Friday, 29 October 2010

It's deadline day...

... and it's half term, and I had to send some pictures PDQ to our designer and I discovered I didn't know how to use the scanner and I have had far too much caffeine! (Liz Dixon our ad sales lady and owner of Ferris star of yesterday's epic movie) was the heroine of the day and got one of the scanners working. Craig (aka 'close-up' in the movie) normally does all the scans and he's on holiday lucky devil. But to be philosophical, it's another useful skill we all learned today.

Here is a sneaky peak of the front cover of the magazine that we're all stressing about. It's our 20th birthday so an important one. And it's so easy to get distracted and start looking at old photos and old magazines, but today is the day it gets uploaded to the printer even though it's not on sale in the shops until November 11th.

Just looking at all those covers brings back so many memories! Anyone here recognise their own dog by any chance? These are only a tiny percentage of the 20 years of covers...

Can anyone recognise the two human celebs on the covers? That's not including Dan in the top panel, the lead singer of The Feeling!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

My first movie!

I've just been learning how to use the editing function on the Mac with a new waterproof video camera! I'm hoping to make a short film at our next photo shoot.

Here's an insight to what a mess the office looks on a deadline week! Gulp! Look how many leaves Oscar has brought in!
Ends a bit abruptly - need to master the fade out on the music!

What would be your advice?

I've got a journo who wants to talk to me urgently: "on the subject of aggressive dogs and what you should do if one threatens you, or a child you're with. I remember talking to someone else about bouncy dogs and his advice was to stand still and act like a tree, but I don't know if this would work with unfriendly dogs." What should I say? "I'm not a behaviourist," comes to mind...! What should you do if threatened?
I remember a great group called Prevent-a-Bite that went into schools and the article was approx - hmmm - 1994 in our magazine. Will hunt out a back copy! Are they still going?
The advice to kids was stand still, don't scream, don't run, get between a bike or something else if they're jumping up. All sensible logical stuff.
Any other tips on what to do when out with a child and you are attacked by vicious dogs? Never happened to me, but guess it's useful to have a plan? Although I don't know how to fly a plane should both pilots die during a flight...
Thank you everyone for your input both here, on facebook and on Twitter (by the way - do 'friend' me on facebook - I'm enjoying it more these days!).
 Here's what I said - hope I did okay!
First of all, it’s best not to worry about this happening as being afraid of dogs is a terrible handicap. If children can get to know a friendly, well socialised dog in a controlled setting they’ll feel much more confident when meeting dogs when out walking.
Here are some rules for kids and grown-ups too!
Never approach a dog when he is feeding, sleeping or tied up.
Ask the owner if it’s okay to pat their dog – never assume it is. Don’t pat strange dogs in cars or in small spaces. Small spaces may make them defensive.
If chased by a dog when cycling, get off, stand still and place the bike between you and the dog and look away. Eye contact is not a good idea.
Try to avoid dogs on their own if at all possible. But if you do and you feel scared, don’t scream, don’t run. Remain calm, avoid eye contact. Stand still, let them pass.
Turn to the side, blink slowly and yawn. These are all calming signals but hard to do convincingly if you are frightened.
If attacked, make like a tree. Act lack a stone. If knocked to the floor, curl up, keep still, stay silent. Become boring.
If you’re not used to dogs it’s hard to tell the difference between a barking, boisterous playful dog and a dog that is being threatening. Being afraid makes us behave oddly and can make dogs behave oddly, too.
In reality the danger of being bitten by a dog is remarkably small considering there are 10 million dogs out there. Hospital records show more people are killed by balloons and slippers. More people end up in casualty in horse related incidents than dog . There’s a great book on this subject....

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Are you the dog brain of Britain?

If so get along to the Company of Animals facebook page now - there's a quick quiz to win a Bamboozle - the new eco-friendly dog toy! Some really tricky questions - first one to get all 5 right wins - simple! You have to 'like' the page to post your answer! (When they get to 5,000 likes £250 of goodies goes to a charity you choose!)

HURRY!!!!THat first quiz was won so very quickly that we're having another one!

Same rules - do rush though!

Monday, 25 October 2010

They made Georgie a girl - now let's find her a home!

