Saturday, 30 January 2010

Go on bowl me over....

Yesterday I tripped over one of the dog's bowls and it went crunch. I had been so pleased with myself when I'd stumbled on what looked remarkably like fancy Italian designer pink and blue matching bowls in Tesco for a ridiculous £2 each. The pathetic crunch gave it away that these were probably not quite the real deal.
But that got me wondering, what sort of bowls should I get the dogs next?
We're often doing feeding trials here so they tend to get snapped for the magazine (and snapped in real life when I trip over a discarded school shoe!)
With sadly no New York shopping sprees on the horizon, I'm asking you to be my eyes and ears in the world of doggie fashion.
What do you think is the most desirable super bowl of the moment?
Practicality must score high (dishwasher friendly please!) and ideally I need two bowls sufficiently different so I can work out which one belongs to each dog. Current bowls were particularly annoying in the dishwasher as no matter which way up you put them they always attracted a reservoir of yukky dishwasher water when you opened the door!
Send me your best spots and why you like them and we'll put a page in the mag! Maybe you can send me a pic of your bowl, in your kitchen with your dog and also tell me what you feed!
Any dreamy manufacturers - why not send me your most gorgeous bowls so I can test them out and photograph them! (Why not - there has to be some perks to being a dog mag editor - imagine if I was editing Grazia, I'd have a dozen handbags and a closet full of designer labels!)
If you've got pix mail me your bowl reports to so I can post them on the blog for others to see. Or just comments with links and pass on this request to anyone in the world who might have seen a gorgeous bowl!

Hi Beverley
We use stainless steel bowls but do end up collecting unusual ones from car boot sales, charity shops etc. This lovely bowl was bought at a charity stall at a dog show. It is heavy and 'classy'. We also have a few others including a nice deep blue one with the word WATER impressed into its side. Some of them have interesting makers marks too. We just loved the words 'all gone' in the centre of this one though.
Wendy & Paul

Friday, 29 January 2010

Doggedly cynical?

Just listening in to an exchange between two very clever folk who I admire greatly and I heard a passing reference to the term 'cynic' having a doggie origin. I turned to the net to look it up.
Guess most things that start with 'cyn' are doggie, but it hadn't ever crossed my mind before as I'd never have described the lovely dog as cynical!
But Wikipedia comes up with the rationale behind it:

The name Cynic derives from the Greek word κυνικός, kynikos, "dog-like" and that from κύων, kyôn, "dog" (genitive: kynos).[2] One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called dogs was because the first Cynic, Antisthenes, taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens.[3] The word Cynosarges means the place of the white dog. It seems certain, however, that the word dog was also thrown at the first Cynics as an insult for their shameless rejection of conventional manners, and their decision to live on the streets. Diogenes, in particular, was referred to as the Dog,[4] a distinction he seems to have revelled in, stating that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them."[5] Later Cynics also sought to turn the word to their advantage, as a later commentator explained:

There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs, eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their philosophy. The fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


My suspicion that our garden is full of wildlife isn't just fuelled by the fact that dogs woof so much in the night and we had loads of interesting footprints in the snow!
Yesterday my husband and I saw a gorgeous little creature running around the edge of the pond, this photo looks just like it. It's either a stoat or a weasel, we didn't get a chance to see the tip of its tail as we were some distance away.

 I've never seen one before and I have to say it was very cute and I will be very annoyed if Oscar or Tess eat it.

It was very much smaller than a ferret, which we have had in the garden before.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Asking a lot here... but you lot are amazing!

