Thursday, 29 March 2012

Insect shield bandana

Insect repellant apparell!

Planning on taking those walks through the park, woods, forests or nature reserves this summer?  Fear the mosquitos?  Introducing the Insect Shield Bandana -

  • It repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ems).
  • Insect Shield protects against a variety of insects that can carry dangerous diseases. This EPA registered technology is long-lasting, effective, and convenient. 
  • Insect Shield uses a man-made version of a natural repellent found in certain types of chrysanthemum flowers.
  • Lasts through 70 launderings, which is more than the typical life of a garment. 

   Available in Red or Tan 

Dog Carries Oxygen Tank for Ailing Toddler

Two years ago Aaron and Debbie Knobloch learned that their baby daughter Alida was suffering from a rare lung disease and that she would need a portable oxygen tank to help her breathe. The good news was that the oxygen tank would make their little girl healthy. The bad news was that she’d have to be tethered to the 6-pound tank most of the time.

Alida Knobloch, 3, cuddles with her service dog Mr. Gibbs, a golden doodle who carries her oxygen tank everywhere.

The Knoblochs struggled to find a way to give Alida a normal life. Aaron built a walker with a pocket for the oxygen tank so she wouldn’t always have to be tied to one of her parents. But as the little girl grew older – and more mobile – the walker wasn’t enough.

When Aaron saw a TV program about service dogs, he knew he had the answer: with a dog carrying her oxygen tank, little Alida would be free to roam and play with other kids. Enter Mr. Gibbs, a golden doodle trained to be Alida’s constant companion, ever at her side whether it’s scampering down the slide at the playground or trotting alongside as she rides her bike.

"He's been a great addition to the family and just awesome help for her," Aaron told TODAY's Matt Lauer. Next to him, 3-year-old Alida giggled as she alternated between wrestling and cuddling Mr. Gibbs, who patiently rested his head on her lap.

It hasn’t been an easy journey for the Knoblochs.

Though she was a little premature, Alida initially seemed healthy. But by the time she was 6 months old, the little girl started having breathing problems. Sometimes her heart would start racing for no apparent reason. Other times she seemed to be breathing too fast. Then one day she turned blue and the Knoblochs rushed her to the hospital. Though she was quickly stabilized, doctors couldn't explain what was happening to Alida.

Aaron and Debbie went from doctor to doctor searching for answers. The relief was palpable when a specialist finally figured out what was wrong:  8-month-old Alida was suffering from a rare lung condition called neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy, or NEHI, that made it hard for her body to get enough oxygen from the air she breathed.

The condition was discovered just seven years ago, and there have only been 500 confirmed cases, according to the Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease Foundation (chILD).

So far, nobody has figured out exactly what causes the children’s labored breathing, says NEHI specialist Dr. Megan Dishop, a pediatric pathologist at the Children’s Hospital Colorado and an associate professor of pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Researchers just know that there is an overabundance of neuroendocrine cells in children with NEHI. It’s possible that when there are too many of these cells, there’s a breakdown in communication in the airways, resulting in too little oxygen getting into the bloodstream, Dishop says.

While the Knoblochs were happy they finally had a diagnosis, they quickly recognized that it would change their lives.

Mr. Gibbs is learning to keep up with Alida everywhere she goes, including up and down the slide on the playground.

“After we were told how rare it was and that there wasn't a lot of information available there were about a million more questions,” Aaron told “How does she get her oxygen? How do we make sure she is getting enough? Where to do we get it from? Will she be able to play with other kids? How is a baby going to grow up having to be tied to an oxygen bottle? Will she ever be able to play sports, or just go play outside? And that was just the first second.”

Getting oxygen was the easy part, it turned out. With the help of a small portable oxygen tank, Alida was able to return to good health. The tough part for the Knoblochs was figuring out how they could give their little girl a normal life – until they found Mr. Gibbs.

The dog was living with Ashleigh Kinsleigh, who trains service dogs near the Knobloch's home in Loganville, Ga. The puppy had finished up his initial obedience training when the Knoblochs came for their first visit.

Alida hit it off with the shaggy puppy right away.

“They weren’t sure they wanted to go with a golden doodle,” Kinsleigh told “But she went crazy for him.”

