Monday, 13 February 2017

Mike & Scrabble in Dogs Monthly

Hot on the heels of February's Your Dog article featuring Mike and Scrabble, comes Dogs Monthly …  and there's something very familiar about the interviewer …

Pick up a copy of March's Dogs Monthly
I'm sure you're all familiar with Mike&Scrabble by now (but head over to the H&H website if not!), and we have some great stuff lined up this year from them both. In the meantime, both Scrabble, and her Human, Mike Dicks, are being interviewed, photographed, quizzed, and queried in the doggy press.

Mike&Scrabble in Feb's Your Dog
Dogs Monthly's March issue features a very interesting, open, and revealing interview with Mike, covering the background to how Mike&Scrabble came to be. It's a great interview: click here to read, or better still, pick up a copy of March's Dogs Monthly.

As chance would have it, Mike was interviewed for Dogs Monthly by non other than Catherine Pickles – possibly better-known to Hubble & Hattie readers as Worzel's Mum! Anyone who's read even a small portion of one of Worzel's books will know that being Worzel's 'Momager' is a pretty full-time job, so it's great to see Catherine has been able to squeeze in an interview with Mike, and give us a chance to enjoy some of her fantastic journalism.

As we've mentioned, this year will see some great new projects from Mike&Scrabble … and Worzel, so watch this space.

And keep up the great work, Mike&Scrabble!

And Catherine, too.

And Worzel, of course.  

Mike&Scrabble – A guide to training your new Human is available now in Hardback and eBook formats.

Margaret Green Animal Rescue – 2017 Events

Margaret Green is providing plenty of opportunities to get out and about in 2017 … and give a helping hand at the same time

Founded in 1965, Margaret Green Animal Rescue cares for over 1200 animals each year across its three centres. Very close to Hubble & Hattie's heart (we even made a nice Christmas donation), and very close to H&H HQ, being just a few miles away at Church Knowle, Dorset, where it has a 35 acre rehoming and visitor centre, in the heart of the beautiful Purbeck countryside.

Why not pop along to one of its 2017 events for a fun day out? There's something for every age and animal lover …
  • 9th April  ::  Sponsored Walk  ::  Devon
  • 9th-23rd April  ::  Easter At Church Knowle  ::  Dorset
  • 15th- 20th May  ::  Margaret Green Week Everywhere!  ::  Event to be added very soon for the 20th May
  • 11th June  ::  Wingletang Companion Dog Show  ::  Devon
  • 6th August  ::  Companion Dog Show  ::  Dorset 
  • 3rd September  ::  Tri-4-Rescue  ::  Devon
  • 24th September  ::  Country Fayre  ::  Dorset

Of course, every year is a busy year at Margaret Green Animal Rescue, and planning and running events can be very time consuming … so why not come along and volunteer?!

The help and support of volunteers, at events, and at its centres, is always welcome, and really does make a difference. Tasks include such things as …
  • Helping set up event fields 
  • Manning stalls
  • Serving refreshments and cake 
  • Helping in the car park 
  • Baking for our event 
  • Selling raffle tickets 
  • Face painting
… and a whole lot more, of course!

Get in touch now with Jazmin on 01929 477074, or email, and see how you can help … and have fun and help animals at the same time!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Mike&Scrabble, Your Dog, and a new video …

Your Dog is giving away copies of Mike&Scrabble, and we have a new video interview with Mike Dicks

Mike&Scrabble have been getting much attention on social media, and now the doggy press is getting involved. Your Dog magazine is featuring Mike&Scrabble in its February issue, and is GIVING AWAY TEN COPIES!

You can read the article  hereand you can enter the competition by picking up a copy of February's Your Dog … you can even do it from the Your Dog website!

Click the spread above to read the article, and pick up a copy of February's Your Dog magazine to enter the competition!

When in Dorset …

When Mike brought Scrabble down to deepest Dorsetshire to meet the Hubble & Hattie team, we wasted no time in getting out the camera and microphone.

