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Posts Tagged ‘doggy’

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.

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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

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.

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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

Barking at the Moon

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The two dogs pictured above are actually cakes based on Anna Webb and Joanne Good’s dogs, Molly & Matilda. Anna and Joanne present the BBC London Radio show Barking at the Moon, and LoveMyDog creative director Lilly Shahravesh will talking to them on this evening’s show.

Tune in just after 11 on BBC London 94.9.

Four Legged Fashion: We’re raising cash for animal rescue

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Love My Dog was recently on the catwalk in Dallas, Texas. Enterprising dog owner, Terri Tomlinson, and her mixed-breed rescue pup Frank, organised the third annual Canine Couture event to raise money for abandoned pups.

Frank sported our new ‘Elwin’ quilted tattersall coat and our signature Deerstalker hat, bringing a touch of British country style to the proceedings. The event raised lots of money and we’re delighted that Love My Dog could be part of it. In fact, www.fourleggedfashion.org has now raised over $12000 over the last two years. We’re always happy to help charity events for dogs, so do get in touch if you’re raising funds for a worthy doggy cause.

We were on the telly

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

I thought you might like to know that Love My Dog were featured on ITV yesterday. The ‘This Morning Crew’ had set up a mobile grooming parlour on the South Bank and showed five dogs being transformed from shaggy mutts into gorgeous canine superstars.

Every dog was given a new outfit and you can see two of ours: Our ‘English Gentleman’s’ olive green quilted coat, and a corduroy lead and collar from our brand new Spencer collection that’s not even been officially launched yet.

If you’d like to have a look at the show, just click this link here.

Hope you enjoy it,
Rabbit (Official muse at Love My Dog)

PS: The Spencer Corduroy Blue lead and collar isn’t out yet, but if you think you might like it just give the studio a call and I’ll make sure you know about it just as soon as it’s launched.

Hats off to Charity!

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Help us do a great job raising money for projects at home and abroad.


At last there’s a way we four-legged creatures ‘can’ine join in. I’ve persuaded Lilly, the head designer here at Love My Dog, to create a special edition of our Deerstalker hat in red velvet. And all profits go to charity.

Just like our famous tweed Deerstalker, it’s got a little brim, a button on top, and earflaps you can tie up or down. And it’s individually hand-crafted.

Help us by buying your faithful friend a Red Deerstalker. The more we sell, the bigger the cheque we’ll be handing over. With your help, who ‘nose’ how much we’ll raise.

Rabbit
(Official Love My Dog muse)

As well as our well known dog & cat charities we will also support: Young people & mental health, Young people & alcohol, Illegal trafficking of young people, Alzheimers , domestic abuse, mental health, young carers & local communities. If you have a Charity of your choice that you would also like us to donate to please get in touch.

Oh là là

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Luxury hotels and Paris is nothing new, but what about a luxury hotel for dogs? Recently opened by dog-behavior specialist and lifelong dog-lovers and Devi and Stan Burun, your pampered pooch can now experience heated pools, massage salons and a-la-carte menus.

‘Actuel Dogs’ is located in the suburb of Vincennes on the outskirts of Paris, with access to plenty of outdoor environments, including the woods.

With prices set between €26 and €35 your pooch can enjoy a full day in their luxury kennels where they’ll experience the finest care. Parisian pooch paradise?

Just call me mellow yellow

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Our yellow Fisherman’s Mac Raincoat from the Spring 2009 Collection is suddenly super popular. We’ve had to make up some extras here in the studio for all the orders that have been flooding in. Chloe, one of the assistant designers here has been cutting them out – look at all that wastage. Lilly was oohing and ah-ing over the colours and patterns it makes – but that’s because she sees everything as a designer. I just want to jump in and play!
Love Rabbit Official Muse of Love My Dog

Cutting the Fisherman's Mac Dog Raincoat in the Love My Dog studio

Give your dog the same look as Rabbit, just go online and treat them to a new designer dog raincoat and keep them warm, dry and snug.

Happy 2011!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Hi its Rabbit, the official Love My Dog studio muse. Wishing you all a Happy New Year & best wishes for 2011! Hope you all enjoyed my starring role in the Christmas video and here I am behind the scenes on my shoot day. Luckily I got lots of rest over the holiday and tons of Turkey too.

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