Dog Fest North 2019 | Tatton Hall

Amber and I were lucky enough to be #Gifted tickets to Dog Fest North this year by the lovely PitPat activity monitor team. Sadly Ted wasn’t able to come as he would have been far too overwhelmed but we spent the weekend with the lovely Hayleigh and Toby from @lifewithtoby so I don’t think Amber missed him too much. For the first time ever we spent the entire weekend at Dog Fest – despite it only ever being around half an hours drive (or less) from our house.

I wanted to share some of our highlights from the weekend with you all – I’d highly recommend visiting all of these companies if you attend dog fest next year or if you’re going to Dog Fest West on the 22nd – 23rd June!

Pit Pat

It’s no secret that we love all things PitPat! In fact, Amber and Ted are even brand ambassadors for PitPat life. Their Dog Fest stand seems to get better and better each year.

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@lifewithtoby, @cheshirecanines and @timmy_taz_toby_doodleadventire

This year they had a hay bale race for the dog’s to compete in! Amber and Toby went head to head and no surprises, Amber came last. Once the pups had completed their race they got their victory photo (or defeat photo in Amber’s case) taken to be posted on the PitPat facebook page and received a rosette.

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At the stand they also had a Prosecco bar for any Pit Pat pack members! To become a pack member all you need to do is get your dog one of their activity monitors. They had lots of fun toys for the pups to play with as well, and even little bowls of Pawsecco for them. Unfortunately as it was raining, Amber and Toby spent most of their time sheltering under a coat in my shopping cart.

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Despite the rain, being able to check Amber’s PitPat at the end of the day let me know that she had indeed been enjoying herself and even had some playing on her monitor and not just walking (which is what usually happens at events).

I know I go on about it a lot but having a PitPat has really helped Amber in her weight loss journey and now that we can earn points whilst exercising as members of PitPat life, it just makes it all the more exciting! The activity monitors are usually £39 but at dog fest they were being sold for an amazing deal at £24 – if you’re heading to Dog Fest West i’d highly recommend both the PitPat itself and a visit to there stand for some fun activities!

Billy + Margot

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This isn’t a brand we knew much about before meeting their lovely team at Dog Fest over the weekend but they welcomed me and Amber as if they’d known us for years. Amber was very spoiled with attention and Ice cream samples.

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I think we all know by now that Amber is very into her food, however she’s always been a little bit funny about frozen products – It took me hours to get her confident eating a pawsecco pop – but she couldn’t get enough of the Billy + Margot Ice cream. She liked it so much that the only way I could get her to leave their stand was to take the pot of ice cream with me and even then she was reluctant. They also gave us a sample pack of their wild boar food which Amber has been loving as treats.

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Oh and can we quickly just talk about this enormous deck chair! Always fun to take photos in – even ones of people as well as pooches.

Bought By Many

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Now I know what you’re thinking… insurance? That sounds boring! But honestly I think this was the highlight of Amber’s second day at Dog Fest. Their stand consisted of all things fun for dogs. They had a paddling pool, a ball pool and treats (Amber’s favourite part). They were also giving out free pimms for the humans which was definitely my favourite bit!

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Service please!

Wilsons

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Amber & Freddie from @izzyfreddie

Surprise, surprise Amber found more food! I’ve been wanting to get some Cold Pressed food for a while now so Wilsons was on our list of brands to visit whilst at Dog Fest. Since Ted is raw fed I needed a dry food that could be fed alongside this for when we travel.

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I think Amber and Toby got a bit too excited by sample bags of food as somehow they ended up sat in them. We went for the Salmon flavour in the end and got a 2.5kg bag for £10 instead of £17.99 – since Ted is so mini this will last him a long time so it was great value for money.

PDSA

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Over at the PDSA stand they were hosting demonstrations/ workshops about animal first aid and offering free health checks for your dog. We attended a very informative talk about what to do if your dog is choking and I definitely walked away knowing a lot more than I did before.

Lily’s Kitchen

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I think Amber’s face says it all here. She was very impressed by the Lily’s kitchen stand. They had a little doggy picnic complete with deck chairs where your dog could sample some of their dry food. There were some other fun activities to such as a ball pool for the pups and a ‘win the tin’ game for the humans. They were also giving out samples of their wet food that you could go and personalise with your dogs name.

Hound Hangout

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We had a fab time at the Hound Hangout meeting some insta- famous pooches. We finally met @HoneyB_Doodle after 5 years of attending the same events and constantly missing each other. We also met the lovely Elsa from @pawsacrossbritain, @piperthecockapoo, @flossie_and_family/ @maddie_and_family and @KingSturge.

We met some other friends whilst walking around DogFest this weekend so here’s a little collage of all the cuties we got to cuddle with.

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Featuring @Iris_and_Ivy_mini_sausages, Toby from @jessyyandthewonderdogs, @poppy.the.rommie, @Timmy_Taz_Toby_Doodleadventure and Freddie from @IzzyFreddie. We also met @TheWorldOfSkye and @Wilson_cockapoo but sadly didn’t get any photos.

We had an amazing weekend at DogFest and can’t wait to go back next year!

Love,

Ellie & Amber

A Dog’s Guide to Formby Beach

Formby Beach is Amber’s all time favourite walk location, she sees the sand and all of a sudden it’s like she’s a real dog. She runs, paddles, chases birds and even occasionally plays with other dogs! We are very lucky to have such a great dog walking location just a 40 minute drive from us.

