Monday, 31 July 2017

Review - Jastek multi USB cable (2 pack)

Disclosure - I received this item free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review.


Product description 

  • ►►JASTEK 2-pack 4in1 Multifunction Charger Cable: 1x USB C Cable + 1x Micro USB Cables + 2x 8pin cable(not MFI certificated)
  • ►► Multi Charging cables at 2A Maximum charging speed;the USB cables only for charging,not support Sync Data
  • ►► Multi USB Cable length with 3.3 ft (1M) in total,and made of Nylon braided protective layer and Aluminum alloy connector
  • ►► Universal Use Convenience: No need to carry many cables when you are in a car, office or in travelling
  • ►► WHAT YOU GET: 2 sets cables with One Year Replacement Warranty.All the phones and tablets in the listing photo not included

Purchase Link (Amazon.co.uk)


Price

£13.99

Rating

5/5 stars 

Review 

These USB cables are multifunctional as you can use them to charge many different types of phones and other gadgets. No longer do I need my tangle of three or four charging cables! The Jastek Multi USB Cable has four charging attachments - two for Apple lightning devices like iPads and iPhones, a micro USB for many Android phones plus a type C USB attachment.

Image credit- Jastek 


The cable is 1 metre long which is an ideal length for me, any longer and I seem to get them tangled around everything. The cable is braided and feels very strong and durable. My cables often break and fray very easily where they attach to the adapter part, but these feel much stronger than average.

I've been using the cable for about ten days now and I'm very pleased with the performance. The cables charge all of my devices efficiently and it doesn't get overly hot like cheaper cables can.


I've used the cables on a range of devices including my iPad, Windows phone, Bluetooth speaker and two different power banks. All charged properly and it was very convenient being able to use the same cable for everything. 


I found these cables very useful and they seem to be hard wearing too. The price also seems great value for two multi functional cables. I'd recommend this product and have given it five stars.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Its National Mutt Day!

National Mutt Day helps raise awareness of the many cross breeds and mixed breeds that find themselves in rescue centres every year. My two current dogs both happen to be pedigrees, a Labrador and a beagle, but this wasn't on purpose - my assistance dog Elgin was matched to me by the charity that trained him, and Cherry our rescue beagle was the only dog suitable for us to foster when Elgin was very depressed and lonely after our cross breed, Jessie, passed away suddenly. 

Me and Jessie, photo taken at Crufts 2014 where Jessie was a Friends for Life finalist.

Jessie was a big, gentle giant who's ancestry was a bit of a mystery! She was a rescue dog and had been badly abused by her previous owner and had many scars from her past - both physical and mental - but she turned into the most loving dog you could ever meet. We think Jessie was part mastiff and part Great Dane, but she probably had other breeds in her too! She weighed 55kg and reached up to my hip level. Jessie was an extremely special dog and even made it to the main ring at Crufts when she was a Friends For Life finalist in 2014. She won many awards for her bravery and for helping me with my mental health issues. I miss her so much.

There are many lovely cross breeds like Jessie who need new homes, here are just a few that have caught my eye.

Carnival 

Breed - cross breed
Age - 3 months 
Location - Flintshire 
Rescue - Many Tears


Hickee

Breed - cross breed 
Age - 4 years 
Location - Carmarthenshire , Wales
Rescue - Many Tears 

Dixie


Breed - German Shepherd cross
Age - 4-6 years
Location - Somerset 
Rescue - St Giles Animal Rescue

Chiko


Breed - mongrel
Age - 7 months 
Location- Battersea, London 
Rescue - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Eskie 


Breed - Mongrel
Age - 7
Location- Battersea, London 
Rescue - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home 

Olive

Breed - Pug cross Cavalier 
Age - 4-6 years 
Location- Somerset 
Rescue - St Giles Animal Rescue 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Tourists can help tackle cruelty

From elephant riding to taking selfies with a monkey the RSPCA gives advice on some of the 'tourist attractions' to avoid whilst travelling

Travelling to different places around the globe is an enriching and fascinating experience but many tourists can find themselves taking part in animal-related activities they wouldn’t dream of doing back home.
With more and more students opting for gap years and round-the-world trips, and off-the-beaten-track destinations becoming much more accessible for holiday-goers and honeymooners, there is a boom in the number of people travelling abroad.
Over the years RSPCA International has received hundreds of complaints from tourists, who have seen animals cruelly exploited. The choices people make while travelling can help the RSPCA make a significant difference to animals all over the world.
Here are some dos and don’ts to help you navigate some of the cruel entertainment practices which tourists may come across whilst travelling. Thank you to the RSPCA for these tips.

