There is no soft fabric, that a dog cannot chew. The rule of thumb is that if you can cut the fabric with scissors, a dog can definitely chew it and if you serve it up in the shape of dog beds, they will get shredded if the dogs are so inclined. We get in touch with companies, who claim to be producing super, super tough fabrics and want to offer it to us for chew proof dog beds. However, if it can be cut, it can be chewed. If you think about it, dogs chew with the teeth they have immediately behind their canine teeth and they work like scissors by flexing against each other just like two blades on shearers..
Our dog beds are tough and durable, but not chew proof, so please do not give your dogs these beds if you suspect they will be attacked. Our problem is, that very often people buy our dog beds for dogs that normally chew and they have great success with them. This is because there is a big difference between the off-the-shelf low quality stuff you buy in a pet shop and the top quality dog beds that we produce. So customers are delighted and then they go and tell their friends all about these “chew proof” dog beds. Then what happens is that the friends take their advice and go out to buy a normal Tuffie bed for their destructive dogs. You can work out what happens next: the dogs rip up the beautiful, premium dog beds and leave the owners disillusioned. Then, sometimes the customer comes back to us to complain that he thought he had bought a chewproof dog bed, which it clearly is not. Then we finally have to do all the back peddling.
However, the good news are that Tuffies are robust, don’t flatten down to nothing and last for years, and we have of course the Really Tough Tuffie, which is money-back-guaranteed chew proof. So if you have a truly chewing dog, you have the answer in the Really Tough Tuffie. This bed is not chew proof because it is made from particularly strong materials, but because it is put together in a clever way that means that the dog cannot get hold of the chewable parts. Amongst all the tough dog beds in the world, this one provides perfect comfort, draft exclusion and money back guarantee. Your dogs will be snug and comfy and in no danger of eating stuffing. They will lie on these dog beds and sleep while you can lie in your bed with complete piece of mind.
With the production of dog beds ramped up to maximum capacity, the thoughts go to Christmas and Santa’s comfort. As we are making totally waterproof dog beds, we thought that they would be ideal to keep Santa’s bum warm as he whizzes through the skies on his sleigh delivering presents to all the children in the world. And hopefully to all the dogs in the world, who have been good all year. Presumably Santa sometimes runs into a snow storm and if he does not have a durable and reliable seat, he is going to get his bottom wet and he will get all cold and uncomfortable.
It would be very nice if Santa himself can sit in comfort and perhaps have a Luxury Fleece over the Tuffies dog bed as he flies along from chimney to chimney.
Coming to think of it, it would seem a little morbid if Santa is sitting on a reindeer skin while Rudolph is pulling the sleigh. It could be Rudolph’s uncle for all we know. Much better for Santa to make his huge Christmas visit sitting on one of our bespoke dog beds keeping himself all snug.
But hang on…. we expect that Santa up in Lapland is kind of a competitor to Tuffies if all his elves are making counterfeit dog beds. Do not take any copy cat dog beds from Santa this Christmas. Only the genuine article from us will be the real Tuffie dog bed. We know those little elves are very clever, but we suspect they are not quite as good at making dog beds as we are here at Tuffies. Not only do we have to fend off copy cats and even people who cheat through Google, but we now have Santa to deal with.
Obviously, you can always PRETEND that the present comes from Santa if you are wanting to give your dogs the best dog beds in the world. To be honest, we think that that is indeed what happens. Judging from how busy we are at the moment, we are sure that you are all generously ordering the best dog beds for your own pets (yes, also for cats) and for your friends’ dogs and cats. Then, as you pretend that Santa has been on his sleigh, you come up with the best present a dog can ever wish for: a couple of wonderful luxury dog beds that they can snuggle into all night.
Anyway, I don’t have time to write all this nonsense because I need to get out there and make more GENUINE Tuffies dog beds for all the expectant Christmas dogs round the country.
