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Green paws: Garden designer Tommaso del Buono tells us how a squirrel-hunting terrier changed his life

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Expert tips on creating a dog-tastic garden, plus tales of mischief with Rabbit’s sister Gina.
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Life goals: run your own design business, make that business garden design, absolutely take your dog to work with you.

Sounds like Chelsea gold medal winner Tommaso del Buono has pretty much nailed it. But how does having a slightly naughty Norfolk Terrier/Jack Russell cross really fit in with an international career designing high-end gardens?

We spoke to Tommaso about life with Gina, including squirrels, cat flaps and one particular disgrace involving baby deer.

“I’d been thinking about getting a dog for a long time but I travelled so much it was difficult,” he told us, “When I set up my own practice, I decided now was the time.”

“A friend’s dog was pregnant and once I saw the puppies that was it. I had wanted a boy dog – Gina was meant to be called Gino. But she was the one I loved.”

A cheeky little bundle of Norfolk Terrier/Jack Russell cross, Gina’s got a big personality for such a wee pooch.

“She’s very clever and very affectionate and she’s quite naughty,” said Tommaso, “She’s very small – but has no notion of her size.”

In fact, here at LoveMyDog we’ve got a pretty good idea about Gina’s personality; she’s the sister of our very own Rabbit, both pups of the lovely Tulip.

Once an unstoppable bouncing force of nature, Gina’s now a grande dame of 12 years old and has slowed down a bit – thank goodness.

Tommaso explained, “She still to this day likes chasing sticks, balls and squirrels. In no particular order.”

Just one look at Gina’s beady little eyes and you know it: that doggy boisterousness has landed her in hot water more than once.

One particularly epic squirrel hunt saw her scurry enthusiastically into the undergrowth in hot pursuit, only to scurry out equally swiftly sporting a nasty bite on her neck. It seems that Gina had accidentally trespassed on the property of a large and fearless rat.

And sassy Miss Gina’s not afraid of taking on much bigger creatures.

“On one occasion she chased some baby deer,” grimaced Tommaso, “I was working on a project in Berkshire, near Newbury. Luckily she didn’t catch them but that was the last time I could take Gina to that particular project …”

 

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Gina-free zone: del Buono Gazerwitz Landscape Architecture’s gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden for the Telegraph.

Obviously Gina is queen of the castle when it comes to her own garden, though. Tommaso and his partner have a country place where Gina has room for lots of doggy manoeuvres – and she makes sure the humans don’t get too comfy after a tough week at work.

“She always tries it on!” exclaimed Tommaso, “We’re constantly having to throw balls and sticks for her.

“Dogs and gardens don’t necessarily mix very well. She’ll dig where we’ve been digging and she runs through newly-planted beds – but she’s a small dog so the damage is limited.”

Even in the urban sprawl, the pair make the most of London’s green spaces. When Tommaso lived in Bayswater, Gina was a regular in Hyde Park. Her favourite hang-out now, though, is hip Victoria Park, which is particularly well-stocked with squirrels, not to mention a temptingly big lake for cooling doggy paddles on a sweltering day.

Having a four-legged best buddy has actually helped Tommaso when working with dog-owning clients. There’s nothing like experience to give you a special insight when asked to design pooch-friendly areas, so he’s all over important touches such as non-toxic planting and dog-friendly ponds.

“We don’t design around the dog but you have to bear the dog in mind,” he explained, “One thing that’s really important is making a place secure for a dog.

“I used to have a cottage in the middle of a field and Gina could get through the cat flap. She was very used to letting herself in and out and dogs are quite curious – they do like to explore.”

Sometimes more unusual challenges come up. Tommaso’s business del Buono Gazerwitz Landscape Architecture recently completed a garden where they uncovered an old air raid shelter.

Everyone agreed the shelter should stay, so they left it in situ but designed a bespoke metal grille to prevent the owner’s inquisitive Pomeranian dogs from wandering in.

Overall, it sounds like a bonus to us – hire Tommaso to design your garden and you get to hang out with Gina too.

“Still to this day Gina and I are quite inseparable,” he said, “She’s come with me to many sites, on many projects. Many clients know her and she’s come very much part of the office – and part of me really.”

For more proof that gardens can be dog-tastic havens AND gorgeously designed, check out the Dogs Trust garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show on Tuesday 5 – Sunday 10 July.