Don’ts


Photo credit - RSPCA 

Selfies with a monkey - Photographers asking for money may walk around the streets or on the beach offering pictures with a baby chimp or monkey. They may look cute but these animals are usually taken illegally as babies from the wild to be used by photographers. Often their parents may have even been killed in order to steal the baby.


Cindy was rescued from life as a photographers prop in Spain. She is now living happily at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset.

Animal souvenirs - Many markets and stalls may sell caged birds and other small animals. Snake or scorpion wine may well be made from an animal stolen from the wild and drowned in alcohol. If you’re concerned it might be real - it probably is. It is generally illegal to import wildlife products such as ivory, tortoise shell, coral and animal skins into the UK without appropriate permits which are rarely provided in tourist shops. Save yourself some money and ditch the cruel souvenirs altogether.

Cuddling big cats - Lions and tigers are wild animals and if they allow you to get close to them it will usually be because they have been sedated with drugs to make them easier to handle. This is often the case with snakes, chimps and monkeys too, who could be left out in the sun all day without food or water, whilst tourists take pictures with them.
Riding elephants - Elephant riding plays a huge part in many tourist attractions and activities in Asia but the animals can be kept in horrible conditions when they are not ferrying tourists around. The number of elephants in Thailand has increased by just under a third in five years from 2010, according to a World Animal Protection report, as more and more tour operators offer riding experiences. Elephants are often illegally captured for sale to the tourism industry. Once babies are stolen from the wild they are beaten until they become compliant. ‘Breaking techniques’ see them chained and tortured until their spirit is broken and they will submit. When riding, bullhooks are often used to keep them in check which can also cause severe suffering. 


Photo credit- RSPCA 
Getting in the saddle - Avoid riding donkeys, horses, or camels if you suspect any form of cruelty. It’s easy to think that these animals are used to carrying heavier loads but they may be working very long hours without food or water in the heat so that their owners can make as much money from tourists as they can.
Running with bulls - In Spain, Portugal, Mexico and France there are local festivals where locals and visitors run with bulls, and other fiestas which involve considerable animal suffering. Stay away from bullfighting at all costs. This is big business in Spain and elsewhere, and the money from tourists helps this cruelty to continue.

Catching waves with a dolphin - Swimming with dolphins may seem like a fantastic idea but in reality they often have restrictive space and can find swimming with people all day very stressful. Marine mammal facilities where dolphins and whales are kept in captivity often use animals taken  from the wild. Captivity cannot provide for their needs and they can live shortened lives. 

Do’s

Pack your binoculars and snorkel - You may not need to look very far to see wildlife like exotic birds and fish without straying far from your sunlounger. 
Get to know nature - It’s possible to see some amazing wild animals in their natural habitat. Give them the respect they deserve by watching at a safe distance, for example at a nature reserve, and quiz tour operators about what codes of conduct they abide by to ensure animals aren’t negatively affected by tourists. 

Volunteer - There are conservation projects around the globe which aim to preserve and promote animals and their habitats. You may want to research the possibility of a volunteering trip ensuring that it is for an ethical and effective organisation.
Get active - Find a walking or jogging route and put on your trainers. Wildlife is often more active in the morning and evening when it’s cooler, the perfect time to take a hike.
Grab a camera - Animals which seem exotic to us may be pretty common in another country and give a great opportunity to capture some amazing memories on film - at a safe distance. You might be lucky enough to see a Black Bear or a Grizzly in Canada, a wallaby or kangaroo bouncing in the wild in Australia or exotic birds swooping past in Mauritius. 
Ask questions - Don’t be afraid to ask how animals are being cared for, where meat in your dinner comes from and if it is endangered. Any reputable business should be able to give you satisfactory answers.

Give a little - There are ways that you can help animals in other countries by donating to a local animal welfare charity or a stray dogs or cats initiative which provides veterinary care and neutering.


