22 December 2015

Review: Pawsome Box

Kyra also got a Christmas box in the post.

Pawsome boxes are monthly boxes delivered to your door, each containing 5-6 products (toys, treats, accessories or hygiene products). Plans range from one month at £19.90 to 12 months for £15.90 per month.

This months box contained a generous 7 items; A snowflake ball on a rope, a Rudolf rope toy, a chocolate orange mini box, some nutri pockets, some bioance shampoo, a candy cane plush and some M&Ms kitchen christmas puddings.

Kyra couldnt believe her luck - toys and treats galore!

The toys and treats were a firm hit, and I'm loving the smell of the shampoo!

Review: Purrfect Box

Woody received her first item of mail in the post this week; her very own Purrfect Box to review.

As I've mentioned previously, purrfect boxes are cat boxes that you sign up to on a monthly basis. Each box contains 5-6 different products including treats, toys, accessories and hygiene products. You can select between kitten, adult and senior, and sign up between different length "plans" ranging from 1 month to 12 months. A single box will set you back £19.90, whereas a 12 month plan works out a little cheaper at £16.90 per month.

This months box certainly had a christmasy feel to it. It contained 7 items; a father christmas fishing rod, a Rudolf toy, a christmas stocking, 2 pouches of iams, some Kelp care, a Simons Cat bowl and some Trixie mini-nuggets.

Woody couldnt wait for me to take the photo before she got stuck in..

The stocking, and fishing rod were both firm hits

and the Kelp care got wolfed down on some food

CaniX Pembrey

Back over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of December we were over in Wales for the latest installment of the current season of CaniX events. This time, we returned once again to Pembrey Country Park; one of my favorite venues.

There was a slight course change to the usual december mass start, due to the addition of some hedging by the campsite/venue, but otherwise the course was the same as we've run many times before. The weather was unseasonably mild, although Saturday did see some rather blustery conditions.

Somehow we managed to win our category both days, albeit only just. Saturday in particular we spent most of the race in second place, just managing to pull ahead near the end coming in in 28:46.67. Sunday we managed to get into the lead earlier on. I felt like I put more effort in but we had a slightly slower time, 29:12.22.

7 December 2015

Trailscape East

On Saturday we took part in our second Trailscape event, this time down in Cuxton in Kent. Again, 3 distances were on offer; a full marathon (ish - 27.2 miles), a half (13.6) and a 10k. Unfortunately when I entered, the half was already full, and although I entered the 10k I was told they had run out of canicross places at the 10k distance. So after talking to the organizers, I ended up transferring to the marathon, but only running one lap. This did mean a slightly earlier start, but the course was less busy. The only downside was because the route had a section of there-and-back-shared track near the end this meant us passing the 10k runners who were just setting out head on; not ideal when the track was so narrow.

This course was much hillier, consisted of more forest trails, incorporated more styles and had a few fallen trees to hop over in places. We also ended up running through the middle of a shoot! We'd stumbled upon a convoy of land-rovers when crossing one of the forest roads, and evidently that was them arriving. Lots of shooting followed, then shouting, and then, as we descended a particularly steep downhill section we came across a gathering of men with shotguns and busy Labradors searching the surrounding shrub. It was a little unnerving I must say, although the men were perfectly friendly.

One thing I do like about Trailscape events is there little signs dotted around the course. In addition to their course markers and reassurance tape used to mark the course, they also have little motivational signs. On some of the particularly steep sections they had signs such as "what goes up.." and "touch for power". Its a welcome distraction from the pain of the hill, even if I was wishing the "touch for power' sign released a squirrel in the right direction. I did touch it just in case, but sadly it didnt.

It was one of the hardest half marathons I've done, but I am enjoying the longer distances and getting to explore different areas with all these off road trail adventures with these two.

26 November 2015

Review: Pawsome - November

Kyra was rather excited to review November Pawsome box, although she did have to share it in the end.

