Saturday, 29 December 2007

Another baby dies

It's almost exactly a year on from the last child/dog fatality and did society learn anything in that year? Obviously not, as we've got yet another tragedy. And who knows what Rottweiler Rescue are going to do as they've not had time to get over the last lot of knee jerk reaction - the abandonment and cruelty.
In case you've missed the news, on Friday, a one year old boy was killed by his grandparent's 'pet Rottweiler'.
Dig a bit deeper and the 'pet'
Rottie actually lived in the small yard. It had been acquired only six month's earlier as a two-year-old. Who knows what sort of life it had before.
And when we say 'Grandparents' - don't imagine the chap off the
Werther's Originals advert and his Mrs. We're talking about the parents of a teenage mother. So these grandparents are probably only in their thirties.
The baby was in the arms of a seven year old who had taken her little nephew outside to 'stroke the dog'. The only higher level of supervision was a sixteen year old
Aunty who was upstairs at the time. This sixteen year old girl was looking after a seven year old, a six year old and a one year old. Sounds a lot to put on a kid's shoulders to me.
The dog in the yard was experiencing it's first Christmas and all the routine changes that brings, the baby was another extra dimension.
I can't say I'm surprised that disaster of some kind struck. I'm just amazed more of the kids weren't hurt or killed.
If people are going to keep macho yard dogs how do they expect them to be discerning?
If any of you are parents - would you have ever left your one-year-old baby with a bunch of other kids and a caged wild dog?
Just the idea of a seven year old carrying a baby around unsupervised would be enough to give me nightmares.
I quote from the BBC version of this story...
"Without any warning, the dog snatched the baby from the youngster's arms and carried him into the yard."
So the baby killed by pub guard dogs last year and little Ellie dying at New Year at her grandmother's house weren't enough of a warning not to leave your children with relatives that have unsocialised, untrained dogs in the yard.
How can we stop people acquiring guard dogs that go on to kill their relatives?
Even if we banned every dog on the planet or had all their teeth extracted would these children ever really be safe from harm? Of course not!
I wonder how many other children died this Christmas from other less media-interesting causes - how many other kids were left in charge of babies?
There are already calls to change the Dangerous Dogs Act. It does need reform, but not as a knee jerk reaction. No amount of legislation is going to stop some people putting their kids in danger - be it letting them on the road to drive quad bikes at night, leaving them alone while the go out for a meal or leaving them pretty much unsupervised with wild dogs.
That poor little kid, what chance did he have? I am sure he was much loved and will be greatly missed, but how many lives have to be lost before people stop making the same mistake?
I missed my phone going off as I was out with the family shopping. It was The Independent on Sunday and they wanted 200 words on this issue. It was too late by the time I phoned them back. Perhaps it was just as well, as I expect my stance would upset the family.
What's your view? How can we stop this happening again?


Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas - with two new PS's

I'm sorry I've been so slow to blog this month. Magazine deadlines go a bit crazy at this time of year and we had to finish the February edition before we broke up - and plan the March. Plus we had to fit in taking the kids to Disneyland Paris and all the usual present buying etc.
We only got around to putting the tree up last night and that fell down as quickly as it went up. We were very late buying and I think we got an unergonomic one as a result!
Oscar has had his Xmas groom and has come back wearing a Christmas bow in his hair and a very fetching Xmas scarf. He's already looking a bit dirty around the edges and you could never see the scarf thanks to his enormous coat. If I get around to taking a photo I may give Tess the scarf as I suspect she's much more in need of it! (The bow fell off last night - before we could get the photo!)
Oscar with a replacement bow which lasted 20 seconds after the photo was taken!
My Xmas card sending was late and limited to the fact I didn't have enough! So if I missed you out please take this as your card and feel virtuous for the negative carbon footprint we've created!
I'm in touch with Jill and the Poodle martyrs, the case rumbles on and there are many twists and turns - but this near to trial it's probably as well not to report them too closely. Let's all wish Jill and Peter and their family a peaceful New Year and look forward to them putting it all behind them and enjoying their normal doggie life without fear. (Click here for the full story)
Let's all wish Caroline and Harry (the homeless lady with the cute Tibetan Terrier we featured on the blog) a great 2008 - be lovely to hear how they are getting on. I'm sure they had a few more Xmas presents than they expected! (Click here for the full story)
The old little Yorkie that was looking for somewhere to spend Xmas is probably already having fun at Karen, our Assistant Editor's house. I'm hoping to see photos of Max the office dog pulling a cracker with the little scamp! (Click here for the full story)
If you are ready for a new year and a new challenge please do read my blog about Anne, she is still looking for someone to help her carry on her amazing work with lovely dogs on death row. Click here if you missed the original post.