Photo credit - RSPCA 

Speak out - If you see animals being treated cruelly whilst travelling abroad then speak out. You can try to contact a local animal protection organisation or shelter whilst you are there. When you return write to the national tourism authority or embassy of that country in the UK and let them know about your concerns. 
Paul Littlefair, head of the international department at the RSPCA said: “Riding an elephant, swimming with dolphins, cuddling a tiger cub, or taking a picture with a monkey may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience but all of these can have very serious animal welfare and safety risks for tourists.
“We work in many countries throughout the world to prevent animal cruelty and tourism can also play a big part in tackling this.If there is a demand for activities like these and money to be made then cruel practices will continue.
“It’s important to research the activities you are taking part in first and if you are in any doubt, look for ethical alternatives.”
For more information on the international work of the RSPCA visit, https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/endcruelty/international

Monday, 24 July 2017

Review - Pet Munchies dog treats

Pet Munchies make a wide range of natural dog treats. They are naturally low in fat and carbohydrates, so they are also very healthy for your dogs. Pet Munchies very kindly sent us three packets of treats for the dogs to try, so here is our review.

Product description 

Pet Munchies are premium, gourmet treats made with quality, human grade real meat and fish. All of their interesting treats are natural hand cuts that preserve the flavours of the finest chicken, duck, liver, venison, lamb and ocean white fish.
They naturally enhance their flavour by slow roasting them in their own natural juices..
Delicious, Nutritious and Wholesome… all made with 100% Natural  human grade meat and fish, Just like nature made them, with natural textures, flavours and exceptional palatability dogs love.
Today's consumers are demanding natural healthy products for their pets. And that's what you'll get with a Pet Munchies - the brand you can trust.
Their products are naturally low in fat & carbohydrates, and are low in salt. They are delicately roasted to perfection to ensure quality and flavour. No artificial colours or flavours are in their products.

Product links

You can see the range of natural meat treats here. They also have a range of salmon skin treatsgourmet stixtraining treats and 100% natural freeze dried treats for cats.


Review 

Pet Munchies have a wide range of different dog treats. They vary in size, texture and flavour, but they all have two things in common - they are all 100% natural and they are all extremely tasty! Our dogs tried three varieties of Pet Munchies treats - chicken strips, duck strips and venison strips.

Elgin trying a pet munchies venison stick.

The chicken strips and the duck strips are both 100% chicken/duck, so they are obviously very appealing to dogs - I don't know many dogs who will turn down 100% meat treats! The venison strips were a bit thicker than the other flavour strips, and they looked and smelt very 'meaty' so the dogs were instantly interested in them. They are made from quality venison fused with beef liver, and they are also 100% natural.

As soon as I opened the packets of treats, the dogs were super excited. Both Elgin and Cherry have very expressive faces and you can easily tell if they love the smell and taste of treats - and they definitely loved all three flavours of these treats! Cherry the beagle was literally spinning in circles with excitement after she tasted her first Pet Munchies treat! I had absolutely no chance of getting any photos of Cherry eating the treats as she simply wouldn't stay still. Both Cherry and Elgin ate the treats very quickly, they only lasted a few seconds, but they really enjoyed them.

I then borrowed one of my brother's lurchers, Skipper, so that he could try the Pet Munchies treats. The Skipper Challenge is usually quite a tough one as he's quite a fussy dog, but Pet Munchies passed the test with flying colours. After initially licking the chicken strips he soon discovered that they were very tasty and quickly devoured them. His favourite flavour seemed to be the venison which was Elgin and Cherry's favourite too.


Fussy Skipper loved the meat strips, especially the venison flavour.

The dogs ate most of the treats whole as extra special rewards, but I also broke some of them up to use as training treats. The chicken and duck strips broke up easily, but I had to use a knife to slice the venison ones as they were slightly thicker. The Pet Munchie strips made brilliant high value training treats for Elgin - he was so keen to earn a tasty treat that he learnt a new task very quickly. They also made great rewards for successful recalls when we were in the park, both Elgin and Cherry quickly returned to a call or whistle so that they could have a piece of the venison strips. The treats didn't break up in my treat bag either, so they didn't make a mess of the bag like biscuit based treats often do.

All of the dogs were crazy about Pet Munchies treats - they were very, very popular! The treats were very happy with the taste of the treats, and I was very happy that they were natural and healthy. I'll definitely be buying some more of these in the future and I'll also get some of the other varieties for the dogs to try. Elgin, Cherry and Skipper all highly recommend these treats.


Rating - the venison, duck and chicken strips all receive 5/5 stars 


Disclosure - I received three free packets of treats for the purpose of an unbiased review.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

French bulldog most desired designer dog to buy online, new figuresreveal

New figures reveal sheer scale of online puppy market - and increasing problems of unscrupulous breeders and dealers

French bulldogs are the most searched-for breed for sale online, new figures released today by Gumtree and the RSPCA reveal. 
As new figures show there were more than 66,000 searches for the fashionable breed in just one month (February 2017) on the popular classified online marketplace, closely followed by Labradors and pugs, the RSPCA is highlighting the risks and realities of buying puppies on the internet. 


