Category Archives: Reviews

Easter Bunny

Not much of an introduction is needed for this post, which is a combination of a photo diary entry and a short dog toy review. Easter may be gone, but George has got something to remind him of the holidays, if not forever, then at least for the next couple of months.

So let me introduce today’s ‘subject’: this is Rainbow, George’s new bunny toy that he received as a present this Easter.

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Rainbow is a beautiful, colourful bunny with a little noise-making mechanism inside. To George’s delight, it squeaks whenever he bites its bottom. George can be very funny with toys and new additions to his collection often spend weeks or months in his toy box before he actually starts to play with them. Not the Easter bunny. He took to it instantly and has not looked at any of his other toys for the past 3 days. He even takes it to bed with him which, coming from him, is a sign of true love.

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What I really like about Rainbow is that it’s made of latex as opposed to normal rubber. Latex is supposed to be more durable and completely digestible should the dog decide to shred it to pieces and then eat it. It is definitely softer and more flexible than other rubber toys George has had over the past two years, and has successfully resisted the rough and tumble treatment it’s received so far. So, overall, we’re all really thrilled with our little bunny.

If you ever have to choose between a rubber and a latex toy, don’t hesitate, go for the latter. It may be a bit more expensive, but it’ll be a better quality, safer product for your fur baby. And it might last you longer which, eventually, will save you money.

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Tantalising Tripe and Rice Pate

I never would have thought that my first positive review on this blog would be for a Pets at Home product. We normally avoid pet shops, especially the big chains, partly due to our aversion to consumerism and commercial monopoly and partly because we don’t need to go to such shops. As you already know, we feed George a natural diet, so all his meat and bones are sourced from the local butchers or online shops, whilst most of the vegetables come from our own garden.

However, since we are out and about a lot in the good weather and that time is nearing, we’ve been on the hunt for a quality, no-compromise alternative to his raw meat, especially the tripe. As those of you who have been near the green stuff will know, this is not exactly the best thing to take with you when you go camping and have no fridge to keep it in.

For this reason, we decided to give the pet shop a chance and see what we can find there. Well, we were surprised to find on their shelves a quality complete food that contains the much desired tripe. Not only is it good, but it is also sold under their brand name, as part of their own range.

Many commercial dog foods – either in tins or pouches – do not contain more than 45% meat and are packed with artificial additives and flavourings. I personally don’t think these are good for any dog, since the meat content is too low and the artificial add-ons are likely to cause more damage than good. The Pets at Home Tantalising Tripe and Rice Pate, however, contains approximately 70% meat overall, plus a few other natural ingredients and vitamins:

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The packaging itself is designed in a minimalist style and looks like is made of recycled paper. The image it tries to promote is, obviously, that of a simple, quality and ‘ethical’ product. As for the brand name, it does not jump out at you and it took me a while to find out whose product this is. It is only when you read the small print on the back that you find out this food is produced – in the UK! – for Pets at Home.

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Compared to what I’ve seen so far, this product is so ethical and atypical for big pet shop chains that it makes me wonder. Have they actually learned anything then? Are they finally starting to listen to the public? Are they changing with the times? I don’t know, but for once it’s thumbs up to one of their products.

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Give Your Child a Dog Book

Books play a major role in our family, which happens to include a trained linguist, an inspired writer, an imaginative, bookworm kind of child and a whippet who likes nothing better than to hang around with his humans and listen to their stories. Therefore, with World Book Day celebrations taking place tomorrow, I felt we needed to put a bit of thought into what  to read next and what to recommend our friends.

Every year, we try to guide our daughter towards choosing the right books for her age and level of understanding; books that will captivate and enthrall her, stimulate her imagination and feed her brain; books that will make her laugh and books that will make her cry; books that will give her something special for the rest of her life; books that she’ll want to share.

With this in mind and having exhausted our bookcase and the local library, I decided to take a look on the World Book Day website. Although I was sad to find out that we’d missed the writing competition for kids, it was really exciting to find one of Brianna’s favourite books – by her favourite author – in the top 10 books recommended for 5-8 year olds. At number 7, more precisely. What book is it? A doggy book, of course. Even better, a book about a whippety-type dog called Streaker.

I’m sure some of you have guessed it already, it’s The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong. What a fantastic book this is. My husband and I have read it a few times ourselves, but Brianna has read it so many times that she could quote whole pages from it whenever you like. She still thinks it’s hilarious, and we very often find her lying on her bed fully immersed in the story and laughing her head off. Here she is reading it to George (who’s got a crush on the main character):

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However tempted I may be to tell you all about this wonderfully funny story, I’ll try to refrain myself from spoiling the mystery and only disclose what the blurb of the book has got to say about it –

Streaker is no ordinary dog. She’s a rocket on four legs with a woof attached, and Trevor has got until the end of the holidays to train her. If he fails, he’ll lose his bet with horrible Charlie Smugg, and something very nasty to do with frogspawn will happen…” –

along with the opening page of the book:

Streaker is a mixed-up kind of dog. You can see from her thin body and powerful legs that she’s got a lot of greyhound blood in her, along with quite a bit of Ferrari and a large chunk of whirlwind.

Nobody in our family likes walking her and this is hardly surprising. Streaker can out-accelerate a torpedo. She can do 0 to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. She’s usually vanished over the far horizon long before you have time to yell – ‘Streaker!’

I guess part of the reason why we like this book so much is George. You read stories like this differently when you have a dog that you can relate it to. However, this is a book for all children (and adults) who love animals, appreciate a great read and enjoy a good laugh. And, if you and your kids fall in love with Streaker and want to join in more of her adventures, you can proceed to the other titles in the series: Return of the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour DogLost! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog, Wanted! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog and Christmas Chaos for the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog.

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