Preventing Dog Theft

Over the last few months, my social media feed has been inundated with pictures of dogs that have been stolen and their owners pleading for their safe return or information leading to the whereabouts of their beloved pets. It has become a far too common occurence with owners now scared to walk their dogs in case someone tries to take their beloved pet. People have been beaten, held at knife point and had other weapons used against them. Houses and kennels have been broken into and the dogs stolen.

There are steps that you can take to prevent your dogs being stolen.

  • Wear a go-pro or action camera when out walking your dog. This may deter people as they will be recorded. I have spoken to the police and it is legal to wear a go pro camera if you are out walking your dog.
  • Use a locking carabiner to connect your dogs collar to his leash (image below.) This will prevent someone from being able to unclip your dogs leash from it’s collar quickly.
https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1541690090176-17d35a190b6c?ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxzZWFyY2h8MTN8fGxvY2tpbmclMjBjYXJhYmluZXJ8ZW58MHx8MHx8&ixlib=rb-1.2.1&auto=format&fit=crop&w=900&q=60
Locking Carabiner
  • Walk with another person. A friend or fellow dog walker.
  • Do not walk the same route at the same time each day. Mix up your routes and change your dog walking times through the day.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone acting strange or suspicious, report them to the police.
  • Make sure that your phone has a good charge on it when you go out in case you need to make an emergency phone call or take a picture.
  • Carry an attack alarm with you. You can get them on Amazon for about ten pounds.
  • If you are walking at night, take a torch with your or wear a head torch.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended outside a shop or establishment.
  • Do not leave your dogs unattended in your garden. So many dogs are being stolen from gardens and there are numerous reports of people looking into peoples gardens to see if they have dogs.

A company called petloc (www.petloc.com) have recently become popular. They design leashes and collars for dogs that have combination locks and are lined with steel cable so they cannot be cut or unclipped easily. They have a lot of orders right now so are recommending you contact them about preordering.

A lot of people have asked me about the handheld paint sprays that they have seen on Amazon. They are like a mace or pepperspray, however instead of spraying a blinding liquid, they spray paint that sticks to a persons skin and clothes and is difficult to wash off. I am still waiting for the police to confirm the legality of this product. From my research, it would appear that a case has never been brought up for using one. I have emailed the police and am waiting on them getting back to me. I will update as soon as I hear from them.

It is also important to be wary of where you are sharing pictures and information about your pets. Ensure that your Facebook profile is set to private and it might be a good idea to avoid posting pictures on groups with large numbers of people. It is far too easy to look someone up on Facebook and then go online to track them down.

Should the unthinkable happen and your dog goes missing. Contact the police immediately. You can also contact http://www.doglost.co.uk and report it, they will create a poster and your share it on their network. Post on social media and share it everywhere, make your dog too hot to handle. There are various other facebook groups dedicated to searching for lost dogs. There is also a Facebook group called Neighbourhood Woof Watch that reports stolen dogs and suspicious activity with regards to dog theft.

The key is awareness. You can also set up a camera at your home, get a doorbell camera so you can see who is at your door before you open it. There are various models available and they connect to your phone via an app.

It is also absolutely critical that you make sure your dogs microchip information is up to date. Make sure that you know your dogs microchip number and that the company have up to date contact information for you.

We all want to do everything we can to keep our dogs safe. I hope the information above will be of some help.

It Beggers Belief

Facebook is something I use to keep in touch with friends in the dog world, sci-fi convention world and those I know who live overseas. But in the last couple of days, I have seriously considered deleting the app from my phone and avoiding it for a couple of weeks. The reason being the fallout from the Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey.

While there are people on Facebook I have never met in person, I have great respect for them. But the last couple of days has shown me that some of the individuals I have come to respect have a very negative view on not only aspects of racism, but mental health too. As someone who has suffered from depression and tried to commit suicide, I can assure you that it is nothing that should be mocked or used against someone. Words can hurt and it doesn’t matter if the individual won’t read your posts, the chances are that you have someone on your friends list who has a mental health problem.

I’ve also become accutely aware that apparently wealth means that you cannot possible suffer from a mental health issue. You have financial security, a nice home, a loving family. How dare you feel the cold hard push of depression or suicidal thoughts. The fact is, depression can hit you no matter what your personal or financial circumstances are. You could be able to buy anything you want and still struggle to get out of bed in the morning because there is a constant nagging thought in your head of “What’s the point?” Constantly questioning your self worth and feeling as though you are the most worthless human being on the planet and those around you would be better if you were gone. Imagine having to live with those thoughts and then seeing someone you know post on social media that you have no right to have those thoughts or feelings? “Britain Get Talking?” I don’t think there will be a lot of people willing to share their struggles after the vitriol I have witnessed in the last few days.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, absolutely. But when that opinion is uneducated, dangerous and downright cruel, people really need to think before they hit the post button. I don’t care if you support the royal family or Harry and Meghan. What the interview with Harry and Meghan showed us is that speaking up about mental health is critical. It also shows that it doesn’t matter what you have or the resources at your disposal, help can be extremely difficult to get.

