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  1. Last week
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  3. We all enter the New Year feeling a little bit frazzled, too much food and fizz consumed vowing to make changes - for many it’s often one of getting fitter. It was whilst lounging in the bath browsing Facebook in that weird lull between Christmas and New Year that a friend tagged me into what looked like a lot of fun - Battersea Muddy Dog Challenge! A 5k run with your dog over, through, and under muddy obstacles all in aid of charity. We had just got a new puppy ‘Jasper the Cocker Spaniel’ in early autumn and I thought what better way to bond with pup, train together and get him fit! I mean I’m a pretty avid runner myself, often averaging around 50 miles a week, one of the reasons we got a dog was so that I could run with some company. What better way to train him with a fundraising opportunity to aim for. And so we entered! Muddy Dog Challenge 2019 in Leeds. We paid £37.50 to enter, set up a fundraising page on Just Giving and committed to raising the £100 minimum fundraising target for Battersea. Battersea rescue, reunite and rehome dogs and cats to care for them until new homes are found. I’ve always been a great lover of animals, even as a child I would bring home injured birds, rabbits who had been left for dead by foxes, stray cats and dogs. Our home had become a menagerie and it was all down to my Dr Dolittle nature! I feel particularly strongly about the work Battersea do having spent time abroad in Italy. On the continent many dogs and cats are strays, perhaps bought as pets and then neglected and left to roam the roadside in the most life threatening conditions. Since living in Italy, my parents have taken in six dogs and several cats, and I know of people who have found refuge for 20 or more. Without the work of Battersea, this could be a reality in the UK. In the weeks leading up to the main event we received plenty of correspondence from Battersea - useful training tips and a training plan (a staunch reminder of the tall task I had taken on). Jasper was going through his ‘adolescent’ phase and I had a real parenting challenge on my hands if I was expecting him to jump through hoops for me - quite literally!! Welcome Pack There was plenty of information about what to expect on the day, and in the week before the event we received a brightly coloured t-shirt for me and neckerchief for Jasper, it was all getting very exciting! I’m not going to lie, I really don’t mind mud and Jasper, he loves the stuff! But I was like a typical Englishman, checking the weather forecast every few days hoping that there wasn’t such a downpour we would be stuck in the mud. The day of the event arrived and we set off in the family bus, the five of us kitted out in wellies and waterproofs hoping to avoid the mud! Not sure what I was thinking, this was a Muddy Dog Challenge afterall! We arrived at Harewood House and were greeted by plenty of event organisers. There was ample parking and the start was only a short walk/slide down a muddy, water-logged hill - there was no chance of avoiding any mud! We brought the family along and they were hoping to be able to spectate, however the course was spread out over a three mile circular route around the grounds of Harewood House. Lots of undulating land with long grasses and plenty of woodland to run through, great for me and pup, not so great for six little legs 7 years old and under. However, they were able to get a glimpse of Jasper and I in action at three of the obstacle stations close by to the start and finish line. The event village was well equipped with plenty of food and sponsor stalls to keep the children occupied in the 45 minutes it took Jasper and I to complete the course. The event was organised in 10 minute waves and we arrived at the start on time. There was some confusion about where we entered our start pen so we did miss our wave, however, this wasn’t a problem and we were slotted into the 11.20 wave without any fuss. There were around 25 dogs in each wave and we each had to stand in a circle by a number to complete an aerobics style warm up. Whilst running is my passion, I do struggle with coordination and trying to do a grape-vine style movement around an excited dog with lead in hand proved a source of much amusement for my family! Ready, set, we were off! I don’t think Jasper quite knew how to pace himself over the three miles. I was dragged in a sprint with 25 other dogs up and down hills until we reached our first obstacle, around 200 metres into the course. He was like a dog in a pack, determined to be leader of the hunt! Our first obstacle confirmed, we were getting wet, very! The ‘Muddy Dip’ as it was amusingly called ensured that we were knee deep (or belly deep in the dogs case) in water from the off - if you watch the short clip you’ll see that I wasn’t far from a few expletives had there not been children around! It was frr-eee-zzing! We moved on to another obstacle, yet another water dip only this time there was a washing line we had to meander through at head height, lots of dirty smelly socks! Doggy paradise - mine not so much! A further 150 metre gallop or so uphill and we were met with, you guessed it, more water! This time a dip through murky waters but dodging large inflatable balls. Jasper was getting the hang of this now, he was wet and so relishing the challenge, I was having fun but was definitely pleased I’d thought about my outfit - long running leggings and trail running shoes were a must - I had my experience in running to thank for that! Having negotiated the next obstacle - crawling through a doggy maze, into the woods we scrambled, we seemed to be overtaking every dog we came across! Here was me thinking we were going for a fun run and Jasper was taking the course on as if he were in the doggy olympics! I think we must have run at least a kilometre through some beautiful woodland (dog walkers and cyclists heading towards us in the opposite direction only added to the challenge), before we got to our next obstacle. There were plenty of obstacles in the woods and we really were having such a laugh amongst our doggy friends. We scrambled a tyre wall, bounded over a log jump, crawled through several muddy tunnels and cargo nets. I think for me, the most memorable of obstacles was the one that had been condemned as too perilous for dogs! The one entitled ‘Stuck in the Mud’! I think there were a few shoes lost in this muddy bog. If you didn’t get on your toes and do a fast high knee lift through this, then there was no doubt, you were getting stuck!! Thankfully, the wonderful Battersea marshals had it covered and they were more than willing to take your dog out of your hands whilst you waded up to your stomach in sludge - I mean some people actually pay for this soothing mud treatment - right?!! Once out of the woods (well metaphorically speaking, we weren’t quite yet!) there was a doggy ball pool to jump through, plenty of bright coloured balls that Jasper tried to steal! And the real test of doggy agility, those ‘A’ framed obstacles to scramble over and poles to meander through - I think Jasper thought he was auditioning for Crufts! On the whole the atmosphere around the course was electric and a lot of this was down to the support and encouragement from the Battersea marshals. They were all fantastic! They ensured water stations for the dogs were readily topped up, thanks to them, there were very few bottle-necks at obstacles - they were a real testament to the hard work of the Battersea team. The staff at the finish line must have given out thousands of medals and rosettes that day but each one was presented with a huge smile and ‘congratulations’ which made you feel like they recognised, and were extremely thankful for every fundraising effort. We absolutely loved our Muddy Dog Challenge experience and would definitely give it a paws-up! We will be back to fundraise for them again next year. If you’re up for the challenge yourself then you can register your interest by going to https://muddydog.battersea.org.uk/ See you there! Christina and Jasper x
  4. Hughtom

