Sarah Marles- Mrs P.A.W.S. Creator of Paws Adventure Walking Service, two beautiful children and this blog post!
It's not often in life you get to meet some pretty inspirational and interesting people who have a love for the same things as yourself. Most recently I've rubbed noses (not literally) with the lovely NIsha Katona of Mowgli Trust Dog Show/ Mowgli Street Food fame, and Dominic Hodgson best selling author of 'How To Be Your Dog's Superhero', soon to be best selling author of his next book 'Worry Free Walks' both of whom I got connected to through a mutual love for dogs. So to add to this by meeting Kate Humble last night, a lady who I have admired and like for years, was a real treat.
I've liked Kate for a long time and her programmes have been an inspiration to me for a decade. She has presented all my favourites over the years from Spring Watch, Countryfile, and my favourite of them all Lambing Live.....a particular highlight. Infact Kate Humble and Adam Henson are one of the key influencers in my decision to up sticks off to the Lake District in 2010 in search of a rural life. I was lucky enough to find that rural life and had four years doing my own lambing live! It was a lot more brutal in real life, I have to admit, the non edited version saw me quite literally up to my elbows in sheep birth and at 4am in the morning it's quite a bleak and sometimes upsetting place to be, nothing like the Lambing Live I was used to watching from the comfort of my own sofa. So fast forward 8 years and I'm now mother to my own little lambs aged 4 and 5, and I'm knee deep in dogs rather than lambs, but the love of being outdoors and amongst animals and nature is always key for me and this is what drew me to Kate's new book.
So last night, I met Kate through her book signing with Linghams Booksellers for her new book 'Thinking On My Feet' which is a celebration of the simple act of walking. It's beautifully written and has a strong message running through it; to improve your health and well being.....walk more. It's free, easy to do and is a brilliant way to escape the daily and increasingly overbearing technological age that we live in.
As a professional dog walker, I walk every day come rain, hail , snow or shine and I absolutely LOVE it. It goes without saying that I love working with dogs but crucially it's the being outdoors that keeps me sane. As a single mum of two young children and a business to run, with two staff members to support and a never ending barrage of to do lists, phone calls to make, social media to see to and a household to run it's pretty tough at times. My head is absolutely full of stuff......what are we going to eat for dinner, what do the children need for school today, what time am I supposed to me meeting that new client, how many emails do I need to reply to today, the list is endless! But, when I am out there walking, putting one foot in front of the other, just like Kate says in the book......my mind is peaceful, clear, almost meditative. I can THINK and have space to de-clutter that head space. I notice nature all around me, the simple things give me pleasure, the air fills my head and I am happy. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the dogs love it too, they are mindful and see the joy that is right there, they feel the surroundings and immerse themselves in it fully and I'm thankful to say that I do too. OK admittedly, I don't immerse myself quite as much as the dogs as they happily roll in the fox poo and eat shells, but I'm pretty immersed most of the time, and it really is good for me......a therapy and an escape from the busy full throttle life that awaits me once the walk has ended.
So it's clear that Kate's book resonates with me and meeting her and seeing her enthusiasm for the great outdoors, for walking, for nature and animals is contagious. She is as lovely in real life as she is on the telly box. So if you are feeling a bit low, or tired and a bit gloomy now that winter is upon us, grab the book and immerse yourself in a great read and then do something that will really help to raise your mood; grab that lead and tell your dog it's walkies time, wrap up warm and head on out. Look out for nature as you go and embrace the natural world, its a commodity that is free and has so much to offer and even if it's just a little Robin that you stumble across, a Wirral Rock that you find and re-hide, a squirrel looking for his hidden nuts or another dog walker just enjoying the exercise and the inspiration from all that surrounds you. Allow yourself to be humbled by nature and the little joys of being outdoors and return home feeling that little bit better.
For more information on how dog walking can help you feel better click here for read my previous blog.
For more information on Kate's book, click here.
Sarah Marles - Mrs P.A.W.S. owner and creator of Paws Adventure Walking Service, and Gemma Rogers - Canine Fulfillment Officer at P.A.W.S.
It's World Mental Health Day today, and this got us thinking about how our mental health affects everything we do in life, our job, our relationships, the way we feel about ourselves and how we communicate and act when alone and in company. In turn, this got us thinking about how things would be better if everyone was a little more DOG. Dogs are such amazing creatures, full of unconditional love, unquestioning affection and the ability to find joy in everything. In fact, we came to conclusion that just owning a dog has a positive impact on your mental health, and here's how......
For more information on World Mental Health Day, visit the MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION WEBSITE HERE.
Until next time,
By Sarah Marles- Mrs P.A.W.S.
You can tell it's Halloween season with the leaves turning golden, the temperature dropping and the children settling back into school. Pick your own pumpkins are popping up in fields across the countryside and farms are enticing us in with their tractor rides, toffee apples and PYO pumpkin experiences. It's this part of October that I love. As a dog walker this season is my absolute favourite. The crowds have gone from the local beauty spots, the countryside looks stunning bathed in a golden glow with low sunshine streaming through the bronzed and tarnished tree canopies and the wildlife is crazy busy getting all their stores full to the brim before the ravages of winter takes hold. It's a great time for dogs too, as they rustle through the leaves and splash in the streams now full with rainfall after the parched dryness of the scorching summer, and chase the abundance of squirrels from tree to tree, wishing they could climb up and savage the little furry blighters!
Dogs can also benefit health wise from the season by eating the pumpkins themselves, and unusually this is one of the only fruits a dog can eat safely, with lots of health benefits.