So Kinsleigh began the specialized training a dog would need to take care of an especially young charge.
“He had to learn to get under the table at restaurants,” she says. “He had to learn that if there were other animals he couldn’t just go and play with them. He had to stay right next to his girl and ignore all the fun things around him. He also had to build up to be able to carry around the full weight of the 6 pound tank.”
Kinsleigh calls Mr. Gibbs “a work in progress” because he’s still learning to be a little girl’s constant companion. “His job is to go wherever she goes and do whatever she does,” Kinsleigh explains. “If she wants to get on the bike and go down the driveway he has to learn to run alongside. If she’s going to ride on a slide, he has to learn to climb up and slide down behind her.”

Most service dogs don't work with children younger than 5. Teaching Mr. Gibbs to pay attention to a 3-year-old has been a challenge.

Aaron Knobloch told Lauer. “This hasn’t been done with a child this young. He does really well with Debbie and I, but it’s tough for him to listen to a 3-year-old.”

Little Alida gets her share of training, too.

“She actually gets frustrated when he doesn’t listen,” Aaron said. “That’s what we’re working on right now – helping him understand that that is the command. And she doesn’t always speak real clearly, so it’s been tough for him.”

The Knoblochs hope that by the time Alida’s ready to start school, everything will be running smoothly.
“That’s why we’re doing this so early,” Aaron told Lauer. “We’re hoping by the time she gets to kindergarten it will all be figured out and there won’t be any training left to be done and they’ll just go to school.”

Mr. Gibbs may not always have to carry around Alida’s oxygen tank.

Experts say that children seem to “grow out of” NEHI – or at least the need to breath with the help of an oxygen tank. “The general thinking is that these children will only have mild residual disease long term,” Dishop says.

Maybe one day Gibbs' only job description will be: girl’s best friend.

Article written by Linda Carroll for Today.  All rights including photos belong to Today.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

New night safety products

Be safer when going for those evening walks by taking advantage of Scruff's new safety products, now available in store!

Canac K9 Lites Safety collar - Flashing

Canac Flashing K9 Lites Collar is a unique collar that is a highly visible and will keep your dog visible in poor light.

This innovative and durable collar is visible for up to 300m with the ultra bright LED flashing lights.

Made of high visibility fluorescent reflective material, this collar will shine brightly under street lighting and car headlights.

Not only is this excellent collar safe but also comfortable, practical and stylish.

Great for Night Safety

Visible up to 800 metres and Waterproof...which is perfect for the Great British Climate!

Easy to Fit Reflective Dog ID name tag - reflective for night time safety

Simply attach to your dog's collar when out about about and twist to turn it on.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New arrivals at Scruff MacDuff

Scruff has new products in-store, just in time for outside fun as the weather picks up!

Karlie Clicker Training Aid

Use your clicker to train your dog sitting, luring, tricks or teaching them to think for themselves from free shaping.   

By using clicker training it makes the training session more fun and predictable.  For more information on how to use the clicker watch the video below.

Video: What is Clicker training?

Treats Bag

And what goes well with the clicker than your very own Treat Bag which can be clipped onto your belt or pocket, has a drawstring to keep treats fresh, made from washable frabic, and has a pouch to hold your clicker

The instant pet bath, Petkin Dog wipes instantly shampoos away the dirt and odour without washing or rinsing.  And if you want to take a pack on your walks, while you train or on a trip, Petkin Dog Wipes  also come in travel convenient size too with their Wipes to go packs. 

Dog loves his toy mouse

Maymo doing tricks

Saturday, 3 March 2012

UK more unfriendly to dogs - survey

The UK is Europe's least accommodating country towards small dogs, according to new research.
More than half (52%) of the 7.3 million dog owners in the UK agreed that, when compared with our European neighbours, Britain falls behind in the dog-friendly stakes.

One in three (32%) French and 40% of Belgians agree.

More than half of all UK dog owners surveyed agreed that Britain is less dog-friendly than Europe

The study of more than 3,000 dog owners across the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium was carried out to explore European attitudes towards dogs, with findings revealing that perceived levels of dog-friendliness within retail and hospitality are considerably lower in the UK than in any other country.