 

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Image source: Dogs Trust

 

Designed to celebrate the charity’s 125th year, this contemporary space includes sneaky sniffer tracks woven into the herbaceous borders for dogs to forage and sniff out treats. We might even have a try ourselves.

Follow these feel-good pooches – immediately!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

You know what your Instagram needs? More dogs. We’ve put together five of Instagram’s best pets :)

InstagramLEAD

Some people think Instagram is a place for food, sunsets and legs in the bath. They’re wrong. Instagram is the place for dogs. From tiny corgis to hipster pugs, there’s no shortage of loveable canines to make your feed the happiest ever. Too many to choose from, in fact; so we’ve narrowed it down to five of our favourites to get you started.

Tuna Melts My Heart

Who is he? The underdog with the overbite.

InstagramTUNA

Image source: Instagram/ Tunameltsmyheart

Chiweenies are a cross between a chihuahua and a dachshund. They’re also obscenely cute, as you’ll learn if you spend as much time as we do fawning over Tuna Melts My Heart’s Instagram feed (which is a lot). With his pronounced overbite and wrinkled-up chin, Tuna is an endless source of reaction faces for every situation. Oh, and did we mention he has impeccable fashion sense?

Chiweenie chic: Channel Tuna’s off-duty cool by wrapping your pooch in this corduroy dog blanket. Raffishly retro.

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Doug The Pug

Who is he? The self-declared king of pop culture.

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Image source: Instagram/ itsdougthepug

It’s official. Doug the Pug is our spirit dog. If he’s not basking his wrinkles on the beach, he’s dressing up as Harry Potter, salivating over wine and pizza, or meeting Dolly Parton on the red carpet. But his life isn’t all about the glitz and glam: Doug is a also registered therapy dog with a charity called Pets As Therapy; showering care homes, hospitals, hospices and schools with pug-tastic joy.

Puggy style: With so many celebrity jamborees to grace, Doug needs to travel like a VIP. This Sidworth tweed designer pet carrier is oh so smart – and ridiculously cosy.

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Sir Charles Barkley

Who is he? A Frenchie, and complete and utter heartbreaker.

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Image source: Instagram/ barkleysircharles

The hippest name in the doggy world, the sharpest dress sense and the biggest smile; Sir Charles Barkley the French bulldog is a joy to follow. There are also excruciatingly adorable throwbacks of baby Barkley on a regular basis too (just in case you weren’t smitten enough).

Frenchie dressing: Got a Sir Charles B of your own? Treat them to this grey harris tweed dog bed for wrinkly snuggles galore.

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Maru

Who is he? The happiest, fuzziest shiba inu on Earth.

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Image source: Instagram/ Marutaro

Can we be honest? We’re really, really jealous of Maru. Not just because he has the most chilled life ever with his owner in Japan, but because he’s more photogenic than we’ll ever be. Follow him for his joyous smile, infinitesimal fuzz of fur and general handsomeness.

King of Shiba: Maru, are you reading this? We really need to see you modelling this Bow Wow handmade dog bow tie ASAP. You gorgeous devil, you.

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Marnie the Dog

Who is she? 14-year-old shih tzu that’s gone from stray to star. Completely fabulous.

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Image source: Instagram/ marniethedog

Young pups often take the limelight in dog shelters, but Marnie The Dog is changing all that. This senior lady, famous for her cheeky tongueand head tilt (caused by vestibular syndrome) is raising awareness of older dog adoptions, having been adopted herself at age 10. She was found partially blind and in a frightful condition. Now, she can be found occasionally falling into the arms of celebs like Taylor Swift and Tina Fey. Amen to that.

 

If the shih tzu fits: Give your pooch some sartorial flower power with this Amberley Liberty print dog collar lined with buttersoft suede.

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*Lead image source: Instagram/ DougThePug

Something for the weekend… The Whippet Hotel

Friday, June 17th, 2016

While it’s not strictly JUST for the weekend, we have recently come across The Whippet Hotel and wanted to share it with our Whippet friends :)

Seb on the bed

Image source: The Whippet Hotel

The Whippet Hotel is owned by Caroline Patey-Johns and her family. They have lived and worked with Whippets for 19 years, and they own three of their own – Flippit, Basil and Sebastian as well as Luna, an Italian Greyhound Whippet cross.

