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Lifestyle and Interviews

Meet Mabel

August 2, 2017

My old housemate had a little shih tzu called Doogle and I’ve wanted a little gremlin lookalike of my own ever since. I think they are adorable, and their under bites and googly eyes only add to their personality! But we are away too much to give a dog all of the care and attention that they need at the moment.

So, I started to browse around on pet share/borrow my doggy sites and along came Mabel! A gorgeous little shih tzu with bags of character.

Usually with sites like this, busy pet owners who travel a lot or have something holding them back from walking their dog reularly (such as work or an illness) will reach out and find people to help out. In my case Mabel has loving owners that work from home so she gets lots of love and attention. They travel a fair bit and so she’s been hanging out with me when they are away- or whenever I can persuade them to let me borrow her!

It’s been so much fun so far. Mabel is really animated, loves attention, never barks and is super easy going. Her owners have trained her so well. My friend shared this with me and it totally describes Mabel:

Composer James Mumsford described the Shih Tzu as “… a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, (and) a dash of teddy bear.”

So if you are dreaming of having a pet pooch but can’t commit full time, I’d highly recommend setting something like this up. Lots of pet shelters also need voulenterts for people to walk their dogs, so there are lots of options out there.

Lifestyle and Interviews

Owl Cats And Morrissey Dolls – Interview With Liz Kenny, Creator of Bettie’s Pets

April 20, 2014


I met Liz, the creator of Bettie’s Pets and her animal creations at a Manchester WI clothes swap party. I was lucky enough to win one of her personalised pets in a competition and I requested a Shih Tzu with an under bite like Dougal, my favourite pooch. The resemblance was uncanny.

Her creativity is infectious e.g. when Liz carved a pumpkin for Halloween, she didn’t just butcher a wonky grin like the majority would. Instead, she chiseled a sculpture that would give Tim Burton a run for his money. She then casually threw together a Raven made from leather gloves adding her own hand-beaded embellishments to complete the theme!


Liz stitches intricate replicas of people’s pets over at Bettie’s Pets, she also designs and makes costumes at the Royal Exchange Theatre. In this interview Liz discusses her favourite tunes to craft along to, plans for Morrissey dolls and the time it takes to create an ‘Owl Cat’.


What are your favourite tunes to craft along to?

I love music, music and cups of tea are essential work-buddies. In fact, I keep meaning to do some dolls based on Rock Stars (well… Morrissey!). I have eclectic taste but my latest faves are Deap Vally, Tame Impala and Sleigh Bells. I’m not cool though, I also have B*Witched on my i-pod.

Owl Cat is pretty adorable, how long did he take to make? (Pictured above)

It usually takes a few weeks to make each pet, depending on the size and specifications. The Owl-Cat  has taken nearly two months because it was so different to anything else I’ve made.


Which pet are you most proud of?

Probably the first pet I ever made, a big tabby cat called Beefie because I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. I still sometimes feel like that and it’s a buzz when it actually comes together. I love a challenge!


Tell us more about your work at the Royal Exchange

I’m a volunteer Wardrobe Assistant at the Royal Exchange. It’s really good fun, you never know who will walk through the door. It could be anyone from a CBBC presenter to someone throwing a fancy dress party. I help people choose costumes and I also get to make them too, which is a fantastic opportunity.


You can see more of Liz’s work and shop the Bettie’s Pets collection over at