The Tailchaser Times - Issue 4

Page 1

r e s a h c l i a T Times


The official


Issue 4

Special Anniversar y Issue Heritage content galore! The Adventures of

Meet the amazing

Search and Rescue Dogs of Scotland

We spent a weekend on the Isle of Skye with SARDA

Sir Sidney the


Discover what it’s like to be a celebrity dog




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#PoweredByBurns #PoweredByBurns #PoweredByBurns


side Inthis issue: 04. Powered By Burns Hall of Fame 06. The History of Burns 13. Match the Dog to the Owner 16. Meet Instagram Sensation

Sir Sidney the Pug 18. John Burns 25 Years Interview 30. Burns in the Community

John Burns (and Gregory!)

We’re thrilled to share the fourth issue of The Tailchaser Times. Can you believe that Burns Pet Nutrition has been running for 25 years? Burns started in 1993, but I actually had the idea for the business in the early 80s. It took a decade of hard work and perseverance to make that dream a reality, which you’ll read about in my career interview on page 18.

The humans behind The Tailchaser Times: Editor: Rosella Pollard

Today, we employ 122 people and have a diverse clientele of thousands of happy and healthy pets, many of whom have been eating Burns since day one. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved here, and this issue really celebrates the people, pets and ideas that keep the Burns wheels in motion. Get to know some of our longest-serving employees who have been working here for a combined total of 75 years (page 8 ), find out why we’re proud to be a Living Wage employer (page 15 ) and discover our unique journey (page 6 ).

Art Director: Alistair Corbett

Whenever a milestone comes along, thoughts always turn to the future. Going forward, I see our charity work becoming more and more integral to the business. Corporate social responsibility is a bit of a marketing buzzword at the moment, but at Burns it goes a lot further. We care more about helping pets and people than money in the bank. Wherever possible, we will try to help a dog, cat or human in need and long may it continue.

Follow us:

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for supporting us and helping us to grow. It is my dream that one day every cat and dog will consume a natural, healthy diet based on home-cooked food, that allows the body to get on with what it does best. That is what we set out to do back in 1993 and will continue to campaign for long into the future. BVMS MRCVS

Words & images: Dean Reynolds, Dogs for the Disabled, Emma Butler, Forever Hounds Trust, Kirstie Jones, Helen Anslow, John Burns, Laura Crotch-Harvey, Rebecca Gardener, Rob Jones, Sir Sidney the Pug. Use #PoweredByBurns on Twitter or Instagram for the chance to be featured

Say hello: Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd, Ferry Road, Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales, SA17 5EJ Est. since 1993 •



The very best thing about running a pet food company is being introduced to your superstar pets and learning about their unique qualities. Whether you have a busy Border Collie or a lazy British Shorthair, it warms the cockles of our heart to receive your pet pictures and notes of appreciation. That’s why each issue, we hand the floor over to your beloved pets, without whom, we simply wouldn’t have a paw to stand on...

Cooper Cooper the Cocker Spaniel has been #PoweredByBurns since his puppy days and wakes up every morning at 6am to devour a Burns breakfast.

Maisie Mo Ciro

Ciro the Border Collie is 9 months young. He is hard of hearing and is currently mastering the art of sign language. As well as being super friendly and sociable, Ciro’s hobbies include playing chase and scampering off with the household toilet roll.

4 •

Introducing the canine mascot for Swansea Pipe Band. Maisie enjoys the jet-set lifestyle and is often on tour with her human who is a piper in the band. In her spare time, Maisie loves chasing cats, helicopters and planes.

Marilyn 8-year-old Patterdale Terrier, Marilyn is a bit of a glutton. When she’s not chomping on Burns she swallows kebab sticks, whole! Her human told us that this has resulted in a £989 vet bill to remove the sticks and the incident has happened twice! Despite this, Marilyn is a loving, loyal dog who is adored by her owners.

Harry and Joey Harry and Joey are Jack Russell brothers from another mother. Harry has a favourite song that he sings to called Girl on a Bicycle and Joey is obsessed with tennis balls. They love their daily walks and holidays (they have their own suitcases) and are the most spoilt pooches on planet earth.

Put your pet in the spotlight Use the #PoweredByBurns on Instagram and Twitter to be featured on our social media channels.


Last issue’s competition winner is Sinead Murtagh and her dog Wally. Sinead says “Wally deserves to win because he has had such a rough start in life. We adopted him from the DSPCA here in Dublin Ireland. He was straying and had to have lots of his teeth removed because he was eating stones when he was hungry. Poor Fella. He is happier now and is in training to be the best pup there is.” Wally has won a 2kg bag of our new grain-free puppy food, Burns Duck & Potato. •


Celebrating 25 Years of Happy and Healthy Pets

Our History To celebrate our 25th anniversary milestone, we thought we’d share a potted history of the brand from 1993 to the present day...


1993 - 1995 Early newspaper coverage demonstrates the uniqueness of healthy pet food at the time of business inception.

The Very First Bag and First Show with Gazebo!


Burns Becomes First Chemical-Free UK Pet Food Manufacturer

6 •

The Second Batch of Bags These rather retro-looking bags came into production in the late 90s and were in circulation until 2010 when a new logo was introduced.

2001 Flying the Nest Rapid business expansion meant it was time to move to a bigger premises.


The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation Charity is born. Our in-house charity exists to improve the lives of people and pets across the UK through funding, grass-roots projects and community outreach.

Penlan Farm


2009 saw John’s ambition to develop a complete moist food - based on his original home-cooked recommendations - become a reality. The award-winning wet food is manufactured at Burns’ own Burry Port factory and created with a field-to-plate philosophy. The range includes free-range eggs and vegetables produced at Penlan Farm and other locally sourced human-grade ingredients.

Carol Lincoln Community Liaison Officer


John Wins Lifetime Achievement Award


Burns Becomes an Accredited Living Wage Employer

Present and Beyond Today, we are a thriving family business employing 122 members of staff. We currently deliver our brand of pet food to countries all over the world including Ireland, Hong Kong and Portugal. From field to dog bowl, farm shop assistant to senior manager, we believe in an ethical and transparent approach across all areas of the business.

Photo credit: Rob Melen

Looking to the future, John says “Since pioneering the healthy pet food movement in 1993, we have achieved our goal of creating natural pet food that really works to promote excellent all-round health and even manage pre-existing health problems. It is my dream that one day every cat and dog will consume a natural, healthy diet based on home-cooked food, that allows the body to get on with what it does best. That is what we set out to do and will continue to campaign for long into the future.”


Day Life in the


Burns’ Longest Serving Employees!

