We spotted so many great things at the recent Discover Dogs show, one of which was Simba Jones’ range of coastal themed dog jackets, which take their inspiration from the designer’s childhood on the East coast of Africa through to her current location – Aberdovey on the West coast of Wales.
Made from recycled sail outer and paired with quilted stripey cotton lining (in red or blue), it's a functional and funky piece of pet-wear, which is warm, water resistant, tough, high vis, easy to clean and perfect for those ‘blow away the cob webs’ walks on the coast. We really like the addition of the bright numbers, which are stamped near the dog’s hindquarters in a choice of colours – blue, red, black, fluro orange and fluro pink – very Barkwatch, sorry Baywatch! Jackets can be customised with your dog’s name or with additional numbers for those of you with a substantial pack! Prices start at £55 from Simbajones.com. Whilst browsing Simba’s site also take a look at her gorgeous range of tribal themed dog collars.
The 2012 Olympics is less than two weeks away and whilst it’s not exciting us as much as the recent Canine Games, it’s going to be impossible to ignore its presence. We’ve dug deep to muster up some inspiration for the event and we’ve found it – linking the featurd sports to dogs!
For athletic types or dogs, who like their style simple, enter the American Apparel Flex Fleece hoody, which features a Kangaroo pocket (perfect for storing a little treat or emergency poo-bag) and an opening for a lead clasp on the back. Available in XS to L in a choice of 11 colours and sizes XS to L. Get your dog hoody for £12 from the American Apparel website or your nearest American Apparel store.
Play tennis doggie-style with a good old game of 'fetch n throw' with the mother of all dog tennis balls - The Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Tennis ball, which is a heavy duty dog toy capable of withstanding champion chompers. Priced £10.49 from Muddy Paws.
Give a nod to the sailing team and get your dog displaying their national pride with this cool and classy Britannia Sailor Knot Collar, priced £33.99 from Purple Bone.
And whilst the UK Judo team will be grappling and throwing away in hope of Olympic glory, the UK Dog Judo duo, Roy and Rexley, are up to more antics in their latest episode ‘Proper Magic’.
At first it seemed that the Fido fun wasn’t going to go according to plan for the inaugural Canine Games when the threat of bad weather switched the event from the park to Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club (BGWMC). However, as plan B’s go, the canine competitors took this change in events in their four-legged stride. Now the last time we visited the BGWMC, we marveled at a live chainsaw juggler (yes really) and a Chinese Elvis so a large and lively pack of pups sniffing around each other’s fancy-dressed behinds looked right at home in this popular East London haunt.
Kicking things off in the opening of opening ceremonies was tower-high, Jonny Woo, who was sporting a flouncy Dorothy Gale number and none other than Mugly (pictured top), the newly crowned World's Ugliest Dog Mugly, who dare we say is actually v. cute. Like a true pro, Mugly gave a great show for his legion of ‘dogler’ fans many of which had turned up especially to shake his paw.
With the event 'officially' opened, the participating pooches were put through their paces in contests such as Dog Save The Queen (punk pooches), Most Patriotic, Hottest Haute Dog (fluffy fashionistas), Best Eastender and not forgetting Stars in their Eyes for best celebrity lookalike won by Lady Gaga above..
To better their chances of winning during the day, it was outfit and accessory changes a plenty with just a few of the ensembles including Queen of Hearts, a Dogmaid (dog mermaid if you are not down with the 'dingo'), a Dogpilla (dog caterpillar natch), Lady Bug, Bumble Bee, Batdog and a doggysaurus! Each winning pair accepted their glory with laps of honour and gusto to rival Crufts, which made the games a genuine joy to watch.
Sadly the venue switch meant that a few things we’d been looking forward to such as Pawditch House – a private members club for very important dogs - were omitted from the programme but what the organisers managed to pack inside four wall was worth its weight in doggie biscuits. Cake Doggy Dog had fashioned a sweet masterpiece of games mascot Tolly the Brussels Griffon, pet portrait illustrator Alexandra Rolfe was on hand for canine commissions, Miss Ballooninverse conjured up pooch-themed inflated delights, the Dogs Trust were promoting responsible dog ownership with their free micro-chipping service and lovely ladies from local crafty place Fabrications clicked their knitting needles to make knitted dogs plus lots, lots more.
Rain or shine – this not for profit show did go on and here’s hoping that they raised a few quid for the numerous animal charities in the process. Unlike the impending games set to take over the country, we’re hoping that The Canine Games won’t be a once in a lifetime opportunity!
In the main the photos are courtesy of Mrsimonsmith.co.uk, our own or supplied by the people credited in this article.
