Milton Keynes

/Milton Keynes

Down the Allotment: March 2018

We’ve not been to the allotment since Christmas. So bad I know!! But things have been really busy with the business and our house sale so we’ve just not at the time to hang out down there as much as Grizzle would like. I thought it was time to pay our plot a visit yesterday which might have had something to do with the glorious spring sunshine and how warm it felt late afternoon ūüėČ Both¬†Grizzle and I are not fond of the rain and prefer to hunker down at home in winter, but when the sun shines that is our time to shine: we love the sun!! And working down the allotment is our favourite pastime, something which is calming for me and mentally stimulating for him so naturally we had to see what had been going on yesterday when we finally got a slimmer of the summer to come.

I was half expecting the entire plot to be overgrown with weeds as we’ve had a few sunny days before now, and although there has been frost recently I didn’t think it was enough to keep things under control; so you can imagine my surprise to find the plot in a fabulous state.¬† I’m half thinking that our lovely allotment neighbours have been looking in on the space in our absence, they are great like that and always looking out for me. As you will see, the polytunnel is still standing (result! we made it through our first winter), the little fruit trees we planted last summer are alive, weeds are under control and my ground covering seems to be in place.

I’ve ordered some more pegs so that I can finish off laying the ground cover on the back of the plot to keep weeds under control as this year I won’t have time to actually grow anything or weed. The plan is to simply cover the entire plot with this weed control sheeting so that in the future I have a plot to come back to which isn’t overgrown with brambles and weeds. Perhaps I may grow some tomatoes, herbs and chilies in the polytunnel this year, but in tubs and containers – it all depends on how Grizzle’s dad is doing and how much time I’ll have to get down to the plot. The allotment is meant to be a calming space for me so I won’t allow myself to feel stressed by maintaining it, thus covering it all up until such a time as I can focus on it fully.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to visit our space when the weather is lovely as if nothing else it’s a beautiful spot to sit and watch the sun go down late afternoons and early evenings. No one is there that late in the day but the birds who are chirping loudly and settling down for the night. Allotments are hives of activity for animals and wild with beautiful and interesting smells – just perfect for a dog and my happy place.

I’ve included a couple pictures taken yesterday showing the allotment in its current state, and Grizzle’s adorable face full of joy at having been to his favourite ‘place of work’. I hope you enjoyed reading, till next time ..

allotment

allotment 5

allotment 4

allotment 2

allotment 1

Snow Snow Snow

Snow has once again descended upon Milton Keynes, and there‚Äôs no doubt about it ‚ÄĒ snow is fun for most dogs! It’s always important to stay safe when walking your dog in the snow or ice; so here are a couple top tips that are worth bearing in mind when going out in these low temperatures:

  • Make sure your dog doesn’t dehydrate. It can be easy to forget about this when it’s so cold outside, but dogs can get quite dehydrated very quickly regardless of the temperature. So it’s important you make sure they drink lots of water before they go out for a walk and again when they get back home.
  • Picking up their poop is still a must. Just because there’s lots of the white stuff on the ground doesn’t mean that it’s ok to leave your dogs poop without picking it up. When the snow melts – and of course it will – their poop will have probably been trodden in which will spread the mess all over the ground. Gross.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t eat snow. Ice and snow can harbor bacteria and make your pet sick. It’s quite tempting for some dogs to crunch down on bits of ice and snow, but unless you know it’s fresh (i.e. snow flakes falling from the sky), try to stop them.
  • Keep clean, dry towels by the door. It’s important to wash and dry your dog’s paws once you return home to remove any little ‘snow balls’ which can be uncomfortable for them, along with salt. If your dog has been frolicking as much as my little Grizzle has, then they will appreciate getting all toasty warm after their outing.