The figures also reveal that the use of online websites to sell and rehome dogs has exploded within the last decade as Gumtree recorded a 785% increase in the number of dogs being listed on its site in Great Britain in the past 10 years (2007-2016)*.
Teaming up with Gumtree, the RSPCA has warned buyers to take care when looking for dogs online as the internet can provide the perfect marketplace for the unscrupulous puppy trade which puts profit over welfare.
“These figures are hugely concerning as they show the sheer number of people using the internet to buy and sell dogs. These are living, sentient creatures, which are being traded as easily as a second-hand car or a piece of furniture,” Justine Williams, from the RSPCA, said.
“While classified websites, if used responsibly, can be an effective method of advertising for responsible breeders and rescue organisations, sadly, far too many people abuse the internet and this has led to many animal welfare issues arising.
“The web provides the perfect marketplace for unscrupulous breeders and dealers to advertise puppies without arousing suspicion. And traders are finding clever and cunning ways to fool not only the buyers, but also the websites themselves. 
“The RSPCA has found that 87% of calls it receives on puppy trade issues are those where the puppy was bought online.”
Gumtree’s research shows that in just one month (February 2017), almost 10,000 listings were posted on the site advertising dogs, while there were more than 286,000 searches by prospective buyers for ‘puppies for sale’. And over a year, 204,182 adverts for dogs were posted on the classified site. 
“Whilst most people have safe and successful experiences rehoming dogs on Gumtree, there are a minority of unscrupulous breeders and dealers who put profit ahead of the health and welfare of the animals,” Morten Heuing, general manager at Gumtree UK, said.
“We take the welfare of animals very seriously and work hard to ensure our site is a safe place to find pets in need of rehoming. Our dedicated safety team takes steps to make it as hard as possible for illegal traders to operate on the site. For example, we do not allow ‘wanted’ ads in our ‘Pets’ category and we delete any ads we believe are encouraging or indicate signs of animal cruelty. If users have concerns about an ad on our site, they can use the ‘Report an Ad’ button on our website and our safety team will then investigate it.
“Furthermore, Gumtree works closely with the RSPCA and the Pet Advertising Advisory Group
(PAAG)*** to help educate users on how to buy pets safely and responsibly. Gumtree’s own Pet Advice Hub includes lots of useful advice for people looking to buy a new pet or find a home for a pet they already own.”
Top ten searched breeds
Based on data from Gumtree (February 2017)
Search term  Number of searches
French bulldog  66,439
Labrador  57,771
Jack russell  55,013
Pug  48,296
German shepherd  47,406
Chihuahua  47,110
Dachshund  44,341
Pomeranian  37,690
Yorkshire terrier  35,829
Shih tzu  33,109
The most searched for breeds included pugs, chihuahuas, dachshunds, Pomeranians and Yorkshire terriers, each attracting more than 35,000 searches. The RSPCA fears the soaring demand for these fashionable breeds is fuelling the puppy trade as demand drastically outstrips the numbers coming to market via legitimate and responsible sources.


Last year, the UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity saw its busiest year tackling the underground puppy trade, receiving more calls than ever from people reporting questionable breeders and dealers. 
The RSPCA is seeing a steady rise in the number of complaints coming in about the illegal puppy trade and, in 2016, dealt with 6% more calls than the previous year, and 132% more than five years before**. 
RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs, who leads the charity’s special investigations into the puppy trade, said: “There’s huge demand for certain breeds of dogs that have been popularised and, as responsible breeders struggle to keep up with demand, underground breeders and traders are filling the gap in the market and are offering buyers the chance to buy puppies at cheaper prices and without waiting lists - often with disastrous consequences. 
“This is the price of poor puppy breeding - buyers faced with sick and dying puppies who need intensive treatment or lifelong behavioural support; a surge in these breeds coming into the care of rescue centres from people who did not do their research before taking on a dog that requires a lot of time and commitment; and an increase in the number of these breeds being abandoned either because, as puppies, they didn’t sell or became poorly, or as breeding stock they couldn’t produce litters anymore. Organisations like the RSPCA are left picking up the pieces, and the animals are paying the ultimate price - often with their lives.
“That’s why we’re urging families considering getting a puppy over the summer holidays to be cautious when choosing who and where to buy from and - as hard as it may be - to walk away and contact the RSPCA or the local authority if something doesn’t seem right. 
“Anyone looking to buy a puppy should use the Puppy Contract to help ensure they are buying a happy and healthy dog.” 
The RSPCA has released a video warning buyers what to look out for, and is encouraging prospective buyers to consider rehoming a dog from a rescue centre. 
If you’re concerned about a breeder, please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999. And to help the RSPCA continue investigating the illegal puppy trade and rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs saved from puppy farms please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Review - Stainless Steel Water Bottle by Dubblin