To say that I am bitterly disappointed in a lot of the posts would be an understatement. This piece may lose me friends, but to be honest, I would rather surround myself with people who support those who suffer from mental health issues and don’t judge an individual on their wealth. Wealth should never come into question when it comes to discussing mental health. ANYONE can have depression, anxiety and the many other issues that are out there.

Please be mindful of what you post on social media. As stated before, words can hurt and you never know how another person is feeling. Also, you may find out what they were going through when it is too late. You may not realise it, but you are adding to the already growing problem. What may be an opinion to you, could be seen as cyber bullying by another.

I’m going to end with a list of talented people the world has sadly lost through suicide. The one thing they have in common is that they were famous, wealthy and unfortunately, no one knew what they were going through until it was too late.

  • Robin Williams
  • Chester Bennington
  • Caroline Flack
  • Goo Ha-Ra
  • Anthony Bourdain: His mother said, “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this. He had everything.”
  • Sulli Choi: She had struggled with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and clinical depression; she also had been the target of vicious cyber-bullying before her death
  • Chris Cornell: Had suffered from depression and had suicidal thoughts for many years before his death.

Body Negativity

Whenever I go and get my hair cut, I always feel self conscious sitting in the chair. Why? Because it faces a mirror and the one thing I always focus on is my horrible double chin. That then leads me to another round of “You’re fat and hideous!” It’s not the nicest feeling.

Add to that the numbness that depression gives me, followed by the constant constriction of anxiety and you might start to get the picture of what my mind is like sometimes. It’s hard.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at myself in a full length mirror. Avoiding them has become an activity I am very good at. Socialising isn’t something I do a lot of, which means getting dressed up just doesn’t seem worth it. But the main reason I don’t look at myself is because I hate what I see. My mind wonders how anyone could be attracted to me when I look the way I do. When people tell me I am beautiful, I honestly think they’re just being kind and don’t want to hurt my feelings.

The book I’m reading right now is about body positivity. It talks about loving yourself no matter what size you are and giving the haters the middle finger. As I read it, I’m questioning how I could ever do this? Being positive about anything is hard for me right now, but my body? That feels impossible.

One of the chapters discusses taking photos of yourself. Full selfies and showing them off which I will admit, terrifies me. The thought of people seeing the hideousness and passing judgement makes me feel nauseous. But what if it actually helps? Should I embrace my body and actually be positive about it?

Not sure exactly where I am going with this right now. I haven’t had the best week and my mood is really low. I wanted to get this off my chest though.

The Dam Broke…

I’ve always had an interest in True Crime. It’s a subject that I have read a lot of books and watched more documentaries than I can count. Recently, I decided to tackle a very difficult subject for both my podcast and an article on here.

Tonight, I sat in my bedroom with tears rolling down my cheeks. The subject broke me. I like to think that I am a pretty tough individual and I can handle a lot of things. But the sheer amount of research I have done in the last few days built up this river of emotion.

The dam broke tonight. But I know that I can use this emotion and the strength I have to do these stories justice. I needed to get this out so I can continue with my research. I needed to vent about letting go of these pent up emotions.

What Motivates You?

For the last few weeks, I have been trying to get the motivation to go running. But I haven’t managed to yet and it is really starting to annoy me. Motivation appears to be in short supply right now and it is really frustrating. I’ve had a look online at different types of motivation and have written some of them down and hope to give them a try.

There are ideas like find a friend to go running with or a group. Although right now, given that Covid is still going on, a group may not be possible. But there is always the possibility of an online group and each members posts their daily progress and you can keep one another motivated.

Offer yourself a reward for a job well done. So, if you’ve done a full week where you’ve managed to run each day. Use the weekend to reward yourself. You can treat yourself to some cheat foods, ice cream, snacks etc. Or even a relaxing bubble bath and pamper yourself.

One thing that I really enjoy is running with my dogs. I have taken part in canix and really enjoyed it. It’s always fun to have your dog running with you. You can also work towards taking part in races once they are up and running again. There are a lot of virtual dog runs taking place on social media that you can take part in.

Write about it. Start a daily run diary and jot down your progress. How you felt before and after your run. It will also be good to look back on days where you are not feeling motivated. I keep a daily journal and it’s always interesting to go back and read what happened in previous months.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have any tips that help you? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment below and let me know.