We love taking pictures of the dogs we walk, but in really low temperatures it can be hard to keep our hands out in the elements. But despite the freeeeeezing weather and endless sleety snow, our fabulous team of walkers not only braved the wind but managed to capture some fabulous pictures. There were too many to choose from but these are a couple of my favourites. Which one do you like best? Comment below or over on Facebook ūüôā

(the cover photo is Bella, a dog we have in day care, and the picture was taken by her mum Rebecca who has her own photography business and takes some amazing pictures!)

lulu in the snow

woody

amber

bella 2

hugo

leah

missy

nala

skyla

shadow

tyler

Walking Your Dogs in Wet Weather

The UK is blessed with some delightfully wet weather, and while most dogs will happily go out come rain or shine, dog owners are not always quite as excited to find their dogs coat constantly damp, dirty and matted, or covered with leaves, bramles and twigs!

Some dogs are ‘lucky’ and have sleek almost oily coats, and when they get muddy or wet on a walk it’s fairly simple to brush over with a dry towel and a bit of rubbing action. However, your doggies with poodle esque hair (think popular breeds such as cockapoo’s, labradoodles, westipoo’s, etc), along with your high actions spaniels, suffer much more with the old messy bed hair.

As dog walkers, we want your pooch to have the best walk, and for most dogs that means off lead play with their other doggy pals. They also find great enjoyment in scurrying in hedges, plonking themselves on a sandy patch to “dry off” or wallow in mud like pigs … often attempting to swim in the most disgusting of puddles. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get them back on lead before this happens. Dogs are opportunistic and very quick when it suits them, often knowing where they are headed long before we spot the same. Therefore, in poor weather the only way your dog will come back clean is if they are kept on lead and walked along the pavement.

Our main priority is the safety of your dogs, so when we choose our walking locations we aim for enclosed paddocks, empty tracks with no vehicular use, disused farmers fields or the woods. We choose these over popular parks in Milton Keynes because we are less likely to run into other people, children or dogs (remember, not everyone loves dogs running about off lead). The flip side? These walking locations are also wet and muddy!

The reality is: the only way to guarantee your dog will come back nearly as clean as they set out is to keep them on lead and walk along the pavement, but this is honestly NO fun for your dog and we certainly don’t advise it as the best way of tiring them out physically or stimulating them mentally.

Our suggestions below may take a bit of investment in terms of time, installation and money; but you will reap the rewards for many years to come and probably find that you are enjoying your wet weather walks more too. And of course, you’ll be helping your dog walker out no end whilst allowing your dog to fully enjoy their walks.

  1. Install a tap outside your property. You can keep it as simple as a tap and hose, or as fancy as adding warm water, building a shelf to house their doggy shampoo, towels etc.
  2. Purchase a Dog Onesie. If your not able to have a tap installed, then the next best option is a dog onesie. These head to toe outfits may appear silly, but really do provide full body coverage, only leaving their feet to be cleaned at the end of the walk (and tail / head if they have serious mud rolling issues). MUCH more manageable and leaves you with a dry, clean dog at the end of most any walk. There are cheaper alternatives on ebay and other pet sites.
  3. Buy a Dog Drying Bag. This clever purchase would need to be left out on the counter so your dog walker can put your dog in it after the walk on the drive home. Made from quality, highly absorbent fabric, your pooch will be at least 50% drier/cleaner by the time they enter the house, leaving a smaller task for the dog walker and a cleaner home for you!
  4. Let us know where we should leave your Less Than Sparkly Clean Pooch. If your dog usually has free run of the house with access to carpets, beds, couches, etc then you might like to revisit this in wet weather. We advise keeping your dog contained in a utility room, kitchen or hallway area which has tiled or wooden floors. If you lay towels down and keep them within a hard floor area, then any dirt and mud will dry and fall off during the course of the day and when you get home it makes a light task of clearing up.

If you have any other tips to share do comment below. Happy Wet Walking!

dog walking milton keynes

Down the Allotment: June 2017

So much has happened this month on the allotment! We started with a blank canvas, save for a few pesky weeds which kept coming back, and that meant it was time to plan what we were going to put in our space.

Mum really wanted a polytunnel and last month it arrived but because of all the rain it did a lot of sitting in dads van while we worried about how we’d put it up (well I didn’t worry, I just watched my humans talk about it a lot). Anyways, dad’s van had to go back this month so we had a deadline to work towards and you know what they say about pressure .. !

Before you put a polytunnel up there are a few things you need to know.