Candy is a 17 year old Collie x Whippet cross. Not greatly continent and bit wobbly on her legs. Her vet says she might live a few weeks or a few months, or who knows. But that there's no reason to consider putting her to sleep other than the fact that her owner has a particularly nasty cancer and only has a 30% survival chance. He is in his early 40s and has no relatives or friends able to help.
He was in rented accommodation, but has recently had to move into a rented room where Candy is not welcome.
Candy has been placed in a boarding kennel as a temporary fix, but ideally what would be wonderful is a long term foster home somewhere near enough for the owner to still occasionally visit Candy.
A further complication, the owner is not able to drive and lives in Morecambe, Lancashire.
A local pet sitting firm has found one of their people able to take her into their home but there is a £11 a day charge and the owner doesn't have the resources to cover that. Macmillon may offer a one off grant of up to £500 but what happens if Candy is (hopefully) still doing well seven weeks later when the money runs out? (Is the record for collie longevity 27 years?)
Wouldn't it be amazing if we could find a little comfortable spot for Candy with someone lovely who will let his worried owner see her being pampered?
Is there a saint out there?
Candy would be fine with other dogs and is too old to worry cats, she is apparently only likely to annoy one by walking into it!
Julia from People and Pets Advocates contacted me and I offered to ask on her behalf if anyone has any bright ideas? She doesn't yet have any volunteers in the area - perhaps you'd like to become a volunteer in your area - see the website for details.
Please contact Julia if you are able to assist (

Lest we forget

Today is a year on from lovely Jacob's disappearance. Has a very distinctive dog like this appeared in your area in this time?

Bracco Italiano Jacob, went missing from the Saffron Walden, CB11 4XB area on 21st January 2009. Jacob is a 3 year old male, orange and white in colouring. He stands approximately 27" at his shoulder height and would have weighed about 38kg as at 21/01/09 Any information relating to his whereabouts, or possible sightings please call us on 07828 671550 REWARD OF £1000 OFFERED FOR SAFE RETURN

Here's today's blog from his owner Shelley:

I love the above photo of Jacob.
It's very special.

Not in a photographically perfect way you understand, it's far from 'pin sharp' or clear, but it's perfect because it's the very last photo I ever took of him.
It captures everything about him in one single shot. Friendly, happy, ever the accomplished hunter, constantly always looking to please.
That was Jacob. This photo is him.

A year has passed, and we have arrived to his one year missing anniversary.
I hate that word, an anniversary makes one think of a joyous occasion, a day of marked celebratory cheer, so can someone please tell me, how can a language so brilliantly complex as the the English language not have another word to mark the date of something that isn't necessarily a day of celebration I will never know.

All said and done, we are finding it harder to actually believe that we haven't seen our boy for that length of time.
I don't wish the months that we've just endured back don;t get me wrong, not ever will I wish for that, but I do wish I could rewind time enough to the 21st Jan 09 and allow us to make the things that happened that fateful day disappear in a puff of smoke.
(If that is the case, then I would also like to take a look at what did occur to him after he went off that fateful day..... but just so long as we can still rewind you understand)

I wish too that I knew he was safe, that he didn't perish to death or die at the hands of a reckless sharp shooter out on a days hunting thinking he was a deer.
I just wish I knew his fete, whatever it was or is.

Sadly there is no way of knowing, and no matter how much it torments us (and believe me it does) we still to this day will not let it rest, and still continue to alert people to him being missing .
I guess actually we always will live out some hope of us being reunited. It can and does happen to some fortunate souls.

As for marking the occasion, what can we do other than light the day with hope.
There's no box of ashes, no little marble stone to say 'he is here'.
Sometimes we feel that would be easier, but then we think that by putting him a wooden box (so to speak) we thoroughly extinguish the hopes of a phone call saying he has been found one day.

These renowned 'rose tinted glasses' that I wear sometimes give rise to thoughts (and hopes) that someone, somewhere finally has a conscious, finds his home address, and sits him on the doorstep overnight saying they have had him for a year, "Thank You very much, but here he is back, we're done".
That would be the best way to mark a year long "anniversary" and then at least we could happily use the word as it surely should have been intended for....for a celebration of life.

Wherever you are Jacob, stay safe, behave yourself, and know we think of you each and every day without fail.
We miss you more than you'll ever know.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Charlie needs our help - update

We carried news of this story just before Christmas. I saw the photo for the first time today and was very shocked. This poor dog has been through so much but has at last found a kind home. Can we all help them put him back together?

Here's the full story as told to Karen Redpath, Dogs Today's Deputy Editor. We're putting his story in the next magazine, but the sooner we can get his story told the quicker this can be resolved.