Book Review: Written In Bone by Sue Black

Sue Black has lifted the veil on forensic anthoropology for everyone to enjoy in her latest book. “Written In Bone” goes through each part of the skeleton with examples given through cases that Sue Black has investigated in her career. One of the stories that was particularly entertaining, if that’s the right word to use, is when she was returning from Italy with body parts and her experience going through the different airports.

After thouroughly enjoying her first book “All That Remains” I was thrilled to see that another book was coming out and waited six months. Educational, entertaining and will have true crime fans salivating. “Written In Bone” is a book that can easily be read in a few days. I didn’t want to put it down and found any occasion I could to read it.

If you are a fan of true crime or even curious about the topic, do not pass this book by. It’s one that can be enjoyed again and again. I will definitely be reading it again.

Book Review: How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

One thing that I enjoy just as much as hanging out with my dogs, is wandering around a bookshop. I could spend hours just browsing the shelves for the next good read. Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don’t. I was killing some time in the bookshop while my Mum was shopping and I happened upon Caitlin Moran’s book on the reommended books table. I picked it up and started reading. I laughed out loud before the end of the first page and I definitely had to get it. I was not disappointed.

Caitlin Moran talks about feminism in a new and modern sense and talks about the difficulties she had while growing up. I especially loved when she talked about her dog, but of course I would love that aspect of the book. Going into the subject of how she dealt with being a woman in her career and accepting that she was a feminist but going against some of the ideals it had.

Covering an array of topics from dating, marriage to having kids and one very emotional chapter about abortion. Caitlin takes the feminism book genre into the twenty-first century while making the reader laugh with her own blend of comedy and telling it like it is.

Whether you are a fan of feminism books or not, I highly recommend this book for women to read. It’s one of those that you won’t forget and there are a lot of things within it that will have you thinking.

A five pawprint rating if there ever was one!

Paw Prints

Book Review: Traces by Professor Patricia Wiltshire

For lovers of True Crime and forensic investigation, this book is one not to be missed. Patricia Wiltshire blends specific events in her life and explains how she got into Forensic work and how it became so important to her. Talking about some of the cases she has worked on and how she used pollen and other substances to link the killer to the crime.

As she talks about the cases, it is clear how much she cares about the victims and getting justice for them. The way she talks about her work shows the passion she has in her work and how much it interests her. It is interesting to read the work Patricia has done and then how she actually became involved in doing forensic investigation.

There is a lot of information on pollen, plants and the other pieces associated with her work and it may seem a little intimidating, however it doesn’t take away from the flow of the book. It is fascinating to read the different aspects of the forensic work undertaken. There are a lot of forensic books that throw jargon at you without explaining what it means, but Patricia Wiltshire makes sure you understand exactly what she is talking about.

There is a section where Patricia talks about some emotionally challenging times she has had and I won’t lie, I had a lump in my throat while reading it. Do not let this book go by without reading it. If you are a fan of True Crime or forensics, then you will absolutely adore this one.

Without a doubt gets the 5 pawprint rating.

Paw Prints

Book Review: Fate, Love And Experience Points by Alodia Thaliel

New author Alodia Thaliel has definitely outdone herself with her first book. From the first page, she grips the reader and keeps them held until the very end. It has a very modern feel given that the main characters meet through a video game which is something that a lot of people can relate to. It is a beautiful love story that has so much more throughout.

The characters are varied and well developed throughout and the plot moves at such a pace, readers will find it difficult to put this gem down. For those who enjoy a love story with a modern kick, this book is a must read and one that should be added to your e-reader.

A fair few will fall in love with Gabe and there is searing heat in the passionate love scenes. They are well written, descriptive and the emotions practically jump off the page. Fate, Love And Experience Points marks a very promising beginning to this writers career and I cannot wait to read the next installment.

This awesome modern story deserves the 5 pawprints.

Paw Prints

Book Review: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs by Caitlin Doughty

I stumbled across Caitlin Doughty by chance on YouTube and I haven’t looked back. For those who don’t know of her, she is a mortician who answers those questions about death and corpses that some may be afraid to ask but have always wanted to know. As a morbid soul, I jumped at the chance to know more and she doesn’t disappoint. She has written books previously on being a mortician and about cremation which will be reviewed once I’ve read them. But I decided to start with her latest book as the title immediately got my attention.

The premise of this book is Caitlin answering questions about death that have been asked by children. Out of the mouths of babes indeed. Children aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions and some of these are ones that were absolutely fascinating. The title was one of the questions and if you want the answer, read the book.

So many people are afraid of death and won’t ask questions about it. This might not be the book for them. For someone who is intrigued by bodies, the customs on how they’re dealt with and other related topics, it was a truly fascinating read. Caitlin is very knowledgable and shares that knowledge with her readers and also in a podcast called “Death In The Afternoon” which I also recommend.

Please give this book a go as you won’t be disappointed. This one more than earns the 5 pawprint rating.

Paw Prints