Thursday, 23 August 2012

Henry's Joint Care + Challenge Results

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will probably know that Henry has been taking part in a six week trial of Pedigree Joint Care + treats.  To be honest I was very sceptical that 'treats' could help any dog, but the improvement in Henry's mobility has been amazing!

Before he started the trial he had become very stiff on his back legs, struggled walking up stairs and steps, found it difficult to get on his favourite chair and didn't seem to enjoy his walks any more.  This didn't just affect Henry, it affected me as well.  I have several health problems, including social anxiety, and before we adopted Henry I was afraid to go out on my own in case I had a blackout, diabetic hypo or a panic attack.  But soon Henry taught himself to recognise when my blood sugar levels dropped, raise the alarm if I had a blackout and calm me down if I had a panic attack.  This gave me confidence to go out with Henry by my side, and in turn gave me independence and freedom.  This freedom had started to slip away as Henry could no longer accompany me on long walks next to my mobility scooter.

But I am so happy to say that Henry is now enjoying his 'scoots' with me around the village and along the coastal footpath.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so lets look at Henry's improvement:

Henry is so much more mobile and as a result so much happier.  He is obviously in less pain and really enjoys playing again.  Because Henry is happier, I am also happier.  I have my Henry back to his best, and my independence back as well.

One unexpected side effect of the trial has been that Henry is much mellower with bouncy dogs.  He was beginning to get irritated by young, bouncy dogs like Skipper but is now much more tolerant of them.  This is obviously because he is no longer in pain so is no longer a grumpy old man!

I am so impressed with the Pedigree Joint Care + treats, and the improvement Henry has made with them.  Before the trial I would never have thought of giving him this type of treat, and was going to buy him some joint tablets from the pet shop.  Henry doesn't take tablets very easily though, and it is stressful giving them to him.  It is so much easier giving him a tasty treat that he enjoys.  He gets so excited when he sees the Joint Care + packet!

We have now bought him some more Pedigree Joint Care + , so fingers crossed he will continue to be happy and healthy. They are great value and I would recommend them to everyone.  Thank you Pedigree for giving me back the 'old' Henry!

Jessie is here to stay!

Well we attempted fostering a rescue dog for the first time - and have failed at the first hurdle!  Jessie has fitted so well into our hearts and home that we have adopted her and she is now a part of our family.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Meet our foster dog Jessie

We are fostering a gorgeous Great Dane cross called Jessie for a local rescue until she finds a new 'forever' home.  She has had a very bad start in life and is skin and bone bless her, so we are trying to help her put on some weight.  She is a fantastic dog, she is so good in the house and when out and about. Jessie loves everyone, is great with dogs and is very good on the lead.

Jessie is such a softie, a real gentle giant.  All she needs is lots of love and a nice comfy place to sleep (she likes to spend most of the day stretched out on our sofa).

Jessie is looking for her new home via Dogs 4 Adoption

Rewards for our rescue pets


The Sunday Express has teamed up with Company of Animals to hold the 4th Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards 2013 to give a round of applause to all abandoned animals who, through strength and determination, have returned to health and happiness thanks to UK rescue centres or loving new owners. Moving film clips by Nautical Films will give the event a very emotional extravaganza, these annual awards seek to recognise and raise awareness of the tireless work small rescue centres and our nation do for caring and rehoming abandoned animals. The Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards are urging the general public to nominate a pet who having been rescued is now in a loving home and fighting fit, showcasing the sterling work of UK animal enthusiasts.

Owners who have rescued an animal are encouraged to nominate their pet, like last year’s winner who was Robbie the Staffie who was stolen and made to fight other dogs and because he was winning was then set on fire! He did survive thanks to the All Dogs Matter Rescue Charity.  
Nominations can be made for a rescued pet who you feel deserves support and recognition for their rehabilitation by visiting

In addition to ‘Best Rescue Pet’, the awards also include a ‘Best Rescue Centre’ for categories such as birds, cats, dogs, small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas), horses and donkeys. We also have an award for Best Vets Surgery as well so it’s not just Rescue centres who are encouraged to nominate themselves for these awards.  

The winner, judged by a panel that includes representatives from Wetnose Animal Aid, Burgess Pet Care, The London Dog Forum, and celebrity supporters Peter Egan and TV Vet Zara Bolland, will be invited to a star-studded award ceremony in London in March 2013.
Last year’s attendees included Dame Judy Dench, Annette Crosbie, Rula Lenska, Sam Fox, Peter Egan, Lorraine Chase, Rick Wakeman and many more. 

