Beauty blogger Jane Cunningham with Honey & Coco

Freelance beauty blogger, Jane Cunningham chats about her Toy Poodles, Honey and Coco, their love for swimming and how walking them every morning is the perfect way for her to keep fit and relax.

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Tell us about your beauty blog and what you are working on at the moment? I started BritishBeautyBlogger.com five years ago as a place to talk about beauty products in a very open and honest way – side-stepping advertising, PR and marketing – so women could make decisions based on true opinion and not what they’re fed in the media. I’m constantly working on a variety of stories – I post five times each day – at the moment there is a strong trend for beauty innovations from Asia, so I’m always researching on anything around that subject.

What breed are your dogs and how old are they? Honey and Coco are Toy Poodles and we happened upon that breed by accident, really. We have allergies in the family and research told us that poodles are one of the best breeds for that situation. We went to have a look at a litter of puppies and that was it. Hook, line and sinker!

Do they have any beauty tips? Honey and Coco hate their baths but they love being clean and just-washed – they always seem to behave better when they’re clean! I do all their grooming myself so there are no fancy pom-poms! Honey needs conditioner on her coat because it’s more unruly than Coco’s.

What difference have they made to your life? Where to start? We love having dogs – when my children were younger I think the dogs taught them patience and kindness to animals, and that animals have personalities, likes and dislikes, just like us! Even now they are grown-up, both my children still hold them like babies and cuddle them – although this devotion falls short of wanting to walk them! I walk them myself every morning and it’s like a form of yoga – thinking time, play time and exercise. It’s lovely. Honey is such a kind little dog – she’s very relaxed and sympathetic to my moods, whereas Coco is flighty and super-silly – she wants to be where the action is and follows us everywhere we go. She is interested in everything!

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Where do you like to exercise Honey & Coco? I take them to Greenwich Park usually, or across the heath in Blackheath. Occasionally, we head off to Footscray Meadows in Kent where there is a stream they can play in – they absolutely love this! My husband walks down the stream with them and they are happy to go underwater to retrieve their toys.

Do Coco and Honey have any best friends? They actually operate as such a twosome they don’t rely on other dogs for entertainment, but Honey adores my friend Janice’s Pug, Poppy, whereas Coco won’t go anywhere near her (jealously issues, I think!). I have friends I meet in the park or on the heath with their dogs and Honey and Coco are happy in their company.

Do you have some favourite places you like to take them to? Actually, we don’t take them out all that often, other than walks. There aren’t any restaurants nearby that allow dogs and to be honest, they’re happier at home – they absolutely love routine.

Do they have any funny ways? Well, they both had their introduction to swimming by falling into ponds! We got Honey a year before we got Coco and she was so tiny, watching a Golden Retriever jumping in and out of the Boating Pond in Greenwich Park; she obviously thought she could the same. So she just launched herself at the water and got the shock of her life when it was all wet! Coco was at the edge of a pond staring so hard at her reflection she just tipped in, head first. It obviously didn’t do them any harm because they love water (except when it’s in a bath!)

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Anything you feel strongly about regarding pet welfare? I’m totally opposed to puppy farming – despite all the campaigning that goes on I still see people on Twitter chatting about their new puppy from a known puppy farming area and my heart sinks. I also get very irritated with people who don’t train their dogs properly – it’s the kindest thing to do for the dog because then it has routines and boundaries that it understands and also makes human life much easier.

What is on your Christmas wishlist from PetsPyjamas? Definitely the Audley Olive Quilted Coats – I don’t ‘dress’ my dogs as such but in winter, life is more comfortable for them if their fur isn’t soaked through after every walk, so coats are essential. I do like them to have pretty collars though, and if you can’t add bling to a poodle, when can you? The Red Velvet Bow Collars with crystals on them seem like the perfect Christmas collar!

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