A former hermaphrodite dog at Manchester Dogs’ Home is looking for a loving home after undergoing a successful gender reassignment operation.
Georgie, a one-year-old Staffie cross, was diagnosed as a hermaphrodite after arriving at the Home. The condition, which involves the presence of both male and female genitalia at the same time, is so rare in dogs that there are not even any recorded statistics as to its occurrence.
When potential adopters were interested in taking Georgie home they were put off by the dogs’ dual sexuality, Manchester Dogs’ Home decided to pay for a gender reassignment operation to improve Georgie’s chances of adoption.
Lisa Graham, Home Manager at Manchester Dogs’ Home, said: “Since being here we’ve had lots of families fall in love with her and ask to own her – but when we sat them down and pointed out she was a hermaphrodite it repulsed them."
Hermaphrodite dogs are extremely rare and US veterinary expert, Marc DiCarlo, described the chance of vets coming across one as “once in a 30-year career”.
Georgie is now a fully-fledged ‘she’ and is recovering well from the surgery.
Anyone interested in adopting Georgie should call Manchester Dogs’ Home on 0844 504 1212.

10 minutes to scoop the caption competition prize....

Can you think of a funny caption for this photo:

If so - go to Company of Animals facebook page immediately, click that you 'like' it and then leave a wall post with your best caption idea!
If you're is the funniest you get a great flying fetch toy from the Company of Animals range.
This is part of a social experiment. We're trying to get as many people as possible to like their page - when they reach 5,000 there'll be £500 of Co of Animals goodies given away to a charity you can nominate and vote for.
Click here to go to
...and type in Company of Animals to find their page.

Winners now announced on PC's blog - some very funny ones!
Click here

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Has your dog trained you?

Are you the kindest, softest dog owner in the world? Have you changed your car, your job, your partner(?) just to keep the dog happy?
Do you walk in all weathers, buy yourself economy food but the dog premium?
Confess all on the Company of Animals facebook page to win lovely prizes!
And read PC's blog - the dog that really runs the company!
Click here to check it out.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Lost dog - now found dog! Now with movie

And now here's Tarka the movie - no mascara required!


 STOP PRESS: HOORAY! Tarka is found! A delighted Jemima phoned about an hour ago to say she was en route to get him. Thank you so much to everyone who helped by spreading the word or just thinking positive thoughts. His new home awaits and he can start his new life even if there was a 24 hour interruption!
Background story....

This gorgeous purebred young black labrador boy landed in Dundalk pound in Ireland two weeks ago and should have arrived at Jemima Harrison's Black Retriever X rescue today. He was a very frightened boy, as you can see from the pix.  In a very distressed state (just released from the end of a grab arm...) and nursing an obvious injury (unable to put down one of his hind legs) he went for the warden. He stopped short of contact but they still wanted to put him to sleep. Jemima stepped in at the last moment to save him and is delighted to be able to report that he is not aggressive - he was just terrified and in considerable pain.
Sadly at the point of being transferred to Jemima at Services near Wisley on junction of A3 and M25 he broke free and is now on the run.
Here's a link to his Dog Lost page.
He's very nervous and must not be approached by men.
Please phone 07885 797656 or 01672 811851.

STOP PRESS: Tarka has been found see at the top of this post for details!!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Announcing a new blog...

Just started a Perfect Pup blog for all kinds of health related information, I'm kicking it off with a lovely Top to Toe seminar for Beardie folks and an eye testing session.
I must remember to phone up the KC for a replacement KC reg document for Oscar so I can get his eyes done.
Click here to go the blog and do email me with anything I need to post on the new blog.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

News just in...

Just been told the wild cards for Xfactor - in case you're interested! (not sure how reliable the source!) Look away if it's going to spoil it for you!

Diva Fever (Simon's groups); Wagner (Louis oldies); Paige Richardson (Dannii - boys) and Trayc Cohen (Cheryl's girls).

Plus also been sent this very funny spoof press release!

The American Kennel Club has decided to recognize these new breeds of dogs that are the result of cross breeding:

  • Collie Lhaso Apso: Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.
  • Spitz Chow Chow: Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up alot.
  • Bloodhound Borzoi: Bloody Bore, a dog that's not much fun.
  • Pointer Setter: Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier Skye Terrier: Blue Skye, a dog for visionaries.
  • Pekingese Lhaso Apso: Peekasso, an abstract dog.
  • Labrador Retriever Curly Coated Retriever: Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists.
  • Newfoundland Basset Hound: Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisers.
  • Terrier Bulldog: Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes.
  • Bloodhound Labrador: Blabrador, a dog that barks incessantly.
  • Malamute Pointer: Moot Point, owned by...oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway.
  • Collie Malamute: Commute, a dog that travels to work.
  • Deerhound Terrier: Derriere, a dog that's true to the end.
  • Poodle Min Pin: PooPin, a dog for constipated people.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Can you guess Ruby's parents?

