Friday, 30 October 2009

Forget Guy Fawkes, we smuggle dog toys into parliament!

In our office we have an enormous box of squeaky toys in political images, thanks to those incredible people at Sharples'N'Grant. When we heard Westminster Dog of the Year was coming up - the dog show where the MPs compete against each other to be top dog - we just knew what we had to do!
One small problem, this was an event co-organised by the Kennel Club and as you know we're banned from even having a press pass for Crufts - oops sorry - DFS Crufts, so they were hardly likely to welcome us and our squeaky toys with open arms at the Westminster bash!
But we're not easily put off and we'll do almost anything for a nice advertiser that gives us free dog toys!
Don't ask how, but the toys got there somehow and the KC even issued a Twit pic to prove it!
Click here to see it.
But I have to report that our subversive dog toys did cause a political incident. See below.

Now I'm not sure if this was a fight spilling over from Question Time (we're told the BNP had also infiltrated the gathering) but our spies tell us that the Rottie was feeling quite possessive of the Gordon Brown toy and he may have mistaken the Pug for a John Prescott variant.
By all accounts the two dogs patched things up afterwards and no one was hurt, although Gordon got more of a shredding than he normally gets from Jeremy Paxman!

The Government, bugs and upset tummies

DEFRA has funded some research into what bugs are found in our dogs tummies. Who'd have thought what with the recession biting and there being so many other pressing things to worry about - like global warming, war, meteors and X factor being ruined by John and Edward that we'd have money and time to fritter away contemplating our dogs' navels!
Will the nationals read this press release and just skip the main details that we've nothing much to worry about and jump to the conclusion that dogs can make us poorly.
What is the betting?
And when will the powers that be just accept that dogs are a normal part of our family life - just as they have always been for the past 100,000 or so years?
Why sniff around for a scientific reason to make dogs optional in society rather than just accepting they're just a normal part of our lives.
Most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within two to five days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. So they were investigating the bugs that give people an upset tum - not exactly the Ebolavirus! But will the nationals see it in the same way?
The study found that young dogs or small dogs are more likely to carry Campylobacter upsaliensis. But this variety of bug doesn't cause tummy upsets in humans in any case!
Now I for one could have lived quite happily all my life without finding this out, but the Government had to find out.
Another study at the same uni - again government funded - about worms and dog poo was wildly misinterpreted by the general media and I have to say I'm expecting this one to go the same way, too.
The answer I got last time as to why we were paying scientists to look very closely at poo was that the Government needs to know much more about how closely we live with our pets so that if we do get a new superbug they'll know how it might spread.
It seems Big Brother wants to know if we're sharing our bedrooms with our dogs and now also if we're sharing our tummy bugs.
Is anyone doing research on how many bugs we catch from our children? I get so many bugs brought home from school and the poor teachers must get everything going - but I'm sure we'll all keep reproducing - this is just part of life after all.
Can someone fund some research into what the Government is up to commissioning all these studies into dogs?

Here's the science bit...
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have undertaken a study of the prevalence and carriage of a gut bacterium, Campylobacter upsaliensis, in dogs in a community in Cheshire.
Campylobacter upsaliensis
is commonly found in household pets but studies to date have focused on dogs in kennels or veterinary practices. The study aimed to investigate how common Campylobacter upsaliensis was in dogs in a household setting and to identify what factors were associated with the risk of its spread.
is the most common cause of gastrointestinal infectious disease in people in the UK. However, it is the Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli species which are the common cause of gastrointestinal infectious disease amongst humans, whereas Campylobacter upsaliensis only very rarely causes problems in people. Samples of faeces were taken from 183 healthy pet dogs from households in Cheshire and tested for Campylobacter upsaliensis and other Campylobacter species. Their owners completed an in-depth health, behavioural and lifestyle questionnaire which asked, amongst other factors, where the dog slept, its diet, how frequently it was walked, and how it behaved with people. Of the 183 dogs tested, 43 were found to have Campylobacter upsaliensis which represents a prevalence of 25.2%. One dog tested positive for Campylobacter jejuni and one for Campylobacter lari. Analysis of the results found that there was increased likelihood of dogs carrying Campylobacter upsaliensis if they were less than three years old; if they were a small or tiny dog; if they lived with another dog who had tested positive for Campylobacter upsaliensis; if they were fed commercial treats or fed leftover titbits in the dog’s bowl. The study also found that there were a number of factors that did not have any bearing on the presence of Campylobacter upsaliensis. There was no evidence of any association between the reported health of the dog (including vomiting or diarrhoea) and Campylobacter upsaliensis carriage. There was also no evidence to suggest that dog treatments or veterinary care (for example treatment for fleas, worms or vaccinations), nor eating or rolling on other dogs` faeces, or dead carcasses, increased the risk. The investigation was funded by DEFRA. The study is published in the Veterinary Record in October 2009.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Update on Rhona and Tilly

