Thursday, 28 February 2008

Post haste

Sorry for brief post, have never been busier! We had a great shoot on Friday, really action packed. Some lovely stuff, the highlight being Pickle - next month's cover dog - skateboarding. As she is not yet 13 weeks I have to say she's likely to be a high achiever!
Dogs that surprised me - Lowchens. Never really looked at them closely before, but if you didn't shave them to look like My Little Pony they'd be pretty much the cute, little, bright, shaggy dog that so many of us have always been looking for. Very Pippin-esque if you are familiar with the late Great Ann Head's succession of bright little dogs that graced so many TV commercials.
The five week old puppies were so cute, so were the Cavalier Kind Charles pups, too. Well all the dogs were cute - the Beardie at the end had a really amazing quality. It was a blue pet Beardie and it had those human eyes that can make you go a bit funny if you look into them for too long. It was one of those Beardies that seems to float slightly, you got the feeling if the fancy took it it would be off at break neck speed. The eyes were everywhere taking everything in - they are bright little buttons - but then I am biased!
We had a film crew with us, this time for a fascinating BBC1 documentary to be aired probably in May. Will tell you more nearer the time, but it'll be one to set the video for!
The people shooting at the last but one, doing a documentary on doggie injustice have finally got a broadcast date of early March. Soon as I have the date, channel and time I'll let you know as the Two Poodle Martyrs feature heavily.
One of the shocking stories I heard at the shoot came from one of our Cav owners. Their eldest dog almost died at New Year after a walk in the woods. The dog managed to find some human vomit and being a proper dog ate some of it - ugh! The person who had thrown up had taken a lot of Ecstasy. The little dog was so lucky to survive. But should any of you be out walking at New Year remember to be be alert to this risk as I guess that a lot of people over do at that time of the year and you really just don't know what some people have consumed.
Anyway back to Cold Wet Nose planning and magazine, putting kids to bed... sure there's a few more things on the list to do. Perhaps I should put making a list on my list!

Monday, 25 February 2008

cold wet nose wish lists

Can you help with any of the following?
We'd really like to have an agility area at the show - does anyone have any equipment we could loan? Anyone able to steward or run that area? Ideally we will have unusual breeds fielding teams and would also like to offer some 'have-a-go' sessions, too. I've already got a Staffordshire Bull Terrier team ready to go. Could you form an unusual team? Any bright ideas?
Another thing I'd love to see would be a freestyle dancing competition. How do you set one of those up? Is there anything extra special we could do that wasn't necessarily a traditional competition? I love the Bull Terrier Line Dancers - anyone else got a dog troupe with a difference or a routine they'd like to perform?
I know - I'm a dog mag editor - I should know the answers to all these things... but I also know the power of the blog and I want this show to be your show!
Anyone out there interested in actually organising those bits of our lovely show? Be lovely to have someone to take ownership of those bits and really make them as good as they possibly can be. Could just be running the ring on the day, or could be more if you want to really get your sleeves rolled up!
For more on the Cold Wet Nose Show please go to the website
Any things you'd like to put on at the show? Any content ideas? I've got loads of exciting stuff bubbling away - famous names that are hoping to come etc. Keep July 12th free - it'll be great fun!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Dumbo everyone forgot?

I just got this heartbreaking email as we finished the April magazine:

Dumbo is really desperate now - he's not coping well at all in the cold kennel. I was pinning all my hopes on him being in the next issue of the magazine, as I know he would have such a good chance of finding the home he deserves.
I don't know what else I can do for him.
Regards
Jodie Adams

Gulp! Maybe you bloggers can come to the rescue again? Here's some background on this poor dog - please do post far and wide and let's find a Disney-esque happy ending for Dumbo.

Here are his vital stats:

  • Eight-year-old Brindle Male Greyhound.
  • Dumbo has been waiting for a home for three years now. He is always overlooked due to his age and nervousness.
  • He is such a lovely well behaved boy, just a bit nervous around strangers. But once he knows you he is very loving and affectionate.
  • Dumbo is cat friendly and good with other dogs.
  • Ok with children, although we are looking for a quiet home with no young children.
  • He is housetrained.

Contact Castledon Greyhound Rescue on 01268 733293

Please let me know if you do offer Dumbo a new home. Wonder why he's called Dumbo - his ears don't look too big in this pic!

