VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
It’s been over 3 years of DogBlogs, every month, without fail. A lot of work has gone into them but a lot more has come out of them: we’ve had new puppies, rescue dogs, a few losses (RIP), nutrition, exercise, diseases, training, but in every single issue there has been endless love for our best friends. We wanted to highlight some of our favourite months, simply because we would need a whole year to mention them all…
Welcome to our New Year DogBlog!
A few months after starting work on the website, it was officially launched in October 2018, featuring a review of our local dog-friendly pub The Tankard on Kennington Road SE11. I knew I wanted to make this a regular issue, I just didn’t know how regular. Publishing weekly would have meant a huge commitment and I already had a full-time job. Making it monthly was more feasible. I soon identified the next dog-friendly venues I wanted to visit, support and review.
Rui Correia Almeida, the website designer, became our first ever Admin. He worked tirelessly (and still does) not only to build and maintain the site but also to publish our monthly DogBlog.
41 new businesses were added to the listings in the site’s official 1st month. 50 new members joined our Facebook group – totalling 292 by now – and 33 joined us on Instagram – bringing us up to 150 followers. As a “thank you” for the initial support, we created a special offer – “Buy any water bottle and get a free tote bag” – which proved extremely popular!
One month after launching, 292 members turned into 371. Professional photographer Chris Knight was also made Admin and wrote his first DogBlog, a partnership that would continue for the next few years. Chris has since raised generous amounts of money photographing and selling dog calendars for “The Dogs Nobody Wants” Sanctuary.
Following feedback from members, we did an issue on Central London dog-friendly venues. This was based on a huge list of businesses already on the website but in fact resulted in us adding a few new ones too.
Merchandise stocks were nearly depleted so in order to empty the remaining merch we offered special discounts on the last remaining items. Our LMDI dog-friendly sticker was born: Prestige Café (Wandsworth Common), Vanilla Black & Sally White (both on Kennington Road) were the first ever to display them proudly on their front doors.
We received from Leigh Anderson a surprise parcel of Good Doggy ready-to-bake treats which we promptly tested, tasted and reviewed; well, Paul baked them, Oscar & Ollie tasted them, I reviewed them – team effort – this was our very first item review video.
Eurovision issue from TLV – Who knew that Tel Aviv was the world’s most dog-friendly city with 1 dog for every 17 humans? I didn’t. But since I was there for the singing competition, I thought I would explore the city’s dog-friendly venues and report back. Turns out my question “Is this a dog-friendly venue?” came across a bit strange… It seemed like most people were quite happy to sit outside in cafés and restaurants anyway due to their great climate, but even when the weather isn’t so mild there are still loads of places your dog is welcome inside.
This was a hell of an issue… We decided to ask our followers for rescue dog stories and they didn’t disappoint. With a total of 28!!!!! collaborations, we didn’t even publish all the stories and had to revisit the subject a few months later. RIP Trudy‘s Blue, Graham & Claire‘s Mishka and also Jenny‘s Bailey-Boo…
The Let My Dog In…to work issue was inspired in a cute puppy I saw staring out of an office window whilst his mummy worked at her desk. This was a very busy south London street so it kept the pup entertained. I soon tapped on the window and asked the owner if she would write an item on taking her dog to work, which she accepted, and next thing I had found a few others who participated too.
In May 2019, exactly a year before, the law had changed in Portugal; no longer could business owners hide behind the legislation with one-liners like “It’s not us, it’s the law!”. From now on, dogs were welcome in commercial spaces, as long as not in food preparation areas. This still gave business owners the ability to bar them as a personal choice. As a result, very few cafés, bars and restaurants took the lead and became pioneers in the country, but once they did many others followed. It was noticeable almost on a monthly basis, every time we visited the same areas again, that one more establishment had become dog-friendly. I guess in times of crisis you really do not want to turn away customers… I gave out quite a few LMDI stickers, which are now painting the towns red! So on this issue we extended our listings to Portugal – Accommodation, Bars & Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants and Shops to begin with, but others would soon join in.
Following on from our listings extension to include Portugal, it was only a matter of time before we dedicated a whole issue to my home country. It covered north to south, inland to the coast, corner cafés to 5-star hotels. 2 years after the change in the law, all of these are still operating and still dog-friendly. Special mention to Armazém, a stunning bar/market/space in downtown Porto, possibly the most dog-friendly business we have ever visited in Portugal.
Our first issue of 2021 had to be dedicated to Brexit and the changes it brought to pet travel. Of course we focused on dogs but other pets are mentioned too. At the time of publishing, all changes still stand.
Huge thanks to Ben Ward from Not Just Travel for his knowledge, expertise and love of travel (and in particular pet travel).
What better way to finish this trip to Memory Lane than thanking our loyal members? A few months into the new year, our devoted follower Trudy Ktisti lost her beloved Blue. Having been a constant companion for almost 17 years, he left a huge void in her life and in her home. It didn’t take Trudy long to realise that she needed to rescue another dog in need, knowing that it would not replace Blue but it would at least find a very loving home. Once the initial post was published on the Let My Dog In Facebook group, Trudy had been contacted by the fosterer of 4 1/2 year old Ella, who had been looking for her forever home for about 3 months. Trudy and Ella have now been a family for 6 months and couldn’t be happier. Once again, our huge thanks to the LMDI membership who rallied to share relevant information and to make this happen.
In the last 30 days…
807 posts, comments and reactions
24 new members
Top contributors in the last month:
1 – Regina Cocito
2 – Julie Boyes
3 – Angelique Larue-Hill
4 – Elaine Day
5 – Ignez Ornella
THANK YOU! ❤️
For more ideas and recommendations, try:
Bars & Pubs – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/bars-pubs/
Restaurants – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/restaurants/
Photos and videos of your dogs, as well as business reviews, are always welcome on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Finally, if you’d like to write a piece for our monthly blog, all it needs to be is dog-related and dog-friendly.