There isn’t anything they don’t know about the breed and how to take care of them. And as the hotel is also their family home, guests truly enjoy a home from home environment. They offer walks in the surrounding countryside and games, and the Whippet guests sleep upstairs with the rest of the family.

Caroline says ‘Our guests live with us as one of the family… They have access to all the comfiest places – sofas, chairs and laps are all at their disposal!

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Image source: The Whippet Hotel

They are based near Gatwick Airport, so handy for trips abroad. And they offer day care, and overnight stays. They also have their own range of yummy looking peanut butter biscuits that are given to all guests on arrival!

 

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Image source: The Whippet Hotel

 

The Whippet Hotel

East Amberley, Paynes Place Farm

Cuckfield Road, Burgess Hill

West Sussex, RH15 8RG

01444 258339 | 07884 433477

caroline@thewhippethotel.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Aristo-pets: Dogs from the upper crust

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Which breeds reign supreme? In celebration of Her Majesty’s official birthday this weekend we take a glimpse at the legendary companions to royals and rulers.

aristo pets queen

Image source: Annie Leibovitz/The Royal Family Facebook page

As the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday (congratulations ma’am), we’ve become accustomed to seeing her surrounded by a pack of her beloved corgis. The diminutive herding dogs have been pictured with her since 1936 and are now something of a royal mascot. But it’s not just corgis that have been constant companions to the aristocratic set…

 

Prince Albert & Eos

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Image source: GreyTArticles

Handsome greyhound Eos was given to Prince Albert in 1833 when the future Prince Consort was just 14 – and they soon became as thick as thieves.

The duo spent six years in Albert’s native Germany before embarking on a new adventure together; a move to England, following his engagement to Queen Victoria.

Eos – fond of plum cake and hunting – was always Albert’s dog but he soon became a much-loved favourite, adored by all the royal household.

greyhound-hoxton 2Royal match: Cloak your greyhound in this tartan coat for a chic look.

 

Winston Churchill & Rufus

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Image source: The poodle & dog blog

While Churchill’s legacy is headlined with his tactical battle choices, he was also well-known as a keen animal lover, counting a budgie called Toby and Nelson the cat among his friends.

When it comes to dogs, the British war leader’s fighting British spirit meant he has long been associated with the bulldog. In fact, his personal pooch preference was a poodle named Rufus.

Rufus accompanied Churchill throughout World War Two before he sadly passed away. But it wasn’t long before another poodle joined Churchill’s inner circle. His name? Rufus II.

 

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Royal match: Complement your poodle’s coat with this stylish pink tweed collar.

 

Duchess of Cambridge & Lupo

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Image source: Kensington Royal

Lupo was a wedding gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from Kate’s brother James Middleton in 2011 and has since become a key member of the royal household.

The English Cocker Spaniel was even have said to have picked out Prince George’s name after the couple scattered choices on paper across the room and he sniffed out his favourite.

The pretty pooch has also featured in the tight-knit family’s official portraits since the birth of Prince George – just look at that smile.

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 Royal match: Is your dog a cocker spaniel, too? This stylish lead in yellow will contrast gorgeously against her glossy coat.

 

Duchess of Cornwall & Bluebell

Having grown up with dogs and cats, it’s no great wonder that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has become a keen supporter of animal welfare.

Beyond making the royal rounds at various animal shelters and homes, Camilla has owned several generations of Jack Russells and has most recently picked up two rescue pups from Battersea Dog’s Home; Bluebell and Beth. She is regularly spotted with the companions by her side.

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Image Source: www.people.com - Chris Jackson, Getty Images

 

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 Royal match: Keep your Jack Russell looking super smart in the Bow Wow bow tie and lead in Hoxton Tartan

Gogglebox’s Greyhound Buster is all set for winter

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Gogglebox’s whippet Buster is all set for winter

Fans of hit Channel 4 show Gogglebox would be forgiven for not recognising Buster’s face. Belonging to owners Rev Kate Bottley and her husband Graham, Buster is normally seen lying with his back on a sofa and hind legs sticking into the air.

Greyhounds can get cold very easily so when the LoveMyDog team found out that Buster needed a winter coat we offered to supply Buster with one of our Featherstone Tweed Greyhound Coats.