I know that many of you have been worrying about Rhona and Tilly so I've asked for updates on both. Sadly, neither are home yet. One of our readers Kate Price read this blog after a walk and thought she'd just seen Rhona with an elderly couple. (Regular readers will know Kate is the owner of Olive the Pug who is featured in our November edition.)

Tilly the Mastiff cross

I'm sorry to say there's still no news or sightings of Tilly, even the Met Police are looking for her now and also dog walkers, homeless people in the area are all keeping their eyes open. We feel she is more than likely left that area now and possibly heading East towards Essex/Kent. Somebody may have taken her in and not brought her to the attention of the authorities or rescue or even taken to a vets where she could be scanned and then identified. We need to raise her profile and get her picture out there to as many people as possible.. I mean.. shes a distinctive large dog, how hard can this be!
I will keep you posted of any new developments
thank you so much again for your help we are all extremely grateful
Kind Regards
Carmen Cole

Rhona the Lurcher

Thanks for your help. Kate Price got in touch with Mum and Dad and they have been to the place where she thought she saw Rhona for the last two days handing out posters, but some dog walkers think there is a similar dog that has been being walked there for months so it may not be her. They have put up posters and are going back again tomorrow, but no luck as yet. In the meantime we keep on emailing and sending info out, and the local papers have Rhona's picture in this week, as will the Veterinary Times, so maybe we will get lucky.
Thank you again!

the details again...

Rhona is a two year old Lurcher bitch (her birthday was five days ago). She was last seen at around 11 am on Saturday 10th October at the edge of my parents' land near the A47 2 miles from Swaffham. She was seen being put into a silver Laguna by an elderly couple who drove off in the direction of Kings Lynn or Downham Market. We assume they were worried for her safety and are grateful to them for their concern, but desperately want her back. She is much loved and missed by the whole family and her lurcher friend who won't eat. She was wearing a collar with an ID tag and 'scan my chip' tag and is microchipped. We appeal to anyone who has seen her to get in touch and we are offering a reward for her safe return. Please call 01760 721344 or 07771 566 313. Thank you.

Tilly was only rehomed last Monday, she was spooked while in the lady's garden on Wednesday, scaled an eight foot wall and went missing. On Thursday Tilly was spotted in New Cross. She is a very nervous dog but not aggressive.
Tilly is approx 15 months old, a Mastiff Cross female, spayed and microchipped. She escaped from her new owners garden last week in SE15 London. She was last spotted in New Cross last Thursday.
Please contact Sharon on 07523 136963 or Carmen on 07930 935960 with any help finding Tilly or any information that would lead them to find her.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

One to watch?

The pedigree dog world has hardly recovered from the upset of the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed alleging that the eugenics movement had a hand in the early days of the Kennel Club.
Well those who got very heated better reach for the valium again tonight. BBC2 9pm. And this time it's not Jemima writing the script. Here's a review...

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain

Marr follows up his Bafta-winning History of Modern Britain with a prequel that mines another rich seam: the years from Queen Victoria's death to the end of the Second World War - about as tumultuous a 44-year period as a historian could hope for. Except Marr comes at his subject less as a historian, more as a journalist with a populist eye for the crisp detail and telling moment. There's a newsreel clip in the programme that shows a caricaturist painting the word Joe on a board, then turning it into Joseph Chamberlain's monocled face. That's Marr's technique all over. He sketches rafts of complex history with the flick of a well-turned phrase, often highlighting the seeds of great movements in humble beginnings. Hence the eugenics movement took its lead from dog breeding, or as Marr puts it, "from the Basset Hound stud book to Auschwitz in not many bounds". He's a barnstorming lecturer, equally assured giving a grim account of the Boer War ("imperial Britain's very own Vietnam"), profiling the man who launched the Daily Mail, or listing what King Edward VII ate in a day. It makes for an irresistible watch. Radio Times reviewer - David Butcher

Monday, 26 October 2009

Rescued but lost again...

