This month we have super-cute caring duo Pip and Arty as our Ethical Pets of the Month! Here are a few words from Darren, Pip and Arty’s dog-walking daddy:
We re-homed Pip & Arty three years ago this month. Their previous owners could no longer take care of them because their relationship was breaking down & they felt they were being neglected. We came across an advert explaining their situation & instantly fell in love with them.
This month we have a real bobby-dazzler as our Ethical Pet of the Month! Meet Charlie, a 5 year old yellow Labrador from Sheffield. Here are a few words from David (Charlie’s best friend):
We had always wanted a dog, but while living in London and working long hours meant it was impossible. Charlie represented a big change in our lives. We moved to Sheffield to set up our business running 5 a side football and netball leagues: working from home meant we could bring Charlie into our lives. We now live in a great city surrounded by the beautiful Peak District and having Charlie means we have the pleasure of enjoying walks in it every day.
Charlie is a big dog both in presence and personality. He is always up for a game. He loves playing tug, fetch and his favorite game is chase. He always wants to be chased! He has injected a huge amount fun into our lives and made us appreciate the simpler joys of life.
His very intelligent and sailed through puppy school top of the class… sometimes he’s a bit too intelligent for us! He knows loads of commands and tricks and loves showing them off, usually as it means a treat at the end of it all.
Charlie also loves swimming, collecting sticks from the water, camper van holidays, snoozing by the wood burner and he is always up for cuddle. However, as a Labrador he loves his food! He can be pretty greedy and if he ever wonders off on a walk, we know we will find him in scoffing some discarded sandwich or chips! The good news is his waist line is not an issue, as we are a very active house hold doing marathons and triathlons. He loves going for runs with us in the Peaks and open water swims, however, he is not so good on the bike!
He loves Yarrah dog food, both the Vegetarian and Chicken verities, and he has been eating ethically all his life. We decided to go down the ethical route as my girlfriend is a vegan, for this and many other reasons, we did not want Charlie eating meat every day.
If you like a game of football, like Charlie here, checkout Match Night, to find a mini-league near you. If football isn’t your thing, Match Night also run Indoor Cricket, Netball and Squash leagues. Sounds like fun!
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My daughter and I re-homed Bear after he had 3 previous owners during the first 11 months of his life – he had been returned to the the original breeders and then been bought ‘on impulse’. He was there for 2 weeks before this owner put him up to be re-homed again. He was a nervous little fella, although bonded with my daughter and myself immediately. He showed signs of being afraid of men, and was fiercely protective of us, so we took him for a few sessions with an amazing dog communicator and healer called Julia Meads, who worked wonders – Bear and I both literally floated out of those sessions!
We re-homed Flo when she was 14 weeks old from a really lovely family. They were finding having a puppy around quite stressful following a family bereavement – it was a hard decision for them to make, but at the end of the day they simply wanted her to go to a loving home who could provide her with everything she needed. She adores Bear and they are always together.
Bear will be 3 years old in April and is a big ‘toy and cuddles’ fan. They are best of friends: for example, if you throw a toy for them both, Flo will always get there first but she will always let Bear pick it up! He will return his favourite toy, a soft squeaky bagel (slightly random dog toy, I have to say!), and prod you with it to encourage you to throw it again. He is ‘fluff on a stick’ and has to be groomed constantly which he adores… he only has to spot his brush and he’s on his back! He gets a lot of attention on our walks, children have asked “is he a cat?” and “is he a lion?”!
Flo is now 14 months old and LOVES LIFE! She is full of energy, LOVES her food, she ‘sings’ when excited: she is inquisitive, clever and funny. She will happily sit and watch the television, especially if there are animals on the screen. Her party piece is her ‘commando crawl’ across the floor, always first thing in the morning. She’s a bit of a tease too and often wafts her bum around Bear’s face to get his attention – she has even been seen to do it to our cat, Blackie. She has very long legs, she’s often referred to as Tigger because she bounces up and down – especially when I’m serving up her dinner!
Flo and Bear are just so much fun, so loving… simply perfect companions. They encourage me to get out and about, as they are walked 3 time a day, and we have made some lovely friends this way. They make my day, EVERY day.
Jojo on the Ethical Pets products:
Every day they have a Vegan Mini Toothbrush on return from their morning walk, helping to keep their nashers clean, the cat usually appears at this point too! We have also tried them both on a couple of types of vegan wet food, after attending one of Anna’s inspirational talks on Vegan pets, and seeking her personal advice as they are both pretty sensitive when it comes to what I feed them. The vegan wet food wasn’t 100% successful, a few upset-tummies etc, but the Benevo Vegan Small Dog Dried Food is going okay so far! Also, we love the Wild Olive Tea-Tree Soap Bars – I have had to wash them twice this weekend due to the snow melting – I have never seen them so dirty – but now they both smell divine and their fur feels amazing! It’s much better than the shampoos and conditioners we used to get from the local pet shop 🙂
About JoJo JoJo, and her daughter Amber Lily, have lived in Abingdon, Oxfordshire for 2 years. She yearned to live in a rural environment, closer to her family and somewhere for Amber Lily to grow up within a friendly, safe community. Jojo works from home as a freelance graphic designer. Once fully installed in the countryside, she seized the opportunity to get a couple of new additions to he family – and now enjoys beautiful river-side and county walks with Amber Lily, Bear and Flo. The dogs are also a big fan of Jojo’s partner John, who they see as their “big play thing!”