Andrea Gamby-Boulger, director of Wetnose Animal Aid, says: “In a time of recession and cut backs, rescue centres are under great pressure due to neglected pets, and this work often goes unnoticed. The Burgess Wetnose Rescue Animal Awards aims to highlight these passionate individuals, who selflessly devote their time to helping animals in need. It’s not a job it’s a way of life, and a very stressful and emotional one that demands 24/7 commitment. With the help of the Sunday Express, we give recognition to someone special who has gone above and beyond to rescue pets themselves, they are our forgotten heroes of the animal world!” 

Justin Heaton from Burgess Pet Care, said: “We are delighted to sponsor and show our support to the Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards once again this year. The awards reflect our ethos at Burgess Pet Care perfectly, a dedication to helping and caring for the UK’s animals. We are committed to supporting these smaller, independent rescue centres through food donations, our rescue loyalty scheme and dedicated website to rehome unwanted pets.”

To enter, visit and fill in the simple online form, or download it and submit it by post before the closing date of 30/9/2012.

Canine Murray serves gold at Battersea

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has celebrated Team GB tennis player Andy Murray’s Gold medal victory in the Men’s Singles by naming one of its homeless dogs after the hero from Dunblane.

For some reason this photo keeps coming out sideways - sorry!

Jack Russell cross Murray is now hoping some of his namesake’s success will rub off on him as he searches for a new home. The eight month old puppy was dumped on a doorstep in Bexley, London, before being brought to Battersea. Like the tennis giant, he is confident, energetic and loves tennis balls.
Rehoming and Welfare Team Leader Laura Weekley explains: “Murray is the perfect name for this pup. Like Andy, he is very intelligent and clearly has his eyes on the prize, as he wants to bag a new home. Here at Battersea everyone, including our dogs and cats, is right behind Team GB and we hope that naming some of our animals after the team will help spur them on to win even more medals.”

Andy Murray is one of Battersea’s supporters, and visited the charity in July, following the Wimbledon Championships. To wish him luck ahead of the Men’s Singles final on Sunday, Battersea tweeted a photo to his dog Maggie May, showing Battersea dog Jessy the Wire Fox Terrier holding a good luck message for the player.

Murray the Jack Russell is one of 16 dogs and cats at Battersea named after Team GB Olympic gold medal champions. They include Staffies Mo, Ben and Jessica and Golden Retriever Rutherford.
Battersea has already had a taste of the excitement surrounding the Olympics, after the Flame made a special visit to the Home last month. Former England player Michael Owen carried it through Battersea, accompanied by Rory the Staffie, and they were watched by a doggy Guard of Honour of over 50 dogs. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sadly things didn't work out with Billy

Billy was with us for two weeks when I had to make the very difficult decision to return him to the rescue centre.  It was the hardest decision ever, one I still feel guilty about, but it was the best one for all concerned.

Amongst other things he was just to much for me to cope with physically, he pulled me over on walks and I just couldn't give him all the exercise he needed.  The good news though is that he went straight to a new home where he is going to be a working dog going on shoots, which is just what he needs to keep him busy and happy.

Good luck in your new home Billy, I miss you

Pedigree Joint Care+ Challenge - Week 3

It's time again for our weekly progress report from Henry's Pedigree Joint Care+ challenge!  Well, the first thing we wish to share with you is Henry's day out at a dog show which was held in our nearest town at the weekend.  We weren't expecting to win anything, but it was only down the road and was in aid of Devon Air Ambulance so we thought we'd go along and support them.  I was totally gobsmacked when Henry came away with eight rosettes, including Best in Show!!!!  I was especially pleased when the judge (who is a vet) commented about how well he moved for his age and this was one of the reasons she had picked him as the Best in Show winner.  It was great to hear this, but I doubt she would have said it three weeks ago as he was so stiff in his back legs. Henry has progressed so well and I really think it is due to the Joint Care+ sticks he is enjoying daily.  So  I guess we have Pedigree Joint Care+ to thank for his big win!

This week Pedigree have challenged us to see if Henry can 'play again' now that his mobility has improved.  He's never been a dog that has played alot as he had obviously never played with his previous owners before we rescued him, but he used to enjoy chasing tennis balls around the park.  Over the last few months though he has shown little interest in toys, and rarely played with them, but over the last week or so he has started playing with them again.

