Winter is upon us, but for today it where we've had loads of warm sunshine, huge blue skies for the best part of the day, its been incredible, it's been more spring like.. Normally I have to say its raining yet again. The local Cumbrian dialect best describes our weather pattern and will state "Itull rrrain aw gar dark afur neet" Translated says "It will either rain or go dark before nightfall". Well that's the price we pay to live in the lakes, and to be fair if it didn't rain we wouldnt have lakes. No lakes no jetties, no jetties, no happy dogs.
Living in one of the wettest places in the UK does have its issues. Keswick gets '100 year floods'. We had one in 2005, 2009 and 2015. Now my maths isnt brilliant but I'm not that old to have survived all these flood years. By definition a '100 year flood' has a 1% change of occurring in any given year. Very similiar to a 100 year storm which we seem to get in the Lakes six or seven in a month, sometimes 'in a day'. Bring out the Flapometers!
Gone are the days of basking in the sunshine, dogs scampering around the lakeshore, lazing in the sun, Paddy terrorising every living thing he physically can, Max swimming off into the distance, jetties jumped. All was good with the world.
Autumn in the Lakes is truly amazing though, I'd always suggest visiting at this time if you can. Yes we do have short damp dark days, long dark and mostly wet nights. But once in a while we'll have a stunning day where the stars will align and you can leave your waterproofs at home, the sun shines and you feel just great, time to get out there!
Yes I do put waterproofs and drying coats on our dogs and for several reasons. We go out in the rain a lot. Yes Spaniels are working dogs, but even they get fed up with all the rain mud etc and when you're on the fell tops the wind chill factor takes it out of us humans so I'm pretty certain that some breeds of dogs do get cold. The 'very wet' dogs then get in my van, I can guarantee they will put eight paw prints each on the drivers seat before they shake half of the Lake District into every known and unknown crevice in my van. Water, mud and fur and my (new) van do not mix. Things are changing we have new van dog rules!
Now some of you may remember a review I wrote for a dog drying jacket by Siccaro back in March. Max has worn his Supreme Pro drying jacket for quite some time now and I'm really pleased to say its wearing well. If someone wants us to test something we really do test them, and its only right to tell the truth right?
I'd also like to say its payback day for Paddy for all the things he's destroyed or will destroy in the very near future, for this we've got him his very own Supreme Pro drying coat and he wore it today for the first time. Paddy is 23kg (he wears a Large drying coat)and a long bodied Springer. To be fair a sudden evil thought flashed through my mind and that thought stayed there for quite some time I can tell you. Im not an evil man and I love animals. But this thought just grew a little and got bigger and bigger "Maybe we should have bought a straight jacket and not a drying jacket for Paddy", am I really bad? The look I got once he had it on was priceless though. Human 1 Paddy 0, back of the net!
The thing about the Siccaro jacket is it really does work well, its of Danish design so it must work as they get a lot of rain too andfor the price it would have to right? I used to have a selection of old towels, microfibre, cotton you name it. stacked up in my office, car and van. Take today, you know how it is, we were on a jetty at the lake and both dogs accidently 'fell' off in the deep watery bit, they obviously didn't think I believed them so to prove a point they fell off a few more times to demonstrate how easy it was to be accident prone about the water. Poor things, they hated it. Out of the lake and within two minutes they are at the van. Its a VW T6 for all you van buffs out there, so plenty of room in the back for two big Springers. (The back of the van is currently like a dog boudior, imagine Arabian nights, drapes and cushion but with a bit of dog hair and maybe throw in a few chewed things for effect - love from PADDY!) so into said drying jackets they go, it literally takes 20 seconds to fit them and adjustment is so easy, they even have room to tuck in their flapometers.
But what is our new secret weapon to trap these muddy paws and keep my seats clean I hear you ask? Well we've put two new Siccaro FlexDog Mats in the rear of the van for the dogs. These are amazing! We were parked 15 minutes from home and I kid you not the dogs were dry, legs, bellies, tails and other extremities that dogs dont want touched and humans really dont want to touch, all dry by the time we got home. Ashness Jetty to Keswick is around 15 mins or so with traffic. OK the tops of their heads were a bit damp, but the coats and mats work and work well. The best thing about the coats and mats - no smell. They suck the water out of the fur nearly as fast as Paddy can get stuffing out of a £10 dog toy (mentioning no names there!) Not much else to say. Siccaro products are not cheap but then neither is a VW T6 van or is the interior of a car or indeed a house. The saying 'Buy cheap buy twice' comes to mind. And if your like me, I get fed up of washing soggy wet dog towels just about every day and having them hanging over radiators up and down the house.
Oh a little 'extra' test I did with Max's drying coat. He's worn the jacket after being out in the rain and after swimming, the jackey was hung up to dry and he then went on to wear it a further five times without me washing it, the science behind it - just to see if it started to smell. The jacket was still 'sniffable' no nasty wiffs whatsoever. I'd say that was pretty good?
If I was to give marks out of ten for the FlexDog mat and the Supreme Pro, I'd give ten easy.
Order a Supreme Pro drying coat or a FlexDog in November 2017 write MAX17 in the comments box you'll recieve one free Siccaro Quick Dry glove with your order (worth £16.00 to either use after the shower or on your dog! It'd make a great Christmas present (better than a pair of socks?)