In our house we use real candles on the (real) tree and we decorate the tree with old decorations that all mean something because they were either given to us by friends, inherited from our childhood homes or the kids made them back in the old days. When the festive time comes, every dog owner invariably wants to involve the dogs in the festive season and that means partly to move the dog beds in near the area where the rest of the family is gathered. This is always really nice and various statistics will tell you what a large proportion of dog owners that also give their dog a Christmas present. Well, we certainly see it here because we get very busy up to Christmas when dog owners buy dog beds for their pets or maybe for their friends, who own pets.
It is lovely to have the furry family member in near the festivities, but of course they may not see the lovely roasts and goodies on the coffee table as anything other than easy pickings. Depending on how well behaved pooch is, you need to look out for the pitfalls. On our real tree, we fill the little baskets with sweets and we have learned the hard way that those baskets have to be hung fairly high up. This is not for grand children, of which there aren’t any and won’t be any for a LONG time, but for the dogs. I know it’s said that chocolate is dangerous for dogs and I am sure that is true, but the little sweets may not contain that much cocoa. The problem is more that the dogs get up from their dog beds JUST as you slip out of the room and take their chance to indelicately pick off the baskets and, no doubt, eat the whole basket with content, trashing the tree and decorations in the process.
The other thing about old fashioned trees is that the candles might drip. When you put real candles on the tree, you risk fires and obviously one can never leave the tree unattended with live candles on it, but the other thing is that if you have put the dog beds near, or under, the tree, you might like to think about the candle drips. It’s hot and painful to get a candle drip on your head and the dogs might not appreciate it. It might also be difficult to get the wax off your waterproof dog beds or at least it might stain if you have red candles.
Not long to Christmas now….
So Christmas is getting nearer and it is ok to have lots of nuts around the house. Not that we are eating them constantly, but at the moment they are replacing the roasted peanuts that go with that Ahhh break feeling in the evening when the dogs have settled down on their dog beds and a small G&T or a single glass of wine is used to divide the line between work and not-work. Missed it tonight, it’s nearly 21.30 and soon bed time.
The dogs, who are never, ever allowed titbits at the table, are allowed one Christmas treat, which is the fun of the nuts. Yes, some say nuts are bad for dogs, but it doesn’t seem to bother them. In fact, I have often enough observed a pooh, which seems to be a couple of handfuls of peanuts. This is obviously when SOMEONE has been naughty and emptied the peanut bowl in a moment where there was nobody in the room. My dogs have all had a steal from the coffee table and survived the peanuts. You come back into the room and they are all lying there, ever so happy on their comfortable dog beds, but not telling you that their bellies are full of stolen peanuts. Hahaha.
Anyway, the Christmas nuts are given out in their shells and each dog comes to get one. They carefully take them to their dog beds, where they fumble them round their mouths till it is just between the right set of teeth and then CRACK. The walnuts make a mess because the dogs will crack and spit. The whole lot goes on the dog bed once it’s splintered and the dog then picks out all the edible bits. The walnuts are complicated for that because they have all those bits of convoluted nuts with little dividers between them and the shells splinter into lots of bits. But they lick out every morsel of nut and when satisfied that the dog beds are all full of slightly soggy nut shells, they see if they can perhaps come and ask for one more.
The hazel nuts are better. They tend to crack into a few pieces with the nut still intact. They don’t take long to eat for our canine friends.
It is our intention to plant lots of hazel nut trees in the area outside the Tuffies work shop because I have observed, when I go on my bike in the morning, that there is a little area near the river, where the bank is covered in hazel nut bushes, that there are lots of red squirrels. The Tuffies workshop has plenty of windows to give a light, nice work environment and we would love to be able to see the odd red squirrel whizzing by while we are making great dog beds.
