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Luxury Dog Beds Made in Scotland.

Last Thursday was the big evening of Scottish Rural Awards in Edinburgh, held at Dynamic Earth. Because we work with Ardmoor Outdoor Clothing, we were invited to the dinner at their table.

Tuffies make strong, durable dog beds designed for total dog comfort and practical cleaning. We mainly supply dog beds for larger dogs and appeal to a large degree to outdoorsy people, who like to walk their dogs in all weathers and terrains. This means wet dogs and wet dog beds that have to be easy to clean. Our waterproof dog beds are perfect for that and as a result our ethos fits well with Ardmoor.

As Ardmoor supplies clothing for outdoor pursuits, hunting is one of them and I have been asked to become an “expert” on their web site describing my life hunting with pointers in Scotland. There will soon be a first article on their web site talking about the current grouse pair counting on the highland moors, which I do plenty of at this time of year. There is also a blog here at tuffies describing the recent pair counting.

 

The Wonderful Businesses of Scotland.

With the dire political situation in Scotland and a disastrous budget deficit etc etc, it is tempting to be very depressed about the state of Scotland, but my Goodness the awards evening was such an uplifting experience giving great hope for all things Scottish. I realised how many people beaver away in Scotland making great things and inventing great things. There is a fantastic Scottishness about it all. Most of the businesses are taking inspiration from the highlands, the mountains and the sea. There is a real push for food and drink production and a great focus on what Scotland can offer tourists well beyond the tartan and whisky. Tartan and whisky is not dismissed in the new upstarted Scottish businesses, but there is a new take on the old traditions with many great modern add-ons to the old traditions.

 

The Categories

The first one up was in education. Scotland offers such opportunities for outdoor pursuits in one of the last natural areas on earth (that is safe to travel in at least) and the Scots make the most of this and appreciate it. The two runners up and the winner were all focusing on young people and lesser abled people getting out there exploring themselves by exploring the Scottish rural and wild environment. It is so important to get the youngsters out enjoying the Scottish nature. The first runner up was helping disable children and everyone else getting access to waters for surfing and swimming. The second was creating camps for young people where they learn field crafts such as camping and cooking over fires. The winner was an academy that focuses a lot on teaching farming in all its forms. Great.

There was also a prize for environmentally focused organisations. Plastic is the thing at the moment and The Great Nurdle Hunt is picking up all manner of litter, especially the little plastic beads that pollute many of our beaches.

 

Also Kimo, the winner, was focused on cleaning plastic out of the sea.

This does worry us a little bit because it is by far the most efficient, light and safe way of sending dog beds, when we send them in plastic bags. The dog beds are often left in a safe place after delivery and, although they are waterproof dog beds, they would be best served being packed in the plastic bags. Re-use is what we hope will happen to the bags after. Hopefully our customers will take the bed out and use the bag for something later. The bags are heavy duty and would be useful for a large range of purposes.

Scotland is a great tourist attraction, but not for the people that prefer drinks on the beach. If you are up for an outdoorsy experience, giving a bit of physical effort and like great fresh air, Scotland is it. A cycle hire company from Outer Hebrides ran off with the first prize, very well deserved. To enjoy Scotland, by the way, you need to be prepared for rain and midges. Any day that does not have one of those Scottish additives are a complete bonus. But I spend many, many days on the hills in Scotland and this has never ruined the enjoyment. It’s just that some days are better than others.

If you have dogs, it is worth looking up how to find dog friendly holiday houses, especially if you can find one near the beach. It is worth mentioning that many places for walking the dogs in Scotland can be slightly limited during certain parts of the season. Most of the year actually. Vast areas in Scotland are owned by Scottish Estates. In Scotland you have the right to roam, which is a fantastic freedom for everyone as you simply have the right by law to walk across all land. In England this luxury does not exist. However, with rights and liberties come duties and it is extremely important to respect the conduct of walking in the countryside. The estates are precious about their wild life and you must keep your dog on the lead. Ground nesting birds are common and dogs can have a terribly negative impact by scaring curlews, lapwings and grouse off their nests. Sheep is another thing you must respect when walking your dog in the beautiful and welcoming hills of Scotland. Sheep graze out most of the year and a sheep chase by a dog can result in them losing their lambs, but also in death from shock or simply if they are bitten.

All in all food and drink did dominate the awards and it is great to see how Scottish produce is a serious export commodity. Those Scottish farms that manage to diversify are head and shoulders above their peers. One farm gave up selling their lovely milk when the price dropped below production cost, but with diversification in to cheese making they now thrive and have an export market to England and abroad.

Tuffies is very proud to be part of all the companies north of the border, selling dog beds from a rural location in Scotland to the entire United Kingdom.