So here's 7 health benefits for your dog provided by pumpkin:
1. Pumpkin is great for digestive issues in dogs.
Some dog owners may already know that pumpkin is a good remedy for diarrhea, but it’s also good for relieving constipation in dogs. Dogs that have IBS or require a bland diet may benefit from adding pumpkin to their food on a regular basis. It's easy to digest and the taste is actually enjoyed by even the fussiest eater.
2. Pumpkins are full of healthy goodness that's great for dogs.
Pumpkins contain a lot of fiber while being low in calories, fat and cholesterol. They contain a good amount of beta-carotene along with magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and C.
3. Pumpkin seeds are packed with health boosting vitamins and minerals.
Pumpkin seeds contain plant-based, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants along with other beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc.
4. Pumpkin seeds are proven to improve insulin regulation in animals (and humans) aiding urinary health (prevention of kidney stones) and in reducing inflammation.
5. Pumpkins are a great way to bulk up your dogs food with fibre without adding too many calories. It is therefore ideal in aiding weight loss in your dog, whilst keeping him fuller for longer.
6. Pumpkin is said to contain oils that help improve a dogs coat making it glossy and shiny, along with easing itchy, sensitive skin conditions.
7. Ongoing research has found that the amino acid cucurbitin, found in pumpkin and pumpkin seeds may be a natural dewormer for tapeworm and other intestinal parasites.
With such impressive health benefits, it would be a shame to limit your dogs access to this super-food to autumn time only. Pumpkin can be found canned in many super markets or online nowadays, to give your dog a natural, health boost all year round. Alternatively, you can simply puree the pumpkin pulp now and freeze them into ice cube sizes chunks ready to thaw and feed as required.
Please remember NOT to feed carved pumpkin that is not fresh as it is likely to have mould etc growing and could lead to stomach upsets. Fresh is always best.
So how much should you feed your dog?
Well, it only takes a small amount of pumpkin each day to treat diarrhea or constipation problems in dogs so it's important not to feed too much pumpkin because it is so high in fibre.
The recommended amount is between a few teaspoons per day for small dogs to a few tablespoons for larger dogs. It’s important to check with your vet first to get the recommended amount for the weight of your dog. Follow up with an appointment if digestive problems persist.
Increase the amount slowly to allow your dog to adjust to the amount of additional fibre in his diet.
So enjoy this autumn and the PYO pumpkin season, have fun and boost your dogs health all at the same time!
Happy Halloween Folks,
Sarah Marles- Mrs P.A.W.S.
I've been visiting a lot of cafe's with the family recently and am impressed with the amount of places that now allow dogs inside the premises and offer dog treats too. As a dog lover I was always a bit naffed off when an eatery refused us entry if we had our dog with us. Part of the pleasure of owning a dog is spending time with them as part of the family, so after a nice walk, if we fancied a bit of lunch I didn't necessarily want to have to sit outside.
It seems that we were not alone, and as a result more and more businesses are accepting our pooches with open arms and making a point of making them welcome. So next time you fancy a bite to eat with your beloved pooch, here's our top 5 places on the Wirral to enjoy!
First up is Kirby Park Cafe in West Kirby, a small and quirky, railway style cafe close to the Wirral Way at Cubbins Green. Open 7 days a week and serving delicious cakes, sandwiches, ice cream and hot drinks, dogs are allowed inside and out in the court yard to the rear. The counter top has some nice doggy treats on offer and the atmosphere is very relaxed. A little sunny gem during warm weather, yet cosy and snuggly to warm the cockles on a chilly day too.
Next is Otto Lounge in Heswall/ Marino Lounge in New Brighton. These two busy little places are brimming with people, children and dogs alike. The reason why? The menu and atmosphere are great, the food is delicious and the variety caters for everyone. Always bustling (particularly New Brighton) and dogs are confined to an allocated area but all in all well worth a visit after an energetic dog walk.
We are very pleased to include the wonderful Claremont Farm Cafe in this list now. A new addition to the old set-up, Claremont Farm have added an inside doggy-friendly section to their already very popular cafe. Always busy with a great atmosphere, the food is sublime, fresh and seasonal and the location is perfect for dog walkers and foodies alike. Thumbs up to Claremont Farm for recognising that us dog walkers are hardy beings but don't always want to sit outside if the weather's a bit pants!
Not far from Claremont Farm, and equally well situated after a dog walk is The Garden Room at Brimstage. This tiny but well set out corner cafe within the Brimstage court yard is full of character and offers lovely sandwiches and cakes to tickle your fancy. Dogs are welcome inside and in the cute courtyard outside and are offered treats upon arrival. A family run place with a nice atmosphere and perfect location.
Finally, it wouldn't be a dog friendly cafe list without the mention of Flossy's in Thurstaston. Originally called GJ's cafe it has changed hands and gone even more (full-on) dog! It always has been a great menu with good quality food at a reasonable price, but now with fresh decor, a dog watering station, dog treats galore and doggy yogurt it's the perfect stop off after a walk along the Wirral Way, Wirral Country Park or beach.
So there you have it, some little doggy eatery gems right on our door step. The list doesn't end there of course. With so many dog owners on the Wirral, businesses would be mad not to improve their dogs-welcome message and it's great to see so many of them doing so.
So get yourselves out there, and make a bit of a day of it. The daily dog walk can be a day out, try somewhere new and enjoy yourselves.
Until next time,
By Gemma Rogers- Canine Fulfillment Officer at PAWS Adventure Walking Service.
We welcome autumn with open arms and fondly greet the crisp mornings and crunchy leaves underfoot. For the PAWS team it’s our absolute favourite season. We are no longer worried about dogs overheating in the summer sun and we’re not getting bitten by mosquitos. We’ve got our wellies on and are ready for some high-energy fun!
Sarah Marles- a.k.a. Mrs PAWS: