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Walk and Talk Series | Winter Grooming Tips

Last Sunday we held our February Fetch & Follow walk around east London's Victoria Park, joined by expert groomer Serena from Lead the Walk. While the dogs played we discussed all things grooming related.
Below are Serena's Top Tips for keeping your dogs fur looking its best during the winters months.
  • Before washing your dog, make sure that you’ve de-matted their coat first, as mats will tighten when immersed in water, making them more difficult to remove afterwards.

  • Dried sleep and gunk is easier to remove from the corner of your dogs eye when wet. Instead of trying to remove when dry or resorting to scissors, gently run a little warm water from a shower head over your dogs muzzle or use a moist cotton wool pad to soften the gunk. Once wet, gently and slowly use your finger or a clean damp face cloth to remove the offending gunk.

  • With any new puppy, get them used to you touching their legs, feet and tail, as well as standing on a table and running your fingers between their teeth and gums. This will benefit you, your groomer and your vet as your puppy gets older as they will not find this activity unusual or frightening.

  • When using eye and ear wipes, make sure you use a separate wipe for each side even if the wipe appears clean to avoid transferring bacteria from one to the other.

  • Feed your dog the best quality dog food you can afford as this will not only improve their digestion and overall health but improve the condition their skin and coat too.

  • Fetch and Follow Stories | Sophie and Luna

    Sophie is the botanical stylist behind geo-fleur, who specializes in indoor plants. Along with the help of her dachshund Luna, they travel across the country working on beautiful plant installations along with teaching workshops.

    We spoke to Sophie about plants and how this cheeky little pup has become the traveling buddy she always wished for.

    Tell us about Luna and how she came into your life

    After moving from London back to Yorkshire, I was craving a four legged friend in my life. As a family, we had labrador’s growing up, and I wanted a smaller fur friend to take with me to workshops and when I go travelling up and down the country on plant installations, so I started researching little pups. After very extensive research I decided on a standard dachshund, and after visiting 6 breeders, I found Luna, the playful naughty puppy in the corner.

    How does Luna fit into your general day working?

    She’s a little rascal, and she will alert me when anyone comes up the drive to my cottage, which can be annoying sometimes, as she mostly just barks at birds. After a long walk in the field at the back of my house in the morning, she is usually curled up fast asleep most of the day whilst I’m in the studio wrapping online orders or she follows me into the greenhouse when i’m planting up!

    When you’re not working where do you and Luna like to hang out?

    We’re spoilt with beaches on yorkshire coast, so Filey is a must trip, as is Saltburn - both huge long beaches where she can run around and bother other dogs to play with her. Most of the time she likes to be curled up on my lap under a blanket whilst I knit!

    What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry them in?

    I’m partial to rural kind’s beautiful wax cotton bags, as basically it’s a mary poppins bag and can hold everything. Luna is a shiverer so I usually take her fetch and follow aran knit jumper, and her winter dog coat in orange, she loves to be cosy and warm! Also a crochet blanket that I made for her, and some beautiful joe’s dog treats, which is in one of their lovely tins, so as soon as Luna hears the tin rattle I have her attention! I like beautiful joe’s as for every packet you buy, they give a packet do a dog in need!

    What adventures do you and Luna have planned for the rest of the year?

    Mostly work trips up and down the country, next week we’re off to Cambridge to teach terrarium workshops at a wellness retreat, then in February to Birmingham to teach another couple of workshops, however we are sneaking in a trip to St Ives with my grandma, so that will be nice to relax and walk on  the beach!

    You can follow Sophie and Luna's adventures together on the geo-fleur Instagram page, and check out Sophie's work here

    Photos credits Pet Stories

    Fetch & Follow Stories | Emily and Alan

    We first came across Emily on her instagram account for Pet Stories and were instantly fans of her work. It's the everyday rituals of owning a pet that Emily aims to document through capturing their personality and quirky characteristics when they are most content, whether that's at home or on their favourite walk. Through photography she manages to show how our pets truly make us feel.

