Saturday, 29 June 2013

Vileda Style Sunplash All Purpose Cloth Review

Vileda sent us some products to test and I will review them one by one, our first product review is the Style Sunplash All Purpose Cloth.

For all of the other reviews please visit our other blog: Team Stokey Blog

Vileda Style Sunplash All Purpose Cloth
I actually have been using this type of cloth in the kitchen for a while.  I find them really useful for wiping down the worksurfaces.  They soak up a lot of liquid so if you have spilt something (usually when I open a new milk carton it goes everywhere!) they come in very handy.  They also then rinse out really well and will wipe the surface down and not leave a lot of water everywhere so the worksurface dries quickly.
They are great as when they are getting a bit dirty they can just be thrown in the washing machine and come up like new.  I have found after 4 or 5 washes they do tend to go a bit thin and rag like so I usually will then replace and use the old one for dirtier jobs (like wiping down the utility room).
The only time I didn't find these brilliant was if you have a spillage on the carpet and have animals then they tend to pick up any hairs that may be about and then they are difficult to get off so you then can't use the cloth on worksurfaces.  I tend to therefore use an older cloth for jobs like this as they are good at soaking up spillages.
So overall I would recommend the product as they do come in very handy, it would be good if they did them in a range of colours though as they do only come in yellow.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Make it Your Race 2013

I have entered Abarth's Make it Your Race 2013 and would be really grateful for your votes, just have to click on my page and vote! :)

My Abarth Challenge Page

Here is my challenge video:

Friday, 14 June 2013

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Border Collie Collapse

I haven’t blogged for a while as I have been busy working with Rum.

Unfortunately I had some bad news.  On a couple of occasions recently he has collapsed, once after agility training and once after playing ball with Cas.  When I say collapse, he gets the wobbles and looks like he is drunk, the last time it happened he did eventually collapse on his back legs.

At the same time I had not long read an article on Agilitynet about a condition called Border Collie Collapse (BCC) which seemed to have exactly the same symptoms.  I videoed his ‘episodes’ and emailed them to the researchers in America who agreed it looked very much like the condition but unfortunately there is not yet a gene test for this, there is a similar condition in Labradors called Exercise Induced Collapse and there is a gene test for that, however they have discovered it is not the same gene in collies. 
He went into the vets to have all the standard tests to rule anything else out, they were very thorough and he had a full MOT – everything came back normal.  So it is assumed he is suffering from BCC – it is just a shame there is not a gene test yet so we definitely know, the videos were sent to a specialist neurologist who said it also looked like it and couldn’t think it could be anything else so there wasn’t any point referring him.
The vet gave me some information the neurologist had provided them with and suggested supplements being Co Enzyme Q10, L-Carnitine and Vitamin B2.  He is a right druggy.  The vet suggested I gradually increase his exercise to see if the supplements make a difference, there hasn’t been much research done so they don’t really know either way whether they do help at all. 

We were told his agility days are over but having now mentioned Rum’s condition in a public forum it seems there are a fair number of agility dogs suffering from this who continue to compete as long as they are kept a close eye on.  With Rum this means not queuing (as queues stress him out and stress can trigger an episode) and not competing in the blazing heat (doesn't happen much in this country and he always wears his swampie).  So, over winter I am going to gradually increase what he does and see how he goes, we never compete anyway over winter as he can’t cope with indoor venues.  He has never had an episode at a show, it has only ever happened when he has done a lot of agility training so I am 99% sure competing wouldn't hurt him, it is just whether I can train with him and keep him ‘agility fit.’ 