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we’re dedicating this Day in the Life edition to 4 employees that have been with the company for a combined total of 75 years. Phew! 8 •

Karen Armitage

Nutritionist • Years with Burns: 23 I’ve worked at Burns for a whopping 23 years and 2 months. In that time, I’ve turned my hand to many roles including event organisation, sales and marketing. Nowadays, I’m a key member of the Burns Nutrition Team and divide my time between helping pet owners with the dietary needs of their cats and dogs and spending time on the road as a regional Sales Rep. When I’m not working, you’ll find me enjoying as much of the great outdoors as possible. I’m an avid gardener and grow my own vegetables. I also love walking the coastal path, visiting gardens, climbing mountains and did I mention, gardening?

Morning 6:30 Hit the snooze button before

making tea and bringing it back to bed for some early morning reading.

7:15 Walk around the local canal and quay for 45 minutes. I have walked here almost every morning for the past 15 years, and although I recently

If I wasn’t a nutritionist, I’d love to be a… Travel photographer. The strangest job I’ve ever had entailed... Making sausages. My favourite dog breed is a… Springer Spaniel. They’re incredibly loyal, loving, playful and beautiful. If I was on death row, my last supper would be… Garlic mushrooms followed by freshly caught mackerel served with new potatoes and broad beans from the garden. I’d have a dessert of lemon tart, washed down with vintage port and a wedge of Stilton to finish. If I could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, I’d invite… Ansel Adams, Charlie Waite, Carol Klein, Gertrude Jekyll and just to add a bit of comedy, Peter Kay! If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life, I’d choose... Because the Night by Patti Smith

lost my gorgeous collie, Katie, I don’t want to stop the routine. The views are beautiful and an energetic walk really sets you up for the day.

8:45 Arrive at work. Begin taking calls, communicating via LiveChat and responding to emails from new and existing customers. Pet owners often come to us for nutrition guidance as a last resort. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction when their cat or dog responds well to our advice.

I’ve turned my

hand to many

including roles event organisation,

sales and marketing. Nowadays, I’m a key member of the Burns Nutrition team

Afternoon 12:30 Enjoy a 15-minute stretch of the legs in the fresh air. Our office is located in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire and there are lots of lovely places to have a stroll. On my return I grab some lunch from the staff kitchen. Today, a lamb roast is on the menu with the meat and vegetables coming from Burns’ own Penlan Farm. We are lucky enough to only pay £1 for this. 14:00 Time to hit the road! I’m also a Sales Rep and visit shops and stockists all over the South Wales region. It’s lovely to have regular face-to-face interaction with our trade customers and it gives them a chance to learn about any new Burns developments or to ask for advice. Today I am delivering point of sale stock, samples and giving a presentation about our new GrainFree range.

Evening 18:00 It’s Monday, so I cook a big meal for the family- often using ingredients grown from the garden. There’s usually 8 of us at the table and it’s great to get everyone together since we all lead such busy lifestyles and they’ve all left home. I have 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.

Once, while working at Burns... A customer phoned up to complain that she had found some custard creams in a bag of our dog food. She was very miffed and insisted that she didn’t keep biscuits in the house. After apologising profusely, I asked her to send me some of the offending items to enable me to log the complaint with the factory. A few days later she phoned with her tail between her legs to tell me that her husband actually hides the custard creams in the dog food bag!

Other evenings I love nothing more than pottering about in the garden tending to my flower and vegetable beds, going for an evening stroll with the camera, reading or watching tv. •


Rebecca Gardener

Joint General Manager • Years with Burns: 16 My working life at Burns began in the summer of 2002. I decided to swap my hectic Bristol city life for the beautiful Welsh countryside and got a job in the Burns sales team after encouragement from family to apply. It quickly became apparent that this was a friendly and enjoyable place to work and I couldn’t get over my new, picturesque commute. On a clear day, you can see the coastline stretching as far as Pembrokeshire. This, coupled with views of Kidwelly Castle are quite spectacular. As my working life at Burns progressed, so did my role. I managed the Retail Sales team and eventually became John’s PA. My client base changed from our retail customers to the business sector of solicitors, accountants and planning consultants. This was a steep learning curve for me but a great personal challenge as well. In December 2016 I became joint General Manager, an achievement which I am very proud of. I can’t believe I have been here for 16 years in July - it’s the best job I have ever had!

If I wasn’t a General Manager… I would love to be a florist or jewellery designer. My favourite dog breed is a… Terrier. Any variety, the scruffier looking the better. If I was on death row, my last meal would be… Welsh roast beef with a dollop of horseradish sauce, and all the trimmings washed down with a large glass of Italian red wine. In fact, I might as well have the bottle if my time is up! My perfect dinner date is… George Clooney. He’s very easy on the eye! If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be… Annie’s Song by John Denver. I love all types of music but this one has a special meaning to me.

10 •

In my spare time I love interior design, working on homemade craft projects, looking after my grandson Luca and watching Game of Thrones.

Morning 8am Catch up on emails over a cuppa with Debbie, who I share my job role with. We often work in unison and have been affectionately named, Decky by the rest of the staff. 10am Meeting with Llanelli Scarlets. We sponsor the player’s pooches and are also hosting our 25th anniversary party at their training ground. The Scarlet’s are a local team and it’s great to get together and discuss PR opportunities with them.

Afternoon 13:00 Working lunch at our local farm shop and cafe, Parc Y Bocs to discuss the summer evening menu and future events. I headed up a large refurbishment project here last year and we recently won Best Retail Business at the West Wales Business Awards. It’s great to see the hard work pay off and watch Parc Y Bocs evolve month on month.

Burns is a very unique place to work… One hot summer’s day, we received a message from John instructing staff to shut down their machines and go down for a swim at the local beach! This was at the beginning of my employment and I remember thinking, this is so far removed from my life as an Insurance Assessor in the centre of Bristol!

14:30 We operate an open-door policy

where staff from all departments are encouraged to pop in and discuss any issues they may have. This brings new meaning to the phrase “no two days are the same” as one minute we could be discussing alpacas, and the next machinery faults at the factory. Today’s agenda is limited edition vintage packaging.

16:00 Catch-up on product development for 2019. We recently launched our first ever grain-free product which has been very well-received and are looking to expand our range, along with toy and small breed product lines.

Evening Finish work and enjoy a glass of wine with my husband and Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

Dean Reynolds

Warehouse and Distribution Manager • Years with Burns: 17 I’ve been working for Burns for 17 years and 6 months and am responsible for ensuring that operations run smoothly, and our retail and trade customers across the UK receive their orders in a timely manner. When I’m not working, I can be found travelling to the furthest corners of the earth, cooking or tending to the garden.

Morning 6.30am Rise and shine. The day doesn’t start until coffee starts so I always make time for a morning cuppa.

Evening 17:00 Finish work and spend time with

family. After being cooped up in the warehouse all day it’s important to get fresh air so most evenings I’ll go for a cycle, a walk or a 5-mile jog.

If I’m not exercising, I like to do a spot of gardening. I keep various types of fern and have grown Snake’s Head Fritillary for years which is my favourite flower. I’m also in the process of teaching myself to make cabinets and can often be found tinkering about in my home workshop.

