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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

Dog walks in Yorkshire

Kirkby Overblow to Sicklinghall, North Yorkshire

I’m in dog roaming heaven, weaving my way through a magical bridleway, lined by stone dike walls and big rustling trees.  We pass an old Yorkshire farmhouse where the path is followed by a parallel stream – I just LOVE a bit of water.

We carry on through a gate into a large plain where I get a sniff of a rabbit, and a whiff of pheasant – its all too STIMULATING for my senses – no dried kibble in sight!  I begin to run, tracking my prey, following a scent trailing though the long grass, then SUDDENLY a pheasant takes off in front of me…I LEAP to catch it but my butt is too heavy to fly!!! I go in for the chase but its over before it began, the pheasants taken OFF and it’s out of here!

 

You looking at me!

As I emerge from the grass I see some sheep and they have lambs too – I’m excited!! But I know the drill, lambing season means I’m back on the lead. Attempting my best behavior as I don’t want to scare anyone. I’m a friendly sort. A little bit too friendly for sheep so my pawrents say – I intimidate them with my extremely waggy tail and my passion to bounce a bit like Tigger from Winne the Pooh, and Tigger ‘likes to bounce’.  They can’t understand I just want to play.

Dog walks
hello horses – are those fly masks keeping the flies at bay?

Past some woods we meet some friendly horses in a field before turning down a track leading onto the main road into Sicklinghall. At the end of the walk there is a charming 17th century watering hole, The Scotts Arms.  And yes, dogs can drink here too. I asked my pawrents for a pint but apparently I’m underage!! Off to the dog watering bowl I go.

After catching a few rays in the beer garden and topping up the vitamin D we take the same route back to Kirkby Overblow. With an array of Yorkshire stone-built houses, a village green and a parish church – these picture postcard villages are delight, to wonder through.

Dog walks
Mud bath!

Much to my overwhelming delight, there are several small streams on the route and many of them allow for us dogs to get really really muddy!!! I’d recommend saving the mud bath for the way home!

Happy walking!

Dylan

Doggy friendly places to eat & drink

Filmore & Union, Wetherby, Yorkshire

Our Good Friday included a visit to Filmore & Union in the sweet little market town of Wetherby.  With branches throughout Yorkshire and beyond – Filmore & Union claim to be the home of the totally dog friendly restaurant.  Clearly advertised on their website ‘as a family business we know how dogs are an addition member which is why we allow dogs in all of our stores; they can enjoy the Filmore experience too.’  I’m pleased to report that they don’t disappoint. We were greeted by the very hospitable and courteous Marcus who remembered us from our visit to the Harrogate branch last week, and we were shown to an area with a little extra room for me.  Well, in terms of size, I’m no ‘shrinking violet’ at nearly 31kg!

Homegrown in Yorkshire and inspired by the San Francisco food scene; Filmore was established back in 2012 to provide an eatery specialising in healthy dishes made from fresh and wholesome produce; sourced from local suppliers, farmers and butchers. I overheard the humans saying; ‘with a reputation of serving food that is ‘nourishing and sumptuous’ benefiting ones’ wellbeing – it makes you wonder should healthy food really taste this good’?

Filmore & Union Sweet Pancakes

Part of Filmores unique selling point is they’re committed to catering for different dietary intolerances including gluten, dairy, refined sugar and flour free options.  Unfortunately for me this didn’t include a doggy diet – no cheeky treats available for me.  Well, none that I managed to sniff out with my gun dog nose.

Flying the flag for the dog friendly restaurant they even feature ‘Top Dog’ of the week within their social campaigns and Filmore Friday emails, sharing stories of those lovely pooches that have visited with their Filmore friends.

Any chance someone could fill my doggy bag?

Keep up the good work Filmore foodie chefs and your enthusiastically welcoming doggy friendly staff – we salute you!

‘Top Dog’ restaurant of the week goes to Filmore.

Perhaps we may visit some more branches on our travels, any recommendations?

Dylan 

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 5 – puppy allergies

When I was a young lad I suffered terribly from some kind of allergy that manifested itself in different forms.

Eye infection
My first eye infection happened when I was just three months old.  You’ll see from my pictures it looked pretty bad.  It gave me, and my pawrents a bit of a fright.

Eye infection Aug 2016
My first eye infection at three months.

The vet suggested it may have been something I came into contact with whilst walking through the summer grassy field. That was a reasonable explanation. That was until my second infection occurred around two months later, and a third when I was six months.

A human antihistamine helped me on these occasions.  Be very careful as many over the counter antihistamine brands contain a decongestant which is dangerous for dogs, so always administer upon your vets recommendation.

Eye infection Oct 2016
My second eye infection at five months.

Skin allergy
The evening after my third eye infection I developed what looked like dandruff (dry flaky skin).  It soon developed into something quite serious when it became itchy and blistery.  I was in so much pain I had to be soothed with coconut oil.  My break out began late at night so coconut oil was the only thing my pawrents had that seemed safe and natural to try and ease my discomfort, and thankfully it did.  I went straight to the vet the next morning.  My skin had began to heal but my pawrents had taken photos of my breakout to show the vet. It turned out I healed pretty well overnight.

They started some tests to try to illuminate different factors.  At first fleas and mites were ruled out.  The vet, like my pawrents, didn’t find any sign of life from using the flea comb and I wasn’t showing signs of scratching. Nevertheless, the whole house was disinfected just in case.

On my check-up visit a different vet noticed my flaky skin and thought it could be a form of mites known as ‘walking dandruff’ the medical term ‘cheyletiellosis or cheyletiella mange’.  Unlike other mite conditions this disease results in virtually no itching at all. This is an extremely contagious, non-seasonal skin disease of dogs, cats, rabbits and sometimes people caused by surface-dwelling parasitic mites. Well this caused panic in our household.  The vet had prescribed a precautionary flea and mite medicated shampoo treatment. A skin-scraping sample was taken to detect the mites that are not visible to the eye.  But my mites tests were negative.

Food allergy – hypoallergenic dog food
This left two further main possibilities; my environment, or my food.  Was my house too hot, was I allergic to the washing powder or something else in the house.  It turned out my allergy was due to food sensitivity.  My pawrents started to look at alternative natural food options moving me only a locally sourced dog food called Millies Woofheart (www.millieswolfheart.co.uk).  They produce a bespoke recipe dog food formulated without gluten and grains, and are naturally hypoallergenic.  Luckily for me their mixes are extremely tasty – the countryside mix is my favourite.  After a few weeks my skin condition cleared up and my coat was looking glossy.   Be careful though; the key to changing our food is to do it gradually.  My new food was extremely rich and the change needed to be more gradual than the brand suggested, this was probably due to my sensitive tummy.   It’s just trial and error at this stage I’m afraid.

Late Nov 2016
Happier and healthier at six months. New food – new me!

I’ve been happier and healthier since changing my food. Thank goodness it wasn’t my environment – I love my family home. And I’m so glad I found this delicious new cuisine too.  After all I am a Labrador, so I’m ruled by my belly!

Common allergies in Labrador Retrievers
According to thelabradorsite.com Labradors tend to be more allergic that other dog breeds due to their immune system.  Check out more at https://www.thelabradorsite.com/common-allergies-in-labrador-retrievers/

Dylan  Paw Print