Tilly was only rehomed last Monday, she was spooked while in the lady's garden on Wednesday, scaled an eight foot wall and went missing. On Thursday Tilly was spotted in New Cross. She is a very nervous dog but not aggressive.

Tilly is approx 15 months old, a Mastiff Cross female, spayed and microchipped. She escaped from her new owners garden last week in SE15 London. She was last spotted in New Cross last Thursday.

Please contact Sharon on 07523 136963 or Carmen on 07930 935960 with
any help finding Tilly or any information that would lead them to find her.

There is also a facebook page which can be found by clicking here.

Missing - possibly taken in error?

This was just in from Roberta Baxter, I know, she's the vet who writes for Your Dog - but her parents dog is missing and I know what that feels like. Hope she's home soon - looks like someone has her and probably doesn't realise how much she is loved.

Rhona is a two year old Lurcher bitch (her birthday was five days ago). She was last seen at around 11 am on Saturday 10th October at the edge of my parents' land near the A47 2 miles from Swaffham. She was seen being put into a silver Laguna by an elderly couple who drove off in the direction of Kings Lynn or Downham Market. We assume they were worried for her safety and are grateful to them for their concern, but desperately want her back. She is much loved and missed by the whole family and her lurcher friend who won't eat. She was wearing a collar with an ID tag and 'scan my chip' tag and is microchipped. We appeal to anyone who has seen her to get in touch and we are offering a reward for her safe return. Please call 01760 721344 or 07771 566 313. Thank you.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Walking the dog on Sat Nav

Just trialling the Retrieva satelitte tracking system and have been amazing my son and grandpa by watching on Google Earth where Tess and Oscar are currently walking! Here's Kieran pointing out exactly where they both are!
Isn't it amazing! I can time exactly how long I've got left to have a cup of tea before they come back and I can then rush around as they're about to open the gates pretending I've been really busy stacking the dishwasher etc while husband and stepson Cammy have been walking the legs off the dogs!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Carbon paw-prints

It's hard to see the dogs lying peacefully at my feet as being responsible for global warming. They don't fly anywhere for their holidays, drive a Chelsea tractor or fart as much as cows.
Yet BBC Breakfast has just highlighted a new book from NZ called, Save the planet: time to eat the dog.

I quote from NZ website

The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.

Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.

In a study published in New Scientist, they calculated a medium dog eats 164 kilograms of meat and 95kg of cereals every year. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to produce 1kg of chicken a year. This means it takes 0.84 hectares to feed Fido.

They compared this with the footprint of a Toyota Land Cruiser, driven 10,000km a year, which uses 55.1 gigajoules (the energy used to build and fuel it). One hectare of land can produce 135 gigajoules a year, which means the vehicle's eco-footprint is 0.41ha – less than half of the dog's.

They found cats have an eco-footprint of 0.15ha – slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf. Hamsters have a footprint of 0.014ha – keeping two of them is equivalent to owning a plasma TV.

Well that's almost convinced me, I'll put the oven on.

Hold on, maybe it's time to look at eco-friendly dog food, grown locally? Or just choose dogs that can catch their own tea? We may have a relevant feature coming up in our January issue....!

So perhaps don't downscale your dogs for hamsters just yet!

And another way to save the planet, turn the heating down and just put another dog on the bed!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Click click whistle

That headline has made me think about the Fantastic Mr Fox which I'm hoping to see this weekend! Can't wait!
What I am meant to be writing about is the Click On Radio 4 programme featuring the item on GPS tracking for dogs which aired on October 12th. I completely missed it as I was having a whale of a time at the Woman of The Year lunch - what a name dropper am I!
Here's a link for those who missed it.
Ironic we lost the programme as well after getting lost on the way back to the tube station after recording the item!
I have Retrieva collars for Oscar and Tess here to try and they're charging up now. Will be learning how to use them tomorrow.... watch this space!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Poodle clips and Otterhound out takes?

Just had this email in from our friends at Tiger Aspect - the people who make loads of great TV programmes.
"We are looking for clips of amusing pets taken by you to feature in a new pet show for Sky One.
We want people to send in their personal footage of silly (and funny!) pet behaviour to feature in our TV programme.
The footage must be filmed by you (not extracted from You Tube etc) and we will contact those we like the look of...
Look forward to seeing your clips
The Pet Team"

Cocker-doodle-do? Or don't?

