Do you think of your dog as a family member ? 

Treat them as small humans with fur and four feet? 

If so how does this subconsciously affect your expectations of them? 
 You don't have to spend much time in a family environment with two dogs, to realise they may well have very different character traits. However when we fall into the trap of describing these traits as "personalities" are we doing them a disservice? 

Personality is defined as  

"the quality of being a person; existence as a self-conscious human being; personal identity." 

 When we describe a dogs characteristics as personality, we personify them. This in turn raises our expectations of them, to a level they may struggle to match

Going through life with 2 or 4 feet can be no fun, if we never live up to the expectations of those around us. Perhaps we could re-frame our thoughts and describe a dog in terms of his or her ...


...accepting your dogs uniqueness but also remembering your loyal friend is, a dog.
When we think in these terms, it becomes easier to accept a dogs limitations.

 No matter how much you train your pet, chances are he or she will still find squirrels distracting. 

No amount of training will educate your dog to wake up one morning and decide it's time to start a diet or join a gym. Lots of decisions, we have to make for our furry friends, and that's ok, because they are dogs. 

So what "dognality" traits does your dog have? Loyal, smart, friendly, shy, loveably daft or independent. 

 Dognality comes into it's own, as we consider a characteristic such as independence. Some dogs are happy to amuse themselves, watch out of the window and snooze. They are free spirits. But unlike independent humans, an independent dog still needs feeding, grooming and providing with all life sustaining sustenance, but not too much, that they become overweight. They are not independent in the same sense as humans, but when we fall in to the trap of thinking they are, we raise our expectations to high. 

Loving a dog is so much easier 
when we manage our expectations of them.
I originally wrote the contents of this post as a response to my son-in-law, when asked to share some thoughts for a book he was writing. If you can see sense in my take on dognality, you would probably enjoy reading his book. The Woofable Guide, download it...HERE

What to feed your dog


We predominantly feed our dogs Eden Holistic Food and have don for 4 years.

"Launched in September 2012 it is the first pet food with an 80% Meat content. 
The remaining 20% is made up from Fruit, Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals. 
Basically it is all the foods a dogs ancestors would have had access to and therefore, what a dogs digestive system is designed to cope with. 
Note, Eden Food contains NO grain or Gluten which is cheap and often used to bulk out commercial food, but has no food value to a dog." (from Edens Website)

We add warm water to the Eden, this softens it slightly but more importantly releases the meaty smell. Dogs don't find things attractive based on sight and colour, rather aroma. 

Within the last 12 months we have also started to use tinned food from Lily's Kitchen. 

"We believe that Lily’s Kitchen food is simply the best that you can feed your pet. We use healthy, natural and nutritious ingredients to help keep your furry friend in tip top condition, and never use any nasties like meatmeal. Everything we put into our proper food is carefully sourced and naturally wholesome, like the fresh meat we insist on. It’s why our recipes all smell and taste so delicious, and why our pets love it so much." (from Lilly's website)

 We added Lily's because Max had a bad month being ill regularly. Several visits to the vets including an overnight stay could not determine a cause. Other than a potential bug or picking up something he shouldn't whilst out walking we there seemed no reason for his problems. He lost about a Kg in weight and we considered all ways to gain this back. Anyone who has ever fed their dog Eden, will tell you, if you overfeed it will cause them to have diarrhea, the last thing we wanted.

We searched the internet to find an alternate food to give them, but just couldn't find anything that we thought, came up to Edens standard and price. Then we found Lily's Kitchen. Rated over 4.5 on the website All about dog Food . As a company they seemed to havee same ideals as Eden.

So we bought a pack of tins and tried adding to Max's regular Eden portions. Effectively increasing his food intake by 50%. Within 2 months he replaced the 1kg he had lost plus put on an extra 1kg for reserves! At 11kg with a trim waistline, he is probably now at his ideal weight. Jessie also likes an occasional spoon full on her Eden too.