    She recently welcomed Alan into her world, a very cute but mischievous long eared pup all the way from Cyprus. We thought it was the perfect time to discuss all things dog and how deer antlers have become her most valued working tool.

    Tell us about Alan and how he came into your life 

    After nagging at my other half for years about getting a dog, I eventually won him over and we started researching breeds and looking at potential charities to adopt from. I became a bit obsessed with the Wild at Heart Foundation website and Instagram account, everyday feeling helpless and heartbroken by all of the Cypriot, Romanian, Greek (the list goes on) dogs that needed a forever home. It wasn’t long before a little long eared pup called Loco won us both over. He was born at a rehoming centre in Cyprus after his mum was taken in as a pregnant stray. Loco came to us at 4 months old and was renamed, Alan. 

    How does Alan fit into a general day working at Pet Stories 

    Alan doesn’t really fit into my working day; the day is more worked around him. If I’ve got a shoot, he’s fine being left alone for a few hours. We’ve been really lucky in the sense that he doesn’t get anxious or distressed, and he’s also really well toilet trained. I’ve found that on the days when I’m working on edits or admin based tasks at home, routine is key. Without his regular play dates in the park, he’s so full of beans and wants to chew/rip up everything in sight. 
     His deer antler has become my most valued work tool. As soon as he starts chewing or pawing for attention, I’ll replace slippers/carpet/furniture legs with his antler and it soon tires him out. Working with Alan is basically like having a baby, and whenever he’s asleep, straight away I’m getting on with as much work as possible. I have to remind myself that he is still only a pup so it’s only natural for him to want attention. I’m hoping that eventually he will accompany me on my shoots, earning his keep as the little Pet Stories mascot he’s become! 

    When you’re not working where do you and Alan like to hang out 

    When me and Al aren’t at home, we’re either in our local park where he likes to see his best friends, Ruby, Betsy, Tilly, Akka, Lola, Gamble and Dodge (he’s a bit of a ladies’ man). Or we’re at our local coffee shop Mill Kitchen. This usually consists of me trying not to spill my coffee while Alan pulls on his lead, as he restlessly battles to chew anything and everything under the table. But our favourite thing to do is to go for a long walk in our local woods, Calverley Cutting. I love seeing him in his element as he explores. He zooms about everywhere, overcome by all of the smells, sticking his long nose in any every crevice that takes his fancy. He tends to be the best behaved on these walks too and I always get a lovely gooey feeling when he trails behind Nik and I. He really trusts us and it’s like we’re a pack, out on an adventure. 

    What Essentials do you always have on you when heading out with Alan and what do you carry them in?

    We literally never leave the house without his antler (or what we like to call his unicorn horn). We actually left it in a pub once and when we realised it was missing, rang the pub in despair. We had to drive back and collect it. We also pack a mini Tupperware of cheese for Alan, water and a towel. Who knows where the day may take us? This all usually gets shoved in a canvas bag, but since receiving a Fetch & Follow tote, we’ve now dubbed this as Alan’s bag. He really likes it :) 

    What adventures do you and Alan have planned for the rest of the year?

    With my job being so sporadic, we don’t have many big adventures planned for this year. I have family up in the borders so we try to get up there as often as we can. One of our favourite days out is to the deserted beaches on the North East coast. Alan loves it, so no doubt we’ll have lots more days at the beach to come. We also have a day planned to meet up with Alan’s siblings. Since adopting from The Wild at Heart foundation, we’ve been so fortunate to stay in touch with all of Alan’s littermate’s pawrents. On a group message, we share photos and videos on the pup’s progress, as well as lots of advice! I feel so lucky to be able to do that and I can’t wait to reunite our Loco pup with his brothers and sisters. 

    You can see more of Emily's and Alan's adventures on her instagram account

    Pet Stories

    along with her portfolio of amazing work on www.petstories.co.uk