Christmas Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

The Christmas songs have already started on the radio, so love it or not, that time of year is fast approaching. Planning ahead can make the festive season a lot more enjoyable. If you are thinking about getting something extra special, have you considered a pet portrait for the animal lover in your life?

This week we were lucky enough to link with a local partner who has captured the wonderful service that we provide perfectly.


Ally Clarke is the face behind the camera at Ginger Hound Photos, creating stunning pet portraits of your four legged friends.

Ally has been photographing for many years but 5 years ago the arrival of her Wirehaired Vizsla, Gelert, prompted her to leave her managerial role in London and focus full time on photography, and thus Ginger Hound Photos was born.

Now Ally photographs dogs, horses and other pets from her gorgeous woodland studio just on the Mid Wales border and on locations around Shropshire and surrounding areas.

When not photographing your furry friends, doing DIY, or drinking cocktails, Ally also has a passion for photographing pet parents producing modern and glamorous portraits.

You can see Ally’s pet photography at ( gingerhoundphotos) or check out her people portraits at

How dogs have become our best ‘friends’

drawing of a dog
“They have now got me answering the phones as well as all my other jobs”

An interesting ‘doggie’ fact for my readers; For centuries, the standard English word for ‘dog’ was “hound” or “hund”. It wasn’t until the late Middle Ages, that the word ‘dog’ ,which was etymologically unrelated to any other known word, suddenly and mysteriously appeared.

All dogs evolved from the grey wolf, our dogs’ closest living relative.  They were first kept by humans around 14,000 years ago. It is believed that abandoned wolf cubs were adopted and gradually the aggression bred out of them.

How we arrived at the myriad breeds, sizes, coat colours, temperaments and characters, would take too long to explain in one blog!

So, in brief, bones and fossils found throughout the world, going back to roughly 6,500 years ago, we are able to safely say that, at that time, there were just 5 types of dog. Mastiffs, wolf-like, Pointer types, Greyhounds and Sheepdogs.

Since then literally thousands of breeds have been developed by artificial and natural selection. Many were lost over the centuries, leaving us with around 400 different breeds today.

All this from one little mammal, somewhat like a weasel, that ran around the primeval forests 60 million years ago!

Polly’s Blog December 2015

“ I have all this typing to do and they expect coffee as well!”

Here I am again after a very long absence, so a December hello to all our friends!

A brief reminder for you about all the delicious smelling foodstuffs and treats, around at Christmas, that are toxic to us dogs, (and cats too), in particular chocolates, blue cheeses, Christmas cake and nuts.

We dogs can easily sniff out a well wrapped box of chocolates, hiding under the tree, because you poor humans only have 5 million scent receptors in your noses, we have over 200 million!

Do also ensure that sure that Poinsettia plants and Mistletoe are kept well away, we like to chew and these would give us very upset tummies.

One of our wonderful dog sitters, Bob Maddox painted the portrait below, of the beautiful Simba, who sadly died in the autumn.

This is our tribute to a noble pet, much loved, both by his owners and our pet sitters too.


We wish all our friends a very Happy Christmas and remember:-

“If humans had hearts like dogs, the world would be a peaceful place.”

See you in 2016!