We believe that we now have a choice of two excellent foods that are keeping our dogs fit, healthy and active.

Choosing food for your dog can be a minefield, which isn't helped by so many conflicting views. Ultimately you have to do your research and choose the best you can. Ours dogs have little choice in their diet so its our responsibility to consider and pick wisely.

Jessie and Max pictures by the talented Furrtography studios

Morton of Pitmilly - Review

As a family we have been going to Morton of Pitmilly since 2009. 
It was during our stay here in 2012 that we conclude an ongoing debate about adopting a dog.
We spent most of that week looking on the internet for a suitable adoptee. Our drive home from St Andrews to Manchester took a diversion through Doncaster, to see a litter of puppies. 

You can't just view puppies !

Jessie was found and came home with us. 

So why do we come back to Pitmilly so often? Because it's a luxury escape from the world, with a relaxed, dog friendly atmosphere. Set in the middle of fields of arable crops, the resort started with beautifully converted, old farm buildings, set around a courtyard. we have stayed in 3 or 4 of these cottages.

As we have come back each year, we have seen the addition of a new, elegantly designed free standing block of 6 more apartments. An indoor tennis court, gym and treatment rooms.

But of all the attractions, our biggest love is Kingsbarns Beach
5 minutes by car or a 15 min walk away. Acres of pristine sand and sea, comparable to any beach in Cornwall. Differing only from southern beaches, in that Kingsbarns is often empty, except a few walkers and a couple of families. 

I think it's one of Jessie and Max favourite places in the whole world.

Our latest visit we had 9 adults and 2 dogs in our apartment with enough room for us all. Although it was early January the cottage was warm and the sky was clear.

On arrival there is always a bag of treats and a tennis ball each for Jessie an Max.
All of the bedrooms are en-suite and big enough for the humans and 2 free roaming cockapoos.

If you are not a beach dog there are miles of woodland trails that have been planted around the fields by the Pitmilly team. Jessie and Max also like to watch the humans play on the outdoor tennis court or a fun game of cornhole. A walk to the chicken pens is also a favoured activity of Jessie. 


 With underfloor heating throughout the new accommodation, anywhere is an ideal spot for a dog to snooze. With all the running and playing sleep comes easily even when you are at the table.


There are lots of activities, 
with only a few areas like the indoor sports and play area off limits to dogs.

If you want a quiet evening, try a board game or movie.

There is plenty of room on the Sofa, if you get there first !

Don't want to cook ? There is a selection of gourmet frozen meals in the reception area.

And no trip to St. Andrews is complete without a Fudge Doughnut for Fisher and Donaldson !

So when you are planning your next dog friendly holiday, forget Cornwall GO NORTH !

You may even bump into our roving reporter Jessie..

Groom time

You don't own a Cockapoo for very long, before you discover that you need to get to know a dog groomer you can trust ! All the pictures in this post were impromptu snaps taken just after they came back from their grooming session yesterday.

If you see other pictures on our blog that make the dogs look well groomed, that will be thanks to Kate at Mucky Pups.

Cockapoo pups have a finer coat than their adult friends and don't seem to matt as much. However as they mature, their underfur kicks in and they knot and matt at the drop of a hat. Wearing a harness or towel drying after a walk or bath seems to encourage the matting.

As Max hit his 6 month mark his fur was about 3" long, he looked cool with a shaggy hair do.  Unfortunately shaggy just is not practical during a cold, wet and muddy winter. 

There is nothing like being jumped on, by a wet and soggy chocolate coloured mop.

So now, like Jessie, he sports a short Teddy Bear cut. Both have really short fur on their chest and stomachs as it is much easier to keep them clean like this. They now have a cut every 7 weeks.

The first two grooming sessions Jessie had, were reasonable at "The Groom Room" within "Pets at Home" The cuts were ok, if a little expensive, but we didn't much like the production line atmosphere and caging they did. When she returned from her third groom with bald patches, we decided we needed a better groomer that we could trust and depend on.