Ruby's unique good looks are the results of a unison between two breeds. Can you guess which two and win either a breed book or a generic dog book from the Interpet range?
CLUE: A heap of stones crossed with a person who promotes fights with male chickens.

But please remember there's still time to enter our caption competition - click here We judge that one tomorrow lunch time - great prizes from the company of Animals - so please do hurry up and enter!

Caption time again!

Could this be our most difficult caption photo of all time? Judging by the entries in so far I have to say yes!!!
Great prizes from the Company of Animals. Come on, have a go. This month's is wide open. A winner and five runners up, so plenty of opportunities! You can enter as many times as possible.
Send you best efforts to and we're judging tomorrow lunchtime. So come on, get on your bike and get making us smile!

Robin Hood and his merry mutts...

I've been asked to give these shows a mention:

October 9th & 10th at the Suffolk Showground (Trinity Park) and October 16th & 17th at Newark & Notts Showground, see the return of the Robin Hood Game & Country Shows.
This is a great opportunity for all of the family to enjoy a fun filled day out - even the four-legged members.

Come and see Robin Hood & friends - who will be at the show all weekend – entertaining the crowds with sword demonstrations and heroic tales, you may even get to have your picture taken with him as a memento of your day.
Returning from last year is top trainer and author Marie Miller who will take centre stage in the main arena along with BBC’s Sarah Fisher giving essential tips and advise.
New for 2010 Aztec Events has added the ‘All About Dogs’ zone dedicated to man’s (or woman’s) best friend with trade stands offering all doggy related products such as food, health & nutrition, clothing and bedding as well as essential services including a mobile grooming parlour. Plus ‘Hug a Husky’, help the Siberian Husky Welfare Association (UK) raise money to continue their rehoming and educating program.
Why not enter your dog in the famous Dock Dog water jumping competition or for those that are a little unsure of water, why not try the dog scurry or agility competitions.
It’s not just the dogs that get to have a little fun either, the rest of the family can try their hand at archery, rifle shooting, Water Zorbing or for the really brave have a go at The Parachute Regiment’s Paratower (Newark only).
Cheer for your favourite knight in our amazing jousting stunt display in the main arena where visitors to the show can also see falconry displays, sheep sheering and gun dog demonstrations.
Other attractions include, inflatable fun zone, international food court, dancing sheep, National Game Keepers Organisation and of course plenty of shopping in our craft and gift zone.
With so much on offer for all ages, tickets will be in demand. Discounted rates are available for advance booking online at or by phoning 01702 549622.
Check out their facebook page, too.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Keep a look out for stolen Cavaliers please!

Yesterday eight Cavaliers were stolen from a really caring breeder in Wexford, Ireland. One of the lovely breeders that MRI scans for SM. Such a terrible shame. This happened yesterday, who knows where they will have ended up.

Please can you cross post this message so that if anyone should be offered a Cavalier please contact Rena to check if its one of her precious dogs?

Here's the message - I think the fact it's all in caps conveys how frantic she is:



Is it really 20 years already?

Dogs Today was launched in November 1990.
I was the editor.
I still am.
Back in the early 90s I remember talking to the editor of a very successful monthly woman's magazine. She'd been one of the judges at a posh publishing awards do. We'd won something and she'd liked what I wrote on the entry form, it had made her laugh.
She was asking me to write some articles for her magazine.
She asked, probably without realising how rude she was being, "When are you going to move over to proper magazines?"
I laughed and told her I already had my dream job. Was then, still is now.
I'm just about to write something up about the past 20 years and was wondering if there are any readers who would like to share their thoughts on the past two decades of magazines?
Anyone reading the blog who has been with us since issue one? When did you start reading? What's your favourite bits? Favourite contributor - several have written for the full 20 years! Have you ever won a competition or did you source your dog through Perfect Pup - (aka Dial-A-Dog and the Hairy Dogmother?). Any interesting anecdotes? Have you or your dog featured in the mag? Been to any of our events?
When did you start reading us? Tell us a bit about you and your dogs, too.
Do either comment here or email me direct on
Really looking forward to hearing from you!