    Bruce

    I can sleep anywhere
  5. Jeanette Pratt

    Scampi

    Scampi loves his nanny ❤️
  6. We’d love you to join us for Anna’s 5 mile Christmas-themed dog walk in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace on Saturday 9th November at 9.30am. Anna loves Christmas, so we would love participants, including dogs, to join us wearing Christmas hats or other Christmas items! All are welcome. You don’t have to have a dog to take part. To register, please click on the registration link below. You will be taken to a secure page where DanMedical is hosting the Paypal transactions. Registration fees are £10/Adult and £5/Child, 0-4 years and dogs are free. Registration closes on 31st October BUT we are strictly limited to 101 dogs so please register early! Once registered, please download and print sponsorship forms from the link below or if you prefer, sponsor money can be added directly to Anna’s justgiving page through the Donate link. If possible, please mention on the page that the donation is for the Blenheim dog walk. We are suggesting a recommended sponsorship goal of £100 per person/family.
  7. Come and join us and enjoy our first Sunday walk for winter, we will walk from Dog Area at the Pavilion End to Stone Groyne and back. (Please remember to book a table at one of many dog friendly places). Please keep your dog under close control, or on a lead, Can we ask you to please remember to bag and bin your litter. We hope to see many of our friends and hope some new ones too. Everyone welcome, level walking on mainly sand. Buses stop at the Kings Statue, parking at the Pavilion Carpark, and at The Swannery Carpark (charges apply) Follow our page to keep updated about our regular winter walks.
  8. Helen

    Howl'oween Pawty

    until
    Hellish Hounds, Fangtastic Beasts and Petrifying Puppies. Join us for a frighteningly fabulous Halloween party at WEST On the Green, Glasgow About this Event Join us for the ultimate Howl'oween party - with your pooch! Our fur-filled pawty takes place on Halloween, 31st October from 7pm at WEST On the Green. With every ticket, you'll receive a pint of beer and a currywurst roll for the humans, and Goody bags from Tails.com with plenty of treats for the pooch. Prizes for the Most Fangtastic Costume and Gruesome Twosome . So get those old bed sheets and scissors at the ready, it's going to be one frightfully fabulous night!
  9. Helen