If I could have dinner with anyone alive or dead...I’d invite Frank Zappa and ask him to perform Zombie Woof which is one of my favourite songs. The best places I’ve ever visited include… Angkor Wat in Cambodia - The temples are unbelievable. Mount Everest - Incredible to see with your own eyes and one of the toughest adventures I’ve ever been on. New Zealand – It’s a trekkers paradise. Indonesia - I’d return in a heartbeat for the culture and relaxed atmosphere.

8am Open up the premises before the rest of the team arrive and check everything is in working order. My next priority is to designate the orders that have come in over the weekend and overnight so that these can be distributed first. We deliver to stockists and pet owners all over the UK and can have thousands of orders at any given time. It goes without saying that organisation is key. 10am Work with the team to ensure that

If I wasn’t a Warehouse Manager, I’d love to be a… Cabinet Maker

If I was on death row, my last meal would be… A pizza buffet with every veggie topping you can think of. My favourite dog breed is a… German Shepherd because they’re so lovely and placid and I used to own one.

c adventures! Dean on one of his epi

everything is running smoothly, review stock levels and deal with any problems that arise.

Afternoon 12:30 Lunch time. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years and love experimenting with cooking so will usually bring my own food in. Today it’s a homemade vegetarian quiche and bakewell tart. 14:00 Load pallets ready for couriers and also organise delivery for any orders that head office may require. We are located 15 minutes away from the Kidwelly head office and receive all manner of requests from putting together packages for competition winners to picking items for shows and events up and down the country.

I am

responsible for ensuring that operations run


16:00 Review courier invoices and ensure that the warehouse is spic and span ready for the next day. •


Rob Jones

Warehouse Supervisor • Years with Burns: 17 I’ve been at Burns longer than the furniture, 17 years and 8 months to be exact! It’s World Cup season and in my spare time I like watching or playing football. I’m fortunate enough to live in Pembrokeshire and on a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than a hike around Bosherston Lily Ponds or Dinas Island.

Morning 6am You’ll never need an alarm clock at

my house because snoozing through the cockerel’s call is impossible! I’m woken by the sound first thing, dress and go for a brisk rural walk. Next, cornflakes and OJ are on the agenda before hitting the road with the company of Talk Sport radio.

8:45 Rock up to work and liaise with my colleague Dean on the order of the day. Work through any invoices or computer tasks that need fulfilling.

10:30 Collate orders and organise new stock delivery with suppliers. I’m also a fire marshal so carry out daily checks to ensure we’re all sorted on the health and safety front.

Afternoon 12:30 Lunch on the go. Today I’m delivering local orders, so I hop in the lorry and start doing the rounds. Depending how busy we are, this can take up most of the afternoon. 16:00 Return to warehouse and make sure that the local vans are loaded ready for dispatch the next day.

Evening 18:00 Arrive home and do a 3-4 mile loop around my village before heading to the local pool for a swim and sauna. I try to go a few times a week, it’s a great way to unwind after a busy day. If I’m not swimming I’ll usually go for a game of tennis before catching up with food and tv and crawling into bed

I’ve been at

longer than Burns the


Likes to... Keep in shape, football (World Cup sweepstake), tennis, walking and hiking Pembrokeshire Coast (Bosherston lilyponds and Aberreidy) and Dinas Island. If I wasn’t a Warehouse Supervisor, I’d love to be a… Search and Rescue Pilot My favourite dog breed is a… Miniature Schnauzer- they’re so loyal, friendly and loving. If I could have dinner with anyone alive or dead... I’d invite the legendary Welsh footballer, John Charles and grandparents on my father’s side as I never got the chance to meet them. The one song I could listen to every day for the rest of my life is… Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Andy Williams. If I was on death row, my last meal would be… A proper beef roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding, roasties and all the trimmings. The best 3 places I’ve ever visited have to be… Ireland – The Ring of Kerry is an outstanding place and the people are so friendly. Egypt – Seeing the pyramids and sphinxes is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Rob, ready to make deliveries in one of the Burns vans

12 •

Edinburgh – The architecture is out of this world including the castle and landmarks.



to the

They say that pets and owners often resemble each other. To put this to the test, we coerced a few of our staff members (and their pooches) into a photoshoot. Have a go at matching them up and turn over the page to see if your instincts were correct...

Rhian • Export Manager Laura • Nutritional Supervisor

Chris • Production Manager


Millie Moo


Kirstie • Nutritional Adviser

Rosella • Content Coordinator



KIRSTIE & MILLIE MOO Describe your pet in 10 words… Hyperactive, fun loving snuggle buddy who enjoys a wrestle. Describe yourself in 10 words… Sensitive, kind-hearted and loyal with a cheeky wild side. Do you own your pet or does your pet own you? Has everyone wrapped around her paw- we are definitely owned!!

LAURA & AMBER Describe your pet in 10 words… Funny little drama queen, very intelligent and loves a cuddle. Describe yourself in 10 words… Cheerful, ditsy and chilled. Enjoys a tasty treat! Do you own your pet or does your pet own you? It’s a battle of wills but I’m the one in charge of the food so I think I come out on top!

RHIAN & GEMIMA Describe your pet in 10 words… Graceful, gorgeous, funny, bossy, naughty, way too intelligent, loyal, spoilt! Describe yourself in 10 words… Same as above, haha! Do you own your pet or does your pet own you? Gemima is definitely the master in our relationship!

ROSELLA & SWEEPEN Describe your pet in 10 words… Emperor of the bark park and all-round diva mutt Describe yourself in 10 words… Sarcastic, food-obsessed human. Happiest in the sunshine. Do you own your pet or does your pet own you? Sweepen 17/10 wears the trousers in our relationship.



Describe your pet in 10 words… Timid, lean barking machine who loves food, playtime and cuddles. Describe yourself in 10 words… Sport mad dad of two boys who loves long walks on the green, hitting balls. Do you own your pet or does your pet own you? Definitely Daddy’s girl, but she knows who’s boss

Encouraging Fair Wages in the Workplace with The Living Wage Foundation The minimum wage currently stands at £5.90 for 18-20 year olds, £7.38 for 21-24 year olds and £7.83 for those aged 25 and over. As the cost of living rises, wages are slow to catch-up. Far too slow, in fact. It’s estimated that 60% of Britons living in poverty are working families. Recognising the need for reform, The Living Wage Foundation has been tirelessly campaigning for change by encouraging businesses to pay what they consider to be the real Living Wage. This currently stands at £8.75 per hour and we are proud to say that at Burns, we have been Living Wage accredited since January 2014 and were the first UK pet food business to join. In 2015, John Burns won the Living Wage Leadership Award for Wales. Paying the real Living Wage and enabling our staff to come to work free from money-related stress means the world to us, and we want to encourage others to do the same. We asked our HR Manager, Katie Roderick to explain the various incentives and benefits for employers, as well as employees.

