Thursday, 10 April 2014


I've just come across the folder with the photo's from this planned post and realised that I never stuck it up here. I think it was when the new camera arrived and I was busy playing around with different editing software, getting distracted by playing with the new toy, etc and just ended up forgetting.

Anyway it was also around the time I was starting to consider taking the dug wild camping and I got to thinking about gear for her. I know she doesn't need much but one thing that concerned me was if she might get cold in winter, especially when sleeping at night. I realise that she's a collie from working stock and therefore a hardy wee breed, but lets be honest here. She can pretend she's a rufftie tufftie mountain dug all she wants but at night she normally sleeps in a flat with central heating and for at least some of the night she'll be on top of my feet. It just wouldn't be right for me to be wrapped up in down while she lies on a mat with no extra insulation.

What to do then? Well there's no way she's getting into my sleeping bag and I've never seen sleeping bags for dugs. I did briefly consider a kiddies sleeping bag before common sense took over again. Then it hit me, an insulated jacket for dugs could be just the ticket! It'll keep her warm, won't fall off and she can move around in it. Sorted I thought, until I saw the price of them!

£85! Who do they think they're kidding! It's for a dug for f*cks sake. I'd have to seriously weigh that price up even if it was for me to wear, and I can just imagine the sinking feeling as I stood and watched Nellie rolling in a stinking bog wearing it. 85 quid, aye that'll be right! Anyway, determined not be be beaten, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a far better solution...

MYOG and even if it ended up looking horrendous the dug wouldn't care as long as she's warm.

I took a punt on this at £8 from Asda. The price was right, the colour was spot on and the child's size for ages 7 to 9 (iirc) turned out to be about right too. I tried it on her and immediately it was obviously cutting in under whatever the dog equivalent of under arms is called. The hood was just stupid and it was a little short in body length although around her chest it seemed about right.

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How does the story go again? That's right, you make the blanket a little longer by cutting a bit off the top and sewing it onto the bottom. Seemed logical enough so I immediately broke out the sewing kit and got to work doing exactly that. The hood came off first and was sewn up to stop the insulation (we can pretend it's Primaloft for dugs) falling out and then put aside for attaching to the bottom later.

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Next came the arm holes. After a bit of footering around with the measuring tape I gave in and just stuck her back in the jacket and simply put a dot with a marker roughly where I thought I should extend the arm holes to. Lines were drawn from the dots to the existing arm hole edges and then I simply cut out a triangular piece of jacket from each side and sewed up the edges again.

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Lastly the hood was sewn onto the bottom of the jacket. I ended up cutting two slits up the hood so it would lie around her arse neatly at the base of her tail. The slit edges were also sewn up to keep the insulation in and that was pretty much it.

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Looking at some of the photo's again the actual order of some of these steps may be a little out, but you get the general idea. I reckon it turned out great (doesn't even look as stupid as I feared it might) and for less than a tenth of the price for a "proper" one and just a few hours of my time it'll do just nicely. All we need now is for some time to get out and wild camp somewhere before all the snow melts!

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  1. That is highly excellent. A bargain indeed. (I've seen me stick my Paramo Torres gilet on Jorja in the tent on occasion, but it's certainly not her size!)

    On the other hand the only time I think she's ever been properly cold when camping, I woke up in the middle of the night to find her on the sleeping mat & me on the tent floor. I'm still not sure how she'd managed to shift me.

  2. Cheers Scott, I wondered if you'd appreciate this one. I did think of your dugs when I was writing this.

    As for dugs shifting you I reckon it's some sort of universal skill they all have. Oor Nellie often ends up in the centre of the bed fully outstretched with both Louise and I perched on the two outside edges of the mattress trying not to fall off.


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