    Day of the Dog

    We're inviting you and your furry pals to a BIG colourful Mexican party on Saturday 2nd November at Mr Fox Croydon, London from 1pm! Day of the Dog is an immersive Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) style celebration, full of colour and joy to celebrate our dogs. We want to see as many dogs there as possible, the big, the small, the fluffy and tall! Tickets cost £21, and one dog goes free per ticket. Extra dogs are allowed to join for £3 each. You and your Amigos can enjoy: Games and Prizes from Dog Furiendly Mariachi music from Mariachi Amigo Free Calavera (Skull) Face Painting for The Humans Goody Bag from Tails.com Piñatas filled with doggy treats Mini Dog Show Searching for the Most Handsome Chico and Prettiest Chica Plenty of Photo opportunities Mexican Drink offers from Mr Fox During the event, there will also be a space for you to bring photos of your departed doggies, traditionally known as an altar. We invite you to bring offerings to the altar in the form of your dog’s favourite food, treats, toys etc. Dogs were believed to guide the ancestral spirits to their final resting place in the afterlife. Therefore, all items donated to the altar will go to the Guide Dogs, as they guide living spirits to where they need to go. We can't WAIT to see all your beautiful perros! ------------------------------------------------------ About Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Día de Los Muertos originated in Mexico celebrating the everlasting bonds of family with food, art and colourful customs, showing love and respect to deceased family members. Deceased family members are kept alive within the community in memory and spirit and during Día de Los Muertos their spirits return to be with their families. Altars are created to bring the spirits home, filled with family photos, candles, marigolds, and their favourite things. ---- Please note: this event is not part of the Dia de los Muertos public holiday, which has significant religious meaning. Many traditions will not be happening at this event.
  10. Helen

    The National Pet Show

    until
    Join us for a jam-packed weekend. Tons of animals, expert advice & shopping galore. IF YOU'RE MAD ABOUT DOGS, YOU CAN'T MISS THE DOG VILLAGE! The Dog Village, is an essential visit for all canine lovers! Meet your favourite breeds and ask the experts any burning questions you have. Whether you're looking to add a new member to your family or want to share stories about looking after your breed. There will be fantastic dog displays in the Activity Arena as well as training demos in the School 4 Dogs Ring and pooches strutting their stuff on the Canine Catwalk. Meet famous pooches in our Hound Hangout, including your favourite Dogs of Instagram!
  11. Karen Jefford