I love my boy so much, he is my shadow.  When I take them for a run he will literally bounce by my side with a toy in his mouth like Tigger, it doesn't matter what the others are doing he won’t leave my side.  If he can’t cope with agility then at least I still have my shadow and we can still enjoy many happy years together :)

On another note Ember is 9 ½ now, she has had a really good year, qualifying for the Circular Knockout at the UKA Grand Finals, Dovedale Speed & Power 2013 and also TAG Brace 2013 (with Cas).  Although we started the year having nailed the contacts a bit better, they seemed to slip towards the end of the year so again they need more work!
Cas will be 13 the beginning of 2013, she’s still quite fit and active, she has been a little arthritic in this colder weather but once she’s moving she’s fine.  I hope she can still enjoy veterans for a little longer as she loves it, although she isn't up to medium height so will only be running in shows where she can run over small – I was a little surprised at Dashin Dogs where the large dogs had to run over medium and it was then I realised it was too much – at the beginning of the year medium had been okay for her.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Yeah finally we felt like we were all getting together today.

Cas was a star getting a 5th in Anysize, just had a refusal in Veterans.

Ember was on fire with a 2nd in Dovedale Speed & Power and a messy jumping round ending up 4th, she was having a fab agility round but I ran out of puff & she messed up just before the end - she was really working well!!

Rum was sooo good, we were on our own and had to queue, he was a really good boy, gone up a bit of a gear though so I struggled a little and I did end up taking him out of a jumping class as he lost it a bit.  However we had a lovely round in Grade 6 agility and ended up 3rd despite him stopping on the a-frame and worrying about getting his contact, we were only a second off 1st so with that stop I am really pleased :)

We had a good day and can't wait till Monday :)

Sunday, 19 August 2012


I was a little bit worried about the show today as I wasn't sure how Rum would be.  I needn't have worried as he was a lot calmer.

We started off with a run in 6-7 Agility, he missed a weave entry after the flat tunnel so I trained the rest of the round, he worked lovely and his contacts were spot on.  In 6-7 Jumping he was working so nicely but he then decided to do the tunnel no matter what I said which was a bit naughty!  Last 6-7 Agility and he ran sooo nicely again but just refused the tunnel - something to do with that last round?  His contacts were a bit creepy but not as bad as they have been, I was really please, he worked really fluidly and wasn't stressed at all.

Ember started with tunnel Exchange with my mum running her for the first half, mum thought she could get a wait and she didn't so it didn't start well, I could see Ember looking out of the corner of her eye at me and she was a bit hesitant but they didn't do too badly and I had a clear on my half of the course.  In her first agility she worked fab but went to tunnel instead of weaves then went to weaves instead of tunnel, her a-frame contact was spot on though!  In Jumping she worked well just missing a tricky weave entry.  Finally in her last agility she was naughty on her contacts and walked out of the ring! 

Cas was a little star having 3rd in Veteran Jumping, clear in anysize (which was the same course?).  Having a ball in Veteran Agility, we won't talk anymore about that lol!!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Social ‘Petworking’ on the rise

Social ‘Petworking’ on the rise
- Hounds are ‘top dog’ on social media compared to cats -
Andy Murray’s dog Maggie May has posed with his Olympic medal on Twitter and Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette gives fashion advice to her followers. It’s 2012 and pets on the net are bigger, better and fluffier than ever; the nation’s obsession with their pets means we are increasingly likely to give pets their own social media status from sharing photos to tweeting their thoughts.

Research from Petplan, the UK’s largest pet insurer, and host to one of the most engaged Facebook pages in the UK,[1]  reveals a 36% annual increase of pets with their own social media profile, as well as a 25% rise of pet owners sharing photos of their pets online.

Cats have traditionally dominated the World Wide Web but now it’s the socially savvy hounds who are the true social ‘petworkers’ as 7% of pooches have their own Facebook page, compared to only 4% of felines. Boo, nicknamed ‘the world’s cutest dog’ started and still leads the online trend. Currently Facebook’s most popular pet, this adorable Pomeranian has more fans than the Dalai Lama.[2] Along with Boo, four out of the top five most popular pets on Facebook are dogs including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pooch Beast. Since the explosion in popularity of Britain’s Got Talent winner Pudsey, dogs are now 12 times more talked about on Twitter than cats.[3] Dogs also dominate YouTube with ‘the ultimate dog tease’ being the most popular pet video with over 100 million views.[4]

Despite dogs’ dominance online, cats are still strongly represented. 83% of cat owners who put their pets online also regularly share photos of their felines compared to 69% of dog owners.  Although it seems that pup parents demonstrate a greater sense of humour with 42% posting status updates on behalf of their dog.