In this latest video, Mike talks all-things Scrabble … how Mike became Scrabble's human … how Mike's training is coming on … what Mike and Scrabble do when they hang out together, to name just a few questions!

View the full video below, or on our YouTube channel.

We've got some very exciting new stuff coming from the Mike & Scrabble kennel this year, but you can get a copy of this great little book RIGHT NOW, in BookBook and eBook formats, from our website and all good vendors.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Moooovie of the week

Occasionally, a YouTube video comes along that just has to be watched. Over and over. Again.

If you've not come across this recent YouTube video then you're in for a real treat!

Now, I love cows. They're surprisingly intelligent and have quite complex social lives, forming longterm friendships and social hierarchies (they even develop grudges against other cows!). They're also highly curious creatures, and love to investigate things, and people.

Of course, being a cow has its own issues … where to find the best grass … where the best spot in the milking parlour is … and, just as importantly, getting a good back scratch. George Saunders, a photographer who specialises in farm machinery and farm equipment (we like him already!), recently posted a video of cows using a home-made scratching device, and I just can't stop watching. It's so good, I think it's Mooovie of the Week. Sorry.

There's something deeply satisfying about watching these bovines checking-out the scratching device, and having a good ol' back and head scratch.

WARNING! It's very, very hypnotic. Hubble & Hattie cannot be held responsible for any time (hours…) spent watching this video. You have been warned.

And – just in case you're in the frame of mind to recreate your own back scratcher with your own menagerie (hey… I'd make one of these for me), then check out George's video – Building the Cow Scratcher 2000 – and see how the device that brings so much hypnotic back-scratching pleasure was made!

Right … I'm off to the hardware store … I got me a project!

How to talk to your dog …

We all talk to our dogs … but do they understand us?

Even though we tell our dogs stuff, ask them questions, and speak to them like a human, they don't really know what we're saying … do they?

Dogs are pretty unique in the animal kingdom, in that their association with humans goes waaaay back … so far, in fact, that their behaviour and cognition has developed in remarkable ways just by being around us for so long (let's face it, it must be pretty frustrating for them!). Whilst they've yet to learn to speak to us in our language, it appears that they have a better comprehension of us than we may have thought.

This fascinating article from The Conversation reveals some interesting stuff about how the way we talk to our dogs affects their cognition, and how dogs may have evolved communications skills akin to those of human children.

We all know our dogs understand every word we say (*ahem*) … but do we understand them? We've plenty of books that help us understand our dogs better: Dog Speak by Christiane Blenski is a great place to start. This pocket-sized, jargon-free guide to the language of dogs is useful in all life situations. In fact, it's so good, it's part of the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors' Course Reading List!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Turn your dog’s favourite pastime into your favourite hobby

Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual

Next spring sees the release of a great new book that just might turn your pooch into a genuine sniffer hound …

Dogs love to sniff and smell their way through the day, and Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual will guide you through the steps that will help you teach your dog how to detect a particular scent, no matter where it's located. Hidden in a bag, under a sofa, on a car, or up a tree, searching for this scent will turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby. 

Author Pam Mackinnon has been a professional dog trainer for almost 30 years. An ex-dog handler for HM Customs, a trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and now the behaviourist for Wood Green Animal Shelters (not to mention puppy trainer for Dr Ian Dunbar), Pam now focusses exclusively on scentwork.

Combining her practical and behavioural skills, Pam founded Talking Dogs Scentwork®, the UK's most successful scentwork training programme that teaches all dogs to become detector dogs.

In Detector dog, Pam takes you through each stage of scentwork, beginning with introducing your dog to a specific scent, starter searches, and on to advanced work, both indoors and out.

Brain training beats boring walks every time, and aided by illustrations and full-colour photographs of many different breeds at work, Detector dog opens up a whole new world of activities for you and your dog to enjoy together … an endlessly rewarding process for dog and owner: positively addictive!