So Christmas is getting nearer, at least it can be noticed in the supermarkets. The Halloween costumes were intermingled with tentative attempts to sell a bit of Christmas themed items, but one could pass it and think that it is just so that relatives of expats can buy some to send to Australia, knowing that it might get there in time. Bonfire night took over the Halloween sales quickly and we all prayed that our dogs would stay on their awesome dog beds while the bonfire nights came and went. Our bonfire night last weekend went like this: as we were building the fire and making the Guy, it was getting darker and I noticed that Gaia was getting fed up with all the messing around and she had actually gone to bed. She obviously enjoys her lovely dog beds in the kennels and was in sleeping mode. Fine, we knew where she was. It took quite a while to make the big pile of wood, but we finally got it lit with a whoosh. Wonderful to see the flames against the Scottish Highland sky and feel the warmth. The scared Guy Fawkes went up with the flames, his hair alight. Finally we got all the fireworks out. They were the sad, cheapy ones and we decided that next year we are going to have a few selected huge ones instead of a stream of wee fizzzzzs!! The whole “display” was not very impressive although we did manage to lift hundreds of geese off the nearby loch. Gollum and Tippex, the other two GWPs were beginning to look a little concerned so our sensible son decided to put them in the car so they could feel secure on their warm dog beds that they know so well. He asked me where Gaia was and I said she was fine, she had gone to bed in her kennel. I was wrong. The festivities went on and we all had a lovely time, just us family, enjoying the fresh air and some nice little fireworks. In the back of my mind was, however, Gaia, so at some point I decided to see if she was still in her kennel, content on her great dog beds. I called, but as she did not appear, I used my torch to shine inside the kennel to check. No dog ! Hmmmm…. I then looked in the house as she might have slipped in there, but there was no dog. I was now very worried. If she had taken flight and run off because of the fireworks, she might have run a long, long way. Some dogs can simply run off till they are so far away and disorientated that they can’t find their way home. I walked round the garden, which is two acres and luckily she suddenly came running towards me. She had made herself a little Tuffie nest in the grass in the bottom of the garden, across the stream. It’s more a little wilderness in there and she had been hiding in the bushes. Wow, I could have messed up big time by not thinking the right thing. How terrible would I have felt if she had disappeared!!! Maybe we would have found her the next day, maybe not…..
I was so pleased to see her, and she to see me. I took her straight to the car where the others were enjoying the less exposed feeling on their secure, nice dog beds. She was very happy.
Yesterday and the day before I spent the day trudging round the turnip fields with a young dog on the lead. There were two trials, an Open trial on Monday and a Novice one on Tuesday. My dog was not ready for an open, so I didn’t need to be nervous. There was a low entry number and I was just joining to make up the numbers so that the trial could run. She had been much better off staying at home on her dog beds instead of being walked round and round on the lead. She had a nice run at first, which resulted in a point. The guns moved up and got ready, but when I sent her in, there was nothing there. The judges were very keen on my little dog, but they could not get a result just there. She hunted round in the root crop, but there was no bird. The dog after me put a rabbit up and chased it slightly. It was assumed that Gaia had been pointing that, but we will never know exactly.
She got another run and she was calm because it was now much later in the day. She would normally have spent hours on the waterproof dog beds, so she was not quite so sparkling and fresh anymore. It was a bit tiresome to listen to her whining, a big fault in a dog, but it seemed that not many people had noticed, just me. On her next run I kept her safely away from an electric fence as I didn’t want her to get a shock. I was more in shoot-day mood and didn’t think about the fact that she of course was not covering the area in front of the judges, who walked close to the electric fence. They put a bird up and normally I would have expected the guns to take a shot and I would then use my dog for a safe retrieve, but of course this is a competition and I was now out. In an open trial you can’t afford to miss a bird. I was asked to put the lead back on my dog and practically take it home to its dog beds “to think again”.
On Tuesday I entered a Novice trial, which should be better, but the judges managed to run a novice trial almost the entire day on a back wind, so it was not really for novice dogs. I took my young dog, traveling the “Gollum way”, where we once lost Gollum, flying off the dog beds in the back of my Nissan Navara when the back flap came open without me noticing (see earlier post). I had a good first run, but the other problem with that day was the lack of birds. Hardly any game on the ground!! It is a shame as it was basically boring and not much to base a trial on. It was almost like trialling dogs that were out for a walk….
