place is barking!

Oh what’s all this then? There are people hanging from trees out there!!!

The smell of BBQ’s and tasty treats from various picnics is tempting but I remained on my best behavior! Well at least I was when it came to food – but I did try to steal a ball from a possessive Staffy.  This was not such a great idea! Luckily our pawrents got to us before I got to the ball! I think he may have played a bit RUFF for me being a big softy.  Would serve me right for trying to steal his ball!!

Extreme – I’m not sure i’m qualified for this run!

We swiftly took one of the 12 trails – the Adderstone Rigg Walk. Wandering deep into the woods, even deeper once I saw a rabbit! Unfortunately, it outsmarted me. As I ran off the path down the hill into the woods the rabbit did a sneaky U-turn and ran across the path up into the opposite woods! After ten minutes of circling the scent I was beat (pant, pant, pant…)!

I can smell a rabbit!

Luckily, I wasn’t near a cycle track whilst chasing the rabbit – those humans on bikes can cover ground quickly.  I even saw one dog trailing the family. They looked like a pack of hounds chasing each other through the woods.  It looked WOOFTASTIC! I’m thinking of becoming a mountain bike dog myself! Training with papa begins soon …

Checking out the track!
Dog in training!

The only caution with this walk is there are lots of people on bikes but if you can avoid them and not fall under a wheel its PAWSOME! With the exception of the bikes I’d grade it a number 1 walk from my guide below.

Happy walking…..

(waggy waggy)

Dylan 

My life 'tails'

What makes the PAWfect birthday?

On Monday I turned TWO and celebrated my big day last weekend with a royal BBQ! Sizzling sausages…. drool!

Here’s some wooftastic moments ….

Happy 2nd birthday to me! That’s around 19 in doggy years.

 

Getting my Royal on!

 

Watching the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – I love a Royal Wedding!

 

A super cool nerf duck from my lovely human buddies – they’re very kind!

 

My new toy from Grandad!

I’m sure I’m not the only pampered pooch. How do my canine friends celebrate their birthdays? Do you have a P-A-W-T-Y? Or a droolicious doggy cake?

Dylan 

Doggy training tips, My life 'tails'

Human Foods that us dogs can’t get enough of

It’s so EXCITING when Simon visits to drop off the groceries. He seems to always remember my carrots – what a ‘Top Dog’ he is.  I always have a friendly tail wiggle for him as he pulls into the gravel drive.  I obviously BARK first like any good guard dog would (I’ve got a reputation to keep! I’m a 32kg Labrador… I sound FIERCE!  Grrrrr……(winky face)).

Is there a place at the dinner table for me?

Anyway, it turns out it’s not only the carrots that are edible for us dogs (I hear you yelping for more!). Here are 10 canine-edible foods that I’ve discovered I can eat from the hooman’s very own supplies:

  1. Natural yoghurt

Oh boy! oh boy! – drool…whine…drool…this stuff is darn T-A-S-T-Y! It’s drooltastic!

  1. Eggs

Cooked eggs are SO SCRUMMY and nutritious for us dogs. But watch out for raw eggs my four-legged friends as apparently they carry the risk of salmonella which as with humans, makes us dogs sick. According to my daddy this type of food poisoning is NOT COOL!

  1. Strawberries

These are PEDIGREE! I haven’t tasted blackberries or blueberries, but I’ve overheard I can eat these too! #cantwait

  1. Apples

I LOVE these juicy treats but for some reason I’m never allowed the core…something about apple seeds containing cyanide which just sounds dangerous, so I’m happy to avoid.

  1. Bananas

At first, I was a little unsure of the texture on my tongue but once it hits my taste buds I was hooked!

  1. Broccoli

Chomp Chomp! A great low calorie snack but not too much as it may irritate the digestive system!!

  1. Peanut butter

BOW WOW…‘TOP DOG’ treat! Hours of licking to be had if it’s placed in our KONG toys – an essential for all dogs. WARNING – peanut butter must be Xylitol free.

  1. Oatmeal

Porridge is my FAVOURITE breakfast.  Its wooftastic. I’m sure I have some Scottish blood in me somewhere! I like to think of myself as a doggy Braveheart, being a passionate, soppy, loving thing. But I’m a lover not a hater and Yorkshire’s where I call home.

  1. Cucumber

Staple! Chomp … Chomp … Crunch

   10.  Meat

Obvs! After all I’m a carnivore!! The word CHICKEN sends me NUTS! Crazy like a dog! (chasing my tail) Woof!…Woof!…I’ll do ANYTHING for chicken!

So…what do my fellow canine friends get delivered in their shopping? Are there some tasty dog friendly treats that I haven’t tried yet?

 

Dylan

 

My life 'tails'

A big woof-shout out to dog friendly employers

So I’m on the hunt for woof-tastic businesses that encourage dogs in the workplace! I’ve decided my mama needs to take me to work so we can hang out more!

Are you a dog friendly employer? Tell me more about you…

It seems that the number of dog friendly companies in the UK are on the increase but where are the ones on my doorstep? And for me, are there ones in Yorkshire? I’d like to sniff out these canine friendly businesses that have a ‘pets at work’ policy in place for a four-legged friend like me.