What advice would you give to employers who are concerned about the cost implication involved in paying the real Living Wage? Cost is the number one concern for employers, but in our opinion the holistic benefits of paying the real Living Wage outweigh the issue

of cost. We find that as a result of paying the Living Wage, staff are punctual, motivated, hard-working, high-performing and generally very passionate about working here. We have an extremely low absence rate and it’s not unusual for staff to go above and beyond their roles to meet business needs. In addition to the Living Wage, we offer a number of additional benefits including a company car, flexible working hours and a bonus scheme. These benefits enable staff to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and in turn lead to a happier, dedicated and more proactive workforce.

What impact does paying the real Living Wage have on staff retention rates? In addition to head office, we also have three pet shops, a farm shop, restaurant, warehouse, factory and farm. These are job roles which are traditionally associated with high staff turnover rates but at Burns, most employees stay with the company long-term (as evidenced in our Longest Staff Members piece.) Finding and training new staff can be a very costly (not to mention time consuming) business, we’d rather invest this into our existing

Burns HR Manager Katie Roderick, and Burns HR Officer Luke Thomas.

workforce through initiatives such as training, development and the Living Wage. Even our apprentices are paid the Living Wage from day one which helps us to attract and retain the best staff. We find that we have a better chance of retaining apprentices as they recognise that they are appreciated, and work harder as a result.

What are your plans for the future of the Living Wage? We want to continue to raise the bar and encourage employers in the local and wider area to follow suit and pay a better wage.

To find out more about the Living Wage and how you can get involved, visit:


Adventures of Instagram Sensation The

Sir Sidney the Pug Instagram, the world’s fastest growing social media platform, is known for its community of bloggers and influencers. It’s the place to go to find the latest hip brands, or research travel hotspots. It’s also home to a growing community of dog celebrities. Dog celebrities?! We hear you bark. Yes, that’s right. There’s an abundance of canine accounts out there with much larger followings than the humans. One such celebrity is Sir Sidney the Pug. Sidney has 40k followers and counting. We caught up with his human JASMINE to find out what it’s like to own a bonafide dog superstar...

How did you meet Sidney? I’ve always loved animals (especially dogs) so when I was 9 my parents got us a Lagotto Romagnolo called Bartie. He’s a great dog but grew up to be very anti-social and hard to handle so when I turned 16, I decided to get my own dog. By this point in my life I was incredibly anxious and was diagnosed with PTSD so I didn’t leave the house at all. I thought that getting my own dog would give me a reason to get up in the morning, go outside and live again. I decided on a Pug as I had read that they are very easy going, friendly dogs with great personalities so I got all my facts together and gave a 20-minute power point presentation to my parents on “Why we should get a pug.” It worked! I found a litter of pugs online and phoned the breeder straight away. When we went to see the pups there was only one left

16 •

(Sid) but we fell in love with each other instantly. He ignored everyone else, strolled over to me and just fell asleep in my lap and from that day on we’ve been best friends. The rest as they say, is history and Sidney will be 3 in August.

Does Sidney have any quirky personality traits or funny stories to share? Sidney’s whole life and personality is one big funny story! He’s very outgoing and has to be the centre of everyone’s attention. You can’t enter a room without knowing he’s there, and pay him any kind of attention and you’ll be greeted with the sloppiest kisses and the wiggliest butt. I was told that pugs are very chilled out but he’s the complete opposite! He loves socialising with other pugs and when

he’s with them he has a habit of running in circles with his tail between his legs. We call it ‘zoomies’ and its hilarious! Whether it’s his snorts and sneezes or his waggy tail and head tilts, he’ll never fail to make you smile.

What’s your favourite place to explore with Sidney? Sidney is very versatile and has a great time wherever we go but I’d say our favourite places to explore are cities! I’ve always been a country girl so I find the hustle and bustle very exciting and Sidney LOVES all the attention he gets. It makes us both so happy that we can put a smile on people’s faces just by walking past them in the streets. So far we’ve been to Manchester, London, Birmingham and a few other smaller cities!

What does Sidney eat? Sidney eats Burns Original dry food and has done since he was a puppy!

What’s been your best Sidney adventure to date? Travelling to London to accept the award for Dog Photographer Of The Year and seeing Sidney’s picture in the Kennel Club art gallery is up there! I took him to Buckingham Palace that same trip to get a few photos of him and we attracted a

huge crowd of people who took pictures of him, it was great!

What are your tips for starting an Instagram account with your pooch? I would say just have fun with it! Don’t do it because you want followers or fame, do it because you enjoy spending time with your dog and love photography! It’s a great way to bond with your dog, just make sure that he’s comfortable with everything you are asking him to do.

I’m extremely lucky as Sidney absolutely loves being in front of the camera and that’s the whole reason I started his Instagram account!

What’s your advice to those who are considering owning a pug? Do your research! I can’t stress enough how important it is to know a lot about the breed before you buy them, Pugs especially. Pugs get a bad rep because they can come with health problems because of bad breeding, but a lot of them lead very happy and healthy lives. Find a responsible breeder, get pet insurance, make sure they stay a healthy weight and you should be fine.

If Sidney could talk, what would be his favourite phrase? It would definitely be, “WTF: Where’s the food?”

y: Follow Sidnethepug •


“I was told; you haven’t got a snowball’s chance here” THE 25 YEAR INTERVIEW

In celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary, John Burns shares career highlights, business lessons, amusing anecdotes and predictions for the future. I first thought of the idea for Burns Pet Nutrition in the early 80s, it took 10 years of hard work and

perseverance for that idea to become a reality.

An amusing career moment came while working as a builder… I was

a trained Acupuncturist and Veterinary Surgeon, but had chosen to sell my practice and invest in property. I was listening to Radio 1 one day and the topic on the radio station was jobs in California. They said, “the two highest earning professions are Veterinarians and Acupuncturists.” Meanwhile, I was mixing cement and doing up a wreck of a house! I had to laugh.

Although being a vet can be quite an uncomfortable and stressful job in many ways, I can’t think

of another occupation I would have preferred to study or practice.

18 •

I was told “You haven’t got a snowballs chance here,” when seeking advice on starting the business from the Professor of Animal Husbandry at Liverpool University. His name was Ron Anderson and he had helped Marks and Spencer manufacture their pet food. Finding somebody willing to formulate my recipe of healthy pet food was a huge challenge. The reaction I got from countless manufacturers was, “we’re willing to take what we’re already making and package it in your branding, but that’s it.” Nobody wanted the hassle of re-tooling the production line to use my recipe. It took years of determination.

Sweden and America said no to manufacturing my food. Ironically, it was a company in Llandovery (40 miles away) that eventually agreed. The first thing I did was take the food to Ron Anderson. I plonked it on his desk

and he said “Wow - I never thought you would do this. The fact that you have is a tribute to your perseverance and dedication and I take my hat off to you.” Several years later, Ron wrote to me and said, “I’m still buying your food.” I’ll never forget it.