It may just be my personal experience, but maybe this is a countrywide trend?
At my son's school there has been an outbreak of puppy buying.
It's quite a posh school in a posh area, from play dates I can stereotype that in many of these families daddy is something important in the city, mummy doesn't have to work but still has to have at least one nanny.
There are also some normal folk, but not many.
Sometimes poor mum has to juggle going to the gym and the beauty salon before going for coffee with the other Stepford wives - oops, didn't mean to be rude!
It must be hell for them.
I observe them from a very envious and curious distance as I rush shambolically between work and school trying to fit everything in and usually failing dismally and unstylishly!
Anyway, the latest must have for this elite set is a pup.
And the pup of choice - almost without variation?
A Cockerpoo.
Now don't all sigh.
I have to say that so far all have fitted into to their seemingly perfect worlds remarkably well.
They have been lovingly carried in cashmere blankets to the school gates to much adoration from the kids. They have effortlessly and fearlessly made the transition to walking on the lead beautifully despite still being really very weeny.
Sweet, friendly and remarkably healthy pups despite most of these dogs originating ominously in Wales.
Very nice temperaments, easy for even novices to house train and undeniably gorgeous.
My research has revealed that most of these have been bought from a large apparently squeaky clean kennels devoted to producing expensive crosses, it's one that does some early housetraining and appears to health test almost everything possible and hold all the relevant licences.
I am torn.
It is wrong in many ways, but this outfit is serving their target market accurately and seems to have a high satisfaction rating.
It is giving the priviliged the cute little pups they want at a very high price, but they are providing part-trained and health tested well socialised pups.
They are a quite a different kettle of fish to the puppy farmers supplying the dealers with cheap, poorly reared, untested stock that are often sickly.
Is it ever acceptable to commercially breed dogs?
There's a meaty moral dilemma for you for you while you have your elevenses.
And I start to worry that if even people I know are still shopping for pups from big commercial outlets, what hope for the rest of the world?
And am I able to identify any exemplary small, less commercial Cockerpoo breeders for them to compare and contrast with? No!
It occurs to me we haven't even done a Cockerpoo Fido Facts and perhaps we really should.
Is there a club?
Are there any progressive breeders out there who'd like to get in touch? We only have one advisor for this breed listed and I remember that number has been there for many years.
Are there any owners who'd like to bring their Cockerpoos into a studio in Slough for us to take photos of? All the school Cockerpoos have looked liked pees in a pod. Black, shiny, shaggy and small.
Anyone out there got any other colours or types?
What's it like to live with this breed? We need someone to write that up for our feature - might this be something that you could do?
What should be the criteria for a good breeder of Cockerpoos?
And is the Miniature or the Toy the oodle of choice?
The public seems to really like these little dogs so I guess we should try to help direct them to the good folk as they're obviously finding breeders one way or another all by themselves.
We advise that breeders of this cross should do all the health tests relevant for both breeds involved in the cross.
Are you a Cockerpoo breeder already doing health testing?
Do get in touch if you can help or contribute to the debate!
My email is

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Lost dog uses Facebook

Got an email about a lost dog, so please do look out for this one. The owners have cleverly used Facebook to help draw attention to their search.
Here's the link - please do pass it on.
Marley - a handsome Rough Collie - has been missing since the 28th Sept 2009, from the Dearne Valley area of South Yorkshire. If you spot him, please call 07779 080866
Here's his page on DogLost.
Hope he's home soon!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Do I need anger management?

Yesterday while waiting at the level crossing for a train, we were overtaken by a man on a bike with a child on the back.
Very responsibly he and his little girl wore safety helmets.
However, that attempt at road safety was completely compromised by the fact that the man also had a Springer Spaniel on a rope lead.
The dog was very short-legged and was not keeping up, so it was more like he was towing a Springer Spaniel.
The photo is taken from a mobile through an open car window. The camera shake may not all be motion - it may be part rage!
What if the dog tripped up, saw a cat, wanted a pee?
Is there a law against this sort of stupidity? Can you tow dogs behind cars as well as bikes?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Punishing days at school