After a bit of searching we came across Kate, as a referral from another Cockapoo owner. 

Kate runs "Mucky Pups" and works from a new shop in Oldham 

Mucky Pups offers everything you could want from a grooming service.

As well as being a qualified groomer, Kate treats ours dogs like pets.

Although not thrilled with being groomed they are always excited to greet her when we arrive.
They are never caged and wander round the grooming area

We drop the two of them off together and when we pick them up, they look pristine. 

Mucky Pups is that good, Kate is so full she hasn't been able to  new customers for 12 months and has a waiting list.

We strongly recommend every Cockapoo owner find a good groomer that you can trust,after all you will be using their services regularly for several years !!

A Guest post by the Author of "The Woofable Guide"

We (Jessie and Max)...

...really, really, really, really, really love being the poster dogs for

'The Woofable Guide: 
7 Steps to Becoming Your Dog's Best Friend'.  

The colours, the photos and the layout make us look even more fabulous than we normally do! 

What we love most though, is the awesome Principles the book helps our Human friends to understand. It makes our job of making them happy, much easier!
There is really important and thought provoking activities that you can do with your dog this week. Like, finding out exactly how you show love to your dog and how you can show it better - so that we stick around for longer! 

Really clever things like how to set training and obedience goals with your dog and accomplish them everytime. Even though we may get distracted by squirrels and tennis balls far too easily and far too often... ;)

Principles like Understanding why humans pretend we talk in our heads. 
Or what we'd write if we could post Facebook statuses....? 


They've put in really cute and useful calendars/ tables and posters for you to stick on your walls!

So, we would love for you to grab a copy and join our humans in being the best friend a dog could wish for! What do you say?

They've even given you, our friendly Facebook followers a NEW YEAR's 20% Off Discount!

Woof! Woof! 

Quote JESSIE2018 when ordering to get a 20% discount

When you've got your copy - let us know what you think in the comments!

A guest post by The Woofable Guide Author : Tobias Nolan
Photography by :Samantha Jones

Beck Hall - Review

We have just come back from a great midweek break at Beck Hall Hotel, Malham. 

We found out about Beck Hall through the Channel 4 series "Four in a bed" and were intrigued by how dog friendly it seemed to be.

It certainly is 5* when it comes to dog acceptance. If your furry friends are use to being treated as family, they will be right at home here. 

We stayed for two nights on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast tariff. 
Our room was called Upper Riverside and as the name suggests was on the first floor. The rooms are comfortable and we especially liked the hard floor as it meant we didn't stress about paw prints. The en-suite had a good shower and looked to have recently been refurbished.

Above our bedroom with its beautiful 4 poster, Below the view from our window and the en-suite.

Above the Bistro adjacent to the reception. Here we ate our evening meal and breakfast.
Below the snug, with its real fire and comfy seats, ideal to relax after a long walk. 
The snug also has an "Honesty bar"

Note that Jessie and Max were given their own mats to lie on,
 so they didn't have to lie on the stone floor!

While staying, there were several other dogs. A golden retriever, a couple of Cockapoos and various other sized dogs. There was no barking or trouble between the dogs. 
At one point during an evening meal there were 4 or five dogs quietly sat under their owners tables. This may be off putting for some but even though we are generally allergic to non cockapoos, we didn't have any problems.

If excellent accommodation is not enough to tempt you, the Yorkshire Dales are stunning 
and Beck Hall is a great location to walk the area.



We would not hesitate to recommend Beck Hall to anyone. 
When, not if we visit again, the only things I would change are:

I would pack the dogs things in a case not a storage box, you have to walk from the car park over a bridge to the hotel. 

We would possibly not book an evening meal, the food portions were generous and we felt obliged to eat all 3 courses !!! 
Probably put on more weight than we walked off !!

Beck Hall on Facebook HERE