Maggs appeared a few months back outside the house, looking forlorn and bedraggled. The neighbors had taken her into their porch and made a make-shift bed for her whilst we all tried to find out if she had an owner. One evening Charlie, my wife, took her in because she was in distress with fleas and the cold – and she’s been here to this day.
She impressed herself upon us with her warm nature and never gave up sitting at the door or coming to greet us… We had never had a pet before and were somewhat reluctant to take her on – but we did, and we have never regretted having her, although the first few weeks were tough because she really wasn’t very well. There were times we thought she might be too poorly to survive – but she made it and rewards our patience with loyalty.
She is an amazing cat – the vet has told us that she is 10 years old – but she is really still active and she clings to the human touch. When I’m working at home she stays by my side and sits on my lap whilst I am editing photos and videos. She sleeps in the kitchen at night and in the morning, as you open the kitchen door, you glimpse her curled paw around the door edge prizing it open to greet you. Although she has lost her miaow – she never stops trying.
Out of all the things in her lovely Ethical Pets hamper, she most adores her bed (the mouse is a close second). Because of her ordeal she craves security and warmth and spends much of her time in there, as you might imagine.
Andy Marshall is an award wining architectural photographer and an award wining social media wizard. He was kind enough to give us some help with social media when we founded Ethical Pets (and knew nothing of Twitter!). At first, we were surprised to hear that Andy had adopted a cat: his studio is tidy and meditative and his mind, totally focused on cameras and buildings… We couldn’t quite picture a noisy, demanding, mouse-dragging cat about the house. But then, we met Maggs… gentle, patient, neat and very affectionate: the perfect cat for a sensitive photographer type! If only she could give our cats some lessons…
My partner Paul & I decided to get a dog because he was in the RAF & was spending many months of the year away. We thought a dog would be good company for me & would also encourage us both out in the beautiful countryside. I wanted to rescue a dog as we felt that there were so many dogs who needed rehoming & we wanted to give one a second chance.
So, the hunt was on!
I found a sad, skinny looking girl on the website of the Bath Cats & Dogs Home. She was underweight & had sore, red & swollen eyes. But those eyes…
We spent time with her, & the decision was made: Rosie was coming home to us!
Her history was vague. She was 2 years old & we were to be her third owners. Her previous owners had taken her to the dogs home telling them she was a stray, but they then proceeded to fill the staff in on her entire medical history!
The first few months were difficult: Rosie had many behavioural problems as a result of not being socialized. She was very sensitive to dietary changes so we had to choose her food carefully. She also displayed some upsetting signs that she had been abused by her previous owners. We would take one step forward & two back: it took patience & time, but now, two years on, Rosie is the most loving, loyal, happy friend we could ask for.
She loves people & has learned how to play gently with other dogs. She is wiggly & always wagging her tail. She also spends almost 22 hours a day sleeping!
I work shifts & Rosie has made it her mission to be attentive to my strange sleeping patterns by always being by my side come day or night, fast asleep on her back, legs in the air snoring like a train!
Rosie is the most loving, loyal, happy friend we could ask for… She is wiggly & always wagging her tail!
Which brings me on to our friends at Ethical Pets! Sadly, Rosie began to suffer from unexpected & unexplained panic attacks. They were so distressing for her & we were exhausted from nights awake with her, trying to calm her down & reassure her. The attacks would last for hours & there seemed to be no way of calming her down.
I was reluctant to medicate her as this was just masking the problem rather than dealing with it & so I began to look for an alternative, natural & ethical solution. This is where I found Ethical Pets & their Mucky Pup Calming and Soothing Massage Oil. It took a few nights to totally kick in but I could see almost immediately that she was starting to relax. By the third night she had begun to present herself for her doggy massage before bed! I had discussed Rosie’s problems at length with Anna who was able to suggest some new products that they had recently discovered. She kindly sent some samples off for us to try.
In our goody bag (along with a yummy vegan doggy treat!) was a Pet Remedy Plug-in Diffuser. Pet Remedy is made with a mixture of herbs that have a natural de-stressing effect on animals that is also non-sedating. I can honestly say we haven’t had any further problems with Rosie’s anxiety: she has returned to the happy, chilled out bed slug we love dearly… & I can’t tell you the relief of getting a good nights sleep ourselves!