What we have been up to - as humans, dogs, and as JINKS.
TLDR : Odd times, we've been busy sewing - for Jinks and making scrubs. Jinks is approaching it's first birthday this month! We have some launches coming up, and a lockdown inspired competition/giveaway. Detailed in this blog post, but also in a post just about the giveaway/competition & it's details is here.
Hello fellow dog lovers! Caitlin writing this one!
What an odd time it is, I know it’s all a big change and mentally a bit of a battle. For some of us more of a battle than others of course. Somehow, I’ve managed to become more busy than usual!? Or maybe it just seems like that compared to some people who sadly find themselves out of work and having lots of unwanted time on their hands. (However I do love seeing everyone’s projects, from cleaning and gardening to drawing and DIY-ing!).
We started off this UK ‘lockdown’ a few weeks ago, right after launching our new clothing drop. We put a lot of thought into what we were going to stock in the month before the launch, and the most sensible way of ordering/making/supplying. We thought the most eco-friendly, and practical way to operate is to do limited runs of orders, close clothing orders for a bit, then repeat again in a month (or however long). This way we’re not ordering back and forth from suppliers. Plus we can hand print orders in batches keeping our time costs down and passing that saving onto you guys. (A blog post about ways people/businesses do clothing drops/orders might come in the future before we can start up again– perhaps alongside a soft launch). We had sourced a nice ‘ladies’ fit hoodie, and flattering, recycled cotton/polyester mix t-shirts. Plus, sorted out our new designs ready for screen printing… and then…. lockdown and our supplier (quite rightly) shut. So, there’s a pin in that clothing project for re-launching down the line :)
We still have some clothing stock made up in various sizes/designs available to order, as we would have had quite a few shows coming up, which are also delayed for now. Click here to see what we have available!
Amy and myself haven’t been leaving the house much, as we obviously work from home, but also as both of us have pre-existing health conditions so want to be careful on where we choose to go. We’ve been missing each other, but chat regularly (almost hourly) and have been doing quite a few things ‘together’ still. After all, we were friends first.
For example, we’d been looking at ways to try to offer any skills we have to help out local efforts at the moment and came across the wonderful ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ campaign. Specifically, we’ve got involved in the Sheffield chapter and have spent many hours sewing scrubs for local hospitals, GPs, clinics etc. It’s very surreal, and whilst we really hate the fact that people are without everything they need (likely through poor central planning/preparation), we wouldn’t want key workers to be without as a form of protest. We’ve given our time/sewing hours to sew almost 30 sets of scrubs between us.
We’ve held off from posting about it as we are always very conscious of what we share as a ‘business’. We’re sewing because it’s how we can help, our time is ours to give for free. It’s not an activity we’ve started for ‘brownie points’ or to make JINKS look good. We’ve been sewing a huge variety of things for a few weeks now, as of course JINKS is still up and running. We’re making to sure to fulfil orders as soon as we can (of course there are occasionally some delays with materials arriving, but I’m sure everyone can appreciate that hold up).
We’ve also been thinking long term and giving our dogs lots of careful boundaries during this time (kindly – we’re all about positive reinforcement here). Mainly as, whilst our partners are working from home at the moment, they won’t be forever and I’m sure our dogs will miss them (as will we). Plus, things like our usual agility classes aren’t going on and routines are massively different. We want them to have as few struggles as possible when some of the restrictions are lifted, and when things go back to normal months down the line. Plus we don’t want them to forget anything we’ve put a lot of time into training.
Link & Arwen have both had to have contact with the vets too! Just trying to one up each other. Link has likely pulled a ligament in his foot (perhaps as he’s gone from super fit – to not as much endurance/strength/fitness, and accidents can happen in this grey area – in his case, getting up from bed!). Anti inflammatory medication, rest and monitored exercise/very short walks. He’s already looking and feeling better!
Then Arwen sneakily stole some flapjack from the kitchen side in her house. (She was a street dog, and came from a rescue so she still needs more careful watching than Jasper, it only takes a second!). She consumed quite a few raisins (toxic to dogs – but of course every dog’s limit is different), but within 10 minutes she was given an emetic and threw them back up at the vets (for safety). She also enjoyed some activated charcoal meals for a while.. Pair of plonkers!
Things happen! Thankfully for Link I’m also now a qualified Dog First Aider so I could make the judgment there were no foreign bodies/trauma on Link’s paw, (not much help on the raisin front though!) but we’ve also been thinking carefully about what mental tasks we get our pooches doing. Part of that is what social media challenges we’ve been taking part of. We wouldn’t want to go against any training, or stress our dogs out – even if it looks cute.
We know a lot of people doing challenges are doing them for all the ‘right’ reasons, however things like snatching food away from your dog (the whack-a-mole box game) could make them frantic or stressed, and could even cause problems you didn’t previously have. There’s lots of thoughts we have on the matter of what goes viral in the dog world, and it’s hard to know how much to say, we’re not experts, we don’t want to offend or to confront, or even to come across badly to new or existing customers.. we’ll leave it there for now. We’ve been sticking with wait/leave challenges and have a proposition for a new one:
New challenge for our competition/giveaway: A dog or human and/or dog self-portrait capturing up how ‘life on lockdown’ has been for you.