Firstly, decide where you are going to put the tunnel and rake the area out well, removing all the deep weeds, lumps, rocks and anything else that’s going to make it unstable. Make sure you start with a flat surface and things will be much easier. I speak from experience as there was a lot of huffing and puffing as mum and dad tried to drag the constructed tunnel about to level it out. Foolish people.

After you’ve sorted the ground then it’s time to unpack your tunnel and position all the bits in sections on the ground so you can see the number labels. Bear in mind folks that the manufacturers may make a labeling mistake, so if it looks wrong it probably is (i.e. don’t get carried away by the numbers, use your noodle and work around it). Honestly, if dad wasn’t doing it with mum there’s no way it would be up by now, she’s not really what you’d call a ‘tool girl’ and he had to have a lot of patience to put up with her nonsense throughout the process. Don’t think for a minute I helped matters either. I wanted to dig, bark, roll around in the ground and generally cause mayhem!

It took about a week to get the frame up in its entirety. But once done we were able to cover the outside with tape, (this stops the sun making the bars too hot and burning through your plastic cover). Next came the cover and bright sparks chose a windy day to put it on, but what do you know … it actually got on within 15 minutes and happy days we had a tunnel!

mk allotments

The other guys on the allotment have been so nice to us and one of them gave us a shed and base while another guy built us 4 raised beds. So this has meant June was a busy month of changes down on the plot and we have been able to not only give the space some structure with all these new bits, but also plant out the first tomatoes, salad leaves and cabbages.

On the 14th of June we celebrated dad’s birthday and because he was given 5 fruit trees that was the next exciting thing to happen and just the other day I helped mum plant them in! The tree’s are miniature so should fit the space well. We’ve got 2x apple, 1x plum, 1x cherry and 1x pear. The little tree’s have been positioned outside of the ‘pet zone’ as I shouldn’t get my gnashers on the cherry’s, plums or apple seeds.

I’ll be honest, there’s a whole lot of chatting down at the allotment and coffee breaks happen every few hours. A man called Ken is in charge of these coffee breaks and I love him as he always gives me biscuits when I go to his shed. Everyone sits around and drinks cups of coffee laced with “medicine” (I think this is their code name for rum and whisky, shhh). Sometimes people will bring cakes but even if they don’t I always end up with a tasty cookie so these breaks suit me well. If it’s been raining I make sure to jump on people’s laps just to leave them with a tidy little muddy paw present. They pretend as if they like it and fuss me back, but mum tells dad she’s not sure I should go down with her anymore, hmmm what do you think?

That’s not all! We also had a huge delivery of poo turn up the other day. Horse poo!! I was in absolute heaven. Mum found an advert on Facebook where someone was selling a truck of manure for ¬£40. Apparently this was a bargain as delivery was free. I had to stand back while the truck turned up and made the dump and this was hard because all I wanted to do was jump on top of the pile of poo and gobble it up. Yummers!

dog walker mk

Since then we’ve had lots more work to do as we’ve got to get the manure into the 4 raised beds and then move the rest of it to the back of the polytunnel so we don’t get ourselves some poo thieves visiting (everyone wants some of our stock as getting manure delivered is difficult). I love working with mum as it means I also get to dig which is my most favourite thing to do in the world!

Dad’s been coming down to the allotment as well a few mornings this month, he fixes himself up a comfy chair and plays Find It with me. Instead of using treats he’s been hiding my ball around the plot and making me find it with my nose. I love this game nearly as much as I love digging and we do it for more than an hour at a time as I won’t give up.

Well that’s June in a nutshell everyone. Come back again next month to see what I get up to next!

Love, Grizzle

allotment dogs milton keynes

Waiting for a biscuit during a coffee break!

Down the Allotment: May 2017

Hey Everyone, Grizzle here… I thought you might like to follow mine and mum’s journey as we turn a rubbish filled disused allotment plot into our new edible garden.