Francesca Keefe, Petplan Social Media Executive comments: “We’ve long known that animals are the stars of the internet, but in the last year since we started tracking pets’ presence online there has been an explosion in ‘pet pride.’ Increasingly pet owners are giving their pets a more active role in their life and spreading the joy that having a pet can bring. As well as the fun side of social media, we’re also seeing more and more pet owners take to Twitter as an effective way to look for lost pets.”

Jan Rezab CEO at Social Bakers comments: “As a global social media and digital analytics company we track online engagement levels across Facebook and Twitter and over the last year we have seen a significant rise in the interaction with pets on social media. There are many social media profiles dedicated to pets, but at the top of our Facebook pages, in the animals category, are dogs with cats coming in fifth.”

Case Study
Denver the dog, owned by Morgan Taylor
Someone who has experienced the phenomenon of social petworking first hand is Morgan Taylor, owner of Denver, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Morgan started taking photos of Denver because he was his first puppy, and he wanted to capture those moments before they disappeared into memories.  He added the photos to his Flickr account under his "Littlest Duder" set.

There was an instant interest in Denver and a picture of him in the
park made it to number 11 on Flickr’s Explore page. As page views of Denver went up, new people added him to their contacts, and Denver's fame train was solidly in motion. After that a number of people contacted Morgan asking if they could post his photos on their blogs, requests he always granted. was one of these blogs, and he regularly sees traffic coming through from that post. Another surge in popularity occurred when a friend posted one of Denver's photos to, resulting in 73,000 views to that photo in a single day and 147,000 total views to his Flickr stream.

The most recent surge came from the UK’s Daily Mail posting
an article on its website. Following this publication, The Huffington Post ran a similar piece, with further information about Denver; as a result Morgan received 248,000 page views of his Flickr page in a 24 hour period.

Notes to editors:

Pick of the best social media pets

Number of likes
Celebrity comparison
Number of likes
Dalai Lama
Gisele Bundchen
846, 086
310, 767
Stewie Griffin
306, 483
Mishka the talking husky
286, 450
Richard Branson
249, 964
Professor Meowingtons pHd
101, 870
Al Gore
81, 194

Number of followers
Maggie May
Choupette Lagerfeld

Number of views
The Ultimate Dog Tease

Statistics from a survey conducted by Vision Critical July 2012 and the Petplan Pet Census March 2011 both surveying over 1,000 respondents

*Facebook and Twitter statistics taken from August 2012
**YouTube statistics taken from June 2012

[2] Social Bakers figures taken August 2012 
[3] Radian6 figures taken between 1st April – 20th June 2012
[4] YouTube figures taken June 2012

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Adams was a lovely show so relaxed however the rings weren’t very well organised and Rum didn’t have his first run till after lunch and three of his classes were running at the same time.

Rum didn’t cope very well and I am hoping it was down to the fact he didn’t do anything till later on. His first run we hadn’t prepared and felt rushed into the ring, we were all over the shop in the agility. Followed by a run in the other agility where we actually went clear but really should have had a 5 on the seesaw and a 5R, I assumed we had and held his a-frame virtually walking the rest of the course – that will teach me to not work a course right till the end as it was tricky and there weren’t many clears. His next jumping and he was loopy, he had worked himself up and I am not sure why, so I ended up bringing him out. Finally another jumping and he really didn’t have his heart in it, he seemed to be so tired as he had been working himself up all day, he was clear but steady and out of the placings.

Ember on the other hand was on fire, she was running so well, the one agility she was naughty and missed her dogwalk, the other I just didn’t hold my position and flicked her the wrong way over the jump. Then two fab jumping clears in combined 4-7 and combined 5-7 jumping resulting in a 3rd and 4th.

Cas was so happy to be out today she bounced out of her bed in the morning and was raring to go in her first class at 8:30am, she flew round veterans resulting in a 4th and last thing flew round anysize resulting in a 3rd. She was so funny first thing though as she sort of growled round veterans she was so happy to be out and doing agility, most mornings she takes a while to get out of bed but today she was really raring to go!