I purchased this product at a discounted rate for the purpose of an unbiased review.

Water bottles are so useful, I'm sure most of us have at least one in our kitchen cupboards. I use them a lot, both in the home and when I'm out and about. As a wheelchair user it can be awkward carrying glasses of water from one room to another, so after getting fed up of spilling my drinks everywhere I started to use water bottles instead. They are also very useful for taking cold drinks with you on walks, to work etc. I was happy to have the chance to review the Dubblin stainless steel water bottle as I immediately liked the look of it when I saw it online.


Product description 

  • LEAK PROOF - Our air tight screw lid ensures your bag stays dry no matter how active your lifestyle is.
  • BPA FREE - By using natural stainless steel as oppose to plastic we ensure your water is toxin free.
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL - With a thermal vacuum double wall built in, your liquid stays warm for 12h and cold for 24h.
  • LIFETIME DURABILITY - With over 9 years of experience manufacturing water bottles, we source the most premium metals and ensure our production is exceptional.
  • 500ml/18 oz


Price - £14.99


Purchase Link 


Review 

The Dubblin water bottle is available in a variety of colours, I chose mint blue and it looks great. I must say that this is a very stylish looking bottle, it looks much nicer than all of my other bottles. It has quite a tall, slender shape that even with my poor hand strength and dexterity is comfortable to hold. The lid is also easy to unscrew and it has a leak proof seal. I have tested this out my carrying it around in my wheelchair bag, and I've given it to my assistance dog to carry in his little bag for me when I needed my hands to propel my manual wheelchair. So far the leak proof claim has proved to be true, with no leaks at all, even when it was jostled around in the bag. This is very important to me as I've recently had a water bottle leak in my wheelchair bag and it a real pain as I find it difficult to clean out.

As this bottle has a double thermal wall it will keep liquids cold or warm for a long time. The company claims it will keep cold drinks cold for 24 hour and warm drinks hot for 12 hours. I admit to being dubious about this but I've tested this claim and can confirm that it is 100% true - infact it kept my fruit juice cold for longer than 24 hours. It's so nice to be able to have a lovely cool drink when out and about in this hot weather we're currently having, it really does feel like you've just taken the bottle from the fridge. 

This bottle is slightly more expensive than I'd normally pay, but having compared this bottle to my usual cheaper bottles I'd definitely buy another one of these bottles at the full price. Cheaper bottles have proven to be a false economy as they never seem to last very long. The Dubblin stainless steel water bottle is top quality and very durable, I'd definitely recommend it.


Rating- 5/5 stars 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Little dog has major surgery after swallowing lollipop stick duringheatwave

During what may be the hottest June since 1976, a dog was admitted to Blue Cross after she was spotted swallowing a lollipop stick in one gulp. The five-year old Shih tzu’s owner contacted the charity’s Grimsby animal hospital where she needed surgery to remove the stick
Vets first tried to make Amy sick but the stick did not appear. She was put on a drip and given an anaesthetic for an endoscopy to be performed. Vets could see but not retrieve the lolly stick so Amy needed surgery for it to be removed.
Tracy Nicholson, Blue Cross vet Nurse at Grimsby said: “We can’t blame Amy for trying to keep cool in this hot weather but there are safer ways to do it than gobbling up the remains of a lolly. When she first arrived she was happy and quite pleased with herself but she would have become very poorly and could even have died. Thankfully her owners saw what she did and we were able to save her.”