Some of you might be aware that my dad was diagnosed with a bad illness late last year and that means we’ll soon need to leave our lovely cottage and garden. Mum was feeling down about not having outside space but then I came up with a brilliant plan! There are these great big allotments right by my favourite walk in Manor Fields, Fenny Stratford, and I told her to get us a patch of land where we could grow stuff, I could dig (the most important part!), sit around in the sun and bark at stuff. She didn’t need too much convincing to be honest. Dad did on the other hand but he came round soon enough as he gives me anything I want.

After a lot of back and forth (which included swapping, getting her money back, paying again) mum settled on a plot down on the right hand side of the allotment. We don’t have anyone to the right of us yet which is great as it means mum can park the van right by our land and dad can come with us and help out too. Usually she brings me down early in the morning so I can dig as I do make a lot of noise barking and yelping with excitement as she puts the spade in the ground. When we go later on I’m expected to be quiet which is ridiculous. There are so many people pottering about and no dogs – my dream place to hang out all day!

So that’s it for now, follow our story month by month so you can track our progress and keep up to date with all the things we’re getting up to.

Love, Grizzle

dog walker milton keynes

6 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods

There is something deeply magical about walking in the woods: it is tranquil, quiet, peaceful and mind-clearing; so it’s no wonder the Japanese coiled the term¬†Shinrin-yoku¬†or “forest bathing” to describe the practice of spending more time in the forest to improve their health and sense of well-being. This is something we should all do more of because walking in the woods boasts a number of health benefits for us and our four-legged friends.

dog walk bow brickhill

In Milton Keynes we are really spoiled for choice with woods dotted across the city within easy reach of all of us. I often take the dogs we walk to Shenley, Hazely, Linford, Howe Park, Salcey Forest and Marston Vale ; however, my personal favourite for weekend dog walks with my own little guy (Grizzle) is Bow Brickhill / Aspley Wood.

Although popular with the locals, these woods always feel empty. Perhaps that’s because you can access them from different points which means you get a new view and empty trails almost every time.

My Top 6 Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods

  1. Lower your blood pressure. Japanese researchers measured the blood pressure of a group of busy city workers before and after a 2 hour walk in the woods. The result? The group had lower blood pressure after walking through nature than before.
  2. Help your brain work better. Walking through a green area with trees has been found to aid learning and memory, so much so that kindergartens are beginning to pop up across Europe and the US as teachers slowly begin to appreciate what nature can do to boost their curriculum and student learning and engagement. In fact, if you are based in Milton Keynes, Northampton or any of the surrounding villages you will want to check out Fire & Air Рin a nutshell they explore learning and well-being using the forest as their school, really amazing work!
  3. It may help with depression. How many times have you felt a bit rubbish before heading out for a long walk only to come home at the end of it feeling far better than when you set out: more alert, fresher and positive. In fact, studies suggest that city dwellers living near trees were found to have better mental health, with lower rates of prescriptions for antidepressants, than those with no greenery around them.
  4. Getting your dog back to nature.¬†Is a stroll through the neighborhood, endless games of ‘fetch’ or hanging around a park what your dog would do in the wild? When looking at keeping your dog in tip top health you should always try to mimic nature where possible (and safe to do so). Hiking and walking on trails is an excellent form of activity for your dog because it is similar to what they would do in nature.
  5. Walking up hills to keep strong. Just like us, our dogs fitness levels can plateau so to keep them strong and healthy into old age we need to keep challenging our dogs and ensuring they engage in lots of stimulating walks and hikes in varied surroundings, which will also keep them mentally active too! All dogs should walk up hill regular to keep strong, even your senior pooch.
  6. Moving on uneven terrains (rocks, logs and dodging other obstacles found in the woods) is my final important tip for maintaining strength and balance Рfor both you and your dog. When you discover a new walk there is a sense of excitement as you set out to explore the unknown and the health benefits are real here too: think unused muscles, balance, coordination and concentration.