In the beginning, it was just me and a car full of pet food. I worked

from home and would use my friend’s fax machine. I’d make deliveries to local vets and pet shops, eventually using the services of a local courier. It was local connections and minimal overheads that helped me get established enough to say, “I’ve got a business here.”

My brother once said to me, “When you sell ten bags a day, that’s it, you’ve made it”. Today,

we export to countries all over the world and I have a team of 122 staff. It’s hard to believe sometimes.

John, photographed at Burns Head Office in July 2018

John in the Burns ‘marquee’, 1994

The phone really started ringing when the editor of Dogs Today, Beverley

Despite running Burns for the last 25 years, I’m still motivated to come to

Cuddy published an article on my food titled, Back to Basics. It was this article that moved the business out of West Wales and allowed Burns to go national.

work and continue growing the business. I could be sitting on the beach, or on a yacht in the Bahamas, but this is my baby.

The best piece of advice I’d give to someone starting their business is start slowly, start small and keep the

from the business is my family.

overheads low. Develop contacts around you, build a small, low-cost base and establish yourself in the local area. You can have the best product in the world and the hunger to conquer the world, but if people don’t know who you are, you’ll have a hard time making it.

There’s a funny saying in business it goes, “it took me a lifetime to become an overnight success.”

My greatest achievement apart I believe that local, ethical, healthy food is the pet food of the future. That is what we have achieved with our moist food range, Penlan Farm which is made and produced in Wales using free-range eggs and seasonal vegetables from our farm and meat from suppliers in Wales. If we could grow brown rice in West Wales, that would be local too!

Obesity is a growing issue in pets, there needs to be more education

avoiding overfeeding. In addition to manufacturers changing their ways and creating better quality food, pet owners have a responsibility to feed the right amount of it. Unfortunately, part of the human condition is eating things we shouldn’t, and too much of it…

The greatest threat to the future of the pet food business is a lack of

availability of raw ingredients. We’ve had to cut product lines in the past because the Chinese economy had bought all the raw ingredients up for that particular product. As the population swells, food shortages rise. Droughts, bad harvests and climate change could also affect this.

My dream for the future of the business is for our animal charity – The

Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation - to be an important part of the business. We are in a fortunate position compared to some charities because the money coming in from the business is invested back into the charity. We are currently expanding the charity in Ireland and I have high hopes for the future.

on feeding quality, nutritious food and •


How much protein does a dog really need? This is a question that the nutrition team get asked frequently at Burns. In fact, it may be one of the most divisive topics in the industry. We asked nutritionist, Helen Anslow to set the record straight, tell us what a dog actually needs to survive and where the best protein sources lie.

Burns Nutritionist, Helen

Dog food protein varieties are a minefield There is an overwhelming choice of pet foods out there and determining which one is best for your dog can be a difficult decision. Protein is a vital component of dog food- it’s made up of amino acids and these amino acids are essential for tissue growth and repair. Protein can come from both animal or plant based sources, but high-quality animal sources often provide a better amino acid balance for dogs.

20 •

Making an informed decision when selecting your pet’s food can be intimidating with such a variety on the market, from diets that are nearly 100% meat to vegan diets which are purely plant based we explore the options of what a dog truly needs to survive and be healthy.

Quantity vs. quality A dog’s protein requirements vary according to their life stage, health and age, each stage needs to be tailored to their current needs. A puppy for example will be needing a higher level of protein than an adult dog to support the growing needs of a pup. A healthy adult dog will need between 15 and 23% protein (dry matter). A good diet will meet those needs by using high quality ingredients that are easily digested. Ideally a diet should contain high quality ingredients in the amounts that the dog will need so that it can easily obtain the nutrients without putting the body under unnecessary stress.

High or low protein food – which is best? Processing excess nutrients that are beyond the dog’s daily requirements will put extra pressure on the organs to work that little bit harder. This in turn contributes to more metabolic waste products being produced in the body. A high protein level has not been shown to be detrimental to the dog’s organs however it can contribute to further impairment of the kidneys if the dog is suffering from kidney disease.

A dog’s protein requirements vary according to their life stage , health and age

eggs are highly- digestible packed with vital amino acids

Cooked and

A more important factor than the quantity of protein is the digestibility of the protein source. The higher the quality of the protein in the diet, the less quantity will be needed by the dog to meet its needs, therefore a low quantity that is high-quality will promote efficient body function and aid healthy digestion.

What are the best protein sources for dogs? Cooked eggs are highly digestible and packed with vital amino acids. They also provide a good source of iron, Vitamin A and several B Vitamins as well as providing high levels of essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid which is great for the skin.

Animal protein sources such as chicken, lamb, and pork all have a similar level of digestibility. Following on from animal-based protein sources, some plant-based sources provide a high-quality protein source. Soybean is the highest followed by rice, wheat and corn.

A note on intolerances Some dogs like humans can have intolerances to certain ingredients so its important to find what suits your dog. If you do find that your dog is having issues with digesting their food the first thing we always check is their feeding amounts, but if this seems to be suitable then a change in their diet may be needed. Signs a diet is not suiting your dog could include, digestive upset, skin complaints, full anal glands, waxy ears, excessive moulting etc.

Although it can be any ingredient in a diet that might be causing an issue for your dog, the protein source is often the most likely contributor, therefore it is always best to choose a food which contains a single protein source, especially if the dog is sensitive. To summarise, all dogs are unique and quantity depends on the individual. The main priority is choosing a diet that suits the dog, and provides high-quality, highlydigestible ingredients. For more answers to commonly asked nutrition questions, call Helen and the team on Freephone 08082311243. References: Canine and Feline Nutrition - A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals; Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Raasch; 2011 • Small Animal Clinical Nutrition; Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny; 2010 • Nutrition and Disease management; Wortinger, Burns; 2015

Soya Beans •


Born to be mild? Satisfying your cat’s natural hunting instinct Written by Kirstie Jones, Burns Nutritionist ll humans are born with a set of primitive, natural instincts. These include hunger, fear and survival. Natural instincts form part of our genetic make-up and are ingrained in us from birth. Cats, on the other hand are born with a natural desire to hunt. Hunger isn’t a key motivator for a cat to go out and kill. After all, it’s not unusual for a cat to kill a mouse and dump it on the carpet for one of the humans to clear up. For cats, it’s all about the chase. The desire to chase begins at kitten age, and through active play kittens fine tune this instinct to become first class hunters.

Is Tiddles missing out on her natural calling? Domesticated cats that are raised indoors tend to miss out on their natural calling. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of hearing a cat fight in the early hours of the morning will appreciate why.