Happily, Amy has since made a full recovery and is safely back home with her family, who are keeping their icy treats well out of her reach.
Amy’s owner Zoe Weakley from Cleethorpes said: “As a nurse myself I knew swallowing the stick whole would not be good for Amy. She is quite a greedy dog and does tend to eat her food in one gulp so I’m not completely surprised she did this. We will be keeping an even closer eye on her from now on.”
Zoe is taking part in the Beacon trail half marathon in the grounds of Beacon Hill Country Park to help raise funds for Blue Cross. To support her visit justgiving.com and search Zoe Weakley.
For advice on keeping dogs cool during the heatwave visit www.bluecross.org.uk/dogheatwave.
To find out more about Blue Cross animal hospital in Grimsby, to make a donation towards the care of sick and injured pets, or see cats needing a new home in the area visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review - Top Collar dog treats

I have to admit that my memory is atrocious! So it's not really surprising that I often forget to buy things until I've nearly run out - and much to Elgin and Cherry's horror than includes dog treats. I find it difficult to get to shops (I'm a wheelchair user and live in a rural area where a lot of shops aren't wheelchair accessible) so I order most things online - and every month I seem to have to do an emergency order of dog treats and pay for next day delivery! So imagine my delight in discovering Top Collar, a fortnightly subscription service that delivers a pack of tasty handmade treats to your door every two weeks.


Purchase Link


Price

£5.99 per box (including postage)

Scroll down further to find out how you can get your first box FREE (just pay £1 for P & P)

Review 

When you sign up to Top Collar you are asked to upload a photo of your dog. This photo is used on the envelope's address label, which I think is a lovely personal touch, Elgin must have recognised himself as he seemed to know the parcel was for him - or maybe it was the smell of the treats that convinced him it was for him!

The treats arrive in an envelope with a personalised address label 

Each fortnight a different flavour of treats is sent, and I must say that the flavours are very inventive and different from the norm. Elgin was sent Pork Pie flavour which sounded very tasty, even to me! Other flavours that I've seen photos of on Top Collar's Instagram page include meatloaf, Sunday roast, full English and cheese board. The treats are all made with healthy natural, human grade ingredients and they are all wheat and gluten free.

"Mummy please can you stop taking photos and let me eat my treats?!"

Elgin absolutely loved these treats, he would have eaten the whole pack of I'd let him! They are heart shaped biscuits and are a nice size for a special treat. They looked good, very natural like you'd make at home - if I was any good at baking that is! They had a nice smell to them, that unlike some other treats, didn't smell artificial or overpowering. They were certainly very popular with Elgin.

Because his photo was on the packaging, Elgin was convinced that they should only be for him! But he was a good boy and shared with his sister Cherry. They made Cherry very happy and excited - so excited that I couldn't get her to stay still for a photo, so I had to take a video instead. As you can see, she loved them.



Top Collar currently have a wonderful offer where you get your first pack of treats for free, all you have to do is pay £1 for P & P. You do have do sign up for a subscription, but there is no commitment and you can easily cancel after the first box if your dog doesn't like them. Judging by Elgin and Cherry's reactions though I think most dogs will love them!

Here is the link to sign up:

www.topcollar.co.uk/join

One of the things that I most love about Top Collar treats is that they are gluten free. When Henry was alive we had big problems finding tasty treats that wouldn't flare up his colitis. He was intolerant to gluten, among other things, and at the time not many companies made treats that he could eat. He would have absolutely loved these treats, I wish I'd discovered them before he passed away.

I was very impressed with these treats - and I know the dogs were too! I highly recommend that you give the free pack offer a try.

Rating - 5/5 stars 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Review - Hotteeze Heat Pads



Disclosure - I received a free pack of Hotteeze Heat Pads for the purpose of a honest review. All opinions are my own.

I've tried many different brands of heat pads that claim to relieve pain over the years, but Hotteeze Heat Pads aren't like others that I tried. The main difference is that Hotteeze Pads aren't applied directly to your skin - they stick to the outside of your clothing. I must admit to being sceptical about how effective they'd be, but I was keen to give them a try as my pain levels are so high at the moment.


Purchase Link

Price 

£12.97 for a pack of 10 pads

Product Description 

Hotteeze Heat Pads are perfect for those times when you need a steady supply of heat. Use Hotteeze to comfort tired muscles. Take them outdoors or anywhere you’ll feel the cold.
  • 12+ hours of heat
  • Eco-friendly
  • Self-adhesive
  • Ultra-light
  • Odourless
  • Made in Japan quality
  • Endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association
Contains 10 individually-sealed Hotteeze Heat Pads.
Each pad measures 132mm x 100mm.
Always read the instructions before use.
NEVER STICK DIRECTLY ON TO SKIN

Photo credit- Hotteeze 

I have a few different types of pain caused by different health conditions. The main one is caused by a condition that causes severe muscle spasms which leaves my muscles feeling like I've just done an extreme gym session with heavy weights. Another causes my joints to dislocate which often causes muscle and tissue damage, this leaves me with severe pain in both the joint and surrounding muscles. I also suffer with sciatica and fibromyalgia which causes achy, sore muscles. I am on very strong painkillers, including Oramorph (liquid morphine), but I am always looking for alternatives as I hate having to take such strong and potentially addictive medication.

