Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Half term - half awake - half-hearted blogging

First of all sorry for not blogging for so long. It's a struggle to fit everything in at the moment as you might imagine, what with the show being so close, it being half term - oh and little things like running a monthly magazine!
A few random thoughts - my brain isn't capable of anything ordered, it's just overloaded at the moment.
Britain's Got Talent, isn't it great to see a dog act in the final - but isn't it a miracle? The production crew couldn't be much less sympathetic to animals. All the bangs, slippy surfaces etc. The little dog is obviously bomb proof - and the relationship between dog and owner is brilliant. But what an ordeal - how do you prepare a dog to cope with all of this?
It's our big Cold Wet Nose photoshoot tomorrow, it's for all the amazing award winners. It's been such an honour talking to these wonderful people over the phone, it'll be great to meet them in person.
One of the problems in organising this sort of shoot is that many of the people involved have such busy lives that you can't factor in the unpredictable. I've just heard that one of our award winners is having to cancel tomorrow as the she runs a small Yorkie and Toy Dog rescue organisation and in the last few days she's had a heavily pregnant Yorkie handed in. This morning she went off her food - a fairly good sign that she's about to give birth. So sadly, Amber's five minutes of fame is going to have to be postponed.
However. there's nothing to stop me sharing her story with you lot!

Amber – Yorkshire Terrier and Sue Harrowell
A small miracle she survived

When Amber, a tiny, fragile, almost bald Yorkie, was tied up and thrown into the River Mersey, it could so easily have been the end of the story.
Luckily, some young boys fishing saw her drowning and found an adult to help rescue her. Amber was then handed to the Wirral Dog Pound, where she spent seven days on death row, waiting to be claimed or rehomed. But nobody came for her.
Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Breed Rescue were her only hope.
Sue Harrowell travelled from Lincolnshire to Liverpool to get her. Amber was in a terrible state: she had to have a cancerous lump removed immediately and eight rotten teeth; her nails were overgrown, and what little hair she had was just a matted mass that smelt vile. She was very scared and confused, but she allowed Sue to cut away the hair that couldn’t be saved. She was very weak.
Brilliant vets discovered that Amber’s hair loss was a symptom of Cushing’s disease (a serious hormonal disorder), and, as if Amber hadn’t been through enough, she also needed an emergency life-saving hysterectomy operation to save her from pyometra (a life-threatening womb infection).
Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Breed Rescue is a very small rescue and it does not have insurance to cover vet bills. Amber has already cost a small fortune to put back together, so there is an appeal to help Amber and other dogs like her.
Amber has learned to trust Sue and will never be rehomed now. She is gradually getting better each day and is starting to play with toys.
Sue said, “She is a true fighter and we cannot thank her enough for allowing us to be in her life.”

When (if?) I recover from tomorrow's shoot I'll try to blog about some of the other amazing stories.

One other person couldn't make it, half term meant Jordan was away on holidays. Here's Jordan and Rupert's stories:

Jordan (aged 8) and Rupert (Cocker Spaniel)
The show might have been made for them!

Jordan, was born profoundly deaf. His mum is deaf, too. Jordan had started talking and everyone was pleased with his progress. His dad was hearing and always spoke with him. When Jordan’s dad died suddenly and unexpectedly Jordan became mute. His father had been his access to spoken language. Over night Jordan stopped talking and signing and stopped making eye contact. He rejected his hearing aids. His mother Kerena was devastated by the double blow.
When Jordan’s grandmother gave him a pup suddenly life got much brighter. Jordan really wanted a dog and decided to help with Rupert’s care.
Kerena, his mum told us: “We went to dog training initially Jordan and Rupert were both so naughty!
“Since getting Rupert a happier, more confident child emerged. But with the start of the dog obedience classes Jordan’s progress has accelerated.”
Jordan started to speak again!
Kerena says getting Rupert made her live again, too and start to hope.
Jordan and Rupert are in training to take part in many areas of the Cold Wet Nose Show. One of their favourite events is Dock Dogs – a new canine sport from America. Dogs get to leap off a dock into a huge pool and the dog jumping the longest or the highest wins.
They will also be competing in the BAA agility competition and even the augmented look-alikes if there’s time!
Rupert’s love of swimming was first discovered when he saw Jordan sailing in a lake. The bond between the dog and his master is obviously very strong and the little dog was most concerned that Jordan might need his help. The plucky little dog jumped into the lake and swam an amazing 1,000 metres or more. His zeal to rescue his master almost capsized the boat and Rupert was the one that ended up needing rescuing as he was so exhausted.
“It’s as if this show has been designed for Jordan personally,” said Kerena.

Off home for an early night and a load of vitamins - our photoshoots are always great fun - but so tiring! And after a day in the studio, I'm meeting lovely Liz Nuttall from Organipets for the first time. Perhaps she'll mistake my inevitably dog-hair covered clothing for mohair!
No matter how well behaved the dogs, I always seem to end up rolling around the floor at shoots wrestling with dogs. It's the most exercise I ever get! If the allowed dogs in gyms I'd be a lot more keen.


pen said...

wow. what great stories!
will you be posting any of the pics?
very excited to have found your blog! look forward to dropping by again!

Beverley Cuddy said...

Welcome Pen! I see from your blog you're a doggie photographer. Some lovely images. Do email me - - we're always keen to take new dog photography to use in the magazine. Haven't yet got the DVD of the images from Thursday's shoot yet, it went like a dream. Everyone was so early due to no traffic thanks to half term that we all finished in record time and had plenty of time to chat. Was amazing to be in the same room as such an eclectic bunch of inspirational people. They all had one thing in common - the love of dogs. At one point we had in the same studio a lovely and quite recently homeless person who stuck with her dog through thick and thin, a remarkable senior research fellow from a uni who has cerebral palsy and is now going blind so has the first dual canine Partner dog and Guide Dog and an adorable three old little boy with unstable diabetes who has to be blood tested every 40 minutes. (He has only the second-ever diabetes hypo-alert dogs in training which will hopefully make him much safer in the future and give his poor parents some peace of mind - can you imagine doing blood tests every 40 mins every day and night?)
What a great job I have that allows me to meet people like this and the clever trainers that make these leaps of discovery.
I particularly enjoyed meeting Travis - a young Parson Jack Russell who keeps his amazing owner's spirits up while she endures her second round of chemo. She's taught Travis so many great tricks - I'm hoping we got a cover shot of Travis for next month. Can't wait to see the results. Would be such a morale boost for the whole family.

Schmitty said...

Thanks for the great blog!

I just had a press conference about some of the "issues" you touch on. Only dogs can understand it, but check it out anyway on You Tube.

pooch press conference


roger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Beverley Cuddy said...

Roger's comment had to be removed - it read:

"Cool! a Yorkie and adult toy dog rescue organization. too bad one of the award winners had to cancel."

Which on first looks read okay. But if you clicked on the "adult toy" it took you to:

Oh dear, thought I'd better take it off in case someone clicked without realising.