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Parking

There are two car parks at Formby beach, both owned by the national trust. We are members to always choose to park in the car parks but a lot of people choose to park on the streets leading up to them so that they don’t have to pay for parking. Our car park of choice is usually Life Boat Road as this includes a lovely walk over the sand dunes to get to the beach – however the car park on Victoria road is also a great option as you have the woodland red squirrel walk that leads you down to the beach. I prefer this one if i’m planning on spending a full day at the beach as there are toilet facilities and a woodland for shade if it gets too warm.

Timing

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During the summer months we tend to avoid going to the beach during the day as it gets quite busy with the children being off school, especially when the weather is nice. I tend to take Amber in the early morning or late evening so that it’s cool enough for her to run around and have a proper play. We’ll either arrive before 8am in the morning or after 7am in the evening which also means that the parking kiosks are closed so you can park for free, even if you’re not a national trust member! I have to say I prefer the evenings as the beach is north-west facing so you get a gorgeous sunset on a clear day.

Our Walk

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Upon arrival at the back we usually walk straight down towards the sea, as Amber quite likes chasing the waves. The beach is the only place she’ll go further into water than just dipping her toes in, she’s even had a swim a few times which is unheard of for a lazy, water-phobic dog! We then walk along for a few miles and come back on ourselves to get back to the car – i’d love to be able to do a longer walk but that’s more than enough for Amber as she’ll chase seagulls and run ahead along the way so she’s usually knackered afterwards. I took her on Sunday evening and she still hasn’t moved since (It’s now Tuesday).

Her PitPat results on Sunday:

An average day for Amber:

What’s your favourite place to walk with your dog? Any other beach babies out there?

Love Ellie & Amber (and Ted who also loves the beach, he’s just struggling with other dogs at the minute so hasn’t been for a while)

Our day out in Liverpool | Dog Friendly Travel

I’d really like to get into agility with Ted once he’s a bit older and something that I’m very aware of is that at shows you are not only surrounded by dogs, but by people as well. For this reason I find towns and cities to be a great place to work on his training. So on Monday I took Ted for his first trip to Liverpool!

We started with a little walk around The Albert Docks and in natural tourist fashion we had to stop for a few photos. I find photographing Ted in a busier environment is actually very good for his training, as it’s not only making a cute photo for me but also works on his ‘stay’ around distractions.

(I just want to make it clear that Ted was on a lead at all times, I have simply removed it from the photos as it was taking away from the rest of the image.)

After a mini Photoshoot we decided to go and find some lunch. We stumbled upon Brasco Lounge and their menu looked great for vegetarians like myself so we asked of they were dog friendly and luckily they were!

Whilst I ate my avocado toast, Ted spent most of his time sat/ lay under the table. It only took him about 10minutes to settle which is a vast improvement of the first time I took him to a pub. He did however decide to bark at a dog out of the window which was a little bit embarrassing, but he’s still learning so I can’t expect him to be perfect first time.

After lunch we went for a walk around Liverpool One. I’m not sure how dog friendly the shops are as a whole but we popped into John Lewis which is very dog friendly indeed. I don’t think there was a member of staff who didn’t come and say hi to him!

We just had to set a Ted selfie as the background on one of their display phones!

I did also nip into a few other shops with Ted in his k9 Sport Sack carrier which he did very well in.

He’s never been in it outside of the house and I wasn’t sure how he’d react, but he was tired by this point so he just sat in there nicely and didn’t make a sound.

After a bit of shopping it started raining so we headed home. Ted hates the rain so I decided to quit whilst we were ahead. All in all it was a lovely day out, and far less stressful in terms of training than I had imagined!

Love Ellie, Amber & Ted

New Year, New Blog!

Happy 2019! I know it’s late but I still can’t believe i’m writing that. Where did the year go?

To kick off the New Year I thought i’d share some of our 2019 plans/ resolutions with you all!

One of my main goals this year is to travel a lot more with the dogs. In 2018 we did Northumberland, Dorset and Loch Awe in Scotland (Ted’s first holiday) but there are just so many places on our list that we haven’t visited yet. I’ll give you my top 3 as if I wrote the whole list you’d be reading for hours. In no particular order, I plan on visiting Cornwall, more of Scotland (especially the Gelnfinnan Viaduct) and Snowdonia. I also plan on getting into hiking this year and taking day trips to the Lake District and Peak district as both are only around 2 hours away from us by car!

Another goal I have this year is to Improve Ted’s behaviour with continued training and confidence building. He may look like a little angel in photos but because of his background he’s quite a complicated character. For those of you who don’t know Ted, I adopted him back in October 2018 after he had been rescued from a puppy farm. Up until the age of 13 weeks when I brought him home he had not been socialised with any other dogs apart from the ones in his foster home and had only been in regular contact with one person. For this reason, he is still getting to grips with other dogs and how to act around them. I also plan on working hard on his recall now that his confidence around dogs is growing – at the moment he thinks he always had to get to them to play before they get to him (don’t worry, he’s always on a long line).

Now for the blog! You may have noticed that this is the only post I currently have live. I have decided to start a fresh for the new year as I want to do it properly this time. I have created a posting schedule for myself which includes at least one blog post a week. On top of this I hope to improve my blog audience as well as social media presence. I really enjoy writing about my experiences whether that be Ted’s training or Amber’s adventures so would absolutely love to have a larger audience to share that with!

What are your plans for 2019? We’d love to hear them!

Love, Ellie, Amber and Ted x