On our visit to the park today we took along a tennis ball and the ball thrower Pedigree kindly sent us (they also sent us some rubber balls to go with it, but Henry doesn't like hard toys so he gave them to Bandit and Skipper).  We were really surprised and happy to see Henry running around after his ball, and really enjoying himself.  We haven't seen him this active for a long time, it was wonderful to see him back to his old self.  I tried to take a video of him at the park, it's come out a bit blurry, but you can just about see how well he's moving!

Some photos from the park today.

Henry has also started to enjoy playing with his favourite duck toy again!  Thanks Pedigree for helping Henry to 'play again'!

As you can probably tell from the photos and videos, Henry is overweight, which is very hard to deal with as he has to have regular steroid injections for severe allergies that affect his ears and skin.  It's been even harder to cope with recently as he's not been able to exercise much.  This is now changing as he's started asking to go for longer walks, and not wanting to turn around to go home.  His enthusiasm and attitude have noticeably improved since he started the Joint Care+ challenge.  Another plus point is that Henry had lost half a kilo when he had his latest vet check this week, thanks to his increased levels of exercise!

We are so impressed with the progress Henry has made so far, we look forward to next weeks challenge from Pedigree.

Where’s Wallace? Well groomed Gromit desperately seeks a new home

Cheese-loving Gromit is desperately seeking someone special to spend the rest of his life with. And as much as he has had a brie-ze of a time at the rehoming centre run by animal charity Blue Cross in Burford, it’s now beginning to grate on him.

Staff were so impressed with his good nature and behaviour that Gromit has already made a media appearance and he will be on video and in photographs for a magazine feature in the autumn. The 14-month-old staffie has been a natural media star and his intelligence meant he was handpicked for his reliability.

Hannah Wiltshire, rehoming supervisor at the small animals unit at Burford, said: “Everyone knows Gromit in the films loves cheese. When our Gromit the staffie arrived he was feeling a bit sorry for himself but in a short space of time, with some medical treatment and the odd treat, he perked up nicely. Gromit has been amazingly quick to pick up new skills in training. He has been here for nearly two months and as much as we love Gromit, "when you Gouda go, you Gouda go.”

Jenny Woolliams, animal behaviourist at Blue Cross who was his handler during the recent filming session, said: “Gromit is such a lovely boy. He has been a pleasure to train as he is great around other dogs and fantastic with people. Surely someone can give Gromit a big slice of their life and invite him to join their family?”

Gromit is looking for a new home with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. He loves long walks and feta-ching his ball. He could live with a suitably matched dog but not a cat or other small animals due to his playful nature. He could live with children who are confident around a lively, bouncy young boy like Gromit, subject to introductions at the centre.

As Wallace would say: “E-dam by gum. Can you help this handsome one?”

To contact the centre call 0300 777 1570

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Joint Care+ Challenge - Week 2

Last week I told you about Henry taking part in Pedigree's Joint Care+ Challenge, to see if the tasty treats could help with his mobility and joint stiffness, so we thought we'd update you all with his progress.  He's only been having the treats for just over a week so we weren't expecting to notice any improvement yet, to be honest we were pretty sceptical about them helping at all - but we were wrong!

Before the trial Henry was really slow and ploddy, and couldn't get up stairs or steps very easily.  He could only manage short walks and didn't enjoy his outings as much as he used to.  This week Henry has been on a trip to the local woods, something he's not been able to enjoy for a while.  He was noticeably faster, trotting instead of plodding and explored areas off of the path which he had stopped doing.  While he's not exactly a speedy puppy again, there has been a definite improvement -  amazing for such a short time frame!  Henry has also started playing more with his toys again and seems happier in himself. Of course I can't say for sure that this is due to Pedigree Joint Care+, but it does seem like a big coincidence.

This is Henry exploring the woods with Billy on Saturday.

Over the years Henry has learnt a few tricks, but he's been unable to do many of them recently because he was no longer as agile.  We tried an experiment yesterday and asked him to do a 'High 5' in return for a Joint Care+ stick (sensibly he will refuse to do anything if he feels unable or is too stiff) and he did it with ease! So today we decided to video him showing you just what he will do for his daily Joint Care+ stick, and that there is plenty of life left in the old dog yet!!

If Henry has improved this much already we can't wait to see what will happen next week! Check back next week to find out...