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Animology GIVEAWAY!

Here at Tailster we’re always on the lookout for products we love and can share with our users. This week we’ve teamed up with Animology – the multi-award winning pet product brand that is trusted by pet owners, vets, retailers, groomers and championship show dog owners in more than 45 countries around the world to deliver the very highest standards of pet care.

The Animology brand is owned by Group55, an independent UK company based on a 120 acre farm in the heart of the British countryside where life and animal care comes first. Established in 1999, the company is recognised globally as a manufacturer of market leading products and innovators in brand development. (more…)

Day 5 – Shepperton to Windsor

Day 5 of the #185milewaffle – Shepperton to Windsor accompanied by Zeppo.

If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

Today’s dogpanion was Zeppo – a young and energetic Cocker Spaniel.

I picked him up rather later than intended from the charming Fran and her daughter Freya around 10. However, a combination of traffic and roadworks meant it was gone 11:30 before we set off from Shepperton Lock. At least we got one of the few parking spaces. Now that we’re outside the London transport network, finding a parking space close to the river is crucial.

As ever, the Thames on an almost-Autumn-Summer-day is lovely. However, a lot of the stretch through Laleham (don’t think I’d ever heard of it as a place) has a road which runs right beside the tow bath necessitating the use of a lead – somewhat irritating for both Zeppo and I.

By the time I got to Staines, 4 and a half days were beginning to tell and I found a tightening left calf/tendon which meant I was starting to limp.

Given no shops proximate to the river, I decided to avail myself of a chicken, bacon and cheese sandwich at the Slug and Lettuce beside Staines Bridge and see how it felt. However, setting gingerly off in a different pair of shoes, it did not feel great.

I was made to feel even more grumpy by some truly c**p signage that failed to indicate the crossing of the bridge required. This resulted in a three quarters of a mile unnecessary diversion up the wrong bank and then back to the bridge again.

It seems minor in the grand scheme of things but somehow, when you’re pacing yourself to do 14 miles, the imposition of an unnecessary extra chunk seems particularly cruel.img_1099

Having found my way back to the towpath, I encountered another splendid stretch of down at heel boats and a boat yard that looked straight out of an episode of the Sweeney. I love these little ghettos of dodginess. Following that, given that the leg was no better but didn’t appear to be on the point of crippling me, I reverted to fallback plan A – of which I’m slightly ashamed but slightly not.

I avail myself of the iPod I have brought and listen to a chapter of Max Hastings’ Warriors – a fascinating account of Captain Müller’s exploits in the Emden during the First World War: both running rings round the superior allied fleets and behaving like the perfect gentleman in an era when chivalry was nearly dead.

Whatever, it worked and I trudged the miles separating me from Windsor thinking more of his exploits than the leg

Finally, two lovely anecdotes to conclude:

  • As I wait for the taxi to take me back from Windsor to Shepperton, two walkers whom I’ve passed fall into conversation. Inevitably my story of 15 dogs in 15 days comes out, and they enquire about the cause for which I am doing it. Extraordinarily the lady in question is a medic, even more extraordinarily has heard of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and knows of a patient at one remove who is desperate for help and information. I have one MCA card in my wallet which is handed over – I hope a connection will be made.
  • Beyond that, I had a tricky time finding a taxi who will take me and Zeppo back to Shepperton. Finally, one agrees and Mr B S Gill arrives listening to my story of what I’m doing and why. Halfway back to Shepperton he simply hands over a £10 note and says “Give that to the charity”. He then protests about me giving him the quoted fair and a tip. A completely generous gentleman – it was I who was grateful to him for turning out and taking man plus dog in his taxi on a Sunday.

So that’s the end of Day Five.

I enjoyed James May during one of his programmes on the putting together of a simple machine – a lawnmower I think – “I feel that this may be like a tree falling in the forest – nobody is watching so it isn’t really happening…” I feel rather like that about this blog.