A stray dog who appeared in a Glasgow family's garden last November needs extensive veterinary treatment for some horrific injuries.
After the dog's third nightly visit, Scott Campbell, from Penilee, took him in to give him a clean, as he looked filthy. However, when he got the dog inside. he realised that it was dried blood rather than dirt on his coat. The dog's eyes were also very red and looked painful.
At first Scott thought the dog had been in a fight and took him straight to a vet for treatment. The dog was scanned for a chip but none was found, so the Campbell family decided to take responsibility for him and named him Charlie.
The vet was very concerned about the state of Charlie's eyes, but, at that time, his skin didn't look too bad. It was several days later when Charlie's skin started falling off in chunks, that the vet suspected that his skin and eyes were burned by a chemical.
"It could be that he was burned deliberately or he could have picked up a chemical from the nearby industrial estate," said Scott. "We've been walking him around, but no one has recognised him."
Charlie, who is thought to be about two years old, has had daily appointments at the vet for intensive steroid treatment and he may have to lose one of his eyes.
Despite his ordeal, Charlie has become a wonderful pet and is especially good with the Campbells' two young children. Scott said, "He has such a great nature and is a real soldier."
Although the Campbells are on benefits, they have managed to pay £220 towards Charlie's treatment, but the vet estimates the final bill is likely to be another £550. The Blue Cross and Tailwaggers have donated £100 each to help pay Charlie's bill, but the remaining £350 is still to be found.
If you would like to make a donation to go towards Charlie's vet bills, please send  a cheque to Tailwaggers (or donate online via JustGiving - see the Box to the right). Once enough funds have been raised, any further donations will go to help other worthy Tailwaggers cases.

Tailwaggers Club Trust is not just another dog and cat charity. It helps needy pet owners in meeting the cost of unexpected vet bills as a result of financial hardship or a consequence of bad luck.
For cat and dog owners who have nowhere else to turn, it can make the difference between life and death for a much-loved pet.
To make a donation by post, please send a cheque (made payable to 'Tailwaggers Club Trust') to The Secretary, Tailwaggers Club Trust, PO Box 1008, Maidenbower, Crawley, RH10 7PY and mark your envelope "Charlie appeal".

Click here to go to Tailwaggers blog.

Untidy dog and office-gate

When I go on TV to talk about something I care about passionately there is just the one blog reader who can always be relied on to give me their own personal version of grief.
Not about what I say, though. Could quite understand that. Free speech and all that.
But no, it's usually trivia.
Last time I was on GMTV, it was my weight that came in for the evils.
This time, a very brief Sky News appearance, it's poor old Oscar's grooming and the untidyness of the Dogs Today office that have come in for much scorn. For some reason I let him/her get away with this one...

"Saw your interviewon Sky News, not sure which worse the messy office or the Beardie that look like it needed good groom."

But I drew the line at this one... until now....

 " 'beardies are a lot of work and not everyone has time to keep them properly groomed.' so where is the line between neglect and not being properly groomed?  I have often seen the dog used as a "prop" in interviews and photos and would have to admit compared to the clean and well groomed dogs I have seen in the show ring, it does seem that the "evils of the show ring" message Dogs Today keeps on peddling which may have better life"

and this delightfully worded one came in after I rejected the one above....

"In the pink re you view on office shambles....not being able to organise a cocktail party in an oflicence or a similar one regarding brewery comes to mind,  the author of this blog  criticised the person who edited the report and yet they too are not the most efficient editor as their track record of shambolic slip ups have shown in the past so working in a mess is reflection of their own lack of ability  and to comment on such is fair thing to do "

For those who blinked and missed it, here are some stills so you can make up your mind whether we need the RSPCA around or indeed Aggie and whatever the other one's name is and the bleach!

Close-up: Look at the overflowing intray - yikes! Imagine having something else to do apart from write stupid comments on people's blogs!

Look at all that Lego behind that hideously neglected Bearded Collie. Surprised we've not had any negative posts about that! (How's the dusting by the way?)

Again, this is obviously a very stressed dog, look at the suffering. Who'd think Oscar was groomed by a former International Dog Groomer of the Year and KC member! And look, that's a hideously coloured bowl!