What is a ‘pets at work’ policy?

I’ve ‘googled’ the subject and found it’s more common than I thought! Wait for it…(a long paws for dramatic effect!)…there is even an official UK ‘take your dog to work day’ on the 22ndJune.  This annual nationwide event originally started in the UK in 1996, with one in five businesses now welcoming their loyal four-legged companions (like me), and with numbers on the increase – could the next one be yours?

Bring your dog to work day aims to raise funds for great doggy causes and you can read more about it here www.bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk  – there is even a dog with a job hall of fame! #doglifegoals

The benefits of having us dogs at work…

Obviously, some of you clever humans already are aware of the benefits of having us loving creatures in the office and how we can be good for both the mind and the soul…

But don’t just take it from me.  In March 2012 a US study published their findings on the effects that us dogs in the office had on employees of a retail business… I like a good retail business, particularly one that sells dog stuff for me (flick to visions of me dreaming of bones and beds and bouncy balls… sorry I got distracted …back to it!) So, guess what they found? They identified that us dogs have calming effects, reduce blood pressure, lower stress and make employees more cordial and productive.  Doesn’t sound so barking to me!

And here are the reasons why…

It turns out that us pets:

  • Trigger interactions between you humans that may not have happened without us.  We’re great conversation starters (although, I prefer it when you talk to me than just about me!). Either way, talking is good! And I like to talk…or bark..or whine (but not at work where I’m strictly the professional!)
  • Are a pro-active method of staying healthy and avoiding health issues – so go on, throw the dog a bone!

And playing with us:

  • Can increase levels of stress-reducing hormones.
  • Reminds you to ‘paws’ and take breaks whilst working long hours.

In short, having us dogs at work can help encourage a healthy work-life balance – we improve your job satisfaction, boost moral and employee performance –  no more RUFF days!

I’ve been ‘working like a dog’ – coffee break time!

Naturally, there are benefits for us dogs too, as a friendly work environment provides us with social interactions which we LOVE!

In summary, taking us to work is good for you, good for us and good for your employer. YAY! Everyone’s a WINNER!  So, there you have it – people and pets are better together. Companies that accept us four-legged friends aren’t so barking!

Now who is up for having a cute, very friendly and hard-working black lab like me in the office? Employers and employees out there, get typing in the comments section below and tell me all about your PAWSOME dog friendly businesses…

Dylan 

 

 

My life 'tails'

My lip job – lip fold dermatitis

Woof! You read correctly – a lip job, can you believe it??? I’m a dog! Surely I can’t be enhanced by cosmetic surgery?

Well, it turns out my fishy breath was lingering following my anal gland treatment a few months back, so off back to the vets I went. I got swabbed, and the results came back conclusive – pawsitive for pseudomonas aeruginosa a bacterium present in soil. You know how us dogs like to drag our noses in the dirt! The official name of my condition is bilateral lip fold dermatitis. It’s more commonly found in dog breeds with many lip folds like my fellow buddies the pug or a spaniel.  I was just unlucky. The bacteria found the habitat to grow within my dark, moist and droopy lip folds. And then…it turned into an infection. Pretty ruff huh!

My lip folds
My lip folds.
The infection underneath my lip fold.
The infection underneath my lip fold.
Post lip dermatitis operation.
Post-lip dermatitis operation.

It can become a chronic condition. My pawrents were shocked that surgery was strongly recommended due to growing antibiotic resistance of this bacterium. But apparently you good vets and lots of you pawrents who have come across this nasty bacterium would advise that this is the best route – so I’ve heard?

The condition is pretty uncomfortable, itchy and sore. I started to dislike cleaning my teeth and I LOVE cleaning my teeth! That might have something to do with chicken flavoured toothpaste!! [Check out my video on Instagram]. (Other symptoms) some of which I didn’t display, can include redness in the lip fold area and in severe cases it can cause hair loss and scabbing.  Oooouch!!

One happy chappy! NOT!
One happy chappy! NOT!

Here are my thoughts on why the condition needs treating as soon as possible:

  1. It’s painful!!
  2. Left untreated the bacterial infection can spread throughout the body.[Sad doggy face!]
  3. Apparently, antibiotics shouldn’t be overused – this infection is likely to re-occur and the bacterium is becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  4. Worst case, this condition can become chronic. The best cure is prevention.
My cone of shame!
My cone of shame!

I’m now pain free and I have the most pawfect lips!! Luckily, I only had it several weeks. I’ve read about cases where dogs have been misdiagnosed, even  undiagnosed and have suffered it for years!! Those poor doggies.  I’m so thankful to my vet for identifying and diagnosing my condition so quickly – she’s pretty pawsome, and really nice too!

My new lips!
My new lips!

I also hadn’t realised how down it had got me.  I’m now like a puppy again – full of energy and back to getting in to mischief (just the way I’m sure my pawrents like it)!!!

Just one more aftercare appointment with the vet to go! Have any of my furry friends have come across this nasty beast? Paw your stories or comments below.

Splash!

Dylan