However, with time off for good behaviour at the end of my first stint of five day long walks, I will now enjoy a previously booked holiday and (metaphorically) lick my wounds.

Upwards and onwards

Chris

 

A note about what we do at Tailster.

Tailster.com is the online website that helps dog owners find trusted, local and insured dog boarders, sitters and walkers at times like going away on holiday, ad-hoc emergencies or for regular walks. If you need a sitter, click here and let us know what you need and we will find the right dog boarder or sitter for you quickly.

You can also apply to become a dog walker or dog boarder in order to help our dog owners looking for dog boarding and walking services.

Day 4 – Teddington to Shepperton

Day 4 of the #185milewaffle – Teddington to Shepperton accompanied by Alfie the Cockapoo.

If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

Another gorgeous day saw Alfie the Cockapoo and I set out from sunny Teddington. I/we have certainly been blessed with perfect weather for the first phase of the trek – sunny and warm with a enough breeze to keep us from overheating.

This stretch was curious in terms of surroundings, mixed posh and alternative/subversive. In among the high priced launches lurk tattier barges with names like Defiance and Midnight Rambler.

Saturday was meant to be a shorter day, but I think the mileage figures for Putney – Teddington and Teddington – Shepperton may have been a bit confused. It took me the same time to do the latter as the former, despite it being notionally 2 miles less.

Anyway, I pushed to the finish at Shepperton Ferry, very glad the stage was complete.

I was made to feel my age at one point by a group of long-distance runners coming past. Said one to the other, “what did you do this morning before this?” The reply as they jogged into the distance was “oh, just a marathon this morning…”

No comment.

Here’s a picture of a bench I came across – I wonder if this walk actually constitutes “small stuff”?! It’s certainly causing me to sweat a bit.

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Alfie was a delight – always sociable and never leaving my side – he even enjoyed the ferry ride!

Onwards and upwards

Chris

Another great mapped walk but it seems Chris may have forgot to stop the walk for the journey home…2016 09 26 1622

 

A note about what we do at Tailster.

Tailster.com is the online website that helps dog owners find trusted, local and insured dog boarders, sitters and walkers at times like going away on holiday, ad-hoc emergencies or for regular walks. If you need a sitter, click here and let us know what you need and we will find the right dog boarder or sitter for you quickly.

You can also apply to become a dog walker or dog boarder in order to help our dog owners looking for dog boarding and walking services.

Day 3 – Putney Bridge to Teddington

Day 3 of the #185milewaffle – Putney Bridge to Teddington accompanied by Duke.

If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

The day got off to a bad start when the emails announcing my venture to my entire network refused to send and froze my computer. Lots of expletives.

However, as they say, the show must go on. Consequently I abandoned the attempt and headed over to the Tailster office. This was the day when, on the walk supported by Tailster,image1-2 I was actually walking a dog owned by Tailster – specifically a rescued Pointer cross called Duke.

Duke took the black cab to Westminster and the district line to Putney Bridge in his stride, however it was 11 o’clock before we were good to go. Even then I forgot to get the Tailster tracking app going until we’d covered a mile or so.

Duke is very good-natured but a bit boisterous. He loves bouncing up to say hello to everyone – human or canine – and doesn’t necessarily know when enough is enough. Fairly early in proceedings he would not stop playing with a Staffordshire Terrier, then belatedly came dashing along the edge of the river to catch up… and discovered he couldn’t climb the muddy bank to reach me. Cue much whining and unhappiness until we found a stone staircase farther down the bank.

He’s actually a thoroughly lovely and gentle dog however, and yet again it was a privilege to walk him – thanks Shannon.

A number of unusual sights on the walk – two worth mentioning:

  • I frequently see older retired couples (oh alright, probably my age) out walking, cycling etc. A first however was seeing his and hers pensioner scullers, very happily rowing up the summery Thames together.
  • From the dogs I’ve been with to date, I’m also accustomed to ball obsessions (throw it again-repeat-throw it again-repeat etc). However there was a Golden retriever who would not leave his stick behind – but it was the biggest stick in the world, probably 5 feet long, and cleared the the tow path like a snowplough wherever he went.