Initially I used the patches on my lower back to help with pain from sciatica. It took a couple of minutes for me to feel the heat, but once it was warmed up it felt lovely. It was just the right heat level for me - warm enough to feel like it was doing good, but not unbearably hot. The heat soon worked on my muscles, leaving them feeling really relaxed which therefore reduced my pain. It had them same effect on my thigh muscles after having a severe muscle spasm, it was very soothing and helped with the pain.

As I expected it didn't work quite as well on joints after a bad dislocation which caused muscle and tissue damage. But this pain is very severe and it takes high doses of morphine to help the pain so it probably isn't the level of pain that these patches are aimed at. The heat did make the joint feel looser and more a bit more comfortable though, especially the day after the dislocation, so it was obviously doing some good.



I found the patches worked best on tighter fitting clothes, so that the weight of the patches didn't pull the clothing away from your skin. Attaching them to underwear or a vest (depending on where the pain is located) would be ideal. 

I was impressed with how long the heat lasted - usually between 12 and 14 hours. This is much better than some leading brand products that I have tried - and these work out much cheaper too!

A patch on my upper back/shoulder blade area

The thing that most worried me about the patches was their staying power - I was convinced that they'd be falling off in an hour. Boy was I wrong! The patches stuck really well to all of the different fabrics I tried, not once did they even start to peel off. One time I gave them an extra test by leaving a patch on my pyjama top for over 24 hours while I was in bed unwell. Due to my pain I move about a lot in bed as I constantly have to change position, but this didn't affect the patch at all - not even a corner had started to lift, it was perfectly in place more than a day later. Considering that expensive patches that stick to your skin normally only last two or three hours on me, I think this is very impressive. I didn't have to worry that it was going to fall off at an inappropriate moment either - I've had more than one top brand patch fall off of my back and into the toilet before!!

Overall I was very happy with Hotteeze patches. They stick extremely well, are great value, last a long time, and they give a lovely warming feeling than soothes away pain in sore and aching muscles. They are also ideal for people with sensitive skin who can't stick patches directly onto their body. I highly recommend that you give Hotteeze patches a try.


Rating - 5/5 stars

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Battersea Husky Konta predicts a Wimbledon victory for her namesake

Wimbledon fever has overtaken Battersea Dogs & Cats Home with Konta, a homeless Siberian Husky predicting her namesake will storm to victory, and win the Wimbledon women’s singles title this weekend. 
Copyright - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Konta, named after Britain’s upcoming queen of tennis Johanna Konta, is one of several rescue dogs at the world-famous shelter who have been named in honour of the competition’s top seeds. 
Tennis fans across the country will be hoping the eight-year-old Husky’s prediction will be correct, as her namesake is now Britain’s only hope of a Wimbledon singles victory – after Andy Murray was knocked out by America’s Sam Querrey yesterday. 
With the finals just around the corner, Konta and her fellow Battersea dogs - named after the qualifying players - visited Battersea Park’s tennis courts to try out their skills as ball dogs.  
Predictably, chaos ensued, and video evidence shows that it’s a safe bet that none of them will be taking over as Wimbledon ball boys and girls any time soon. 
  