So the girls worked really well, I am really disappointed and upset about Rum as he was high as a kite and crashing rapidly throughout the day. At home he was so depressed. I really hope it was a blip as I don’t want him doing agility if he is going to be like this it’s not fair on him. So we’ll see what he is like next weekend. He’s been doing so well and maintaining his levels really well but today he was up and down like a yoyo.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


I enjoyed WBSDS show last year so was looking forward to it, I love having a proper cafĂ© on site and the ground is lovely to run on. I only entered Sunday as was abseiling on the Saturday, shame as the show is only 30mins away so it’s great.
Rum started off in Graded 6-7 Agility and I pushed his contacts, he didn’t feel as sluggish as he has been but still wasn’t overly drivey, we messed up the weave entry as I let him try and take it too early. Just as well though as his dogwalk was marked, despite him getting it with his two back feet, so would have been a little annoyed if he had been clear. He worked a really tricky course very nicely. Combined 6-7 Agility followed and I don’t know where his head was at, he picked up a tricky weave entry on his own and had lovely contacts (which I held) but that was about it, he was all over the shop, goodness knows why! Graded 5-7 Jumping was a Rum course, I knew it when I walked it, big open spacey course, I have to say he ran it lovely and really enjoyed it, I wasn’t clear on my signals and we had a couple of wobbles where he was turning the opposite way to where I wanted but otherwise he finished 3rd which I was pleased with. Finally Combined 1-7 Collie Jumping and it was a helter skelter type course which again was great for Rum and he flew round it and had an absolute ball, he finished 4th.
Ember was in combined 1-7 jumping first which was helter skelter type so I had to run, she had a lovely round (if a little steady, showing her age!) but knocked a pole. Then graded 6-7 agility and she was taken out of the ring for naughty contacts! In 5-7 Jumping we were flying, she was running really quickly until almost at the end she took a jump instead of the weaves – gutted!! Finally 1-7 Agility and she had a lovely round with lovely contacts, just missed a weave entry – real shame!
Cas only had one run in Veteran Jumping and flew round finishing 4th :) which I was super pleased with as I didn’t think she would ever get a veteran placing. Clever girlie.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Adams & Derby

We competed on the Saturday & Sunday at Adams and just the Saturday at Derby.

Rum has progressed well, he's never going to be the fastest agility dog in the world but I love running him.  At Adams we had a 13th in Grade 6 Jumping where we lost a second or so as we had a bit of a wobble before the tunnel entrance where I didn't hold my position, we had a clear in combined 6-7 agility on the Sunday where I held his contacts.  At Derby we had a 14th in Grade 6 Jumping.  What I am finding with him is his first couple of runs he is quite steady and cautious, in agility this results in creepy contacts!  However after that he seems to get his confidence back and is a lot more drivey.  He worries about doing things wrong so much!  We had an awesome run in the last class at Derby, I made a right mess of it but Rum felt so confident, it felt great, much better than our clear in the jumping.

Ember at Adams was a nightmare and fought me all day Saturday, on Sunday we started off with what I thought was an amazing clear in jumping but stupid me had missed a jump out!!  She started being naughty on contacts so I was taking her out of the ring.  At Derby her first class she missed her a-frame so I put her back over then in the next class she got her a-frame, was running lovely then turned around on the see-saw?!?!  Ember always does something random!  In jumping she had a clear but was turning like the titanic, I struggle to get her turns tight, always have done and she ended up just outside the placings but was nice to finally get a clear!!!

Cas was a star and had several clears, the others she had just five faultitis.  She's not quick enough as a veteran to be in the placings though but she has a whale of a time :)

I am enjoying running them, I wish Rum could be confident all the time but he's better than he was and isn't stressing out at all so that's a big plus.  Ember can be amazing one minute and a nightmare the next - nothing changes!  And Cas as long as she's fit and healthy enough to enjoy her agility still I will continue to run her in veterans/anysize.  Some candid shots taken inbetween classes.