Anyway, a winner was found both days and as Tuffies are sponsors on these events, we donated some sturdy dog beds for the two winners.
There is a bounty of healthy, happy meat around at the moment. For next to nothing you can pick up pheasants and ducks and partridges from shooting estates. So I did just that, as I was driving home from a visit to Inverness, but I had three dogs in their dog beds in the back of the pick-up and it was very crammed indeed. So I bottled out and went home first to drop the dogs off. I should really be confident with having dogs and game in the same vehicle and it does happen from time to time. I am not scared that they would start eating the game, but I have one little nagging worry about the young one: she is quite possessive over birds. IF I was going to pick the birds up with the dogs in the same car, I would have put the birds under the dog beds in a corner and it would no doubt have been fiiiiiine, but the possessiveness of the youngster might spark a fight. It is most annoying to have a dog with that character. I have found this before even walking along with a bird in my hand and the dog to heel. If another dog comes near the bird in my hand, she can show teeth and give a little snap saying this is my bird. Not good, but it happens so quick, I have never got time to stop her. It is much easier to tell a dog off that has the same possessiveness over its dog beds as it is a slower process. If one dog is on the bed and won’t let the others come near, we can intervene and as alpha dogs we can tell the pack to get on to the same bed, end of story.
Anyway, I got the birds home and started the big process of butchering and getting them all prepared for the freezer. The dogs were lying on their warm dog beds in the same room and were all very well behaved. I could have left the room without any problem, none of them would have got up to steal a bird. Once they are up on the table and obviously in the butchering process, the young dog is happy and not possessive. In fact I could see her fast asleep on her dog beds, not caring at all.
By the way, the waterproof dog beds are ideal for picking up game as you can just wipe off any blood that might get spilled. I have also had deer and other stuff chucked on the bed in the back of my car, no problem. Obviously if you do that, even if you clean everything, next time the dogs get in to the car, their extremely fine noses will tell them, through the scent of the nice cleaning agents, that there has been SOME dead thing on here and they sniff and sniff the dog beds. You can understand, when you see that behaviour, why sniffer dogs are so useful for detecting even the smallest speck of blood on a carpet years after an incident. They are amazing.
It is the most heart breaking experience to have someone you love in pain. As dog lovers and animal lovers it is also terrible to have an animal being ill or operated on or simply in some unknown pain. When they can’t talk or describe what is wrong, we wreck our brains guessing what is going on when they seem off colour. We try to get them to sleep on their dog beds to recover or we give them water or a good brisk walk to blow the cobwebs away, but sometimes it is not that easy and we end up being told by the vet that a nasty operation is the only way ahead for recovery of pooch. So when our four legged friends have been in the operating theater, they are usually kept at the vet’s surgery for a day or more, where they have to put up with the dog beds that are provided there. They are not always great, but there are various reasons for why the beds at the vets are simple, such as the need for total disinfection. We are not talking about “nice and clean dog beds”, but absolutely bacteria and virus free environment when the patients still have open wounds or are lying, hooked up to drips several days.
Once the little four legged patient comes back for home recovery, he or she will not really need a sterile bed as all wounds will be bandaged with sterile bandages, but just one that can be kept completely clean, which is why our Wipe Clean Tuffie Beds are exceptionally great. You can use a disinfectant household surface cleaner to wipe over the surface and you can even take the bed outside and scrub it down with boiling hot, soapy water and rinse off with boiling water from the kettle. The Fluffie Tuffie covers can be washed at 60 degrees Celsius, which is adequate for the situation.
The other great big advantage of our Waterproof dog beds is that they are filled with a firm, supportive mattress that will not go squishy or flat. If your dog has had surgery, especially leg surgery, it would be a disaster to ask him to get in to a really soft bed where he has to lift his legs right over and in to a deep, sinking bed. Our dog beds provide perfect support and warmth and it is simple and easy and safe for the slightly unsteady dog to just step on and step off. No wobblyness and no big effort to get in.