Claire Horton-Bussey - our writer and sub - has at last got a dog after many, many years of planning. Here is Madi with her 'Great Uncle' Jet. Madi comes from Many Tears Rescue - who only take dogs off death row - so Madi is a really lucky pup this Xmas!
I hope you and your dogs have a lovely Xmas, and that no one has their turkey eaten by the dog - it's so tempting for them, so don't take any risks! Chocolate tree decorations are another hazard.
My New Year's resolution will be to blog as often as I can and I hope you'll keep reading!
Best wishes to you all - and I may blog again before Xmas day as I suspect there'll still be stories that need telling! Thank you for reading.

Here's a PS from Claire and Madi:

"Madi is VERY excited about being blogged. Technically, she wasn't a seventh-day dog - she was a litter handed in - but Many Tears usually have seventh-day death row dogs, or those that other rescues wouldn't bother with - the old, the black lab crosses, the staffie crosses or those who are disabled. Tamba is a Golden pup who couldn't walk; Many Tears spent thousands getting him through physio etc and now he can and is ready to be rehomed. Bless. Anyway, you asked about Xmas stories... After years of cat ownership, the wrecking of the Xmas tree is a much-loved annual ritual in my house. Now Madi has decided to embrace it too - well, she does think she's a cat (using the cat flap and sleeping on the back of the sofa, curled up like a mog). She's taken a shine to a couple of home-made wooden decorations that Katie decorated. No matter where they are hidden on the tree, Madi will find them and, delicately, stretch up and remove them gently before racing off to treasure them."

PPS - Just had an update from Karen.
Here's Max and the ultra-speedy 16 year old Yorkie - too fast for the auto-focus! Karen tells me that sadly poor old Max isn't at all well. Regular readers will know he was recently diagnosed with CDRM. He's off to the vet again on Thursday, but he's not his usual self. Karen's giving him loads of TLC and making him chicken and rice and porridge, but he's not wanting to go even to the end of the road on his walks. Poor old Max. Let's hope he rallies.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

from my mobile in France!

This is a first for me, blogging in a moving car! We're looking for an owner of a diabetic dog to feature in our article on the subject. Apologies for the brief blog but we're about to enter the eurotunnel! Email if you know anyone we can interview please.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Another one of those days...

A while ago I blogged about a mysterious substance found on the kitchen floor.
Well, this morning my toes met with something cold and irregular. I put the light on to discover the remnants of a large pair of scissors, my best scissors in fact. Or at least they used to be!
The hard yellow plastic handles and been completely chewed off!
Now obviously Mr Kong has missed a gap in the market, dogs seemingly cannot resist scissors. There were various expensive and safe dog toys left scattered around the floor untouched - but the yellow scissors from the worktop were completely irresistible. They'd been there for years
Which dog did it? Who knows. The scissors lay in neutral territory. Which makes me think it was Tess.
When recently Kieran's virtually new school shoe was chewed, Oscar had casually left it in his bed. He isn't capable of subterfuge, bless him.
Another peculiarity of the morning. We'd left the de-icer outside yesterday and the frost was thick on the cars today. I went to spray - nothing! The de-icer had iced up. How can that happen?
I had to run it under the hot tap!
And I get to work - Internet is working fine, but not the email. How odd - it's normally both out or both working!
And another thing. Someone changed the ink in the communal printer and inadvertently threw away a vital bit of the machine that makes it work! £60 and several days wait to get another one.
So we're in a paperless, email free office at the moment - which is why I've got time to blog!
Who knows what more surprises the day will bring!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Tyson's story

I've been searching for the full story on how Ross got Tyson back and have drawn a blank until I found this posted elsewhere, would seem there is a story but not one that will be revealed at the moment. I know most of us would go to any lengths to get our dog back...

