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Archive for the ‘Rabbit’ Category

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.

Walkies (and drinkies): the UK’s best dog-friendly rambles

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Wilderness rambles and an English country pub: it doesn’t get much better. Unless you’ve got a dog trotting alongside. Here’s our guide to the UK’s best pet-friendly pubs and nearby walks.

walkiesLead

From Cornwall to Cumbria, there’s little to beat stretching the legs and lungs in the good old English countryside. Add the tempting lure of a traditional pub garden on a sunny afternoon and all’s right with the world.

Here’s our edit of the best dog-friendly pubs with a handy stroll close at hand.

 

The King’s Arms and The Rattlebone Inn, Didmarton and Sherston, Cotswolds

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Image source: King’s Arms Didmarton

There’s a two-for-one on this circular walk, with the Rattlebone Inn at beginning and end in Sherston, with the King’s Arms at Didmarton marking the half-way point. And they’re both seriously chic.

The King’s Arms is all leather armchairs and picture windows, looking out onto a voluptuous country garden for sunny days. And they know their weekend market: supper is served until 10pm on a Friday night, so you can whiz down straight from the office after a long week and not go hungry.

It’s got spot-on canine credentials too. Resident dog-in-chief Spoof the Jack Russell is on standby for playtime and they even serve a doggy beer, Snuffle (yes, really). If you decide to hole up here for the weekend, four-legged guests are as pampered as their two-legged pals, with dog beds and treats available in the super chic rooms.

As for the Rattlebone Inn, no-one can say it lacks pedigree. A former favourite haunt of Prince Harry and friends, its modern bistro cuisine and real ales continues to attract the smart set. If you’ve any energy left after your walk, there’s a skittles alley and three boules pitches in the garden.

Ramble route: Start your walk at picture postcard-pretty Sherston, taking a circular route, mostly through open farmland. The walk follows the River Avon upstream through the gentle slopes of a valley.

Grab a leisurely beer at The King’s Arms and you’ll head back towards Sherston on a different path, ending up back at the Rattlebone Inn. If you’re lucky, they’ll have fired up the spit roast and be serving Argentinian Lamb Asados in the garden.

 

2. The Black Bull Inn, Coniston, Cumbria

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Image source: http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/

 

Thirsty travellers have been stopping in (and stumbling out) of this historic coaching inn for more than 400 years and they’re more than happy for pooches to pop through those historic doors, too.

The Black Bull doesn’t have the Farrow and Ball chic of the Cotswolds pair but it does have one big plus point. Out back, the pub has its own brewery, the home of Bluebird Bitter.

The Old Man mountain serves as a dramatic backdrop as you enjoy a fresh pint with your dog at your feet. But go easy, you’re going to be climbing that bad boy.

Ramble route: This circular walk is a proper hike, rather than a Sunday stroll, so it’s not for wimps or pups. You’ll zig-zag up the side of Stubthwaite Crag and finally peak the Old Man of Coniston, which clocks in at 803m. The stunning views are worth it though – and you’ll welcome that drink when you head back to the Black Bull.

 

Strike out into the countryside kitted out in the best of British design.

Treat your dog to a little something from the Appleby range, made from genuine Harris tweed. There’s a reason this fabric’s an enduring fashion favourite: as well as being super stylish, it’s tough enough to cope with snags from thorns, lasts for ages and washes beautifully.

Perfect for the four-legged countryside gent (or lady).

Appleby dog collar (from £52)

Appleby lead (from £62)

The Red Lion, Burnsall, Yorkshire Dales

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Image source: Red Lion

Looking for the authentic Yorkshire Dales experience? Burnsall’s just the baby. Historic stone buildings, Instagram-wowing river views and a slightly bonkers feast day (with games) every August.

The Red Lion is in the heart of the village, where it’s been packing ‘em in since the 16th century. The food has an AA rosette and the menu goes on for ever… (fussy eaters take note).

There’s a resident Jack Russell called Totty (what is it about pubs and Jack Russells?) and say hi to the Grayshons; they seem to rope in every generation to work in this genuine family business.

Ramble route: This is proper walking country. Wharfedale is on your doorstep and Burnsall is the first stop of the Dales Way, which runs from Ilkley to Windermere.

Ask the right people in the bar and they’ll tell tales of trolls that haunt a nearby limestone gorge, a wolf-infested ravine that inspired The Hound of the Baskervilles and caves housing flesh-eating boggarts (no, we don’t know either). Personally, we’re more nervous of the mad fell runners, who race up Burnsall Fell every August.

Instead, strike out along the side of the glittering River Wharfe, with plenty of spots to jump in for doggy paddling. There’s a set of notoriously-slippery stepping stones (don’t worry, there’s a creaky but fun cable bridge if you don’t want to get wet) but other than that, the going is easy.

There’s a circular 2.4 mile journey that takes in the best views in Burnsall, or press on to Bolton Abbey, the gorgeous, sprawling Yorkshire estate of the Duke of Devonshire. Dogs on a lead are welcome in most areas – check out the exclusions here.

4. The Boathouse, Falmouth, Cornwall

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Falmouth Harbour from the Boathouse

Image source: The Boathouse

It’s a clamber up to the Boathouse but the view down across Falmouth Harbour makes it worthwhile. The hearty seafood-with-a-twist menu is a pretty good incentive too.

They’re big on live music and guest ales. Oh – and apparently they’ve got a bonsai tree that looks like Kim Kardashian’s most famous asset.

Ramble route: There’s no wilderness quite like the Cornish coast, with the unpredictable sea making it a different experience every time. There are dozens of walks, from town strolls to clifftop excursions, via beach safaris but we like the unique views from the historic Pendennis headland

Pressies for pooches? We’ve got five of the best.

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Buying a treat for a very special dog? Fit the gift to the owner with our guide.

LMDPressieLEAD

Whether you’re seeking a quirky fashion statement, the ultimate pet-tech or a personalised treat for home-comfort cravers, our gift guide features five of the best – and there’s one to suit every owner’s personality.

1.    The gadget geek: FitBark

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Image source: FitBark

Know a dog owner who’s crazy about their FitBit? The FitBark (£59.95) is already a hit stateside and making headway this side of the pond too. Track the pooch’s health and behaviour, while the accompanying app lets them share the data and photos with their friends and vet.

Available in five lovely colours – we like ‘free spirit’ green.

Fetch it: Amazon UK

 

2. The fashion fan: Hoxton Tartan Bow Wow dog bow tie

Who’s your best-dressed friend? Treat their equally elegant hound to a touch of sartorial style. This dog bow tie (£22.95) is made from the finest pure new wool and is perfect on its own for a jaunty touch of class – or as part of the Harris Tweed Hoxton collection – a design exclusive to LoveMyDog.  Just make sure they head somewhere busy for walkies, as there’ll be plenty of admirers.

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Fetch it: Love my dog

 

3. The hungry hound: The Barking Bakery carob ‘woofin’ with pink yoghurt icing

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Image source: Fetch

Which foodie is likely to turn up their nose up at run-of-the-mill doggy drops? This ‘woofin’ (£3.49), straight from Ocado’s pet patisserie will take your furry friend’s taste buds to new levels of delight. The fluffy carob sponge is complemented by a generous dollop of pink yoghurt icing and decorated with bone-shaped biscuits. It might only last ten seconds but it’ll be ten seconds of unadulterated doggy bliss.

Fetch it: Fetch online

 

4. The chill-out queen: Spencer corduroy dog bed

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Image source: Love my dog

Curling up for a nap will never be quite the same again once their pup can revel in the luxury of the Spencer dog bed (£155), crafted from soft needlecord and finished with Sherpa fleece. If you know an owner who takes creature comforts seriously, this is one gift which will score big. It comes in three sizes, an array of colours (we love perky orange) and you can even personalise it, for extra brownie points.

Fetch it: Love my dog

 

5. The pamper pro: The Pet Spa treatment

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Image source: The Pet Spa

The Pet Spa in Chelsea is an unrivalled retreat for the pampered pet – and has plenty of treatments to choose from, including mud baths, reiki or a simple canine massage. Book a frazzled owner in for a spa treatment and whisk their pet off for his own spot of TLC.

Fetch it: The Pet Spa

LoveMyDog and Catherine Tough – Spring Walk Photo Competition

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

LoveMyDog has teamed up with leading UK designer maker Catherine Tough to give you the chance to win a gift box, packed with Catherine Tough and LoveMyDog goodies.

To enter, all you need to do is upload a photo of your dog’s favourite spring walk here. And click on the Gallery tab to see the fab entries so far…

Your walk can be scenic, muddy, fun, or it might take in a great cafe or pub along the way.

The winner will be selected at random. The competition closes at midnight on June 7th (please allow 30 days for the arrival of your prize).

@rabbitlovemydog @CatherineTough_

 

Rabbit at Ox Pasture Hall

Channel 4: LoveMyDog & Posh Dogs

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

“Don’t get jealous that these dogs live a flashier life than you. Designer clothes, parties and five-star hotels meet the pampered pooches whose owners treat them like children”

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

LoveMyDog’s pet muse Rabbit was recently the star in the Channel 4 Shorts Series Posh Dogs. The short film was titled Furry Fashionista and featured a high-end fashion shoot.

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

Creative Director Lilly Shahravesh says, “When I was contacted by Channel 4 to work with on this new project, the challenge was to create a short film that will show a slice of a day in the life of the LoveMyDog studios.”

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

“I really wanted people to get an insight in to the creative side of the business and I think the film has achieved that really well.”

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

“I love textiles and I love dogs so the combination of the two is a total dream job for me!”

LoveMyDog - Designer Dogwear / Posh Dogs

If you’re in the UK you can watch the Posh Dogs series via www.channel4.com.

LoveMyDog and Minnie’s Fashion Challenge

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

LoveMyDog and Minnie’s Fashion Challenge

This challenge from Minnie for Disney’s Official UK YouTube Channel was all about creating a stylish outfit for a ‘hip hound’.

So Hattie and India turned to top Canine Couturier Lilly Shahraveresh, LoveMydog’s Creative Director, for advice and practical help.

Lilly says, ”It was so much fun working with the Walt Disney team, I loved working on Rabbit’s Minnie Mouse design and testing out ideas on Rabbit.”

 

“The design process for the outfit from start to finish was a long enjoyable journey and it was great to see it all come together on the final day of the shoot. Rabbit was such a star on the day!”

Looking to get your own designer dog creation made? Find out more about LovemyDog’s bespoke service.

Tea with the Queen (and her corgis)

Friday, March 4th, 2016

LoveMyDog AW14

According to a recent Telegraph article the Queen’s corgis enjoy an “individually designed menu”, served by hand in strict order of each dog’s importance.

Dr Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist and behavioural therapist, says “At feeding times, each dog had an individually designed menu, including an array of homeopathic and herbal remedies.”

Her Majesty’s pooches have previously been reported to be fed on a that includes fillet steak, chicken breast and home-made gravy, with scones crumbled up into their bowls for a treat.

As we type this Rabbit is licking his lips. Perhaps we should dress him in a smart Bow Wow Dog Bow Tie and see if we can smuggle him inside Buckingham Palace in time for tea with the Queen herself!

LoveMyDog in Elle Deco

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Rabbit stars in ELLE Deco

Rabbit and Lilly star in the latest issue of ELLE Decoration.

Rabbit’s been in the press again. Here he is photographed for ELLE Decoration whilst wearing his Yellow Wilmot Dog Jumper.

LoveMyDog’s Creative Director Lilly says, “Elle Decoration is one of my favourite design magazines and one I have collected for several years. Obviously I was thrilled that they had chosen Rabbit and myself as leading pet experts for their special November issue feature”   (more…)

Handsome Harry

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Handsome Harry
We recently got some more mail sent to the studio, this time it was a letter from a brave poodle called Harry. Rabbit says thanks Harry! (more…)

Happy Birthday Rabbit!

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Happy Birthday Rabbit

LoveMyDog’s muse Rabbit turns 7 today! (more…)

RECENT POSTS

 
Five reasons to love Harris Tweed 20 January 2017

Dog-friendly holidays: six boltholes you (and your pet) will love 19 July 2016

Green paws: Garden designer Tommaso del Buono tells us how a squirrel-hunting terrier changed his life 30 June 2016

Walkies (and drinkies): the UK’s best dog-friendly rambles 21 June 2016

Follow these feel-good pooches – immediately! 21 June 2016

 

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