Saturday, 25 February 2017

For The Love Of Tweed

 Hounds and Humans may I please Introduce to you my most favorite of Crafts lady Natalie Chapman from Millie and Bailey.

I have been obsessed with there work since last year so was completely overly excited when they agreed to answer a few of our questions.

Creator - Natalie Chapman

Aged 25 & living in Cheshire I’m the animal mad lady sat behind the sewing machine, dye buckets and camera lense! I’ve always loved animals working at stables when I was only 9. I did a full 8-5 shift just for 2 canter laps of the arena as payment! To get my first Dog I had to walk the neighbours beautiful cocker spaniel Rio everyday for several months before my parents would even consider it, so my enthusiasm for animals was simply ingrained in me! I would do anything to be around them later studying a diploma in animal management at college to expand my knowledge and a diploma in dog grooming so my dogs all get to stay at home to be cut. M & B is not my full time job so I suppose the dream is to one-day design items full time. J

The Testers & Models

Bailey (pictured with me)– Sadly passed away late 2016, my first Dog and big inspiration for Millie & Bailey. My little brother as I called him, often came on supply trips, deliveries and could be often found sat under my desk causing fatal misses when he plonked on the machine pedal!!!! His was always at hand to try on, model and be photographed and I miss him dearly still. I like to think his legacy lives on in the M & B products so he will always be remembered, you’ll still see his photo about our social sites and webpage. J

Harvey & Millie – More spaniels! These cheeky pair model and test my products before they make it to the shop to ensure the highest quality and safety, which is very important to us.

Boysie, Lewie & Jack – More testers but of the equine kind! The equestrian side is something we are slowly expanding into and these boys are always at hand to try on & be measured.

When did I get into crafts?

Both my grandmas were sewers and had worked in factories making coats and clothing for companies such as Marks & Spencer’s. They came from an era where sewing was popular, people often made their own clothes and there was nothing they couldn’t make! Passing their skills to me on rainy days where we would stay in and make things, it was said how I took it straight away. My love for making things for my pets that couldn’t be found in the shops was what inspired me to take the plunge and start Millie & Bailey meaning I could create unique accessories for pets all over the world!

What’s my inspiration/favourite thing?

I love seeing the finished product on the beautiful animal its been purchased for! A happy customer and owner is the greatest satisfaction, many hours go into
designing and picking every detail from the fabric to the thread so its very rewarding when someone else likes and appreciates your work

We are truly in love with Millie and Bailey and We are sure you will be too.
Make sure to check out the site .


Bilbo & Bear 


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Today Is My 111th Birthday! *Happy First Birthday B

Well It has been a year of your Bilbos and what a better way to celebrate it than with cake. I wanted to dedicate this blog post to all the good Bilbo has achieved.
Dear Mr Baggins,

You are always there when I feel down. If my heart is at its lowest you will shower me with cuddles and bring me a blanket to snuggle in.

You are patient and kind and no matter who, animal or human, may come through our home you have always been okay with it ...even with that terrible old kitten ...which I sincerely apologise for.


When a dog went to attack me you were there to protect me. You have never let me fall into danger .

You were there for me when our Border Collie had to be put to sleep. Patiently waiting outside the door. When I stumbled home heartbroken and a wreck you were there to catch my fall. You never left my side not even for a moment.

You are always there to help with the housework , if that be the leftover food on dishes or to be a much more effective hoover than I could ever buy. You even help me load the washing machine.
You bring me my slippers the second I come through the door and fetch the mail no matter what room I may be in.

You always pull me from place to place ready to show me all the exciting things .. however much rope burn I may get.

An awful lot of people seem to look at me like I am slightly doolally for my infatuation with dogs. Until they meet you.  
                            Keep being the dude that you are B. You are wonderful and incredible.

Happy birthday darling


Monday, 20 February 2017

We Wouldn't Change You For All The Marmalade Of Peru

Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce you to the newest addition to the family Little Paddington Bear.

Bilbo has taken to him like milk to tea, a duck to water and a Paddington to marmalade.
With Paddington Bear joining the family I thought it was a good time to change the name of this blog.

Welcome to Bilbo & Bear. There is a little schedule change too. We will be having a Springer Sunday and a Cavalier Wednesday.

                                       I hope you love our little Bear as much as we do

Lots of love


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

If Guru Be The Food Of Love, Eat up by Bilbo Baggins

Dearest Reader,

As my last post was so clearly much better than all my servants human posts I thought I should bestow my presence upon you it is Valentines day after all.

A love to last through the ages. I, myself ,savior of the free world, first of my name (Definitely not the first),Mr Bilbo Baggins love my food. A love that shows no discrimination and hold no limitations. Never excluding only including as food is the very stitching of my life.

I have tasted many types of food. From Pedigree to those delightful little parcels the horses leave on there travels *honestly Bilbo..that really is poo   <--- It is not poo. Uneducated servant . They are gifts from the four legged gods. 

No food however has ever made my coat quite as shiny and my eyes as sparkly as Guru. I salivate at the simple thought of it. I have only been able to try the surf and turf as of yet as my servant owner is what I call "on-a-budget" and its a little bit less. Hopefully one day we can try the meat bag.

