Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Greyhounds - What's good about them?

Adopting or sharing your home with a beautiful new Greyhound companion is a pleasure and a joy, as all Greyhound adopters will know. But what do we know about these dogs prior to sharing our lives with them. 
I came across a website the other day which I'd like to share. I think it sums up precisely the 'way' of these wonderful animals. Here's excerpt...
"With his quiet dignity and independence, the Greyhound is often likened to a cat.
Once past the puppy stage, he is calm and quiet indoors, moving lightly and gracefully, not toppling your lamps and fulfilling his role as couch potato quite admirably.
Though he needs a safe, enclosed area in which to sprint all-out a couple of times a week, he is built for sheer speed rather than endurance and doesn't require hours of exercise.
The fastest of all breeds (he can outrun a horse in a sprint), once he has exploded into his powerful driving gallop for a short time, he is content to sleep for the rest of the day.
This sensitive breed prefers peace and quiet and soft-spoken people. He does not do well in an environment with frequent tension or loud voices.
Most Greyhounds are politely reserved with strangers, and prefer to lean against their owner's leg rather than approaching people they don't know.
Greyhounds are peaceful with other dogs who are medium to large in size, but because of their heritage, they can be a serious chaser of cats and tiny dogs. However, many individuals can learn to coexist with these smaller pets. If you acquire your Greyhound from a Rescue League (who specialize in adoptions of ex-racing dogs), your dog will have been carefully screened for "cat compatibility."
Greyhounds are non aggressive (they tend to freeze when challenged or attacked) and they can be touch-sensitive (startling when touched unexpectedly). Because they are so docile, they must be trained with a very light hand and much more praise than correction"
Here's the rest of the article here.

Friday, 4 November 2016

A little bit of history and 'Shoebox'

A few months ago we opted in to a piece of software for saving images. It's called Shoebox, they're based in Canada, a bit like Dropbox, (which most people will be familiar with). One distinct difference about Shoebox is that they automatically send (as often, or as infrequently as you choose), an image from the past - it's pretty random - in email format. When you open the email, you never know what you're going to get (as Forrest Gump would say) and you're presented with the image they've chosen from no particular time in the past.

Today's image was from 2010, which was a bit surprising, as we'd forgotten how long it was that we'd started the Lily Peeps idea. It started from a desire to find a coat for one beautiful Greyhound. Ellie. (seen here), who was adopted from Daybreaks Kennels (Perry Barr RGT) in 2007. Her kennel name is Tully Mully Chloe from Ireland. She's as beautiful now as she was then, if not more so. An angel hound, like no other.

The first prototype coat worn by the perfect model - she'd look good in an old bath towel. :)

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Understanding Greyhounds Part Two

I'd like to introduce Mary Jane Fox who contacted us recently. 

She is an American lady who has lived in Ireland for the past 14 years. For 10 of those years she ran a Greyhound rescue called Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary. Here is a glimpse of her life with Greyhounds, and her work subsequent to the sanctuary years. 

..." I ran it like no other rescues at that time. The dogs lived in small groups and each group had their own living space. All the groups took turns having the run of 2+ grassy acres and had loads of personal attentions. I specialized in bad cases.....and there were plenty.

...."I had to stop running the sanctuary for my own health reasons, and now I am helping Greyhounds in other ways...Last year I published a book on pet greyhounds that was unlike most other Greyhound books out there. It is called Understanding Greyhounds. Our Companions through the Ages (available on Amazon) 

...." In recent months as I see more and more Greyhounds getting adopted, living in towns and cities, I have seen that many do not have sufficient support from the rescue centres they come from. So, I decided to work on a second book on Greyhounds as Pets, specifically for people living in urban areas. I have written a whole chapter on weather and coating and wanted to add some information about weather and coating and House Coats & Pyjamas. " I still do some rescue work with Greyhounds by finding special homes for those difficult backgrounds. I take in one very poor case at a time"

Here is an excerpt from Mary Jane's book Understanding Greyhounds, Our Companions Through the Ages.