Okay- I admit it, I didn't really want these boxes in the shot - cameraman said he's shot around them and that to take them away would be 'bland'! It was snowing and I didn't want to put them in our store room as someone would have to walk through the drifts every time someone ordered a binder. Plus the dogs obviously normally live in these cardboard boxes until they are required for another photo opportunity!

And yes my desk is a tip. Could come up with loads of excuses, but fact is I didn't have time to tidy up and the office cleaner hadn't been able to get through because of the snow. I admit it, I am a subscriber to the volcano desk management system. If it's not important it gradually reaches the edge of the desk and falls off! And look at the empty glass - it's never half full is it!

In future I will be banning trivial anonymous personal comments as they really are a waste of everyone's time! After all, I could have had the Mr Sheen out and the comb in the time it took me to write this!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Less Ironman, more fudgeman

I think I may have been hoping for too much, I'd built Professor Bateson up to be the doggie version of Ironman. I'd visualised him fighting his way through all the bullshit and saving the world of dogs single handed.
But maybe it was always a tad unrealistic.
(I've always been a sucker for knights on white chargers doing the decent thing and good triumphing over evil etc etc... romantic fool that I obviously am!)
My first instinct on skim-reading his recommendations was - he really needed a damn good edit! These should have been his notes rather than his master plan.
He looks to have been overwhelmed by the problems, he's obviously been terribly shocked by the things discovered by Pedigree Dogs Exposed and then plunged even further into despair by the terrible mess and suffering elsewhere in almost every area of the doggie world.
But sadly his proposed solutions are fudge. Nice fudge, but fudge.
One TV reporter on the scene phoned me to say, "But what is he actually saying? It doesn't seem anywhere near as exciting as he'd made it sound beforehand."
We'd guessed at what he was probably going to propose and aimed too high – his solutions weren't anywhere near as smart as the ones we'd hoped he'd come up with!
After all, we've spent 20 plus years of thinking about these problems. Patrick Bateson has only recently encountered this strange world - so is it any real wonder that his conclusions were a bit less evolved than we'd hoped?
But I guess if I was the Kennel Club I'd be really delighted that it was all so dully written and uninspiring and confused.
If I'd paid someone to look at my business and they ended up telling everyone that I really needed someone else to look over my shoulder as I couldn't be trusted to behave ethically, I'd be pretty upset. If they then embedded those criticisms in a turgid report that sent people to sleep I'd be hugely relieved!
Will anyone actually read Bateson's report in sufficient detail to get the nuances? It is after all only recommendations and if the KC can't be trusted to do the right thing, well what are the chances....!
What's the bit the press will remember, "Joanna Lumley should tell everyone how to buy a dog." Mind-blowing.
Where's the meat?
Where's the puppy contracts?
They'd solve so very much more that re-inventing a flawed accredition system in or outside of the KC. And they can happen NOW! No need for legislation changes.
Bateson pointed out in his summing up that pedigree dogs are twice as likely to get cancer as mongrels - so where's the actual action point for that? Why not tell the KC to stop grandparent to grandchild matings now - they stopped direct-incest almost overnight. It can be done.
He left them able to spin this in their repsonse:
“The Kennel Club has long recognised that genetic diversity plays a crucial role in safeguarding the health of dogs and the report is absolutely right to suggest that there are no further blanket rules in place but that decisions are based upon scientific knowledge and are made on a breed by breed basis.”
So another 20 years till we'll see ANY action then. And only then it"ll only be threatened as a punishment in breeds like the Cesky Terrier, where potentially critical journalists figure large!

Less words and clearer directions would have been a whole lot more effective.
We needed a clear road map out of the mess.
What we got is yet another picture of the mess.
And who is going to sit next to the KC telling them which way to go?
Certainly no one that might actually have half a clue how to get out of this mess - no one that might have the audacity to point out the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes or anything else they don't want to hear.
Come to think of it, I could do a Jack Russell Grant and tell you exactly who would be on there if they are to bite the bullet.
The song, "we're on the road to nowhere..." comes to mind.
I was so hoping to say it was a historic day for dogs.
Where's a white knight when you need one...?