However, there are various ways we can help Tiddles to hold onto some of her instincts. The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 cites behaviour as one of the key welfare needs that owners should provide for their pet. This is defined in the act as, “the ability to behave naturally for their species. Eg: Play, run, dig, jump or fly.” It’s important as owners that we allow our precious felines to exhibit their natural behaviour and provide them with fantastic mental stimulation to avoid a build-up of stress and frustration.

environmental enrichment by offering mental stimulation, therefore reducing boredom. Feeding puzzles come in two forms: rolling and stationery. You don’t have to go out and purchase one either, homemade will do just fine. Below, we have shared our ideas for creating your own feeding puzzle. These are quick, easy and will result in a very happy kitty.

Say no to the bowl The easiest way to satisfy your cat’s natural hunting instinct is to do away with the traditional feeding bowl. The bowl makes cats lazy, and laziness breeds boredom. Feeding puzzles are brilliant alternatives. They provide great

Stationary Feeding Puzzle 1. Egg cartons, muffin pans and ice cube trays are all ideal starting points. 2. Keep it simple in the beginning by awakening your cat’s sight and smell senses.

3. As they learn to forage, make the

puzzle more challenging by concealing the food and watch how your cat engages their brain and hunts the feast.

22 •

Rolling Feeding Puzzle 1. Recycle the inner tube of a tissue roll. Fold off one end, fill the tube with food and partially fold the second end. 2. Watch your cat in amusement as they

try to paw the tasty delights inside and portions fall out. The challenge is for them to figure out that moving the tube gets the best results.

3. Continue upping the ante as your cat develops their hunting skills.

Nip obesity in the bud, one challenge at a time It’s estimated that around 40% of UK cats are overweight or obese. A lack of exercise and overfeeding are the most common catalysts. This makes an even stronger case for feeding puzzles, toys and stimulation. By encouraging cats to use their natural instinct and hunt, they’ll burn more calories and be less likely to gain weight. Instead of feeding Tiddles a handful of extra treats as a reward for good behaviour, use puzzles and creative play to satisfy her needs. By meeting and addressing these instinctive needs, we are doing the best job we possibly can for our beloved pets.




Office Moggie

If you were a stray cat, could you imagine anything better than chancing upon a literal pet food palace? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Sylvester the black cat some 7 years ago. After rocking up to the Burns Sales Office one afternoon, Sylvester was invited in for a cuddle and some treats. He was nervous and feisty at first, but as the weeks rolled on, he kept popping in for an afternoon snack while on his travels. Eventually, Sylvester moved in. The staff built him a little house with his own bed and during weekends and Christmas they would visit him with food and water. Fast forward seven years and Sylvester is a full-time member of the Burns family, providing cuddles and fun to the staff on a daily basis. He hasn’t lost his feisty nature, or his appetite for Burns. Just as well, really.

Sylvester is a full- time member of the Burns family •


chews the fat! This issue sees Veterinary Surgeon, John Burns, discuss the need for experience-based shopping with focus on the independent retailer.

Supporting the Independent Retailer in a High-Street Apocalypse Each week, we are reading about a new high street casualty. It’s currently the turn of fast fashion retailer, New Look who reported an annual loss of £235M. This crash is partly due to the lure of the internet, but it’s also related to the “experience economy”, or lack thereof. As a nation, we are spending more on meaningful experiences such as eating out than material items. If we do venture into shops, it’s usually for specialist advice or an experience that we can’t find on the internet. The trouble with the high-street is that many big retailers have been slow to grasp this. After all, how many times have you walked into a high street shop and not been so much as acknowledged? One good thing about all this doom and gloom is that the independent retailer - which has often been snubbed in favour of the high street - is finally being given the opportunity to thrive. 24 •

Top: Burns Pet Shop in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. Left: Our pet shop in Carmarthen Market

If we do venture into shops, it’s usually for specialist advice or an experience that we can’t find on the internet.

Pet shops are multi-functional spaces where owners can often take their pooch to be weighed, groomed and fed with the guidance of a professional. Many shops also run their own events, harnessing the power of social media to attract new customers and spread the word. Events can range from free microchipping to dog walking schemes to pet and and owner meet and greets. When it comes to my own bread and butter, I can’t think of a better place to start than the independent retailers. If you are a new pet owner, the choice of pet food on offer can be truly overwhelming. When we started Burns back in the nineties, nobody was offering natural pet food. In fact, the concept was unheard of. Now, everyone and their dog claims to be making “natural” “wholesome” “nutritious” food. Pet shop owners have the knowledge and experience to cut through the noise and really help owners to choose the best food for their dog. One of the biggest challenges we face at Burns is that customers buy our food

and move their dog onto something else because they haven’t sought appropriate advice. Perhaps they’re not feeding the correct amounts, or they’ve chosen a variety that’s unsuitable for their pooch. By taking a trip to bricks and mortar shops and taking advantage of the bespoke advice and services available, this can save time and money in the long run. I read a fantastic article by Simon Jenkins in The Guardian recently on the decline of the high-street. Jenkins makes the point that customers don’t necessarily want to sit in on their phones all day, they’re just want to find meaningful experiences and character. “The truth is that a screen is not a life. We don’t want to sit at home all day punching glass. There are no “experiences” to be had in a bypass car park.” Independent retailers champion community spirit and many offer bespoke services that are impossible to mirror online. We must cherish these spaces, the streets would be a lonely place without them.

Pet shops are multifunctional spaces where owners can often take their pooch to be weighed, groomed and fed with the guidance of a professional. •


Meet the

Search and Rescue Dogs of Scotland

Cranna, Kaniq and Jess are life - saving pooches...


26 •

The Burns delivery van, parked infront of the Cuillin.

Tony preparing a working harness on his dog , Walter

Phil and Jess, with Loch Harport behind

e had the absolute pleasure of visiting SARDA Scotland on the Isle of Skye recently. SARDA is a charitable organisation which trains dogs and their handlers to search for missing persons in Scotland. The charity operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and runs principally on donations. All handlers are trained mountain rescuers. Search dog teams are used by mountain rescue teams and police all across Scotland. We joined SARDA during an assessment weekend and it was fascinating to watch the dogs and handlers working as a highly-efficient team.

Ken, Phil and Angus explained that dogs are trained to use their acute sense of smell to detect human scent in the air. A dog has more than 220 million scent receptors, while humans have 5 million in comparison. Handlers and dogs carry out missions that can take all day or all night, often in the harshest of weather conditions. SARDA handlers are all volunteers and receive no payment for their contribution. The team is made up of people from all over Scotland who may receive a call on a Saturday afternoon and would then have to travel several hours to the location and work through the night on a search and rescue mission.

Without a doubt, dogs are a key part of mountain rescue. Aside from potentially saving someone’s life, handlers say that the human and animal bond gives them a great deal of satisfaction. Burns are proud to support SARDA Scotland and it was a great privelege to be invited to witness the team in action on the breathtaking Isle of Skye.