Pawsome boxes are monthly boxes delivered to your door, each containing 5-6 products (toys, treats, accessories or hygiene products). Plans range from one month at £19.90 to 12 months for £15.90 per month.

This months box contained:
  • A dog shaped dog toy
  • A ball
  • A pet blanket
  • Chicken Meatball treats
  • Wagg treats
  • Trixie Grooming wipe 
For previous boxes, have a look at their site.

Kyras first choice was the toy - she loved this

Next up was the blanket. Apparently this is a toy too and she spent quite a while fetching this and running up and down the lounge with this in her mouth. A multipurpose blanket is the best kind of blanket.
The chicken meatballs, whilst not big chews, took some getting through. These proved popular with everyone.

24 November 2015

Portsmouth CaniX

This past weekend we were down at Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Portsmouth for a rather cold and blustery CaniX event. I have a rather love-hate relationship with this venue. I love the narrow downhill sections, its rather kamikaze especially with the mix of mud, wet leaves and hidden tree roots. The first section of the course, however, feels almost vertical! Thankfully we tackle this hill when we are fresh and the dogs are most keen but be lying if I didnt say I always feel like I've used up all my energy reserves before I'm anywhere near the top!

We had a fantastic run on Saturday despite the gale force conditions and managed to finish in 27:20, a PB for us on this course and winning a good couple minutes ahead of the next person in our category. Unfortunately my legs, used to the flats of the fens, hadn't quite recovered for Sunday and I seriously struggled up that first hill. I made the mistake of walking and couldn't quite get back into rhythm after that as I seriously felt every uphill, no matter how small. We finished with a much slower time 28:46 in second place and just 2 seconds ahead of the lady who had been in second place the previous day. But that did mean we took home first place overall.


Review: Serene-UM

Over the Halloween & fireworks period we were kindly given some Serene-UM products to try for Inca, Diesel, Pippa and Woody. Inca, D and Pip are the 3 most likely to worry about fireworks, and Woody had yet to experience them.

Serene-UM is a natural dietary supplement containing a specially formulated blend of amino acids, vitamins and minerals and has been recommended by veterinarians to combat tension and stress in pets, without having a sedative effect. It works by increasing the mood stabilizing substance serotonin which is already present in the body. Serene-UM assists by alleviating the underlying emotional state, driving the problem behavior, so that the learned behavior can be corrected through retraining, behavior aids or by a behavior modification program. It is important to stress that Serene-UM does not "cure" the animal of its behavior; the cause of the issue must be identified and addressed accordingly in addition to the supplements. Other examples of use would be for separation related disorders, car journeys, vet trips or unsettling periods such as Christmas, moving house.

The main issue is fireworks do not just occur on Guy Fawkes night, but several weeks surrounding it and randomly outside that time too. The instructions state it starts working in 6-8 hours but for maximum effect allow 24-36. For severe reactions start 3-4 weeks before, and increase the daily amount as required during heavy fireworks periods.

We were supplied with Serene-UM tablets (for cats and dogs 1-20kg), Serene-UM Xtra tablets (for dogs 20-40kg) and Serene-UM drops (for cats and dogs 1-10kg). Supposedly you can feed them as-is but the only one who would take them without anything was Diesel so we ended up hiding them in a small bit of sausage. Woody, despite being a Labrador cat who usually eats anything, wasn't convinced by the drops on her food at first but soon came around.

It is important to know your dog and what works for them. In our case, during the main fireworks period, we have discovered that if we can stop Inca and Diesel (our two collies) barking at them, then generally everyone else stays relaxed. So they are confined to the utility room, where they usually sleep, with "absolute 80s" on loud and the lights on and windows covered. Woody seemed completely unphased by her first experience of fireworks but then she is generally not phased by much. I cant say I noticed a big difference this year compared to other years,  but then there are so many other contributing factors so I wouldn't expect to. However, I will be using the remaining tablets over the new year period; if theres a chance they might feel even just a little bit happier then its certainly worth a try.

Woody, Blaze ad Pip during one episode of fireworks