Bateson Report now available

Click here to download

After a ten month long inquiry, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme.

Speaking in London today, Prof Bateson (of Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London) said:

“Many breeders exercise high standards of welfare, but negligent management on puppy farms is a major welfare issue as is inbreeding in pure-bred dogs. Fashions for extreme conformations are also a cause of welfare problems.”

Professor Bateson also called for a system to collect data from veterinary practices in order to generate robust prevalence data breed by breed; and for the veterinary profession as a whole to support enforcement authorities, help educate the public, and lead a shift towards a preventative approach to dog health.

The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs.  Key recommendations include:

·         The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
·         Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
·         The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
·         An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
·         New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
·         A new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.

A summary:
  1. Best scientific research and advice should be available to breeders

  1. Prospective dog owners should be advised on:
    1. What constitutes good welfare in dogs
    2. How to identify the correct dog breed for their circumstances
    3. How to find a reliable dog breeder

  1. A non-statutory Independent Advisory Council on Dog Breeding should be established

  1. The chairman and members of this should be appointed under the Nolan Principles

  1. Creation of a computer- based system for the collection of anonymous diagnoses from vets in order to provide statistically significant prevalence data for each breed

  1. Those drafting Breed Standards should avoid the selection for extreme morphologies and should refer to the guidance from the Advisory Council where possible

  1. Upgrades to the Accredited Breeder scheme should be made (with a written standard to inspect this against) guaranteeing:
    1. That all pre-mating tests for inherited disease are undertaken for both parents and that no mating should take place if the tests indicate that this would be inadvisable
    2. That any prospective puppy purchaser is able to view a litter with the breeding bitch
    3. That every puppy is identified by microchip prior to sale
    4. That all pre-sale tests on the puppy that are appropriate to the breed have been carried out
    5. That all breeders have a duty of care to all parent dog and litters with regard to health and welfare
    6. The Accredited Breeder Scheme should be UKAS accredited

  1. ALL puppies should be microchipped before they are sold

  1. Local Authorities should address requirements of the duty of care in the AWA 2006 when inspecting breeding premises for licenses

  1. A statutory Code of Practice on the breeding of dogs should be established under the AWA 2006

  Regs under the AWA should be made to replace existing Breeding and Sales of Dogs Acts

  1. The BVA should compile and have available to LA’s a list of Vets willing to carry out inspections of licensed breeding premises

              A public awareness and education campaign should be designed to change public behaviour when buying a dog

              Working with the profession as a whole, the RCVS and the BVA should lead a shift in emphasis towards preventative veterinary medicine rather than simply focus on the correction of the problems after they have occurred

              Regulations should be made under the AWA 2006 in order to:
    1. Create an obligation to any person breeding dog to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of the mating
    2. Require that any body laying down breed standards must have regard to the health and welfare of the dogs and the need to avoid breed specific health problems. The body could thus be regarded as exercising a power of a public nature and this is susceptible to judicial review

              Once a robust and audited accreditation scheme is available the buying public should be pointed with confidence towards the accredited breeders

              A meeting of the relevant parties to bring all recommendations from the APGAW and RSPCA reports together should be embraced

              The Dangerous Dogs Act should be amended to apply to all dogs that have been shown to be dangerous rather than to specified breeds and should address the problem of dogs being bred and reared specifically as weapons for fighting

              Dog shows are a powerful and effective lever for change and should be applied to achieve welfare improvements



The Lion, the report and the Kennel club?

This could be a monumental day.
Is it just me or is this just like the Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe.
Is Sir Patrick Batseson going to be the doggie Aslan?
Is his report at 10am starting the thaw? Is it soon not to be forever winter for the dogs of Britain?
Just did Radio 4's Today programme and his pre-record seemed to suggest he was going to address puppy farming, inbreeding and breeding dogs into weird shapes.
He's an intelligent, caring man.
Here's a link to Radio 4 we were on at 7.22.
Think Sky News might be about to run the pre-record they did yesterday. BBC news have something, too.
This could be the biggest day in doggie history.
Fingers crossed he's as brave and fair as Aslan.
The dogs of Britain need him to be.
Click here for the latest BBC news report.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Any chance of some more miracles...?