Phil Ken Jess

Kaniq Angus Cranna

We are proud to sponsor SARDA’S hard-working dogs with complimentary food and accessories. Would you like to make a donation? Visit •


The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation

In Praise of our Volunteers Regular readers of our humble magazine will know that we’re pretty active in the community. We have our own charity, The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation and a team of 6 superstar staff members who are responsible for driving this forward. They’re known as the Burns in the Community team. What we also have, is an incredible pool of hardworking volunteers who help us every step of the way. Without our volunteers, it would be impossible to do what we do. Their skills, dedication and experience are second to none. To show our appreciation, we’d like to shine a light on the difference that these special individuals make.

Burns By Your Side

Our award-winning, flagship project has been active for just shy of 3 years. In a nutshell, BBYS involves trained volunteers and their pets helping children to improve confidence and literary skills through reading-to-dog sessions. The idea is that a dog creates an aura of calm, allowing children to feel at ease and communicate more effectively. From Snoop the Chihuahua to Hoola the Whippet,

28 •

BBYS Volunteers Angie and Kim pictured with their dogs, Fernlea, Willow, Robin and Toby

the range of dogs taking part in the scheme are as varied as their owners. To become a volunteer, keen participants and their pooches undergo a 3-month training process before graduating to classrooms, schools and colleges to put the hard work into action. At the time of writing we have over 40 volunteers based in West Wales, Ceredigion, Swansea and Carmarthenshire who deliver weekly reading sessions. In the first half of this year alone,

the team has delivered 880 reading sessions in 40 educational settings. Commenting on the effectiveness of the project, Mrs A Davies, Deputy Headteacher at Pembrey Primary School said, “Implementing the Burns Reading Dog Scheme has had a positive impact on the well-being, self-esteem and confidence of our pupils. Reading with Cariad [the dog] is relaxing and as she is naturally non-judgmental, pupils feel more comfortable reading to their attentive, supportive companion.”

Would you be interested in becoming a Burns By Your Side volunteer? To find out more, visit:

Magic Minibus Drivers

Social isolation is a real problem, particularly in rural areas such as Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire where the Burns head office is based. We want to reduce the potential of loneliness and social isolation by connecting people with local groups and activities. We have been working in partnership with Ty Golau, the Kidwelly Community Hub, and Dolen Teifi. We have a small, committed team of volunteer drivers who give up their time to provide free transport using our community minibus. Through our partnership with Dolen Teifi, a local community transport organisation, we have now developed a mutually beneficial way of working which means, our bus is used to help Dolen Teifi meet the demand and both charities benefit from the bus being hired out.

Coffee in the Cwtch

Leading on from the last objective, we have been piloting a monthly Coffee in the Cwtch session to socially engage members of the community. The Cwtch is based at Parc Y Bocs Farm Shop and is a purpose-built community events space.

Volunteers Roy And Rod from Dolen Teifi pictured with Abbi, Katie and Chris from our Community Team.

I’ll often receive a call at the last minute and wherever possible will do my best to help out, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing I am making a difference. In addition to my community work in Wales, I also volunteer as a driver in Australia 3 times a year. - Roy Davies, Burns in the Community volunteer

From music quizzes to gardening, there is a different theme each month which once again would not be possible without the help of a friendly volunteer who ensures that everyone who attends receives a warm welcome with a hot cuppa and cake.

These are just a few ways in which our volunteers help to keep the Burns in the Community wheels in motion, we really cannot thank them enough.

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

Coffee in the Cwtch

We’re looking for Carmarthenshire - based volunteers to dedicate a couple of hours a week to help us out with various community initiatives. If this sounds pawsome, drop us a line at •


The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation

It’s Harvesting Season for

Burns in the Community The last 6 months have flown by in a whirlwind of exciting community events and projects. We’ve been busy bees laying the foundations for new initiatives in Ireland and tinkering away on existing projects in Wales. Now that it’s summer, the fruits of our labour are beginning to show. Let’s pawse for a moment to reflect on our community news.

Graduation Day for Irish Pooches

You’ll have already read about our Burns By Your Side work in Wales on the previous page. Well, we have exciting news to share for Irish readers. As of September, Irish reading dogs will be scampering into schools across County Wicklow. 5 volunteers and their companion dogs completed training with the help of Wonder Paws Training School and graduated at our recent Dogs’ Day Out event. This marks an exciting new chapter for Burns By Your Side as we evolve across the sea.

Charity of the Year 2019

We’ll be extending a helping hand to 3 more fantastic animal welfare organisations in 2019. Chosen charities will each receive a year’s worth of financial funding, free pet food and joint PR opportunities. We’ve received a record number of entries and are currently dealing with the rather tricky job of shortlisting. We’ll be announcing next year’s chosen ones in the September issue. To give an example of the benefits chosen charities can receive, we recently raised €2,303.62 at Dogs’ Day Killruddery which was shared between current charity, Dogs for the Disabled and The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

30 •

Myrddin Special Unit pictured with their Alice in Wonderland themed project

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork for Local Schools Our Community Garden Project is back with a bang this summer as 4 local schools work together to create themed raised beds. Both mainstream pupils and pupils with learning difficulties are collaborating on fun and unique designs that put their creative skills to the test. This year, the theme is celebration in conjunction with out 25th anniversary and will be judged by John Burns.

The opportunity encourages children to build their confidence and socialise with pupils from different schools while giving back to the community. Alun Owen Jones, Teacher at Myrddin Special and Autistic Unit said, “My class is made up of 8 pupils aged 8 to 11, all of which have learning difficulties, emotional and behavioural problems and/ or autism. They benefit greatly from being out in the community, learning new life skills whilst having fun at the same time. Pupils and staff alike have worked to together to learn about nature, how to care for plants and animals and how to make the garden the best it can be. It’s wonderful seeing

my pupils take a pride in what they have created whilst working hard to improve their practical and social skills. I’m convinced our involvement has improved wellbeing and helped improve their quality of life.”

Pioneering for a More Dog Friendly UK

Last year, we were approached by Pembrokeshire Tourism to join forces and launch the UK’s very first Dog Friendly Tourism Awards for the West Wales region. Any award scheme which champions the pet and owner bond is an award scheme close to our hearts, so naturally we said yes. Our Burns By Your Side reading dog teams went out and about to judge categories such as the most dog friendly pub, beach, town and accommodation provider and the awards were a great success.

We’d also like to note that the award plaques were bone-shaped - what’s not to love?! Now, in our second year of running the awards, we have garnered attention from Visit Wales and the UK at large. It’s our collective aim to encourage owners to take their pets on holiday, rather than leave them in kennels, safe in the knowledge that there will be an abundance of dogfriendly providers at their chosen destination to support them. Here’s hoping that this is the start of something pawsome and we can encourage not just Pembrokeshire, but the UK as a whole to commit to being a more dog friendly place.