More than 50 daring dogs took to the waves last weekend (June 16) for the annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition on Imperial Beach, San Diego, CA and even managed to break some world records to boot (pictured in preparation above). Now in its' seventh year, this paw-pular event, watched by thousands of spectators from across the country and reported by media all over the world, gives each competing pooch or team 10-minutes to catch his or her top two waves and each entrant is scored on confidence levels, length of ride and overall ability to “grip it and rip it.”
Winners included Abbie Girl, an Australian Kelpie in the small dogs heat, Ricochet, a Golden Retriever in the large dog heat (pictured above eyeing up the waves in her doggy-shades) and Zoey, a Jack Russell Terrier, who won the tandem heat with her owners Scott & Tyler Chandler. Aside from the regular competition, hosted to support the ASPCA® (the US equivalent of the RSPCA), this year's event saw the daring dogs and in some case - their owners - break three Guinness Book of World Records including ‘Most amount of dogs surfing on one board at one time with a human’ – pictured below.
Check out footage of some of the surfing dogs in action …
Should you and your dog be feeling inspired by your American counterparts don’t be put off by thinking that surfing is only for the sunny beaches of California and Oz. There is actually a substantial surfing community in this country including Devon, Cornwall, Bournemouth, Wales and even unlikely locations like Nottingham and Durham. Surfing is great for your dog’s balance and strength so we’ve got some steers to get your doggy paddling in the right direction.
If your dog’s only contact with water to date has been his bath then you might want to try getting them used to the waves first before attempting to pop them on a board. Take things slow with a simple game of fetch in the direction of the water. Once they’ve got their water wings there are a few things to consider…
Have plenty of fresh water to hand and don’t let them stay in the water for long periods of time – salt water is dehydrating and can cause your dog to get a sore tum if you are not careful.
Play it safe with a Dog Life Jacket, as even the toughest of dogs can get caught out in strong currents. We found some pretty cool ones while ‘surfing’ the net – the EzyDog Life Jacket from Just The Dog - a highly durable doggy life jacket made to the same standards as human life jackets. Available in extra small (£28.49) through to extra large (£43.79) plus P&P, get your dog his or hers in a choice of red, yellow, khaki camouflage or pink camo.
Get boarded up! Soft-top, foam boards are best as they are easier for the dog to grip and it won’t hurt as much if they get hit. Long boards are good to start with as they are easier to balance on but as your pooch turns pro – switch to a boogie board if you have a small dog. It’s also a good idea to get the dog used to the board on dry land first before taking to the waves. Try things like serving their food from it and encourage them to sit, jump or lie on the board – rewarding them with a treat when they do so.
Take to the water! When you feel like your dog is used to the board, it’s a good idea for the two of you to play around in shallow water. Gently push them through the water on the board, letting them find their balance and getting used to falling off – having you there will make them feel safe. Once you can see they are feeling comfortable with their surroundings and the board, push them into a small wave and let them go! After that it’s simply practice make pawfect!
And for those that are keen to perfect their craft, we found a book on Amazon called The Dog's Guide to Surfing: Hanging Ten with Man's Best Friend and we recommend you check out the website of one of this year’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition winners – Surf Dog Riochet, as she has some step by step videos to mastering the waves.
As previously blogged, we’re not one for the Olympics but after recently picking up a flyer for a summer event, which throws our favourite four-legged types into the mix, we’ve got the sporting bug – well sort of. But forget the official torch relay, our flame is burning for The Canine Games, a ‘competitive’ canine festival for dogs and dog lovers, which will take place in Haggerston Park in London’s trendy East End on Saturday 7th July - and Barkarama will be there to capture all the glory!
Being organised to support a host of dog charities great and small, this brand spanking new festival is offering open arms to dogs of any size, ability and background to compete in a host of sport and novelty competitions alongside a fun-packed, eclectic schedule of dog-themed entertainment to make owners and doglers squeal with delight. Already getting our tail wagging is the promise of the Fastest Wag Per Minute competition, a Hot Dog Eating Contest, Bone Appetit’s Golden Afternoon Doggy Tea Party, Best Baby Puppy (babies dressed up as puppies), Woofing White Weddings (where they will marry you and your dog!!!), the Knit Your Own Dog tent, Doga (yoga for dogs) and Pawditch House where you will be able to watch Very Important Dogs slurp Mutt MockTails and throw some shapes in the Disco Doggie DanceOff plus lots, lots more.
We are catching up with the organiser of this Fido friendly festival extravaganza later this week to see what else we can sniff out but until then you can find out more at TheCanineGames.com, on Facebook/CanineGames or on Twitter @TheCanineGames. See you there folks!