Detector dog is due in April 2017, and features …

  • Training techniques suitable for all dogs – not just working dogs 
  • An emphasis on working in co-operation with your dog: true teamwork!
  • Clear, coherent and comprehensive breakdown of how to teach scentwork
  • Dedicated to searching for specific scents, rather than confusing a dog with tracking
  • Scent teams are taken on a journey, from starter to advanced searches
  • Addresses handling skills front and centre as keys to success
  • Includes a great variety of ideas for searches, indoors and out
  • Technical and practical explanations for searching in specific ways 
  • Reveals how safe searching is integral to good scentwork practice
  • Based on operational skills combined with training and behavioural knowledge

Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual

Detector dog guides you through the steps that will help you teach your dog how to detect a particular scent, no matter where it's found. Hidden in a bag, under a sofa, on a car, or up a tree,  searching for this scent will turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby. 

HH4963 • Paperback • 22x17cm • £12.99 • 112 pages • 79 colour and b&w pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845849-63-4 • UPC: 6-36847-04963-8

Visit the Hubble & Hattie website for further details

Monday, 14 November 2016

From Summer Hot dog to Winter Frankfurter

In this post, we're handing over to our friends at Kyrenia Animal Rescue for a heartwarming tale of hounds and homes …

It is always nice when we help to relocate pets – but even nicer when the pet was homed from our Rescue Centre.

Tinky had come into KAR after having being found just lying in the rain in a ditch – seemingly having given up trying to find somewhere warm and dry to rest. She was such a sad, sorry, little, wet and cold dog.

Tinky had only been with KAR a few months, when she caught the eyes of Sylvie and Heinz, from Germany. They already had a KAR rescue dog, Arap, who they homed in 2006, and wanted another to share their home with. Everyone was delighted when, after a few false hopes and starts, and, sadly, them not being able to have their original chosen dog, they were drawn like magnets to Tinky as soon as they saw her. 

Throughout the long, hot summer, with temperatures in the high 30s, Tinky was told “not long now.” When she was lying at the back of her kennel with her friends trying to keep cool in the shade, the message was “soon be time.” When she was having a bath, she was reminded “this feels like the rain that you need to get used to." For Tinky, it was a very long, humid summer – she was one of the many Hot Dogs at KAR.

At last, as the summer began to draw to a close and the temperature dropped, it was Tinky's time. Time for her to travel. Time for her to go to Germany. 

It was decided that Tinky would travel as an “accompanied pet” with Turkish Airlines, as opposed to travelling as a cargo booking. For some pets/owners this can be a cheaper alternative to cargo bookings, but it is not possible for pets flying into the UK.

Her flight was booked, all of the paperwork was finished, and Tinky set off. Owners often worry about how their pets will be handled during their loading, flight, and offloading, so it's nice to see from these photos the careful handling of Tinky by Ercan ground team. 
KAR Pet Travel has worked hard with everyone at Ercan who deals with their travelling pets, and these photos show that the hard work has paid off – Tinky was carefully carried onto the aircraft and strapped into her special area of the hold. 

Ground staff, Captain, and cabin crew liaised about Tinky, and the necessary reassurances for her travel were given. Tinky was off – she had a short transit, and a change of planes at Istanbul, and then continued on her journey to Germany.  

After completing all of the entry processes and checks on entry to Germany, it was time … time for Tinky to be taken out of her travel box and be with Sylvie. There were tears all around, but they were happy tears. Tinky was delighted to be snuggled up in Sylvie’s arms – after all, no one had told her that this new place was going to be so cold!

She had a comfort break and walk outside – and even had time for a quick stop at McDonalds, before setting off for an hour's journey to her new house – all of the time being told “This is it Tinky – this is Germany – this is now Home.” 

This is her new house, and her new friend, Arap.

She will even have a lake of her own to cool down in – won’t her KAR Hot Dog friends be envious!

Tinky won’t be a Summer Hot Dog again: she's now a Winter Frankfurter through and through!

Make sure you keep up with all the latest news from KAR via facebook, and its website.