"Everybody,

Tyson is now back, safe and well. The story and events that have led to his return is a long one and I will at a future date provide full details. At the moment I cannot say and i would ask that no one speculates. The fact is he is back and well and that is what counts.

This last few days has been a harrowing experience but one i will never forget. I would like to thank each and every one of you individually for your support. To say it was appreciated is very much an understatement.
The lady who runs the wonderful dog lost service said to me just last night that she has never ever experienced a response to a missing dog like that of Tyson. I echo that sentiment entirely, I have never ever experienced anything quite like the support you have given.

Ross and Tyson"

Monday, 10 December 2007

Happy ending!

If you read the last blog you'll be delighted to hear that Tyson has been found safe and well! No more details yet, but bet his owner is very happy!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Urgent appeal

Urgent, please, please help if you can.
Yesterday evening, returning home from the Championship Show at the NEC, Ross Green stopped at a service station, just off the M1 at J13. Whist paying, he saw a white youth jump into their car, a DARK BLUE VAUXHALL VECTRA ESTATE, Reg No. KJ55 XFZ. Ross ran out, tried to smash driver window and then managed to open rear passenger door but as he did so the youth started the car and sped away towards the M1. In the back of the car was his and Judith Gregory's Black & White Border Collie, Tyson, (ShCh Tonkory Guinness)

Police are searching but the service station was just a mile from the M1 and the driver could have gone in either direction. There was approx 150 miles worth of fuel in car. Please keep an eye out in case you see either the car or Tyson. If so, please contact Ross Green, tel no: (01234) 838380 and/or the police. And pray for Tyson's safe return. This is a tragedy for both Ross and Judith.

Forgive me if you receive this more than once - this is URGENT - please cross post to as many as possible .... Ross left his mobile in the car - it was still working at 11.30 this morning - the police will not put a trace on it as it is too expensive to do 'just for a dog' ..... Tyson is a wonderful Border Collie who may well be lying injured somewhere, frightened and alone..... PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN - even if it is only by cross posting the following to as many as you can.....thank you

Monday, 3 December 2007

Competition time again!

I've just spent a jolly weekend sorting out the sacks of entries for the Christmas giveaways in the December edition - there were 27 different offers this month - in addition to our normal competitions!).
I finally found all the cross question entries- and no one so far has guessed it 100% right.

So it's your go again.

Entries close for both comps on Wednesday - so please get guessing. Which reminds me - I don't think I sent the blog caption winners out last time, did I - will get onto it ASAP!

Ferdy owned by Phillipa Robinson

Guess which two breeds combined to make the gorgeous Ferdy. The first correct winner gets the choice of either a breed-specific book or a general book about dogs from the Interpet Publishing range.

To date we've not received any correct answers. Therefore I'm going to start giving clues as we want someone to win! Either post your entry here as a comment - or email me direct (beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) and put cross question in the subject.

Photo of Endal submitted by Allen Parton


Study the above and come up with your funniest captions - no limit! And again either post as a comment or email me (beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) and put Caption comp in the subject so I don't miss it! Entries close this Wednesday at 1pm

There's a Wubba - the great new toy from Company of Animals for the best caption via the blog - plus...

One lucky winner gets a complete set of grooming products, including shampoos conditioner, wipes and brush courtesy of John Paul Pet - worth nearly £100! (for more details see their website). Five runners up get a shampoo, pot of wipes and a brush from the John Paul Pet Products range.