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STRATFORD COUPLE TURN BUSINESS INVENTORS

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and for the husband and wife team behind new Stratford start-up ‘White Mud’, it was certainly the case.

Hugh and Michelle Mackinnon from Stratford-upon-Avon are the proud owners of four-legged muck magnet, Mocha - a chocolate Labrador with a penchant for rolling in everything from muddy puddles to fox poo.

It’s not the conversation of dinner parties, granted, but it’s a real problem, and after a fruitless trawl of the internet for a gadget to help, first-time inventor Hugh decided to come up with his own solution to wash away the grime.

Enter the Muddy 15 – a nifty little portable rinse unit, 4 years in the making, which touched down in the UK in June this year and is now for sale on the White Mud website www.white-mud.com

The Mackinnons are currently developing a whole host of accessories to complement the base unit.

The Muddi 15 simply plugs into the AUX or cigarette lighter socket of the car, and comes ready to use.

It is compact and tough, with an integrated 5m kink-free coiled hose boasting a variable nozzle for pressure control (mist through to jet), which extends out of, and retracts neatly back into the unit. The translucent water tank with markers can hold up to 15 litres and pumps water up to 60 degrees centigrade.

Said Hugh, a mortgage consultant and unintentional inventor: “I bought Mocha for Michelle as a birthday present, and as the puppy stage passed, we progressed to longer countryside walks, during which time his main objective appeared to be finding something disgusting to roll in. As you can imagine, the car journey home was always a pungent affair and once substances dry into the coat, they are almost impossible to get out!

Having spoken to other dog owners, it’s a really common problem, but it’s also part of a dog’s instinct, so unlikely to change. Michelle and I couldn’t find anything robust and practical enough on the market to clean Mocha off before we put him back in the car, so I decided to invent my own. The prototype finally arrived, and the rest, as they say is history.”

Domestic dogs delight in rolling in the faeces of other animals, and very little research has been done on the rationale behind it.

According to an article by Richard Gray for BBC earth (June 17): http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170608-the-many-reasons-why-dogs-might-roll-in-smelly-poo, there are a number of feasible explanations.

Some experts put it down to an evolutionary hangover from their days as wild predators; a kind of tactic to disguise their scent from prey when they were going in for the kill. Others believe they just get a kick out of doing it! Whatever the reason, it seems that rolling in unmentionables is not novelty behaviour and looks set to stick around.

Of course, the Muddi 15 is not confined to the task of washing down the dog.

Children, covered in sand from the beach, horses with muddy hooves and legs in the winter, or in need of a cool spritz in summer, surfers with salty boards and wetsuits, cyclists who’ve been tackling tough terrain, mud runners and campers on a site with no shower – there are no limits, and it is competitively priced.

It is also currently getting rave reviews from people from all walks of life.

 Satisfied customer, Catherine Loundon, says the Muddi 15 is a fantastic invention and one which she wouldn’t want to be without.

 “It’s portable and easy to operate because it just plugs into the power socket in the car and whoosh, you’ve got an amazingly efficient shower! So often the mud has dried by the time I get home making it much more difficult to remove – the fact I can wash it off straight after a walk really makes life a lot easier. The tank is a very good size too, so no problem if you have more than one dog.”

 Muddi 15 fan Fiona Ash agrees. “It’s not only brilliant for cleaning off smelly mud from our family dog, but has been unexpectedly useful in cleaning kids’ wellies, sandy feet, dirty footballs and even me following after a Tough Mudder run – all before getting back into the car.  All in all, it’s a brilliant concept and we’ll be keeping it in our boot from now on.”

Readers and listeners wishing to know more about the Muddi 15, should head over to the web site: www.white-mud.com. The unit is available to purchase online now.

White Mud is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/whitemudsocial/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/whitemudsocial), and Mocha even has his own Facebook page: Mocha’s Memes  (https://www.facebook.com/MochasMemes/)

To hear Hugh and Michelle talking about their new invention, go to: https://www.youtube.com/embed/PY-G-VVdIzI?rel=0