The Butterfly Project Grows Wings

Effect seeks to change this. We are working in partnership with NHS Board Hywel Dda Complex Neurological Therapy Service to deliver a rehabilitation programme which empowers individuals and improves wellbeing through meaningful activities. From constructing and developing community polytunnels to growing and harvesting vegetables to varied craftwork, the group have developed practical skills while forging new relationships and integrating into the community. Leeks and Radishes grown by participants are now being used in dishes at Parc Y Bocs Farm Shop where the project takes place, with a large harvest expected in late summer.

Those who suffer with chronic health conditions often find themselves socially isolated, The Butterfly

The Butterfly Effect Team

To stay up to date with our charitable foundation, follow Burns in the @BurnsPetNutritionFoundation Community on Facebook •



Burns Pet

r a e Y y t i Char of the


In 2015, we decided to permanently offer a year’s supply of financial support, pet food and promotion to the UK animal welfare organisations that need it the most. We called it The Charity of the Year Programme. Learn about this year’s chosen ones, Forever Hounds Trust and Dogs for the Disabled...

Finding Forever Homes for Doers and Dozers Since 1996, Forever Hounds Trust has found loving new homes for over 9,000 dogs. The Oxford-based charity specialises in rehabilitating and rehoming Greyhounds, Lurchers and all other Sighthounds. Although all dogs that come into Forever Hounds’ care are unique in terms of looks and personality, they can usually be affectionately described as either ‘doers’ or ‘dozers.’ If you’re thinking about committing to a pooch, it’s important to consider whether your lifestyle matches the needs of the dog. Luckily, Forever Hounds are here to help.

Doers If you love the great outdoors and can commit to plenty of high-energy exercise, a doing dog could be the right match for you.

32 •

Callie and Pixie are two older dogs currently in the care of Forever Hounds Trust who are described as ‘dozing’ dogs and would like to find a fairly quiet home.

Dr Fiona Cooke heads up Homing and Kennelling for Forever Hounds and explains, “The dogs we describe as doers are the ones who will really enjoy an active life. Some of the dogs we have found forever homes for are now agility champions! Others are competing in canicross or bikejor with their new owners.” Both bikejor and canicross – which is cycling or running while connected to your dog on a bungee – are particularly active sports that you can enjoy with your dog, but there are many, many more dogs who just enjoy being out and about with their new families, enjoying long walks or playing games in the garden.

Dozers Would a less active pooch suit your lifestyle better? Greyhounds are usually known for sprinting around a racetrack, but in fact, this docile breed loves nothing more than retiring to bed for some rest and relaxation.

Forever Hounds Trust has found loving new homes for over 9,000 dogs.

Since 1996

Big Hound Chill Out nds in Forever Hounds Trust are celebrating the dozing hou Out’, their care this August by holding a ‘Big Hound Chill raise which is a great excuse to relax with your pooch and some money to save the lives of hounds in need.

Abbi is one of Forever Hounds Trust’s ‘doing’ dogs that is currently looking for an active home.

Fiona says, “Our dozers will generally be our older dogs, and often our greyhounds! The gorgeous and gentle creatures are affectionately known as the forty milesper-hour couch potatoes! They like nothing better than a comfy sofa or warm bed and although they do like one or two short walks a day some of them can be very lazy indeed if the weather isn’t to their liking! These dogs are particularly well suited to older people or those that want a wonderful companion animal without the demands of a dog that needs a lot of exercise.”

your own, To find out how you can join a Chill Out event, or hold hillout/ visit:

There’s a Lurcher for Everyone Looking for a lurcher? Lurchers are a cross between any type of sighthound and any other breed of dog, which means they can look like and have the personality of almost anything! But, it also means that there is likely to be a lurcher for everyone! Whether you are after a small dog, large dog, smooth coated, rough coated, dark colour, light colour, snoozy or bouncy and playful, there’s a lurcher that would fit the description!

Teddie is known as ‘Super Ted’ by the volunteers at Forever Hounds Trust and is currently looking for a fairly active home.

Fiona says, “With such a multitude of dog personalities we really do have a dog for everyone, and our matching service helps those coming to us find the right dog for them, whether that’s a doer or a dozer!” Could you offer a home to one of Forever Hounds Trust’s ‘doing’ or ‘dozing’ hounds? Call them on 03000 111 100 or email to find out more.

For more information on homing a rescued dog, and to see the dogs currently in need of a home with Forever Hounds Trust, visit or call 03000 111 100 •


Paws Up for the Coolmine Project Dogs for the Disabled has been working to improve the lives of children and adults living with disabilities since 2007. Located specifically in Ireland, the charity relies on volunteers and donations and receives no government funding. Assistance dogs are expertly trained to help adults and children with everyday practical tasks, so that they can achieve greater independence. Some of these tasks include opening and closing doors, helping a person dress and undress, emptying the washing machine and switching the lights on and off. That’s not all. Dogs for the Disabled has just started working with the Coolmine charity in Dublin on an innovative new pilot puppy scheme. Coolmine is a drug and alcohol treatment rehabilitation centre and provides residential services to men, women and their families in Ireland. Therapy is provided by way of community where each individual is responsible for their own recovery with the support of peers and staff.

Recovery is generally made by participating in educational activities, group and individual therapy with abstinence being the main goal. This is where Dogs for the Disabled come in. New Dogs for the Disabled puppies, Leon and Lacey have been placed with two male Coolmine clients who are training the pups up in the first stages of becoming assistance dogs. The clients are currently enrolled in an 8-week training programme where they are teaching the puppies basic obedience and learning to read their body language to work out what they need. Clients are educated in canine learning principles, which helps them to develop their own awareness of the importance of patience, consistency and routine.

assistance at a with reduced Leon and Laceydogs pictured Burnscost. staff Laura, Carol and Rory at Dogs’ Day Out Killruddery recently

The project is achieving very positive results. Dogs for the Disabled CEO Jennifer Dowler commented, “These men are so committed to turning their lives around and with the staff and support of Coolmine, they are looking at a different future for themselves.” Once the 8-week period is complete, Lacey and Leon will go on to their next stage of training before becoming full-time assistance dogs for children and adults living with disabilities.

Puppies Leon and Lacey

34 •

Dogs for the Disabled also have a similar scheme in place which is active at a female prison, The Dóchas Centre, in Ireland. Participants benefit from socialisation, wellbeing and structure and the charity benefits from being able to train more

To learn more about the pawsome work that Dogs for the Disabled do, visit:

Supported by

LEAD the WAY Dog Walking Group

Do you LOVE being ac tive with your dog? Would you LOVE to meet LIKE - MINDED individuals? Join a LEAD THE WAY walk or host one in your local area.


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Suitable for both adults & puppies







Award-winning food established since 1993 All the usual Burns health benefits in a grain-free formula Unrivalled support and free advice. Call 08082317039 for your free copy

Request a free sample or chat to our expert nutritionists about your pet’s dietary needs on freephone number 08082317039.

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