    Jasper

    Just love my walkies ❤️❤️
  12. Wendy79

    Hugo

    A 🎾 is his life
  13. Hilary Waudby

    Poppy and Bailey

    BEAUTIFUL POPPY AND BAILEY XX
  14. Lucy Thomas

    Stefan

    Vote for stefan, my Bulgarian rescue ❤️
  15. Kenny Bennett

    Shanks

    Such a gorgeous dog. ❤️
  16. Ange Shine

    Ruby

    Water Baby
  17. Toni

    Kiera

    My beautiful smiley girl
  18. Jo De Klerk

    Canine Seizures

    It is a terrifying sight to witness your dog having a seizure, especially when you haven’t seen one before. Seizures can look very different from animal to animal, and the cause of the seizures will influence this greatly. In this article we will give all you need to know about canine seizures in six bite-sized pieces of information. How do I know my dog is having a seizure? Seizures can vary significantly in appearance from animal to animal. Seizures used to be classified as ‘petit mal’ and ‘grand mal’, but now, these terms are rarely used by veterinarians, and are rather called ‘partial’ and ‘full’ seizures. These terms describe how much of the brain is being affected by the hyperactive nerves. A partial seizure, depending on the area of the brain affected, might not even cause a loss of consciousness. Usually the symptoms displayed are a loss of attention, twitching muscles, or a change in sight, such as spots in front of the eyes which may cause your dog to act like they are trying to catch a fly. A full seizure, however, is what people classically know as a seizure. This usually causes your dog to drop to the ground, shake, bite, have stiff legs, and foam at the mouth. They may also defecate or urinate from the muscle contractions and loss of control. Your dog, within this time, will probably not close their eyes, but they are not rousable or conscious of what they are doing. Seizures generally last just a few minutes, but if they go on for over 5 minutes, your dog must be seen by a vet immediately. If your dog seizures for over 30 minutes, this will lead to permanent irreversible brain damage. Seizures can also come in clusters, which are defined as more than 2 seizures in 24 hours. Cluster seizures indicate a serious clinical cause. You may be able to tell that your dog is about to have a seizure, as their behaviour will change hours or even days before the seizure. This is called the ‘prodrome’ phase. The behaviour might also remain unusual for hours or days after the seizure as well, known as the ‘post-ictal’ phase. What are the causes of seizures in dogs? There are many causes of seizures in dogs; some benign, and some extremely serious. Many people know seizures as epilepsy, but epilepsy is just one cause of seizures. True epilepsy is thought to be genetic in origin and is diagnosed through a process of ruling out every other cause. Generally, epilepsy begins in the first 6 years of life, so if your elderly dog is having a seizure for the first time, then it is unlikely to be epilepsy causing it. Other causes of seizures are more cause for concern. They are categorised into two categories; intra-cranial and extra-cranial. Intra-cranial seizures are from diseases present inside the brain. This could be due to tumours, trauma, bleeds or infections, and are extremely serious and often difficult to treat. Extra-cranial seizures are from issues outside of the brain, such as toxins or related to defective internal organs. What do I do if my dog is having a seizure? If your dog is having a seizure, the most important thing is to try not to panic. The first thing you must do is note the time, so you can tell your vet how long the seizure lasted for. Next, remove all objects in the vicinity of your dog so that they cannot harm themselves if they are convulsing. If you have another person in the room with you, ask them to video record the seizure whilst you phone your emergency vet services to tell them your dog is seizing and requires to be seen. The video will help your vet greatly in determining the cause. Be aware that if you touch your dog whilst he is seizing, there is a high chance you may be bitten by accident. Therefore, only try to move your dog if their seizure is continuing for more than 2 minutes. Otherwise, allow the seizure to finish, then immediately take them to your veterinary clinic for a check over and testing. If you have to move them whilst they are seizing, be cautious of the head end, and place them in the car in such a way that they cannot harm themselves. What will the vet do? Most seizures will have finished by the time you arrive at the vets, however a check over and tests as close to the time of seizure as possible are important to determine the cause. If your dog is still seizing when you arrive, the vet will give emergency medication to stop the seizure. This often is in the form of diazepam, administered rectally. This will stop the seizure long enough for the vet to place a cannula in the vein to administer further drugs if the seizure returns. You dog may need to remain sedated to stop the seizures, and if toxins are suspected, the vet might flush their system with intravenous fluids whilst they are sedated. If your dog is no longer seizing when you arrive at the vets, they will perform a check over to see if there are any neurological changes. This might involve looking in the eyes, testing reflexes and checking mentation. If these are all normal, the next step would be for your vet to do a blood test to investigate whether all internal organs are normal or if the body is fighting an infection. However, if the neurological exam is abnormal, this is an indication there is an intra-cranial cause. An MRI scan by a specialist veterinary hospital is the only way the brain can be fully assessed to understand what the root cause is. How are seizures treated? The cause of the seizure will influence the treatment of it. For extra-cranial seizures, if a toxin is suspected, your dog will be hospitalised and intensively treated to attempt to flush the toxin out of the system as soon as possible before major internal damage is done. If they determine a defective organ is the cause, then further investigations may be needed to fully understand what disease process is present, and this will need to be treated specifically. For intra-cranial seizures, if there is a tumour which can be removed, then a veterinary neurologist may attempt surgery. This is a risky and costly procedure though, and many owners will instead opt for euthanasia. If the intra-cranial cause is an infection, then antibiotics may be started based on culture of the spinal fluid. Finally, if it is a trauma or a bleed, then your dog may just be given anti-inflammatories and nursed gently back to health either at home or hospitalised in the vet clinic. If all other causes have been ruled out, and a diagnosis of epilepsy has been made, long-term medication is available to help reduce the frequency of seizures. This medication has side effects such as weight gain, behaviour change and lethargy, and so the quality of life of your dog must be taken into account when deciding whether to medicate or not. What is the prognosis for the future? The prognosis is dependant on the cause of the seizure. In young dogs, where epilepsy has been diagnosed, long-term treatment is often very effective and they can live a normal happy life, however, they are likely to need yearly blood tests to ensure the medication is not causing any side effects. If the cause was a toxin, then as long as there was no brain damage and the toxin was fully flushed out of their system before any internal damage was done, then there should be no long-lasting complications. Tumours, infections, defective organs, trauma and bleeds in the brain are more variable in diagnosis. The prognosis will be dependant on how progressed they are at the time of the seizure, and will often involve intensive and early veterinary treatment for the best chance for the future. In the end, the causes of seizures can range in severity from completely benign, to something serious, and so a full work up by your veterinarian is a wise idea. Until you have the results of the tests, try not to panic, as your dog is in good hands with your veterinarian.
  19. Diane Evans

    Shanks

    He is absolutely gorgeous 💓 XXX
  20. Mrs Alexis Swain

    Kody (14 yrs)

    Kody with a ‘K’ - Halloween Devil Dog!
  21. Felicity

    Marley

    Marley loves the garden and playing with my little sis love #frenchies
  22. We have a long haired German Shepherd so she takes a lot of grooming. She’s not a fan of ‘brush’ day but she puts up with it... just like having a bath haha!
  23. Lynne65

    Dave

    Aww Dave is such a gorgeous dog, watching him from the first week you had him to now he has come on leaps and bounds. He has had more holidays than me! ☺ Dave is living the dream and couldn't wish for better owners, he so deserves it bless him. So glad you rescued him. ❤❤ good luck Dave hope he wins 🤞 xxx
  24. liz29_11@hotmail.com

    Dave

    Dave has come on leaps and bounds. The difference in him is amazing and love he has god his new famy shines everytime you see them. Well deserved, loved, spoilt dog. Xx ❤️❤️
  25. Hazel Burbury

    Dave

    Dave got the best humans to adopt him ha ha. He is fantastic. Good natured. And very lucky to have such a lovely home. 🐶xxx ❤️❤️❤️
  26. Jaymie-lea

    Bella

  27. Julie Collinge

    Halo

    So very tired!
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