This could be a portrait with your dog(s), one just of your dog(s) if you don’t like being in photos, or one for each of you! This could highlight new activities you’ve been doing, showing how you’ve been co-existing at the moment or how you’ve been coping if you’re a key worker and times are stressful. Even a small video showing a new trick you’ve learnt, or behaviour you’ve improved! Whilst the country is facing and has faced some huge losses (maybe even you have too), this could be a great way to highlight some of the good that may have come out of lockdown.
We’re also approaching 1 year open as a business (we can’t quite believe it!), our original celebration plans are having to change, so we think this portrait challenge will be a great way to celebrate given the current situation. We’ll also have a few things launching, and maybe even a discount code/sale. We’ll have a seperate blog post about our 1 year celebration, and new launches(!), but for now we’ll run our portrait giveaway until our 1st birthday (May 17th). We’ll pick one winner and if it’s hard to decide we’ll give some smaller prizes runner ups.
The prize, pick 1 of the following prizes ;
1 BioThane Lead and collar set - we’ll send out a list of BioThane colours to pick from, and you can pick from any hardware colour you like. Pick between an adjustable or fixed length/sports collar, and a standard or training lead.
A snuffle mat and a travel mat - snuffle mat can be XS/S or medium and a travel mat medium or small- we’ll send you a list of colours to choose from.
A snuffle bag and a faux fur tuggy - we’ll send you a list of colours and sizes to choose from.
Velvet/colour shift snood and a t-shirt from our stock (if we have nothing in your size, we can figure something out!)
Must be safe for your dog
Show something representative of your experience in lockdown
Tag us and use the hashtag #jinksisolationportrait
Post before 17th May
Bonus: tag someone who you’d love to see enter in the comments of either Caitlin’s or Amy’s self portraits on the Jinks Instagram and we'll give you an extra entry!
You do have to follow us to win… but we won’t make you share wildly etc.
The winner won’t just be based on photo quality, but also what it shows, so no worries if you just have a phone camera :)
You can enter twice only - one for your photo and one for tagging a friend.
To start us off Caitlin & Link have done one (self timers/remotes are great!). There’s a few poses because Link is too cute, and I tried to include a few things representing what we’ve been up to, but without making a cluttered photo (I would also have included something to show our intro to hoopers training but Link’s paw has put a pause to that. (Check out TRI Dog training for the online hoopers training, more information on the reward and instructors across the country here!).
Some of the scrubs sewn (including a pair made from a good quality donated bedsheet)
New plants for my birthday (have also been prepping some cuttings!)
New hair! – which might be my favourite colour to date! Even though I went through a week of looking a bit silly as I’d run out of bleach – thankfully Amy rescued me with some more during a contactless Jinks stock exchange, as well as instructions.
Living in dungarreeees! Great for sewing in as they’re super comfy and not tight around my waist (needed for my chronic pain and health issues in that area!)
A Box FULL of the snuffle parts of our snuffle bags, they are being sewn into our bag material and make up the ‘ready made’ products available on our website.
And Link. Just Link in all his beautiful collie like beauty. I love him and couldn’t imagine ‘lockdown’ without him,… and his poorly paw.
Amy with Jasper & Arwen’s include the much loved flirt pole, this tool is so great to really tire out your dog, even in your back garden, it also helps teach self control and gives a controlled outlet for prey driven dogs. We’ve also been focusing on calm fitness training too which really helps teach body awareness as we are about to embark on an online Dog Parkour course run by Dogs Club Sheffield! - Check them out here!
Squishyface Flirt Pole
Paw target balls for fitness training
Sourdough! - my dad sent me an offspring from his starter and I’ve been trying my hand at baking tasty bread!
Decorating supplies - We’re mid-renovation on our house and have finally got to the stage where we can paint our living room walls! (you may have seen some funky backdrops in some of our training videos on instagram!)
Game controller - if lockdown isn't the time to blitz through your game library, what is?! (note DOOM tee 😉)
And of course Jasper and Arwen!
You can use free apps on your phone to add text to photos and include annotations like we have. There are many apps available, or you could even use the editing function on Instagram stories and save the photo to upload on your feed if you like, or just list in your photo caption!
Join in with the hashtag #jinksisolationportrait so we can see everyones’ – tag us too!
We'll assume you're happy for us to share your entries, we'd love to share them on our stories for others to see and be inspired, but please let us know if you don't!
As it’s a giveaway please remember to use the hashtag and tag us in your photos. We’ll pick our favorite (for what they show - not necessarily the best quality photo) after our 1st birthday. UK Only, or Europe if winner agrees to pay additional postage costs.
Caitlin's portrait is on our Instagram now, Amy’s portrait will be coming soon!
We can't wait to see your representative portraits!
- Caitlin, Amy, Link, Jasper and Arwen