Just got another heart wrenching email in, we originally had an email from her older daughter asking for Tailwaggers help and advice on what to do.
Their house is being repossessed in four weeks and they have two beloved Labradors. They'll probably have to go into temporary accommodation which is unlikely to be dog-friendly. They are most keen to find a temporary foster home for the dogs or ideally somewhere they all could stay together until the council finds them somewhere permanent.

Hi Beverley

I'm Lia's mum, Kim, 

The two Labradors are called Blaze and Bailey, Blaze is seven and has three legs, she had cancer when she was nine weeks old thankfully she is now fine, Bailey is six years old and in good health. They have both grown up with children as I have a 12 year old daughter, they have also grown up with cats and don't take any notice of them.
They are housetrained, but haven't been spayed. The vets wouldn't do Blaze because she also had some pelvis removed with the leg. Lia, my elder daughter, is in work in Maidstone and Georgia attends school in Maidstone, so ideally we would like to be based around this area.
I was divorced five years ago and managed to keep the house going but was made bankrupt in October 2008. The house is being repossesed to pay the debts, we are on the council housing list and they are aware of the dogs, but the problem could arise if we are put in bed and breakfast until a property is found. Please feel free to contact me either on Lia's email address or this one - or contact me on 07784051589.

Many thanks
Kim Josling
Any bright ideas? Any foster homes in the area? Anyone got local contacts?
What a terribly unsettling time for this family who obviously want to stay together.

Comet and Co coming home

Lovely email from a very relieved Wendy...

Dear everyone,
On behalf of my family and myself, I would just like to Thank You all for everything. This doesn't sound enough, but it comes from our hearts.
To Bas and Petra: A huge Thank You for looking after Pop, Comet, Jess and Meg for the last 6 months and for the generous discount you made in the bill to help us. We sincerely apologise for all the problems that have happened, these were out of our control, but never the less have had an impact on yourselves as well as us. We appreciate the patience you showed. We have never had any doubts they have been well cared for.
To Emily: You are amazing. Your kindness, generosity and support for us is indescribable. We cannot put into words how much all your help means to us. We look forward to meeting you and thanking you in person.
To Beverley: You have been our anchor, and your support to me personally has been inspirational. Without all your hard work and tireless effort, the reunion with our dogs would never have been possible. We look forward to introducing our dogs to you, I am sure they will thank you in their own sweet ways.
To each and every one of you, our heartfelt thanks go to all. We cannot wait to be reunited with Pop, Comet, Jess and Meg.
You truly have given us a wonderful start to the new year.
Bless you all for your kindness and generosity.
Kind and heartfelt regards
Wendy, Peter, Heidi and Stephanie Sullivan

Waiting for Bateson with baited breath

What's going to be in tomorrow's Professor Bateson report into Pedigree Dog Breeding?
Two newspapers think they know...

Click here for the Mail

Click here for the Telegraph

Do they know? Is this the leakiest report ever?
Sounds interesting, looks like yet another enquiry agrees with the documentary that there's lots of work to do to look after the future of our dogs. 
Snow here, kids can't get to school. Hope husband and kids can get home safe from aborted school run.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Happy endings

Just got this wonderful email...

Dear Mrs Cuddy

We thank you for the rectification on your site regarding the stay of the dogs from the Sullivan family in our animal hotel.

The Sullivan family says that they do love their dogs. As you will know, only loving dogs is not enough.

Taking care of them is even more important, e.g. food, shots, medical bills, etc.
If the Sullivan family thinks that they will manage this in the nearby future, we will again give them the benefit of the doubt.

After thorough consideration, we came to the following conclusion:

         we will pass the dogs on to the Sullivan family;
         we request to ship the dogs to the UK immediately and they should not stay elsewhere in between;
         we request to collect the dogs before January 20th 2010.

We have enjoyed taking care off these animals the last six months. The love they gave us was enough.

Please let us know the exact date and time the dogs will be collected.