So go on and get out to your local woods more often. Grab your dog and clamber over hills, splash in streams, stumble over rocks and trip yourself up over a log РI guarantee you both will love it!

aspley woods

Home Made Dog Treats: Meaty Eggy Yogurt Iced Treat

It was 24 degrees in Milton Keynes today so we were all about keeping cool and eating iced treats! While I got myself a cheeky Magnum, the day care doggies had the following frozen iced treats – home made, really quick to make and chuck full of nutritious ingredients you will have at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbps natural yogurt (not flavoured)
  • 2 tbps natural instinct raw meat (this was minced and I used it for flavour and because it was in the fridge)
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 handful of blueberries

home made ice cream

Directions:

  • Pop everything bar the blueberries in the blender and wizz for 30 seconds
  • Pour into molds
  • Pop your blueberries in (they won’t all sink so long as you leave the mixture a little ‘chunky’)
  • Put your molds in the freezer
  • Wait till frozen

I put little wooden sticks in the molds as I intended to take them out like ice lollies; however, the dogs couldn’t wait to get tucked in so I just let them go for it.

Why these ingredients?

Blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals

Eggs are one of the most complete sources of the building blocks of protein: amino acids

Yogurt is high¬†in calcium and protein, acting¬†as a probiotic it is good for your dog’s digestive system

Raw Meat is the natural food choice of dogs in the wild who forage on meat, bones, skin, organs, stomach contents, and an array of other parts

Don’t forget: Dogs are well equipped to handle the bacteria in raw foods.

dog ice cream

The Big Doggie Do 2016 Raffle for Hula Animal Rescue

On the 28th May 2016 The Parks Trust held their annual Big Doggie Do at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes. The event, which has been going since 2007, is popular with families and dog owners alike with numbers reaching over 1000 on the day.

Jog My Dog wanted to get involved in the event this year and chose Hula Animal Rescue as the local charity to raise money for. We wanted to do a raffle and sell home made cakes and bakes; and with Hula very kindly offering us the use of one of their gazebo’s and The Parks Trust giving us the stall for free we were off to a great start!

With Special Thanks:

Over a 6 week period we contacted loads of companies, restaurants and businesses in Milton Keynes and had some very generous donations towards the raffle prize list. With special thanks to:

 

 

hula raffle prize list

Jog My Dog also got involved in the prize list and two lucky winners on the day won a voucher for 2x running sessions or 2x doggy day care days, valued at £36 and £50 respectively.

With special thanks to Mel Biago and Majbritt Moulding for the design of the raffle prize list and for getting all the amazing prizes sorted for the day, along with baking the delicious lemon drizzle cake and shortbread! Milton Keynes Creative Print also gave a big discount on the banner print cost and we are very grateful.

What we raised:

We had an amazing result on the day selling all of our baked goodies and over 1000 raffle tickets – raising a total of ¬£411 for Hula Animal Rescue. With a great turnout and warm weather it really couldn’t have been more perfect.

Thank you to all those who contributed on the day by purchasing a raffle ticket (or six); Hula are very appreciative, as are we. You made all the hard work worth it!

big doggie do mk 2016

Big Doggie Do Event Information

Date: 28th May 2016 Time: 12-5pm

With numerous charities and stalls selling dog paraphernalia, there was also a fun dog show with a £1 entry. This years class listing was as follows:

Class 1 Best Golden Oldie (over 8yrs)

Class 2 Cutest Puppy (6mths ‚Äď 2yrs)

Class 3 Prettiest Bitch

Class 4 Most Handsome Dog

Class 5 Best Rescue

Class 6 Most Appealing Eyes

Class 7 Waggiest Tail

Class 8 Best Cross Breed

Class 9 TBC MK Vet Group Category

Class 10 Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home

With free entry this is a fun day out for the family and any furry companions.

Come and join the fun in 2017!

Doggy Day Care Diaries: deer and falling trees

Hey Guys, it’s Grizzle again reporting back on our day care adventures and today was a lot of fun.

