Category: Dogs

Christmas gift ideas for furry family members

With the Christmas season coming up, I’ve started gift shopping for my family.  When I say family, that of course includes Leroy, Betty & Murphy.

While I haven’t bought them anything yet, I’ve compiled a small list of some of my favourite gifts for pets this Christmas.

1. The Jungle Pet Bowl by Evie Kemp.

A photo posted by eviekemp (@eviekemp) on

I’m a huge fan of pretty much anything Evie Kemp creates.  She has a great eye for colour and isn’t afraid to try something new.  The Jungle ceramic pet bowl (modelled above by Pebbles) is super cute and I love the colour!

The Jungle Pet Bowl is available for $49 on Evie’s website.

2. A gift box subscription from NZ Dog Box.


A photo posted by NZ DOG BOX (@nzdogbox) on

NZ Dog Box is such a great idea.  You can subscribe to a monthly delivery, or make a one-off order for a gift box for your dog.  Each gift box contains 5-6 premium treats/toys for your dog, and if you subscribe the items in the box are different each month.  Best part is the boxes differ depending on the size of your dog.  Such a great idea – my two play with completely different toys than a much bigger dog.

Visit their website for more information on their boxes.

3. Some biscuits from Droolies

Droolies Biscuits are a perfect treat for dogs.  They are made with natural, free range, fair trade ingredients, so you can be sure there aren’t any of the nasty additives found in some store bought food.  Also, 50 cents from each bag purchased is donated to charity.

Buy Droolies Biscuits from their website.

4.  Leanlix  

A photo posted by Puss and Pooch (@pusspooch) on

Leanlix is a great idea.  It’s a healthy way to reward your dog without feeding them too many calories.  Each Leanlix contains enough for more than 5000 licks so it’s definitely value for money!

Buy Leanlix from Puss & Pooch.

5.  A denim vest from Pet Haus

A photo posted by PetHaus (@hellopethaus) on

Pet Haus is easily one of my favourite pet apparel brands.  Leroy would look so good in one of their denim vests!

Visit Pet Haus’ website.

Do you buy Christmas gifts for your furry family members?

Yaky Charms

I recently won a competition through Puss and Pooch for Leroy & Betty to taste test a new treat being released in NZ soon called Yaky Charms.

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Yaky Charms are like a popcorn for dogs.  They have just four ingredients and you cook them in the microwave.  This YouTube video has some more helpful information.

I love the originality of these treats, in particular the packaging.  They come individually packaged and you pop the bag into the microwave, just like real popcorn.

The instructions are a little bit vague – it says to cook them for at least one minute but up to three minutes, and to listen for the popping of the treats to stop.  I couldn’t really hear the treats popping so I let the treats cook for just over a minute.  About that time, instead of popping, I heard a crackle.  I looked in the microwave and the bag was ON FIRE!  I quickly stopped the microwave and threw the whole bag into some water.

I was determined to try again, and to get it right.  Second shot I let them cook in the microwave for around 50 seconds.  This time I did hear a faint popping, and stopped the microwave once the popping lessened.

I poured the treats into a bowl.  It was strange, only about half of the treats had popped, yet the bag was slightly burned again.  Possibly I was doing something wrong, but I’m not sure what.  However, enough had popped for Leroy and Betty to try some.

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I gave Leroy and Betty a couple each to try and they loved them!  Betty scoffed them quickly, and Leroy (who only has half the amount of teeth that he should have) managed to eat some slower but still easily.

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I left the leftovers in a bowl on the kitchen bench, then found Murphy with his head in the bowl!  They have some dairy in them, and Murphy loves anything dairy related.

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Yaky Charms seem to be a healthy, light treat for dogs, and, with some practice, easy to prepare.  Leroy and Betty loved the taste, and the fact that Leroy found them easy to eat was a big bonus for me.

These will be available in NZ from August.

Pet Photos with Tara

I have managed to meet some wonderful, talented people through Twitter.  One of the people I’ve been lucky enough to get to know is Tara Sutherland.  Tara is a very skilled photographer and specialises in pet photography.

As Tara isn’t based in Wellington, I’ve had to admire her photos from afar, mostly on her Facebook page and her Instagram account.  She has an amazing skill at capturing a pet’s personality in the photo, and managing to make the photos look natural and not posed at all.

Late last year, Tara was in Wellington for a weekend.  We booked in for a photo session for Leroy and Betty with her at Evans Bay.  Leroy and Betty were pretty shy of Tara at first (as they are with most people they haven’t met before), but she knows exactly how to work with the animals to help them come out of their shells and feel comfortable, so pretty soon they were settled enough for some great photos.

I was so happy with the photos that I actually cried when I saw the first one!  They are gorgeous photos and capture both Betty and Leroy’s personalities perfectly.  Tara’s love for animals shines in her skill working with the animals and in the photos taken.


Tara is back in Wellington at the end of April, and is available for photo sessions. If you’ve ever thought about having professional photos taken of your fur babies, I highly recommend booking a session.

Wgtn_Charlie-1000x813You can see more of Tara’s amazing work on her website and Facebook page.


Small Dog Socials

When we first adopted Leroy and Betty, one thing I wanted to make sure is that we kept them socialised with other dogs.  But because they’re very small, it can be hard taking them to public spaces with lots of other dogs.  There have been several stories in the news recently about chihuahuas being mauled by bigger dogs so this has made us very selective about where we take them for walks.

Late last year a couple of different people suggested we join the Small Dog Socials held in Petone on the first Sunday of every month.  It’s a place to get together as a group and socialise smaller dogs in a safe environment.  Unfortunately we have had something on every Sunday afternoon it was on for the last few months, but finally we were able to take Leroy and Betty along today!