As for the walk itself, this was a hard one. 12 miles plus quite a bit each end.sreenshot waffle

Setting off on day three both back and calves were protesting and I entertained certain misgivings. However once again, pains came and went, and in the end we made it to Teddington station in one piece. I’m certainly looking forward to the week’s respite, taking a previously booked holiday, between stages five and six however.

Meanwhile Saturday is Alfie the Cockapoo…

Upwards and onwards.

Chris

 

A note about what we do at Tailster.

Tailster.com is the online website that helps dog owners find trusted, local and insured dog boarders, sitters and walkers at times like going away on holiday, ad-hoc emergencies or for regular walks. If you need a sitter, click here and let us know what you need and we will find the right dog boarder or sitter for you quickly.

You can also apply to become a dog walker or dog boarder in order to help our dog owners looking for dog boarding and walking services.

Missing dog found after 8 months, in airport?!

When Diesel went missing, his owner’s lost all hope having not heard anything for months.

But 8 months later, they were in for a lovely surprise – Diesel was found around Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport – clearly inspired by Tom Hanks in the Terminal movie!

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Airport staff called police when they discovered Diesel wandering around Terminal 1 in the early hours of this weekend. The apparent chase to capture him also resulted in one of the officers falling over in the process, as Diesel made a run(way) for it.

Again, the benefits of microchipping (now compulsory of course) came into play, as Diesel was able to be traced back to his owner, a pet owner in Salford. Surprisingly, Salford is not particularly near the airport.

Sgt Jameson told Manchester Evening News –

“We have no idea how Diesel got here, maybe he wanted a nice holiday away, but we currently have no leads as to what he’s been up to for the last eight months.”

It seems Sgt Jameson loves his dog gags.

Summary of the story – get your dog microchipped, there’s always hope if it ever goes missing.

P.S If you’d like to book a real holiday for your dog, and prevent a trip to the airport to collect your dog, then it might be worth spinning up a pet care request on tailster.com or fill in your requirements below!

 

Day 2 – Tower Bridge to Putney Bridge

Day 2 of the #185milewaffle – Tower Bridge to Putney accompanied by Scout the Border Terrier.

Tech triumph of the day: working out how to dictate into my phone. Tech disaster: realizing the phone with the Tailster tracking app needs charging every night-it only registered 7 percent charge this morning so will certainly not be tracking me now.

Picked up Scout the Border Terrier from home in Earlsfield and given a sendoff cup of tea by Kris. Scout by nature curious and currently obsessed by a mouse somewhere beneath the foundations of Kris’s new extension – which leads to much sniffing, and a little frustration, on scouts part.

In fact Scout is definitely nose led which means that walking down tree-lined parts of the embankment become a slightly stop start progress, as she checks out every one for doggy calling cards.If she’s on the lead I am constantly having my arm jerked out of my socket, if off I’m constantly looking around for where she might be – the multiplicity of trees and a modest stature means she can be difficult to spot. All good-natured and part of the pleasure of having a canine companion however.

The walk itself pleasant enough along the South Bank. Scout won the heart of an Australian barmaid who gave her water but wanted to keep her. Less entertaining was a rather long and dreary diversion along 9 Elms Rd. where the Thames Path is being dug up for improvement.

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Lunch in Battersea Park where Scout was unimpressed not to share my sandwich but grudgingly acknowledged she had done quite well for doggy treats.

A pleasant but uneventful afternoon. A nice time in Battersea Park where scout chased squirrels and I rested aching feet. We came across a statue of the Buddha with a plaque saying “work is worship”. I wondered whether walking 15 dogs qualifies…..

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We then suffered the odd splatter of rain despite the favorable forecast, but it wasn’t enough to phase either of us. Some jolly posh bits of Battersea I didn’t know about on the way back to Putney. While waiting for the Addison Lee to pick us up, a Smartcar did a U-turn to stop in front of us. A lady lent out swooning over Scout – apparently she has one just the same: she could even tell that Scout was a terrier/Cairn Cross. Having acknowledged her fan club, we climbed in the car and now Scout is back to mouse detection.

Many thanks to Kris and Hannah for their relaxed and supportive loan of the splendid Scout.

Over and out C

 

If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

A note about what we do at Tailster.

Tailster.com is the online website that helps dog owners find trusted, local and insured dog boarders, sitters and walkers at times like going away on holiday, ad-hoc emergencies or for regular walks. If you need a sitter, click here and let us know what you need and we will find the right dog boarder or sitter for you quickly.

You can also apply to become a dog walker or dog boarder in order to help our dog owners looking for dog boarding and walking services.

Day 1 – Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge

Chris has completed day one of the Mast Cell Action Thames Walk (aka the #185milewaffle), making the journey of 12 miles from the Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge with Lucy the Springer Spaniel! Here’s what Chris had to say about how it all went.

So – Day one achieved and only 14 more to go.

The day started with picking up Lucy the Springer from her charming and generous owner Katrina. Lucy really couldn’t be a better first day companion: a bundle of Springer energy and totally affectionate & delightful.

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We took an Addison Lee to the Thames Barrier (Katrina tells me her dog has ridden in style before she’s ever had the opportunity!) and off we set.

We did a brisk 2 hours to break the back of the journey, with the odd water stop en route. It’s genuinely fascinating down there: fishermen, gardens and a farm. Interspersed with industry, construction sites and huge office and apartment buildings – as well as lots of well signed historic sites.

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Saw a lovely sign for Farmopolis and a weird robot sitting alone on the path

Lucy was not showing the slightest sign of weariness but I knew I needed to change my boots for differently fitting trainers if my feet were to survive – hence a stop at The Sail Loft just past Greenwich. They tell me pasta is what one could consume – a very good pea and mint ravioli was the nearest I could come to it. Meanwhile my canine friend enjoyed IMG 1065Pedigree schmackos and plenty of water.

An uneventful progression up river until Lucy indicated that water and a lie down were in order.

However she then spotted her ball in the side pocket of my backpack and insisted on some throwing and fetching–
slightly defeating the object of a rest stop.

She then proceeded to carry the ball as we travelled, until I had to encourage her up the steps of a rather noisy and frightening lock… the combination of all this caused its loss into the water-somewhat to her consternation.

We got over that and made it back to the environs of Tower Bridge five hours after leaving the Barrier.

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An abandoned jetty

Not being in practice for walking, and only having had the opportunity to do some very brief training, I was frankly mightily relieved to make it through the first stint without anything seizing up or falling off.

I was however gratified to see that by the end of the 12 miles, even Lucy was quite pleased to be back and able to flop.

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Tomorrow it’s Scout the Border Terrier and Tower Bridge to Putney Bridge.

Onwards and upwards!

 

The whole walk was tracked using the Tailster carer app. If you’d like to download this, you can do so here for Apple/iOS and here for Android devices.

If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

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Meet Keke, the richest dog in the world – with a penchant for Apple

 

8 is a lucky number in China. Meet Keke who must be the luckiest dog in China as his owner rewarded him with 8 (yes 8) brand new iPhone 7s.

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Credit:Weibo

Keke has been dubbed China’s richest dog and is fast becoming a social media sensation over there. His pet parent is the son of Wang Jianlin, one of the country’s most powerful property moguls.

The image circling the web with his haul of expensive Apple products is going viral – this is not the first time that he has struck it lucky with a visit to the Apple Store.

Previously photos of Keke show him pleased as punch wearing limited edition gold Apple watches worth over £25k. This dog has some very rich tastes!

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Credit:Weibo

With a million followers on Weibo, Keke’s extravagant tastes keep people amused and raises some anger at the same time.