The last few days I have had a school issue that has been diverting me from fighting ills in the dog world!
Other mums or dads will probably agree that a problem at school can soon invade your every waking second.
I happen to believe in reward-based philosophies for most things. But 24 hours ago I felt sorely tempted to put that ethos on hold and do a bit of punishing myself!
This week there was a small incident on the rugby pitch, one boy tackled another who didn't have the ball. An altercation followed that spilled into the changing rooms. Unkind and heated words were spoken and near the end one boy was shouting at the other repeatedly and getting very close to his face. These are eight years old boys.
At this point my son stepped in and said something to protect the boy being shouted at, it was an admittedly an overly dramatic rebuke (I really don't know where he gets that from!).
He called the boy a "spiteful little brat."
(He later claimed this was inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia, but I've yet to test the reference.)
He was told to go with the other boys to the Deputy Head's office the next day at 10am. They were all told not to worry, that it would all be sorted out.
That night he was worried, he slept fitfully and he even found a watch to wear for fear of being late for the appointment.
I reassured him that he did not need to worry, he had stuck up for his friend and even though his words were harsh he had apologised to the boy both privately and publicly.
(I was actually relieved he hadn't sworn, or hit anyone or indeed lied about his actions when confronted by a teacher.)
He was still very worried.
The next day the first of the involved children emerged from school - the boy my son had defended. He had received no punishment.
The boy that had been shouting at the first boy - he had also received no punishment.
My son, however, received a caution for his behaviour - a little like a yellow card. A yellow slip of paper that is much feared. The first he had ever received.
He was stoical about this and had not protested.
I was by contrast furious.
To punish a child for standing up for another using just a rebuke to disarm seemed like madness - especially as the others' unkind words had gone totally unmarked. It was inconsistent at the very best.
A tense session with the teacher concerned revealed the facts I had been told were correct. That teacher is now very aware of what I thought of his very poor attempt at metering out justice. One of the other mums has complained, too.
I will reward my son for stepping in and supporting a friend and not support his punishment.
I'll advise my son to use less emotive language in future, perhaps drawing his insults from another author! But I am proud of his instincts and disgusted by the school.
We had a notorious bully at my little school when I was the same age as my son. He was huge, two years older and was always taking things off the little kids and pushing them around. I remember the first time he crossed me like it was yesterday. He pushed me off the monkey bars and I hit my head. I was almost as furious as I was with that teacher yesterday - I ran after the boy and started throwing punches although I had never been in a fight before. I was the smallest girl in my year so I don't think he could have expected my assault. Luckily he turned out to be a hopeless fighter and I quickly won and he ran away crying, his reputation as a bully in tatters.
Did I get reprimanded by my teachers?
They just smiled, a lot.
Call me a rebel, but I'm really rather proud of my little boy. At least he only used words to wound - I had to resort to fists at the same age.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Is shooting dogs ever humane?

I know that many of you were very shocked when I blogged about the ten German Shepherds that had been shot by the RSPCA using a captive bolt method.
Hats off to Many Tears rescue for a really comprehensive covering of this issue on their website. More than 4,000 people have now signed their petition and I'd urge you to have a read.
Here's the link to the online petition.

Here's the wording...

I believe the practice of the RSPCA shooting dogs with a captive bolt gun to be banned. We feel that this an inhumane way to kill an animal and should not be recognized as an acceptable means of euthanasia painless death designed to cause minimal pain and distress)for companion animals.

My own unscientific research made me question if captive bolt could be a reliable way to kill dogs humanely. A friendly vet retold an anecdote that made me very worried about it. While working in the Middle East he came across a relevant case. A large dog had growled at his owner and that owner decided to shoot his dog in the head with an AK47. Half the dog's brain appeared to have been blown away and the dog's body was left in the desert. The next morning the dog woke up and ran away. An ex-pat brought this poor dog to the vet's surgery and my vet friend patched him up and the dog lived on successfully for many years despite his enormous injury. The vet explained that dogs have such large frontal sinuses it is quite possible to miss the cranium completely and that without sedation it would be very hard to accurately shoot a large dog fatally in the head with a captive bolt.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The history of Burns

I'm writing an article on the birth of Burns Real Foods for Pets. I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who has been feeding John Burns' food since the very beginning.
I became familiar with the Burns story fairly early on, just as it grew from a West Wales food to a national one. Where you one of the people who bought one of John's very first batch - the ones sold in plain plastic bags with hand applied home-made stickers/leaflets?
Have you got any stories about feeding Burns over the years?
I'd be very keen to hear from current happy customers with interesting anecdotes and any early pioneering customers with a tale to tell!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sky1 needs you and your pets!