STOP PRESS!
My good friend Petra (my bridesmaid and oldest pal!) posted this blog without me knowing on the Saddle-up forum as she is a very horsey girl and obviously very kind. Looks like the horse people are dog people too as she tells me that someone from there may have decided to give Dumbo a home. Not being a member of Saddle-up, I've not been able to look myself at what's being said. So if you are from Saddle-up - and I see from the stats that lots of you have been here visiting - do post something in comments if he's finally out of the cold and getting the life he deserves!
Well done bloggers and animal loving forum people, you really can solve anything! Three years waiting and less than three days being mentioned on the blog.... awesome!
SPOKE TOO SOON!
Janet George who runs Saddle-up has very kindly enrolled me and I've been catching up and sadly the first volunteer was away from home for too long for the charity so wasn't successful so Dumbo is still looking... Fingers crossed there's someone out there who will turn that sad face into a happy one! Check out the charity's website for more details on Dumbo - look how totally un-stressed the cat is... Dumbo really is such a gentle fellow!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Blog-jam

Many apologies for the slowness of blogging, by now you'll recognise the tell-tale signs of deadlines looming. Almost got the April issue finished - another day of high stress should see it all out of my in-tray and into poor Rosie the designer's lap! Plus on Friday we have another nail biting photo shoot - will we ever get any Schipperkes or Scotties? Forget Glen of Imaal Terriers being the rarest breed in Britain - I'm sure we could have got loads of those!
Poodle court case update: There was a hearing last Monday but it is all getting pretty surreal again. The judge decided the three highly-dubious ID parades could be considered as they were used to establish a 'type of dog' rather than the exact dogs.
I have to say that unless they gave the witnesses 200 plus breeds of dog to choose from in a variety of coat colours and types, male and female, young and old and a smattering of crosses and mongrels - then these ID parades were severely compromised if they were to in any way establish which type of dog was seen at night, through a hedge, from miles away.
It looks likely that this ridiculous case will result in a two-day court hearing at least.
How stupid does this make our legal system look?
Anyway back to it, just took a break from writing the magazine to write this - a busman's holiday if ever I heard of one!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Beardies and close shaves

There are some things you expect to be constants. Things you don't need to question.
For example, I've spent the majority of my life surrounded by Bearded Collies. I have always explained this by saying, they are a nightmare to keep clean but that have the loveliest natures. Complex and entertaining, sensitive but basically lovely. Some super bright, some (often the boys!) very definitely not pin-sharp - but all gentle souls that love people with differing levels of bounce.
In all my time around the breed I had only found one that was sharp, that bit without growling and meant it. But he had a weird growth on his head so I assumed he was slightly brain damaged.
My own lovely Sal loved people, but didn't like other dogs - but her excuse was having been isolated for her key learning months when she had parvovirus.
So yesterday I was stunned when I picked up Oscar from the groomers. He hadn't done anything bad, far from it.
"We love Oscar so much, he's so gentle - not like the other Beardies we see."
Apparently the others are really snappy, and that's an experienced groomer speaking - used to dealing with all sorts of bad behaviour.
That reminded me of a chap I'd met a few months before, I'd admired his Beardie and he'd shown me his arm. Many years previously he'd been grooming his dog when he says "it suddenly" bit him. The scar was enormous. He'd kept the dog and loved it to pieces, but had ever after booked him in for grooming at a salon.
I find this puzzling. Are grumpy, bitey Beardies national or local? Is our local groomer's experience isolated? Has someone mucked up the temperament in breeding for other qualities?
Or is it more complex than that? Is it that people who aren't very assertive feel drawn to Beardies because of their big-softy reputation. They don't groom the dog until it's full of knots. Then when it hurts and the dog bites the comb (all mine have tried that one!) the unassertive owner shows fear, backs off and calls up the grooming salon where another bitey Beardie adds to the emerging stereotype.
Oscar loves being groomed. Yesterday morning he was squeaking with excitement to see his lovely groomer, and he loves flirting with all the Poodles in there!
I do hope the essence of Beardies isn't being lost. The dog I love is beautiful on the outside, but it's the inner qualities that I admire the most. There's a poet inside every Beardie, look into those eyes and you are lost!
Do you groom? Is my perception of the Beardie of today still being big softies naive?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

And the winners are....


We had a lot of fun judging the caption comp and I have to say the standard this month was excellent!

I need the following people to send their name and address to julia@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk so she can sort out your prizes. May help to say at the same time what type of dog you have as I'm not sure but we may need sizes for the prizes...

From the blog the winners were:

Chips: This inflatable is harder to blow up that I expected.

loll100: Does my bum smell clean in this?/Don't even think about it, it WON'T fit.

(We're leaving it to the chief sub to decide which one of Loll 100's to print in the mag - every now and again we wonder how far we can go without offending people who may be less liberal than us lot. It's probably because we've already offended so many people over the last 18 years that we're eventually starting to learn caution! For example, the edition with all the naked men with their bits cleverly obscured by their Dachshunds and Irish Wolfhounds caused a massive reaction, and not the one we expected!