We recently received this photo of Charlie on his Tuffie after having broken his leg. He has now fully recovered and our customer wrote: “His beloved Tuffie was sure to have been instrumental in his recovery!!”
It has just occurred to me that we are going to be very sad not to have our companions in the office when we move. In our office we obviously have lots of great dog beds both old ones for durability testing and new ones that we are trying out to see if they are nice and popular with the dogs. But we frequently sneak the dogs in from the garden to be in the office, especially if the weather is really bad. When we move into our new office premises this will be a lot less straight forward and we will probably not have them in very often.
So I think we need to try and make some excuses up, such as for example: We need the dogs to be here enjoying their warm dog beds because the acoustics in the room is quite hard. It would help to have the warm creatures in, filling the room up with buffer for the sound. This is actually not too far fetched because it can be almost impossible to hear someone on the phone properly if there is not a good sound in the room. We don’t quite know yet if we will need to import lots of winter dog beds to soften the sound yet because the moment there is simply nothing in there at all. There are no invoice files stored away and there are not even chairs in there yet. I did buy some nice rugs for the floor in order to absorb some sound, but they don’t seem to have a huge effect yet.
We really look forward to moving in, but this is the same as usual: we are too busy to get it done. I keep promising staff that NEXT week will be the moving day, but then the week slips again. However, we have achieved some of the hardware such as TWO new computers and the chairs, still in boxes. Today I need to get hold of some table lamps and we also need the electrician to sort out some more sockets. And guess what? We will probably move the dog beds in first of all.
Hopefully next time I write this article I will be writing it from my new desk in the new, buffered office and one of my beloved dogs will be in one of the lovely dog beds under my chair. Here is hope…..
So it has been difficult to get really good models to come and model our dog beds. Although there are many lovely and beautiful dogs around, it is completely different when a dog comes in to a strange building and furthermore is put into a strange environment of a photo-studio. The ones we have tried so far have been a disaster. I had asked a dog trainer to bring some of her clients along. I made it clear that it should be some of the ones that have well behaved dogs that would sit and stay plus they should be of a calm character so that they would not start panting in fear. Well, the major error I made was not to think this through, as by nature people go to dog training to get a handle on their unruly pooches. So obligingly the dog trainer turned up with a group of extremely nice people with extremely nice and beautiful dogs to model all our best dog beds here at HQ. Nothing worked, in fact the only dog that made it to our web site was the trainer’s own Whippet.
So I started to ask round more seriously and as word spread, everyone in town wanted their dogs to model our small and large dog beds. In fact we ended up being inundated with material and it seemed that all the owners were totally clear that they MUST come along with a dog that is laid back and obedient. What a success this was and it is great fun. Basically we are looking for dogs, who will go to the veterinary surgery with a smile and a wagging tail because a photo studio feels and looks just like it.
So the dogs come along and are let out of the car ON STRANGE ground with strange dogs (ours) barking. This is unnerving, but it’s hilarious how those laid back dogs just shrug their shoulders and tot about. Then we lead them into the studio, which is full of warm dog beds and lots of lamps and a white sheet with a white back wall sheet. If they don’t think they are at the vet’s by now, they are not paying attention, but these great pooches are cool about the vet. They now have to go into one of the beautiful dog beds, which they know do not belong to them and which are smelling ever so slightly of other dogs. Here they have to lie down and be very good. A staring dog that pants does not look good in a photograph, no matter how much they are enjoying where they are lying. As they eventually start to relax (you have to give even the calmest dog a little time to settle in), we start to take photographs, which means that strange noises are clicking away. Most of the dogs, it has to be said, were a little bit overly fixed upon their owners, but some of them started to enjoy the dog beds and even began to fall asleep. We had a lovely Collie in, who fell asleep and we also had a nice little Miniature Schnauzer, who started nodding off.
It has been great fun and in fact the owners all seemed to enjoy the experience and challenge of being in the studio under a little bit of pressure. All the strong dog beds along with the softer ones, were photographed under various happy dogs and they are now being used in our adverts and on the web site www.tuffies.co.uk