What are your thoughts on this dog and his very generous owner – a pooch that deserves all of the gifts or a world gone Apple mad? Let us know the most extravagant purchase you’ve made for your dog in the comments below!

If you fancy being generous with your pooch, why not try getting him his own personal butler to take him out for walks using our tracked dog walking service – our carers track the walks using our app, we arent too sure many will be using the latest iPhone 7 like Keke is though!

Dog walking on the M25 – apparently its the done thing

It may have come to your attention by now that we are passionate about all things dog walking related – after all, we set up Tailster.com as the best way to find you the perfect dog walker, and then make sure that the full service from start to finish is a delight.

We often hear about random places where a dog might be taken for a walk but today’s news that a dog was walked on the M25 motorway, was even a surprise for us!

A man was seen taking his dog for a stroll on the M25 after the road was closed both ways on Sunday afternoon. Seems like a useful way to make up for otherwise dead time!

The dog was spotted by motorists when the road was closed between Romford and Lakeside after a horse fell over in its box.

Twitter user, Jann R-D posted an image on Twitter of the dog in the middle of the road, saying: “Walk your dog on the M25? Why not?”

 

We’ve seen ducks and birds bring traffic to a standstill on the motorway, but giving full access of the M25 to a dog is something we never expected!

P.S. If you’d like to have your dogs walked, and actually know where they went for their walks – then sign up to tailster.com and create your walking request. If you are interested in becoming a dog walker, you can sign up here. We’ve got thousands of dog walkers available within the M25, just none on the motorway (yet).

The 185 mile dog walk with a difference

We are very proud to be supporting Chris Wood and the Mast Cell Action walk

As any pet owner knows, our furry friends provide support for us in countless ways, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. Those of us with disabilities and chronic health conditions now just how valuable the support of an animal companion can be in getting through the challenges of daily life.

Chris Wood – whose daughter has a rare and debilitating disease of the immune system called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – will be doing a dog walk with a difference by walking the Thames with Tailster to raise money for Mast Cell Action, a charity he helped to found to improve the treatment and awareness of his daughter’s condition.

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Over 15 days, between September 21st and October 19th, Chris will walk the entire 185 mile length of the Thames. Each day he will walk a different dog through Tailster’s dog walking network.

Chris is undertaking this walk in aid of the charity – and in memory of his Tibetan Terrier, Waffle, who passed away recently. “Waffle and I used to go for walks along the Thames together, and we kept up our tradition until, as she got older, Waffle’s legs started to give out and we had to stop. Now I want to walk the Thames for a great cause, in memory of Waffle and how much she loved our outings.”

We would love for you to help Chris by letting your dog accompany him for part of the walk along the Thames.

We’re looking for dogs to walk 5 daily stages, between Windsor & Abingdon October 5th-9th and from Abingdon-Cricklade October 15th-19th.Chris will pick your pooch up in the morning and drop them back after the walking is complete, provided you are within a reasonable distance of the start or finish points for the day. If anyone is able to pick up or drop off their dog, that would be a big help.

Please bare in mind this will be a long walk, covering around 10-15 miles each day. Your dog will be needed for just 1 day, unless you’d like them to do some extra days! It will be covered by Tailster insurance and you’ll receive a tracked walk and photo updates along the way. Your pet may be involved in some press and mentioned in the news – don’t forget to book them in for a quick groom beforehand!

A bit about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a disease affecting the immune system. In a person with MCAS, the immune system is triggered inappropriately, causing the body to have allergic- style reactions to anything from foods to fragrances, exercise and stress. The symptoms of MCAS can be life-destroying, ranging from digestive discomfort to chronic pain, mental health issues and anaphylaxis, which usually requires emergency hospitalisation and can be fatal.

Please email sophie@tailster.com if you can help – your dog would be getting a long walk for a great cause! If your dog can’t join the walk but you’d still like to donate, you can do so here.