But, while they may not be professionals, these dogs are hoping their on-court antics will help them to find a different kind of match – with a new owner.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Centre Manager Robert Young said: “Tennis starts with Love and that’s what our Battersea Wimbledon champions are looking for. It’s not their fault they’ve been abandoned and all they want is an ace new family who will see them as their world number one. We’re putting out a rallying call to find them new families.”
Meet Battersea’s Wimbledon champions, hoping to become champions in a new owner’s eyes…
Konta the Siberian Husky
Copyright - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home 
She’s named after the player that everyone is talking about – Britain’s Johanna Konta. This eight-year-old Husky is predicting a victory for her namesake and she’s hoping to channel Johanna’s spirit to beat the competition and find the perfect owner. Konta’s a beautiful girl with a winning personality, but she doesn’t seem to have much potential as a ball girl. Instead, this fluffy lady is looking for a loving home where she can watch the tennis from a comfy sofa. 
Copyright - Battersea Dogs And Cats Home 
Roger the Greyhound
Roger the Greyhound has recently retired from racing and is now focusing his energies on becoming Battersea’s number one ball-boy. The gorgeous two-year-old Greyhound, named after Roger Federer, is already a number-one in the eyes of Battersea’s staff. But he’s setting his eyes on another grand-slam title – to win the hearts of his owner. If you think you could give him a home, he’ll be waiting for you on centre court. 
Venus the Greyhound 
This four-year-old Greyhound shows great potential as a ball girl and loves getting out on the tennis court. A sporty lady, like her namesake Venus Williams, she is hoping to score the greatest shot of all this summer by finding a loving new home. Although Venus does have a competitive streak, she can also be a great team player and could be rehomed with her fellow tennis mate Roger.  
Skye Terriers Jamie and Martina 
Copyright - Battersea Dogs And Cats Home 
Named after the mixed doubles champions, Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray, these tenacious Terriers adore tennis balls and love to have a rally between themselves. They’re the perfect mixed double and this lovable duo are looking for a home together. They’re both hoping to channel their namesakes, and find new owners who will see them as the world champions they were born to be.
Coco the Staffordshire Bull Terrier 
Copyright- Battersea Dogs And Cats Home 
Her namesake Coco Vandeweghe may have been knocked out of the competition, but this eight-year-old Staffie loves tennis balls so much -  Battersea staff decided to make an exception and let her take to the court with her fellow doggy qualifiers. Staffie Coco is hoping she will have more luck than her namesake and is crossing her paws that she will soon qualify as top dog in the eyes of a new owners. She’d love to be rehomed with a keen tennis player. 
The Battersea match was played between staff member Bryleigh Kingston-Rogers and Volunteer Graeme Smith. 
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been able to grow its volunteer programme and recruit more volunteers like Graeme thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who kindly donated £200,000 in 2016.
If you would like to rehome any of Wimbledon’s champion ball boys or girls please visit www.battersea.org.uk.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Review - Oosilk Silk Sleep Eye Mask



Disclosure - I received this product free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review.


I've had trouble sleeping since I was a child, and the older I get the worse it gets. My sleep pattern is very erratic, mainly due to varying pain levels caused by my health issues. Some nights pain will keep me awake all night, then at other times my medication will cause me to sleep for twelve hours straight. Because of this I often find myself needing to sleep during the day, but daylight keeps me awake. So I was very happy to have the chance to review the Oosilk silk sleep mask.


Current price - £15.69 (33% off usual price)
Product Details:

  • Cover Fabric: 100% 19MM mulberry silk of 400 TC.
  • Inner Filling: 100% pure and natural long strand mulberry silk floss.
  • Size: One size fits all with elastic band to suit all head sizes.
  • Benefits: Soft, smooth, lightweight, breathable, eye care, sleep promotion, easy to care.
  • International Certification: OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
Care Instructions:

  • Machine washable on most gentle cycle in lukewarm water.
  • No bleaches. Use neutral or soft detergent for silk.
  • Hang dry. Avoid direct sunlight exposure.
  • Cool Iron. Always iron on the inside.





The sleep mask arrived in a lovely gift box, but unfortunately it had been slightly squashed in the post. This wasn't a problem for me so I didn't need to contact the retailer, but I may have done if I'd intended to give it as a gift to somebody else. The sleep mask was nicely packaged inside of the box and was well protected.


The sleep mask is available in seven different colours. I chose the violet mask as it's one of my favourite colours and it looks great - it's a very rich, luxurious colour. The mask itself is made out of 100% mulberry silk, and it feels absolutely amazing. It is very soft and smooth, perfect for my sensitive skin as rough fabric can irritate it.

The elastic strap is fully adjustable, so the mask should fit everyone. I was worried the strap was going to be a bit rough on my scalp (I have no hair due to alopecia), but it was actually quite soft and comfortable.


The mask was quite large and easily blocked out all daylight, ensuring I was able to get to sleep. Unlike some cheaper sleep masks, this one didn't feel bulky or cumbersome and was very comfortable to wear - I soon forgot that I was wearing it.

It may be a little more expensive than other sleep masks, but the slightly higher price is definitely worth it. This is a very high quality product, the silk feels amazing against your skin and as it's so well made it will last you a long time. Highly recommended.

Rating - 5/5 stars