There were so many dogs – my guess would be at least 40-50.  I was very impressed by how well behaved all the dogs were, many were even off their leads.

We led Leroy and Betty to a large group of chihuahuas.  I think there were around 10 or so chihuahuas in total at the meet up.  Leroy was right away in there meeting lots of different dogs and Betty slowly joined in too.  I met several owners who had also adopted chihuahuas from the lot at the SPCA of 60 or so that Leroy and Betty came from and it was so great to see so many of them doing so well.  We even met Betty’s sister!

After socialising the dogs for a while we went for a walk along the beach.  Some dogs went zooming into the water and swam around.  Betty and Leroy held back a bit but did manage to get a little bit wet (Sorry about the blur on these photos, it was so sunny today that I didn’t realise the lens on my camera was dirty until it was too late!).

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We ended the afternoon with more socialising time.  Betty and Leroy got to know some of the other chihuahuas and we bought them some treats from one of the stalls set up.

Leroy and Betty scoffed their dinner and have been sleeping since.  They had such a fun time that we will definitely be back next month!

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If you want to find out more, check out the Small Dog Socials page on Facebook.

Wee updates

The last week or so has been a wee bit hectic for me! I’m currently doing a huge clear out at home (& have started listing stuff on trademe, check out the listings if you are interested), plus I had a wedding in the weekend, booked a holiday for May and have had family staying. With everything going on, I haven’t been able to keep everyone up to date with the latest Leroy, Betty & Co. updates, and even didn’t get a chance to post my Friday Favourites last week.

Some of you may have seen that I’ve started testing out making dog collars! Here’s a photo of Betty modelling one of the test collars.


These will be available in the etsy store in different colours and sizes after the store launch.

I’ve also been buying some awesome new items for jewellery that I will be making and selling. While I’ll be making some of the favourites I made while running Cats & Whiskers jewellery, most pieces will be new styles. If there is something particular you would love to see again, please let me know in the comments below. I’m really excited with some of the materials I’ve found for new pieces so can’t wait to post some pictures of finished products.

I’m still deciding on a launch date for the etsy store. At this point I’m thinking it will be early March, but this depends on how much stock I’ve been able to make before then. Dog sweaters will not be available as soon as the store opens – I am hoping to have a few for sale closer to winter.

Have a great week everyone. If you are in Wellington, make sure you get out to enjoy the amazing weather we are having at the moment!

Friday Favourites

Today’s post is the start of a new feature – Friday Favourites.  Each week I’ll be posting my favourite links on the internet.  This week it’s NZ pet Instagram accounts.


Utterly divine. #clemandfrankie #clembear #frankie #bff #cuddles #catstagram #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Clem&Frankie (@clemandfrankie) on

Clem & Frankie are two of the most gorgeous cats I’ve seen.  They love to snuggle and sleep together, and from their pictures appear to get up to lots of mischief!  They have very quickly become two of my favourite cats on the internet.


Shh. #fionarf #dogsofinstagram #englishbulldog A photo posted by Fiona RF the Bulldog (@fionarf) on

I’ve been a big fan of Fiona for a while, so was very glad to see recently she got her own Instagram account!  She’s an English Bulldog with lots of attitude and a tongue that seems to be always hanging out of her mouth. Her owners are pretty amazing people too.


Dori & Boo are a very gorgeous pair and the best of friends.  I was very stoked to find these two as Boo is another one of the Chihuahuas from the SPCA lot that Leroy and Betty were in and it makes me happy to see another Chihuahua from that lot having an awesome new life.


Dudley is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who has been the star of this account for a while. A few months ago, Wilson joined their family, and has made this already great account even better.

Koda the Spitz

Koda is a giant white ball of fluff.  He seems so happy in every picture and brightens up my day whenever I see one of his photos.


Peanut is a handsome little man owned by the awesome Wendy.  He recently was attacked by a large dog and I’m so glad to see he’s recovering well as he’s a big part of his family and brings a lot of people on the internet joy with his cute photos.


Monty and Milly are two gorgeous chihuahuas.  They are very photogenic and are definitely worth following.


Calling all guinea pig lovers. I need a fosterer who knows how to do my hair? #foster A photo posted by Wellington SPCA (@spcawgtn) on

The SPCA in Wellington has their own Instagram account!  It’s a great way to keep up with what they’re up to and to see gorgeous pictures of some of the animals available for adoption.

Who are your favourite NZ based pets on instagram?


My start to 2015 has been a little bit slow. I had a very enjoyable Christmas and New Years, and while I had hoped to spend some of my break working on and planning for this blog and for my etsy store, I haven’t been able to. I hit a creative wall and I’m hoping to kick start my brain this week.

While I didn’t get much done, I did start a couple of things. I have started ordering materials for jewellery. Last night I finished my first trial dog bow tie (with some success). I also briefly started planning what I’ll be writing about on here during the year.


Some of the things I plan to write about are:
– my handmade business and upcoming markets I’ll be at
– interviews with local business owners
– attempts at recreating pet related crafts with instructions found online
– continuing reviews of eateries, and
– general ramblings – some pet related, some not.

If all goes to plan, I’m hoping for a launch date of 1 March for my etsy store. There will be giveaways leading up to the launch so make sure you’re subscribed to this blog!

In the meantime, last week I discovered my new favourite pet on Instagram – Princess Monster Truck. With her massive eyes and ridiculously cute underbite, she’s definitely worth following.