Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Good news for dogs and toddlers!

Research performed at the Kuopio University Hospital in Finland has suggested that babies (up to one year of age) can boost their immune system by being in the company of dogs. Apparently this is because the dogs will bring dirt and allergens in from the big bad world outside and the wee ones will be exposed to germs early on in life which will boost their immune systems.

397 children were tracked for this purpose.

There are a number of articles that have been published with regard to this research, and you can read them here :

Here's to healthy babies and happy dogs!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 27 August 2012



We had a real disaster yesterday in that the website that hosted the survey was hacked into and completely trashed

(Kwiksurvey have reported this to the relevant authorities but they cannot guarantee that everything will be recovered)

However, the GOOD news is that we downloaded ALL of the completed surveys just hours before it crashed, thereby saving all the data to our own pc’s (almost 600 surveys!!)

We have also put a mirror of the survey onto ‘esurveypro.com’ where it can be completed, just as before.

The new link is :

Friday, 17 August 2012

Away days!

We've been elsewhere for a couple of weeks but are now back and will be posting again. Stay tuned and keep coming back.
The survey is still ongoing, with over 600 responses now - keep 'em coming folks. Thanks to everyone who has completed one so far.

Here is the link again :

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


In the middle of a busy small city, a seagull was trying to make a meal of a still-living pigeon.  We couldn’t stand to watch it, and, rightly or wrongly, we shooed off the seagull and stood watch to make sure it didn’t come back to finish off the pigeon.  After an initial stagger around, the pigeon steadied and walked over to a shop doorway, seemingly not too badly injured.  Perhaps a spell of rest would see it recover.  Along comes a young woman pushing a pram, with a boy of around 7 trailing along beside her.  He kicked the injured pigeon.  Maybe the horror on our faces made the mother even more vociferous in her chastisements.  The boy quickly became tearful, and hopefully he will remember the incident and will never repeat it.  What makes a child want to do something like that?  The seagull was at least only trying to get a meal.

Most recently with Abby

Abby is in much better condition than she was just a few months ago, both physically and mentally.  After three months of raw food, in the beginning mostly minced raw green tripe but now including minced raw chicken, turkey, rabbit, lamb with the addition of an occasional egg, we are now introducing small amounts of cottage cheese, cooked offal such as hearts, and marrow bones.  These all caused extremely loose bowels in the past, but don’t do so now.  Even a hastily snatched piece of seaweed recently – a runny poo certainty in the past – had no ill effects.  She is now allowed on clear parts of the beach without a muzzle!  We are still giving fish oil capsules as well as cooked vegetables.  If we have rice left over from a meal we give her a small amount of that. Gradually we will introduce more variations to her diet.

Mentally Abby is now aware of her surroundings, more alert and more willing to engage in interaction with us.  We notice her doing a lot more sniffing out on walks than she used to – she used to just plod along behind us, only stopping if she found something edible.  Her coat is much better after a recent heavy moult.  The greasiness has gone.    Our main concern with her now is that her back legs remain quite stiff and this is something we are going to look at more carefully now that she’s stable.

We think that Abby’s turnaround is the result of two things:  one is her diet, and the other is that it has just taken this long – a year and a half – for her to feel confident and stress-free.  One thing probably has an effect on the other;  if she is stressed then this affects her digestion, and if her diet is not easily digested, this prolongs the stress.

She still looks a bit sad!  She is grey around her muzzle – much more so than Cairid who is supposed to be about the same age, and she is very much less active than Cairid.  But she shows affection now, and interest in her surroundings.  That’s a big step forward in our book.