Awaiting your early reply,

With kind regards,

Bas and Petra Horsten

I have to say that a wonderful lady who just wants to be known as Emily played an enormous part in making this all happen. Emily was the one who stepped in to loan the Sullivans the rest of the money. She was determined to resolve this problem and after reading Wendy's email below and talking to her these last few days she was able to convince Bas and Petra that these dogs should indeed be with their family.

The Sullivans sent Emily and I this email last night...
OMG no, we have never have had any intentions of breeding from the dogs. In any case Pop(the Border Collie - now 10 years old)'s litter brother Jazz sufferred from epilepsy, which we discovered is further back in their lines.
We have NEVER said anywhere that these people were not kind and loving people, or that they had not looked after our dogs well. In fact, I have always stated quite openly that we have had no doubts whatsoever about our dogs' welfare whilst in these people's care. The only fears we have ever had was in the final email, where we had the deadline for payment. If we had ever had the slightest doubt we would never have left them there. On the blogs it is stated they had been well cared for. They have only been there since 5th July, which is only six months not one year as is stated in his email. Also we have never said that they had previously had any animal put to sleep.
They were exceptionally kind and discounted the bill for us, for which we cannot express our gratitude enough. We have already told them that they would not lose a cent because of this, that we will pay ALL of the bill that was originally agreed upon. We still stand by that, it will take time but they will be paid in full.
He mentions the "benches" which are actually cages which people who show dogs use at the championship shows. These are only used in the car for safety when we travel. They are quite adequate for medium and small size dog together for a couple of hours travel. When we use these they are exercised at regular intervals (every 1.5 - 2 hours). This is a far safer way for them to travel, than being loose in the car. These cages are in extremely good condition. They have a separate soil tray so if a dog gets caught short they do not have to lay in it. From memory each cage measures approximately 48" x 30" x 33" (122cm x 77cm x 84cm). 

Being parted from our dogs for six months has been so very hard, and now after so many wonderfully kind hearted people have helped us we hear he may still not return our dogs to our family. Our dogs are not just pets, they are family members. They are loved equally and missed more than we can put into words. When our youngest daughter went to work this morning, her parting words were "this is the beginning of a better life mum, we get our dogs back and will be able to repay peoples kindness". We always have and always will take great care with our dogs. We love them and they love us, that will never change. They don't deserve to be split up from each other and rehomed with strangers when they have a loving family here with us. Our dogs are our life..without them there is a big void that cannot be filled.
We are not giving up hope that he will honour his agreement to return our dogs on receipt of the money. We believe he is an honourable man, and Pop, Comet, Jess and Meg deserve to be with us for the rest of their lives. Pop is 10 years old and has been a member of our family since he was 12 weeks old. We won't give up on him or Comet, Jess and Meg, we just love them too much to do that.
Beverley, I don't know what else I can say to make him understand how much we love our dogs. But I have to ask, how can he be 100% certain that someone else would treat them as well or better than we do, and they certainly couldn't love them any more than we do. I hope this makes some sense, we are all in pieces here.

Thank goodness we have a happy ending. Wendy sounded so terribly depressed last night.

Well done Emily and thank you to all those who helped raised the funds so quickly and thank you Bas and Petra for looking after the dogs so well. I'm sure a lot was lost in translation, but thanks to Emily's efforts all sides are now in agreement and the dogs are coming home.
I am so looking forward to meeting the wonderful dogs and the people involved in this amazing story.



Write a caption for this photo and win a prize!

Still just time to win our caption competition - what a lovely photo of Jake and Frankie!
Send your best entries to Great prizes - a Clix Car Safe harness from the Company of Animals and five Halti Training Leads for the runners up!

Hurry - we'll be judging this later today!

Put a smile on all our faces.

Tired of Chobham here...