*note to self: Have stern words with human and demand meat version
Guru did include something rather fabulous in our recent order.  A tripe Bone. It says on it " Do you woof someone enough to share your Last Trip Bone?" .... Well yes Guru. Yes I do. Myself.  So that is exactly who I shared it with. Me.

To conclude I love food as much as I love myself.

Yours Faithfully
Mr B. Baggins


Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Letter On Dental Hygiene by Mr Bilbo Baggins

Dear Reader,

I don't know about you but I would say my smile is fantastic. My teeth are white as a Targaryen and as Strong as a Dragon. I could see that I could be quite the fellow to bestow your envy upon. I'm just ..wonderful.

Don't panic though lovely reader, I thought I would share my ways of keeping my teeth wonderful so you may one day be just as gorgeous as I am.

Owner Edit : I apologise for the vanity of Bilbo ...he really is Gaston...and a total snob.
Firstly request a carrot. If one isn't provided daily then demand one. Stamping your paw on the floor is particularly good way of showing your servant *human that you are in the need of something. If this fails to work then check back next week for my masterclass in getting your own way. Just remember a carrot a day keeps the tooth fairy away. That flying pest likes to try and take my thunder. Tooth fairy if you can read this .. your actions will not be tolerated.

Make sure to brush those glorious chompers. You must have your designated and most trusted servant *human brush your teeth. I ensure that we use only the finest of tooth paste. Only a meat flavored wonder will suffice.

Lastly a raw bone every so often is excellent for not only removing that undesirable yellow from you're teeth but is also rather delicious.

Enjoy being enlightened with my wisdom.

Yours Faithfully
Mr B. Baggins


I did tell you all he could talk..wish he wouldn't some times. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Bicycle Race

As a musician it is only right that I listen to the wise lyrics of Queen and say I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE.

Bilbo has taken to running alongside the bike like a duck to water. We ride three times a week along a beautiful canal path . Its a ride made of all the best things.

Oh and mud of course.

As any working dog, Bilbo has a high work drive. I will never just have him at home as a lap dog but I can't work him in the traditional way as I have not got a gun licence and that really isn't my thing.  So I thought in today's post I would share my ways of working a working dog.

  • Gun dog training once a week. We don't intend on hunting however I feel like breed specific training can be super important and fun.
  • Bike riding. Physical stimulation is amazing for working breeds. Bilbo is particularly tricky to tire out as he is energetic . So having him run alongside the bike works an absolute treat.
  • Tricks. Training things like sit, lay down  and fetch is fantastic for mental stimulation.
  • Working around the house. Bilbo is trained to do many a helpful thing in the house. His absolute favourite is to give me the post. It keeps him mentally stimulated throughout the entire day. My favourite is when he will fetch his blanket and then tuck me in. Super adorable. 

I hope these are of some help to you all. Remember all dogs not only working dogs absolutely love to learn.


Shannon & Bilbo


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Dog Friendly Adventures - The red Lion Cheshire

I don't know about you but I absolutely love to bring Bilbo with me where ever I go. He really is the most fun and lovely being to have around. If in a moment I feel even remotely anxious he is there for me. A lot of people don't completely understand that. I have a feeling that if you are reading this little dog blog of ours you might understand it.
I thought I would start a series about dog friendly places in the UK for those who would rather not be apart. 
This first little find is a good one.

The Red Lion in Winsford Cheshire has been my first gem in the crown of pawfect places to go ( I have no shame and I am half sorry for that one) .

The atmosphere is incredibly chilled and for a lady who is a musician by trade I was incredibly happy by there music theme. The walls are plastered with old music sheets and vinyls. They have board games if it take your fancy and the food ? Well ... Lets just say my little vegetarian soul has been well warmed.

We ordered a vegetarian wellington and it really was to die for. The pub/restaurant backs onto the river Weaver meaning its the perfect starter or finish to a long walk along the river bank. I honestly cannot recommend this place enough. So if you are ever in the area make sure to pop in.

                              They don't even judge when your dog is super muddy!!

                                                                        Shannon and Bilbo



I enjoy dog walking but as a true Aries I get incredibly bored. I like to vary Bilbos workouts up by adding penny boarding and bike riding a few times a week.  It really helps burn out his energy and it's incredibly fun for us both.  I wanted to write a blog post about working a gundog without actually taking them into the fields.

Gundogs are high energy dogs no matter what however there are a few things you can do to help calm them down.  

ALWAYS get in a long walk. 

PLAY each day ( I find getting bilbo to chase a ball up and down the stairs for 30 minutes has him happy and panting.. also builds muscle). 

MENTAL games are amazing for springers.  I like to play hide and seek.

TRICKS really keep there brain active. I have recently taught Bilbo to collect the post and also my slippers. By giving him a purpose he has really calmed down.  I'm teaching him more helpful things each day. 

Food.  This is my last point.  I'll be doing a longer post on this next Sunday.  There is an awful lot of s#*t in dog food making them act crazy  like giving a child smarties. 

I do all this and Bilbo is a super happy and incredibly chilled out pup. Let me know if it helps.

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