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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Worzel's Quite Very Actual Busy Summer

Ever since becoming an internet sensation with his acclaimed bloggy fing, Worzel Wooface has been on the fast-track to being a sellebberty dog. And the past few months have been especially busy, as he has had not one, but two new books published!


Of course, if you're an avid follower of all things Hubble & Hattie, you'll know about Worzel, but if you are new to this literary Lurcher, let's quickly get you up to speed. Taken in by Hounds First Sighthounds Rescue, and then adopted into his forever home by Catherine Pickles and her famberly, Worzel sees it as his very himportant duty to be an ambassador for rescue pups. And he's doing a fins job of it, too! In addition to his bloggy fing – which was a finalist in the 2015 UK Blog Awards – he has a collie-um-num in his local newspaper, and a total of four published works!

Three Quite Very Actual Cheers for Worzel Wooface! is his latest literary offering, which details his third year. The list of adventures he has embarked on is endless: the famberly's bid to save Worzel's favourite beach, heading out on a foreign holiday, and how to handle a foster brother, to name but a few! 

Reviews are just starting to reach us here at Hubble & Hattie HQ, and are quite actual fabumazing! Here are a couple of snippets:

"Totally delighted with the third book in the series, I think they just get better and better, and long may it last!"
– Dog Training Weekly

"Live and laugh with Worzel! Learn to speak Lurcher, too!"
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club

Worzel's mum, Catherine, always wanted to write a children's book that features her luffly boykin, and back in August her wish was realised with the release of Worzel Says Hello! Will You Be My Friend? The praise for this book has been outstanding, and rightly so! Combined with Chantal Bourgonje's marvellous illustrations, the book aims to teach children how to interact and make friends with dogs in a safe and happy way.

"This book for children addresses the issues of introducing a potentially nervous rescue dog to young children."
– Australian Dog Lover

"Watch as Worzel goes from shy and scared to girl's best friend in this delightful read, fit for any child's book collection."
– Dogs Monthly



"An accurate, aesthetic, artistic, literary delight! Hubble & Hattie has set a formidable benchmark for canine educators, opting for the popular picture storybook format."
– Geelong Obedience Dog Club


"This book is gorgeous. Every child (and an awful lot of adults) should read this book: it could make their whole lives a lot happier."
– The Bookbag

If all that excitement wasn't enough Worzel for you, then you're in luck, as there's more! Worzel was hinterviewed for PeTA by its very own doggy reporter, Jasper Bossyboots. Jasper, a fuge fan of Worzel's, had a whole list of questions to ask, from what is it like being a sellebberty dog, how he writes his books, and more. You can read the full hinterview here.

Now, I know what you're thinking: that's still not enough of the luffly boykin for you! Well, you can keep up with Worzel in many different ways, whether through his bloggy fing, or his Facebook, or Twitter, so you'll never be without a bit of Worzel for long!


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Find-o and Rescue!

In recent weeks, Mexico has been hit by a number of earthquakes, with the most devastating affecting Mexico City on the 19th of September. With rescue efforts still under way, we've heard of a very special four-legged-friend who is making a huge contribution.


Omar Torres-AFP/GettyImages
Meet Frida, the 7-year-old yellow Labrador rescue dog, deployed by the Mexican navy (SEMAR) to help the search effort in the event of natural disasters. Kitted out in her protective goggles, harness, and two pairs of booties, her services were called upon after both the Mexico City and 7th of September Oaxaca earthquakes to help search for survivors. In her career, she has recovered 52 people, although, sadly, only 12 of them alive. This number does not include the latest Mexico disasters, as the recovery is still on going.

When details of her work made the news, Frida became a viral sensation: a tweet posted by the Mexican navy, featuring a collage of pictures of her, reportedly received over 4000 retweets and almost 7000 likes alone! The people of Twitter love Frida, with many hailing her a hero, or viewing her as a symbol of hope during this troubled time.

As reported by the LA Times, Frida's handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, described the training that she, and other pups, undertake in order to become detector dogs. Puppies are selected from the age of two months, and training varies depending on whether they will go into the detection of explosives, narcotics, or people. The form of training that Frida would have received included a seemingly normal game of fetch; once the dog gets used to this idea, the trainer then begins running with the toy in hand, instead of throwing it for them to retrieve. This aides the pup in associating the smell of a human with the reward of the toy. Then dogs train for three hours a day for a whole year before they are deployed to disaster sites. 

Once on site, trained dogs bark if they detect life signs, or stop and proceed cautiously, if there is a scent, but no life signs. Some of the smaller spaces Frida and the other dogs will have to search on site are no more than 20 inches hight, but crawling, the dogs can get much further than a human.

It's great to see that, in their hour of need, dogs truly are Man's Best Friend! If this heart-warming tale has piqued your interest in the work of service dogs, we have just the book for you. Partners by Nan Walton includes an array of real life stories on service dogs, from Search and Rescue canines like Frida, to guide dogs. You can find it here.



Monday, 2 October 2017

International Animal Rescue with Four Paws Charity

Whether it's the constant news stories in the media, or JK Rowling's efforts last year on Twitter to save a family from the war-torn capital of Aleppo, it's hard to escape hearing about the Syrian civil war. Despite how much is being reported on the people within the country, not much is heard about the animals that are also suffering because of the ongoing conflict. Well, lucky for some four-legged-friends, Four Paws have been able to help!


Four Paws is a UK animal welfare charity that operates internationally, and its main aim is to help create a world where humans treat animals respectfully, with empathy, and have a full understanding of their way of life. Amongst a huge number of ways in which it executes its plans to provide direct assistance to animals in need and re-home them in its own sanctuaries. This is exactly what happened when it came to rescuing the animals at the Magic World Zoo, situated near Aleppo. 

Over the course of the summer months, the team at Four Paws worked tirelessly in order to save the remaining 13 animals from the zoo. With the help of the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Management, Turkish aides, and a local security team, they were able to cross the boarder into Syria, rescue the animals, and bring them to a rehabilitation centre in Turkey, before transporting them on to their new homes. 

Amongst the animals were five lions, two bears, two tigers, two hyenas, and two dogs, all of which showed signs of physical and mental trauma, as well as being malnourished and emaciated. One of the hyenas was even found to have been suffering from kidney failure. All animals had to receive veterinary care at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Karacabey, Turkey, before they were able to be transported to their new home, Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jordan, a Four Paws project partnership.


Most of the animals will now stay and make Al Ma'wa their new home, apart from the two tigers, who will be moved to a specialist Four Paws sanctuary in the Netherlands. Although the lasting psychological effects will have had a profound, and unfortunately irreversible, effect on the animals, they are now at least safe, well cared for, and exploring their new surroundings with excitement, all thanks to the amazing team at Four Paws!