Monday, 28 September 2009

Autumn Newsletter - Online version

News from the Team

First of all, sorry for the late arrival of this newsletter. I am still recovering from a very busy summer with lots of dogs coming to stay for their holidays! My carpets will never be the same again...

Thank you for your patience with my time off this year, I have one more week off in October (19th to 23rd) and that's it until February 2010. I am 'open' all over Christmas and the New Year period, although New Year's Eve is already booked for boarding. Please refer me to your friends if they need a little help with their pets over the party season! I don't just do dogs and cats, I can feed fish, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, chickens and anything else Brentwood residents see fit to bring into their homes as companion animals.

Please let me know if there are any days over the holiday period I will not be needed as soon as possible.

I have now been in business for one year, and I would like to thank everyone for the trust and loyalty I have been shown. I continue my training in dog handling and behaviour, and being around so many different breeds is part of my education. This can only benefit your dogs! My knowledge of cats and cat behaviour is increasing as well.

Identity Tags

Under current law dogs are required to wear an identity tag with the owner's name and address clearly inscribed on it when they are in public places. I would strongly recommend as many phone numbers, of as many people as possible, are also attached to the collars (without weighing your poor dog down).

If your dog (or cat) strays and is taken to a pound or rescue, although they will make reasonable attempts to trace and contact the owners they cannot spend a lot of time on each animal. If there has been no contact, after seven days they can put your pet up for adoption and rehome it. If this happens owners have no legal right to the return of their pet, and it is not uncommon for new owners to refuse to part with pets they have legally adopted, even after as little as a week.

From the Daily Mail, September 09 - Scamp’s Story

When, after seven days, no owners had come forward to claim her, the local authority became the dog's legal owners and began the process of rehoming her.

Because Scamp was such an unusual stray, the kennels very quickly had nine applications to adopt her and on September 1 she was handed over to her new family - the same day the de Lacys returned from holiday and travelled up to Wirral to begin looking for Scamp.

When they arrived at the council kennels in Birkenhead they were given the bombshell that Scamp had been given a new home.
'We have appealed to the new owners on the de Lacys' behalf to ask if they would consider returning the dog.

'However, they state the dog has settled into their household and have refused, which is their right.'

If your pet is micro-chipped (most pets can be micro-chipped, not just cats and dogs), give the chip company as many phone numbers as you can. You may add my number to tags or chips if you wish. I will always help reunite lost pets, even if circumstances change and I am no longer caring for your pet.

Micro-chips must be kept up to date with contact details otherwise they are useless.


There's no avoiding them, it's coming up to firework season. For the younger pets this may be their first experience, and we can try to make it as easy as possible for them.

If you have any major concerns about your pets, please speak to your vet in advance.

A bolthole – many pets will find a small space to hide. Leave them where they hide if you can. Don't worry if they miss their tea, or you think they may need to go out to spend a penny.

If your dog is used to a crate, try layering it with blankets or old duvets to deaden any noise, and leave some stuffed interactive toys or something for them to chew. Chewing and licking has a calming effect on dogs and should help.

Keep curtains and windows closed and the television or radio on, a little louder than usual.

Dogs can be given a good run before it gets dark so they don't have to go out again.

Bring cats indoors, and lock the catflap, providing a litter tray for the evening. Multiple cat households may encounter friction between cats, so try to give them their own'territory. They may choose the area themselves, so don't start moving them around if they have naturally separated. Doors can be closed to keep them apart.

Rabbits can be brought into a house or shed for the evening. If that's not possible, turn the hutch to face the wall and cover with an old duvet (make sure they have fresh air!). Give them, and any other caged animals, extra bedding so they can bury themselves if they need to.

Identification for your pets is essential at this time of year. If your pet escapes and runs off an identity tag will enable neighbours to bring them back or contact you. Being micro-chipped does help reunite pets with owners, but an identity tag on your dog will hopefully avoid the need for the dog warden to get involved (saving yourself a hefty fee and probably kennel fees).

In the morning check the garden for firework debris if there have been fireworks locally.

Old duvets and blankets can often be picked up on Freecycle, or in charity shops. Wallace Kennels will be grateful for clean blankets in good condition when you no longer require them (I can pass them on – as well as any other surplus dog 'equipment' or food).


Before I was a professional dog walker I was a ‘foster mum’ for dogs in rescue, waiting to find a new home. At the moment I have Smudge staying with me. His previous family had rather colourful lives which culminated in an eviction, so with nowhere else to turn, I had to open my doors and my heart to him.

Smudge is a ten year old Border Collie cross who is currently in the care of Animal Action in Essex.

Smudge sustained an injury to his front leg as a young dog, which has left him lame and so only has very short, slow walks, which he enjoys. Smudge is in good health apart from his leg. He is a little nervous as he is anxious to avoid further pain, but he eats and sleeps well and can live with other dogs. As he is unsteady on his feet a calm household is a must, no cats or children. He can be left for a few hours.

He would probably best suit a retired person who doesn’t do a lot of walking, but would take him out for short trips to keep his mind active and allow him to investigate new sights, sounds and smells.

If you know someone who would be interested in giving Smudge a home, please let me know, pass on this newsletter, or phone Lu Scott on 01277 634406. A rehoming fee and homecheck (the rescue will check the family and environment will be suitable for Smudge) will apply.