Findings show that only 6% of British retailers open their doors to small dogs, when there are 5.4 million dog owners in the UK who state they would go to more cafes, shops and other retailers if they felt their dogs were welcome.

The traditional British pub has always been a home from home for many dog owners and a welcome pit-stop while out walking. However, almost three quarters of dog owners (73%) state they do not feel welcome in pubs with their dogs, meaning pets are left in cars, outside or at home alone.

The sentiment extends to cafe culture, as only 7% of dog owners agree they feel welcome to spend time relaxing with their dog in coffee shops - compared with a quarter (26%) of dog owners in Germany.

The research was carried out by Cesar, which has launched the Paws in Places campaign to encourage dog owners to spend more quality time with their dogs and to raise awareness of the issue of closed door policies towards small dogs.

Dog lover and model Jodie Kidd said: "We love our dogs in the UK and consider them part of the family. I've got three dogs and I would love to be able to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, like many other dog owners, I don't always feel welcome with my dogs in a number of establishments."

The top five spaces and places that UK dog owners believe they should be allowed to spend more time with their dogs are public transport (61%), bars and pubs (52%), hotels (46%), cafes (43%) and small shops (42%) respectively.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Why my dog will take pride of place at my wedding

My pet pug is part of the family. Is it really so crazy to want him to join me and my husband-to-be as we walk up the aisle?

'While I’m still not sure of the dog’s role in my own proceedings, I’m leaning heavily towards ringbearer.' Photograph: Susan Ragan/Associated Press

The paper that brought us scoops such as the Pentagon Papers has given us a new exclusive. According to the New York Times, there is a growing trend at weddings to have your pet as a special guest. While most of us wouldn't go as far as to have a chicken in place of a bouquet, as one delightfully eccentric interviewee did, it seems surprising in this age of extravagant weddings that more of our furry friends don't take pride of place in wedding festivities.

The British have long been known the world over as a nation full of ridiculously soppy pet owners. Early evidence of this comes in the form of a poignant pet cemetery in Hyde Park, which sprung up in 1881. If the Victorians went to such great lengths to ensure their dogs would meet them in heaven when they passed on, why shouldn't you tuck a chicken under your arm as you embark on what is commonly billed "the happiest day of your life"?

As usual, when it comes to the faintly ridiculous, the UK is taking its cue from America. Over there, a whole industry has sprung up around ensuring little Fido looks his best for your big day. Where else would you go for a couture doggie tuxedo but a website offering "luxury formal wear for pets"?

As I prepare to enter the world of extravagant wedding planning (average wedding costs have hit £21,000 – do you know how many cats you could get for that?), I have no idea what to wear, how to entertain guests, or whether to drunkenly sing Stand By Your Man as people slowly back away. I do know, however, that my own pet (he's a dog, but a chicken bouquet has got my brain heavily whirring) will be hugely involved.
One of the couples interviewed by the NYT explained why their dog would be accompanying them up the aisle: "He's part of the family, so there was never any question." Call me insane, but this sounds like a perfectly valid argument. A partner's initial reaction to your pet is surely one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a new relationship. A fellow allergic to dogs, or a man who preferred the company of cats could surely not stick by my side through thick and thin. No wonder, then, that the couples who sail this challenge victoriously are so eager to publicise it.

While I'm still not sure of the dog's role in my own proceedings, I'm leaning heavily towards ringbearer. I've fed him a lifetime of treats, why shouldn't he do a proper job for a day? I've told him it's that or workfare. Embarrassing the vicar, and possibly my family with a pet guest still certainly sounds better than the role animals had in weddings as described in the Bible:
"The blood covenant began with the sacrifice of animals. After splitting them precisely in half, the animal halves were arranged opposite each other on the ground, leaving a pathway between them. The two parties making the covenant would walk from either end of the path, meeting in the middle." Genesis 15:9-1
Since I want happy memories of the day, my beloved and I have decided not to dismember the family dog in front of the congregation. Instead, he'll be in all the photos, entertain small children and hopefully bite the ankles of pesky relatives who refuse to leave when the party winds up. You may be twinning your life with another, but as the old saying goes:

"Acquiring a dog may be the only time a person gets to choose a relative."

Article by  for The Guardian