We set off first thing to pick up my pals, it was raining and usually this means I stay holed up in bed as I really do hate getting wet! But mom said I had work to do so after sighing a bit I put my gear on and off we went.¬†Our first stop was Woburn Sands because I was kicking up a fuss in the van because it was poo’oclock (when will she learn!). After doing our business and peeing on every leaf in sight we kept driving to Aspley Guise because apparently it’s easier to park here, I don’t know anything about this technical stuff but it’s what I hear….

dog day care milton keynes

Dog Walking in Aspley Guise

We usually start our walk near the church (MK17 8HN is the post code of the church if you’re interested in doing the same walk as us) because there are nice little spots to park, and if you keep on that side of the road you can just follow the public footpath which has been nicely marked out for you. We love walking here as not many people know about it so it’s usually just us. I had to stay on my lead for some of the walk because I spotted myself a deer early on and felt that the world wasn’t safe until I caught him. Lucky for mom – but unlucky for me – she read my mind and quickly secured me. What a shame, I came SO close to getting across to that cheeky deer, can you see how it just stares back at us?

deer in aspley guise

Anyways, after that we was hyped up: there was lots of rabbit poo to eat and smells galore as it had been raining. And that’s not all! We also watched some trees being cut down, massive massive branches were being thrown in the road and we had to stand still for absolutely ages waiting for them to let us cross. Sometimes I don’t think people remember we are dogs and have exploring to do.

Doggy Day Care Woburn Sands & Group Dog Walks in Brogborough

We were pretty wet by this point so mom packed us back in the van and brought just me and my pal Freddy to Boycie’s house. Apparently he was a bit scared to go out last week but he didn’t seem shy today. In fact, I couldn’t get him away from me, he kept following me around and smelling my bottom – I hadn’t eaten any tripe or raw egg today either so it couldn’t have been that :/

He showed us his favourite local walk in Brogborough and this place is even BETTER than Aspley Guise and the woods over there. Brogborough is only tiny with 150 houses and the area feels really remote. We took a left behind the Community Hall and just followed the path; you can go a few different ways actually but we just followed little Boycie because he seemed to know where he was going. There are just endless fields to walk through and explore, along with an old ruin right in the middle of them. There are little signs with arrows but I think it would be easy to get lost here, we walked for about 40 minutes before turning around and sure enough it took us ages to get home as we didn’t really know where we were going. Mom said we’re going back there later in the week as it was hard to take good pictures because it was raining so much.

We then all took a really long nap together on the couch because we were tired, cold and wet. And now it’s late, I can’t really remember what happened after that, oh Henry came over to see if he’d like to stay in our house next week and I didn’t stop licking his mouth and jumping up at his owner – yup I know how to be annoying!

That’s it for today, till next time …

 

Hula Animal Rescue: Fete & Fun Dog Show May 2016

Hula held their Fete & Fun Dog show today from 12:00 till 16:00, and with the weather being mild and dry they had a great turn out! For those who are not local to Milton Keynes, Hula Animal Rescue is located in Aspley Guise at the following address: Glebe Farm, Salford Rd, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8HZ

Grizzle and I got there for around 13:45 and the car park was pretty full at that point. With just £2 entrance fee for adults and £1 for kids the afternoon was most certainly affordable for all, and it showed: there were loads of families there with their children and of course little doggies.

hula fete milton keynes

Aside from the list of scheduled activities you could also get yourself lunch from the burger stall, ice creams and lollies, drinks and other cakes and bakes. And if you were a dog then you were also catered for by way of some tasty home made treats available at the Tyco’s Treats stand. We hung out there for 15 min chatting about ingredients and how to get the perfect bake. Why? Because at Jog My Dog we like to leave our first time doggy customers a little treat and I wanted to get some new ideas for tasty recipes. Grizzle was given one too many samples and he walked away nice and full of tuna muffins – yum!

I’ve never seen so many different breeds of dog in one place (other than Crufts of course). Grizzle didn’t know where to look, they were everywhere! If¬†you have a reactive dog then this type of event is probably one you need to manage with care as some of the dogs got pretty close at some points, either queuing up for the fun dog show or other games and competitions. Saying that, there was plenty of space overall so if you wanted to keep your dog separate from the crowds then it was easily achievable.

With bales of hay to sit on, plenty to eat, drink and do this is the perfect event to pop along to with your family.¬†Hula, and other rescue centres across the country, rely on donations and support from the public and these types of events not only¬†help bring awareness to the plight of abandoned animals they also raise a considerable amount of money; so if you can spare some time in your diary then I suggest you schedule the next one in. You won’t be disappointed.

hula open day