Smudge has settled in with me, and is very quiet around the house, but really needs a family to call his own, possibly with less comings and goings. His limp is quite pronounced, but he can move quickly enough when his dinner is ready!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Time for Elevenses

The dogs often stop for a drink here. Although it's September, it's been lovely and sunny this week, hot in the sun.

Conrad and Scarlet are first to the water - Conrad is usually in the lead (unless Barney is with us), so he drinks first. Scarlet, being a lady, doesn't seem to have any idea there is a pecking order she should be following. Winston and Bingley hang around the edges, waiting for their turn.

Next, it's Winston's turn. You may be able to spot from the ripples that he's not so much drinking as nose-butting the water. He likes to smear it around with his nose.

And finally, Bingley. He very rarely has a drink on a walk, but he wants to take his turn anyway, so pokes his nose over for a good look.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Now Available - Ongar Dog Walking

Due to popular demand I have added High Ongar & Chipping Ongar to my service.

As my main business is in Brentwood, Shenfield and Hutton, Ongar dog walking is available off-peak, at around 4.30pm on weekdays, or anytime at weekends.

If you are at home during the day, a new mum/dad, have a young family, have limited mobility, or are leaving your dog with family while you are on holiday, walking the dog can be difficult to fit in. Let me take your best friend out for a good run so you know she or he gets the exercise they need, while you take the time to concentrate on your family, or simply rest, knowing he or she is in good hands.

It is increasingly difficult to find dog-friendly days out. If you can't take your best friend with you on a weekend day out, let me take care of him or her for the day. I can visit once or twice, go out for a run or just spend time with your pet, whatever suits your family.

I hope to increase my service to peak time weekdays in the future.

It was very comforting to know that the dogs were in such good and responsible hands.
Sheree M., Ongar

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Wet Weather Walking

Nothing gets in the way of a Good Walk. Even the torrential rain we had on Tuesday of this week.

I got to try out my new winter wet weather gear (Australian Bush Hat and Millet's waterproof trousers), and enjoy a virtually empty country park!

The rain came down so hard there were puddles everywhere as the ground couldn't soak it up fast enough. I couldn't take many photos as the camera was getting too wet! Scarlet got out of the van, then jumped straight back in. Every time I let another dog out she tried to get back in! Poor girl!

Dilly, being a Labradoodle and very furry got completely drenched, and I expect she's still drying out now.

I do give the dogs a rub down when they get in the van, then again when they get back out at home, but I think they all go home a little damp in that kind of weather. I will be asking the owners to leave towels out at home, so the dogs can have a last rub down with a dry towel before I leave them!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Dogs & Cats, Loved Like My Own


My famous and elusive Puppy Package will be available again from 14th September. I have one weekly space, and may also have space for a part-timer, so please do contact me if you have just taken on a new puppy or are waiting to bring one home. Typically these spaces are filled within two weeks of advertising, often sooner, so don't delay! One week's deposit will secure your space if you won't need me to start for a few weeks.

Thanks again for giving Pongo such a great start in life.
Tina F., crossbreed

Dog Walking

I walk dogs in small groups of three or four. Your dog is important to me, and walks of this size allow each dog to benefit from being with their own species while still having time for personal attention from me.

Walks are usually for one hour. 50 minutes is 'walking' time, which includes sniffing (each other, me, bushes, unidentifiable 'things') toilet time, meeting other park users, playing chase with each other when safe, playing hide and seek with me or for titbits & toys, learning to come back to me when cued and leaving things alone when asked. I try to find something for each dog to do that stimulates its natural instincts in an appropriate and healthy way. Walking happens in between these activities.

The remaining 10 minutes is spent at the van having a drink and a biscuit (for me as well as the dogs!). Then having mud, water and bits of plants removed as best we can before being driven home for a well deserved snooze.

Walks available, part time only
60 minutes, breakfast
60 minutes, lunchtime
30 minutes, lunchtime
Teatime walks are always available.

I try to squeeze as much as possible into all the walks, but the shorter walk means we can't do so many activities so they are limited to three dogs only.

Solo or 'training' walks are only available 'off peak' after 3pm.

I would highly recommend Linda as an excellent professional who has a genuine love of dogs. We will definitely use Linda again and feel very lucky to have found someone to care for our dog when we are unable to.
Susie S., Old English Sheepdog

Dog Boarding

Summer holidays are over, but I am taking boarding bookings for October Half term and will soon be opening my books for Christmas/New Year bookings. Most of my bookings now are for weekends only, so if you want a full week please get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Dogs are loved and cared for as if they were part of my family. They do everything we do, daily walks, fun and games, tidying their rooms, cuddles, a good brush every day, and the run of the ground floor. The garden is always available when I am at home.

Reliable, trustworthy service that cares about the pet.
Attricia A., Miniature Dachshund

Cat Sitting

I do a lot for dogs, but I love cats too. If you are going away and want to be sure your cats are fed, and are around to eat the food! give me a call. I will look after indoor or outdoor cats, empty litter trays, feed, play, cuddle and clear up any wildlife I find.

Outdoor cats will need to wear a collar and identity tag while I am caring for them.

I cannot bring cats into my own home, but I will give them as much attention as you would like. Normally two half hour visits per day, but I can do more, or less if it's only a short break.

Reliable, trustworthy and caring. What more could you want?
Marian K., Phoebe, Alfie & Marley