A brand new animal entertainment show hosted by Liza Tarbuck and Huey Morgan, that celebrates our nation's love of animals and the weird and wonderful relationships we have with them, will be hitting your screens on Sky1 soon and we want people with pets or an obsession for animals to be a part of it.

* Are you crazy about a specific animal? Are you fascinated by frogs, potty about penguins or mad about mice?
* Has your love for a specific type of animal taken over your life?
* Do you have a pet that has a talent or an unusual personality trait?
* Do you have an unusual pet?
* Do you think your pet looks like you or perhaps someone famous?
* Do you spoil and treat your pet like royalty?
* Is your pet in need of a makeover?
* Do you need help with your pet's behaviour?
* Has your beloved pet made a miraculous recovery from an illness or accident?
* Is your pet a hero? Perhaps they helped humans or other animals.

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, or if you have any great story about you and your pet, get in touch today!

Please email your name, address, contact telephone number and details of your story and your pet, and if possible, a photograph of them to:

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's a dog eat dog world...

You take a day off and what happens? You come home feeling even more tired and spend hours in the doctors waiting to be seen just to emerge without any drugs and yet another appointment!
While I was taking a tiny holiday, an article in our October issue seems to have whipped up even more of a storm than we were experiencing in our short break in windswept Northern France!
Our article on the KC's spat with the GSD folk made the front page of Dog World. And that front page article made the KC so annoyed they're put an open letter to Dog World up on their website. And that has made Dog World so annoyed they're responded with this on their website!
It all boils down to did Ronnie Irving ever threaten to expel breed clubs who don't co-operate with KC health reforms? Ronnie is saying via the KC website that categorically he did not.
I obviously need more paracetamol to get my head around it as the original KC statement published in Dog World didn't seem to say this and now everyone is getting very angry. Although, to explain, Ronnie was also out of the country when the story first broke (and no he wasn't with me in Le Touquet!)
I'm going to speculate now, and it is just that just in case it strays into print and becomes another scrap!
Did the KC enjoy looking a bit tough to the likes of Professor Bateson in the hope that it impressed him that they're actually a very safe pair of hands unafraid of taking action on meaty issues?
But when the GSD breeders and breed clubs started to get upset at getting picked on, did the KC's resolve begin to wobble like those infamous GSD hocks?
I've seen at least one blog that seems to back up what Jemima said in her original article, that the KC Chairman seemed to be talking the talk at a recent health seminar, but Ronnie obviously doesn't recall it and obviously wants to distance the KC from this stance.
Perhaps there was some sort of group hysteria going on with the audience that day and they all just wished that was what he was saying?
Let me lie down and have a think about this some more.
From what I can see a lot of people liked the new KC improved added-back-bone feature and those folk are going to be very disappointed if it was just a mistake and that they never did intend to play hard ball.
Personally I have to say this is one issue Jemima and I don't 100% agree on. The GSD issue wouldn't have been the first fight I'd have wanted to pick if I were running the KC, there are several other breeds in much more of an urgent and proven need of reform that would have been my first priority. The GSD fraternity have always struck me as ultra keen on mandatory health testing - often putting the KC itself to shame on that footing.
But Professor Bateson was especially moved by the compelling footage of banana backed German Shepherds in Pedigree Dogs Exposed - as were many onlookers. It was one of many 'Emperor's New Clothes' moments that suddenly revealed a strange exaggeration we'd all been turning a blind eye to.
If this isn't the right and just fight the KC needed to define a new era, there are plenty of others to choose from.
For me there is a twist in this tail and there shouldn't be.
Let the KC wage war of the Pug instead. Or more precisely the double helix twisty tail.
It seems to provide a much more urgent and known health issue than the slopey backs of the GSD - yet even after the much vaunted KC breed standard re-writes and the debates with the breed clubs on growing a nose - the double twisty tail of the Pug remained in the breed standard as a desirable trait - even though we now know it leads to the very unattractive twisty spines of hemivertebrae, too.
In short, if we inadvertently made the KC look tougher than they were ever planning to be on health reform, we're genuinely sorry.
It really came as quite a shock that this escalated the way it did. We actually thought we were being magnanimous and clicking and treating the KC for doing something almost right at last!