It was sensitively shot - you couldn't see anything significant. (It was an hilarious shoot though - they had to be naked, it was before photoshop got really good at removing stuff so even skimpy pants were abandoned!) We had an article quoting a psychologist who told us, "What can you tell about a man by the size of his dog." It was very funny and did make you think.

We may still have them available as a back issue if you're interested, but we learnt to send them out in plain brown envelopes after scores of little old ladies were seen running out of newsagents blushing as some newsagents placed the title on the top shelf with the porn! I guess it was before Calendar girls, people we're still very surprised to seeing 'real' people in the nude.

Well done everyone, some crackers came in direct to the email address and by post - so you may still have won - the only ones I list are the ones posted on the blog.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Two Poodle Martyr update...

Many apologies or not updating you sooner on this case. (Don't know what I'm talking about and new to the blog? Click here!)
Had this email from the lovely Jill last night...
"Peter was due to attend Horsham Magistrates Court at 10am last Monday 4th Feb, which he duly did. This time, I was in the UK, so I went with him! Wow, what an eye opener! The first hitch was that Peter's name was not on the list at Horsham Magistrates Court for the day's hearings!?! Rather strange we thought, as we had the letter confirming the date and time from the court with us. However, the Court Usher was really helpful, and found out that he was meant to be at Crawley Magistrates Court at 2.15pm that afternoon. It wasn't very helpful that they hadn't informed us or the Bulldog! (Ed's note: that's the pet name for their solicitor.) Yet again, a case of Peter not having 'crystal ones'!
"So, we drove home for a quick cup of tea, and presented ourselves at Crawley early. What a difference from Horsham........at Crawley we had to go through a metal detector, and have all our bags searched!!! Rather like going to work for me then - just didn't have to have all my liquids in a plastic bag & in 100ml containers! Anyway, we met up with Charmaine - our barrister, who is really lovely. She had prepared a ream of legal reasons why the three doggie id parades should not be used as evidence, and various other legal issues.
"Peter was called into the court, and I went into the public gallery. Wow....it really is another world! Peter had to be locked into the dock.......a rather large secure, bullet proof (with metal grating on the top) wooden box. I found it very scary, and he looked very small in it! Anyway, Charmaine (barrister) then presented the legal arguments to the Circuit Judge who was sitting - no Magistrate for us!!! - and gave a copy to the Prosecutor. This seemed to take for ages, and at the end of it all, the Judge said that he would have to take away all the documents and statements of witnesses and read through them and give his judgment on the legality of them all. The Judge is going to make his decision by next Monday 11th Feb, and apparently Peter doesn't have to be there, but, obviously he will! I am going to be at work, so will be on tenterhooks at 35,000 feet!
"Charmaine felt that it was much better for us that the Circuit Judge was there rather than a Magistrate, as he obviously is more up on the ins and outs of the law.
"We were chatting to the Court Usher, and he really couldn't believe what a waste of tax payers money this all is, but none of us can understand why this has gone so far - I am still waiting for the reason to emerge!
"Well, after three days at work and only one night's sleep, I am really tired, and going to bed!!"

I've left out a few of the technical legal points in Jill's email as being this close to court it would be silly to give away the best defence arguments before hand, but as ever it does seem these poor dogs have no case to answer. Thankfully they now have legal aid, after appealing - so at last things seem to be going their way!
Will let you know more news as I hear it. We'll be thinking of Jill & Peter on Monday and hoping that at last someone will see sense and call this off!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Competition time again!

Now I'm very disorganised this evening, so apologies - somehow I don't have a copy of the Feb magazine to hand so I neither know the prize or the official deadline for entries... but I wanted to give you the picture so you can start thinking up your captions. (If any of you have this information please do post it as a comment!)
Let's say we need your entries by tomorrow at 1pm, I'll update the blog if I'm badly wrong - but all your entries will count as we haven't judged it yet!

email comps@dogstodaymagazine or post here as a comment. Come on do your best. We've got a winner for this month's cross question already which was a surprise as it was sooooo hard. Here it if you want to torture yourselves!
One half of the equation is a top 10 breed - but the other ingredient is one of the rarest... staggered someone guessed this one!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wheelie good idea?

We're just starting to put together our article on canine carts, the doggie equivalent of a wheelchair for dogs with failing back legs.
Karen's already got some very positive case histories but in the interest of balance we'd also like to know if anyone feels strongly that disabled dogs shouldn't be put in carts. I've certainly heard a few people express this opinion quite forcefully, but I can't remember who they are!
I remember when my old Sal had her stroke and I had to use all sorts of devices to get her moving again I came upon quite a few people who said I should have let her go. She walked again after a few weeks, but what if the damage had been permanent, what would you do if your dog's back legs started to fail?
Email Karen direct on karen@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk or please leave a comment here...