Nowadays, more and more people living in urban environments are increasingly adopting greyhounds and other sight hounds as pets. Although all kinds of dogs live successfully in urban areas, there are some important behavioural and physiological differences that new greyhound owners should be aware of. This book offers a wide range of practical tips and advice to help pave the way towards a more enjoyable and fulfilling human-canine relationship, and it follows on from a previous book, Understanding Greyhounds: Our Companions Through the Ages. Both are available through Amazon. 

To find out more about Mary Jane, visit her Facebook page here 

Here is the cover from each book. 
Could this be the ideal Christmas present for a new adopter? You decide. 

PS: We are NOT affiliated to the books and derive no income from their promotion 
We are merely spreading the word of a fellow hero for Greyhounds, & devoted lover of our wonderful greyhound friends. Take a look at Mary Jane's Facebook page, and drop her message, she would love to hear from you!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Understanding Greyhounds Part One

Most of us who are lucky enough to have a hound or two in their lives will begin to know and understand their beautiful companions fairly quickly. Most adopted greyhounds like the simple life. An early morning constitutional, followed by their favourite breakfast, closely followed by a long rest (ideally upside down on your favourite sofa). An afternoon walk, dinner, then more rest.

In between these very important events, fuss, cuddles and conversations with their adopters is a must. Your job is fairly simple as their adopter. Keep to the schedules (they know the time of day to the minute without clocks/watches), and woe betide you if you're late with walks & food times.

There are a few other tasks we should perform on a regular basis, including brushing - this helps stimulate the lymphatic system and blood-flow (after all that resting it's a good thing for their bodies). Teeth cleaning is really really important. Most greyhounds are unable to eat 'bones' that other breeds can happily chew on, which cleans their teeth beautifully - so we need to step in and take over the bone job for them. I use a scaler, and a soft toothbrush. If you've never done it before, introduce the concept slowly - as they'll spit out, resist, and generally be very uncooperative. After a few attempts they will consign themselves to the 'ordeal' and just let you do a tidy up in the mouth.

Sometimes the tartar builds up and becomes almost like a shield or another layer of hard substance on their teeth - particularly at the back where it's difficult to see. A soft toothbrush from the local chemist, a bowl of water beside you and an agreeable hound is the place to start. There'll be some huffing and puffing and resistance to start with, but persevere and do the bits you can get to, and as you soft-brush, you'll loosen the tartar (if there is any present) and you can pull it off with your nail.

If you think about it, the amount of food debris that sits in a nice warm environment at the back of the mouth is a wonderful invitation to bacteria. This bacteria then waits for the next meal to come along, and is swallowed down into the hound. This build of waste food continues to layer on the teeth. If the debris is not removed, it will eventually rot the tooth (or teeth) causing great pain, and eventually loosen the tooth which falls out. I don't know about you, but I know the pain of toothache, and would not wish that on any hound or anyone.

One thing to add. If you adopt an older hound with bad teeth, just start the process of cleaning. It IS worth it, and will save their system being poisoned, and prevent any future discomfort from tooth problems down the line. There is a great feeling of satisfaction when you finally remove a great chunk of tartar. It's really does come away if you beaver away at it. It also helps to keep the breath nice and fresh too of course.

Part Two - is on a slightly different theme, and relates to a book written by a friend from Ireland. I will be posting about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Autumn is on it's way

The leaves are beginning to fall, and the nights are drawing in. Heating is now going on early evening...and staying on mostly. Mornings are now fresher and cooler, and coats are coming out for our hounds who feel the temperature change with their bald chests and tums!

So now is an ideal time to provide your hound with a nice warm winter coat from our collection! We have some lovely coats to choose from - double layer fleece coats in a large choice of colours that you can choose from our swatch page, or, if you want something waterproof (and ours are 100% waterproof) you can choose a Classic coat or the Chi Chi version which has a stylish vented 'bib' under the snood with a chest piece beneath. Either coat style can be fleece or cotton lined. Up to you. They are elegant smart and functional.