Rev Kate’s ‘OMG’ reaction was brilliant (that’s Oh My Greyhound just in case you were wondering). After a call to our London studio to get Buster’s measurements the studio set to work.

Our Featherstone design features a warm Sherpa fleece lining, adjustable stud fastenings with matching lead, beds and blankets available.Creating Buster’s ‘canine couture’ coat

LoveMyDog’s Creative Director Lilly Shahravesh says, “As a young child I was completely transfixed the first time I saw a Greyhound. I couldn’t believe how majestic they looked.

I’ve always remained astonished at how powerful they are when running, yet so delicate in features. I wanted to design the most luxurious Greyhound coat to suit this special breed with their own individual shape”

Creating Buster's coat Buster’s tweed dog coat was hand finished in our East London studio

Designed exclusively for whippets and greyhounds, our pure wool Scottish tweed dog coat inspired by Edwardian country house parties is very warm, showerproof and stainproof.

Our Featherstone design features a warm Sherpa fleece lining, adjustable stud fastenings with matching lead, beds and blankets available.

Buster in his new LMD coat with his humans Rev Kate & Graham Buster in his new LMD coat with his humans Rev Kate & Graham

We think Buster looks beautiful in his new tweed coat and we certainly hope it keeps him nice and warm this winter.

Shop the LoveMyDog Greyhound Canine Couture Collection.

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Want more?

Beans

Check out Rankin’s photos of his wife Tuuli Shipster’s whippet Beans.

2014 Paw Pageant review

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
2014 Paw Pageant

Looking terrific in tweed

Tipped as one of the top three events by Metro & Time Out to visit over the recent bank holiday weekend, this year’s Paw Pageant event certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Paw Pageant is LoveMyDog’s annual fund raiser for The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and despite it raining cats and dogs all day, proved to be a real hit. (more…)

The 2014 Paw Pageant

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Paw Pageant

The Paw Pageant is LoveMyDog’s annual fundraising event for the Battersea Dogs & Cats home. Taking place over the August Bank Holiday Monday (25th August) at London’s Old Spitalfields Market, this year’s Paw Pageant promises to better than ever.

A host of doggy dudes are donning couture designer fashions to raise funds for Battersea while paw-struck celebrities gaze on. The catwalk show starts at 1pm, so please be sure to arrive early to get your seats! (more…)

Rankin shoots LoveMyDog

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Rankin shoots LoveMyDog

Synonymous with compelling portraiture, Rankin’s lens captures, creates and unveils icons. He has shot covers for Elle, German Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone and can now also include LoveMyDog in that list. (more…)

The 2013 Paw Pageant

Thursday, September 5th, 2013


The annual Paw Pageant is LoveMyDog’s fundraising event for Battersea Dogs & Cats home. The third annual pooch parade took place last month at London’s Old Spitalfields over the bank holiday. (more…)

2013 Paw Pageant – Save the date!

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Press release: Celebrity Canine Couture Show, Monday 26th August

The capital’s coolest canines will be strutting their stuff in a sensational fashion show at London’s Old Spitalfields Market on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August. A host of doggy dudes are donning designer fashions to fundraise for Battersea Dog and Cats Home while paw-struck celebrities including Lisa Snowdon gaze on.

Two tail-wagging fashion shows are taking place at the chic East London shopping destination which is being transformed with a purpose-built runway.

In the morning is an invitation-only event for the fashion cognoscenti. Dapper dogs will dazzle the crowds in divine creations from the queen of canine couture, Lilly of LoveMyDog. Each paw-fect pooch will be accompanied on stage by a human consort, modelling collections by NW3, Mischa Barton, Albam, Jigsaw, Barbour and Oliver Bonas,

After lunch the stage is set for the public to parade their pampered pets in the annual Paw Pageant. One of the highlights of the doggy social calendar, this popular annual event is a chance for owners to enter their dogs into one of 6 categories including

• Dressed up to the (Ca)nines
• Jimmy Chews (the naughtiest dog)
• Six of the best (best owner and dogs legs)
• Mini-mutt (smallest dog in show)
• Maxi-mutt (largest dog in show)
• Paw-fection (best in show)

Keep up to date with news about the 2013 Paw Pageant via Facebook and Twitter.

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