We use top of the range raincoat fabric (according to our supplier it is their best fabric - and they have a LOT of waterproof fabric), All our coats are washable at 40 degrees. The double fleece coats dry in no time, and the raincoats are not far behind though they must not be put in a tumble dryer.

If you're after a house coat or pajamas, I think you will like our version. They are very handsome and smart. They are fleece top, with a cotton lining, of your choice from our swatch page. All have a chest cover. There is attractive vent over the rump, which looks so cute as they trot around the house, and each one is trimmed with ribbon to match the fabric colour.  They are fastened over the back with twin ties - which are soft and do not impede comfort,

Check out the coats on the website and if you need help with anything, drop us an email either via the contact page or directly to info@lilypeeps.co.uk

We're going to be talking about black hounds next, so check us out if you have time within the next few days.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

New Website

Our old website has served us well. However, it has been in serious need of an update for Mr. Google and Co to perform their magic, and also for the security of users and ourselves.

It's hard to let go of something that has been with us for the last five years, but it really needed some attention. We've had problems with products not loading properly and other irritations for our customers, which we don't want. So, during the week ending 18th September 2016 we will be live.

For those customers who've hobbled around the old site, I think they will find the new one a breeze, It looks nice and clean and fresh. It should be automatically visible when the Lily Peeps domain name is transferred to its new location by the end of this week! Let us know if you like - or not!

Any problems, just email us via the contact page.

Thank you!
From Lily Peeps

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Brown Patches on the lawn?

When you have dogs, that sense of pride that many people have for their lawns, disappears, particularly when ugly brown patches appear on your well tended lawn.

Nitrogen waste products are the result of protein breakdown through normal bodily processes, therefore the nitrogen in the urine causes the lawn spots. We all know that Nitrogen is a great fertilizer but not in these doses that is why the outside of the brown spot is quite lush. So what's the answer? Many years ago when visiting Crufts at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, we bought a brown bag with a few rocks inside which were guaranteed to stop the acid marks.

(Dog rocks are mineralised rock which when placed in a dog’s water bowl change the Nitrogen levels of a dog’s urine, thus preventing stained grass. The key element is Zeolite, which neutralizes Nitrogen levels without altering the pH level of the water). They didn't work at all, so it was back to the brown patches. We all know that urine is made up of uric acid, the clue is in the word - acid, so whilst some gardens do have a more acid pH level than others, the uric acid content in urine would be higher and hence cause the grass burn.

What's the Solution?

There are a few things to do to reduce or eliminate the problem. One is simply following your hound outside before the 'event' and then pouring a watering can full of clean water over the affected area, thus diluting the acid and lessening the burned brown effect. This will allow the excess nitrogen to leech or dilute through the lawn and reduce the concentration in one area. It is recommended to treat the areas up to 9 hours after urination and to apply at least three times the amount of water to urine to the area. This could be a tedious operation to faithfully follow day in and day out. 

Another more effective way is to add Apple Cider Vinegar to the drinking water. Start with a teaspoonful, increasing by small amounts over days and weeks, building up to a tablespoonful in the water bowl, to allow your hound to become familiar with the taste gradually. This will negate the Nitrogen imbalance and should solve the problem. The Apple Cider Vinegar can be also be added with the food.

Important Note!

If you decide to try this method, do buy a quality Apple Cider vinegar, not the cheap processed versions in the super market. Here in the UK Aspall are the best, and is the one I buy for personal use for salad dressings etc.


Important Note 2!

Remember, that if you try the vinegar method, you are also adding a very healthy product to your dog's diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar has countless health giving properties, including help for arthritis and many others, for humans, AND dogs. I will be writing a separate article on this subject in the next day or so.