This is the second night the dogs have helpfully told us that there is wildlife in the garden. I'm guessing the snow makes it easier to spot. Not just a once a night report, a minute by minute. Tess and Oscar have become obsessed with commenting on nature and my husband and I are starting to lose cognition skills due to sleep deprivation!
I'm going to post a question on the Think Tank so hopefully some lovely clever behaviourists will tell us what it is we should do to stop the whole household having to go nocturnal!
Click here to go to the Think Tank.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Comet and Co

Just received this email from the Dutch kennels... I know it's very long - but in the interest of transparency I said I would print it all. My reply also follows. I am waiting to hear Wendy's reaction to this latest email and the reply from the kennels.
I am sure all who donated were well aware that the Sullivans had struggled to pay their bills and had got into quite a mess. Up until today we had received no direct reply from the kennels - my original email to them is also included below.
Oh dear! Looks like another miracle is going to be needed to sort this one out...

Dear Mrs Cuddy,

We regret that with your site "dogstodaymagazine" our animal hotel is receiving negatively publicity. Even more severe, your are giving all animal shelters and hotels in the Netherlands a bad name this way.

We refer to the published article of the dogs of the Sullivan family which are staying in our animal hotel. Reading the comments on your site:
- we are an animal hotel which only interest is making money;
- we are supposed animal friends but we are not;
- the dogs which are staying there are pitiful
- threats to our animal hotel, etc.

(I have removed the two comments referred to above - I had already added a balancing comment making the point that we had not yet heard from the kennels and should not jump to any conclusions)

This comments of people on your site are understandable because they are getting misleading information.

The story of the Sullivan family is published by you without a thorough investigation. You don't have put any effort in interviewing us to get a complete story.

(I had contacted the kennels by email but had not received a direct reply until this one).

We regret that people donated money to bring Pop, Meg, Jess and Comet back to the United Kingdom. We think that with all the untrue stories the Sullivan family is spreading, the dogs will face a miserable future. The money collected will only contribute to that.

First of all we will explain why we think the dogs should not return to the UK:

History until now:

- On July 5th 2009 the Sullivan family brought the dogs to our animal hotel and payed 400 euro in advance (deal was prepayment of 1200 euro a month)
- On July 19th 2009 the Sullivan family would pay the remained 800 euro╒s and see the dogs; nobody showed.
- Mid September 2009 we have still heard nothing from the Sullivan family; after several e-mails they finally payed an amount of 615 euro's in October 2009.
- On November 25th 2009 we finally receive an answer from the Sullivan family that they don't have any money and that they will send some.
- We did not see any money and heard nothing from the Sullivan family until December
2009; they tell us that they will come get the dogs on December 20th 2009 and will pay the invoice of the amount which is not payed yet.
- On 20th December we did not see anybody of the Sullivan family, by checking it seems that they don't have any money at all and by letting their dogs staying in our hotel they put us in an awkward position.
- Due to the pitiful story of the family; we are prepared to decrease the whole amount with 50%: total amount is 7.040 euro minus 50% = 3.520 euro.
- We give them again the benefit of the doubt and give them an ultimatum to pay on January 9 at 10.00 am.
- All above mentioned means that we are letting the four dogs stay for free in our hotel from December 20th 2009 until January 9th 2010.
- The family did until now, not pay for any medical related costs (worms, deflea etc.).

Should the dogs return?

Fortunately we only dealing with a money issue, are main concern are the dogs. We think, if the Sullivan family really love their dogs, they would not be a stranger and should contact us regularly.
We think it strange that, if the family does not have any money at all, how it is possible to keep four dogs.
Three of the four dogs are bitches which are not sterilized; it's likely that the bitches will be used for breeding; Jess already had pups (Meg is a full daughter of Jess), we are wondering what happened to the other pups of Jess, most likely they have been sold.
(Pop has won 4th price once at the dog show Crufts) Therefore we are not happy with the fact that a breeder from Belgian wants to collect the dogs.
A few days ago, we received a email if we want to return the old benches of the dogs which are now in our hotel. Strangely the benches are not big enough for these four dogs, it's not humane to let the dogs in such a small space.
On top if this the Sullivan family claims to love their dogs so much, oh my God!

We are fortunate that we care enough about these dogs and gave them the last six months the love and care they deserve.
We think it's a shame that people have donated money on a false pretences. The reality is unfortunately a different story.

We demand that you will execute a rectification on your website "dogstodaymagazine"
The following information should be added to your site:

- the animal hotel has been taken care of the dogs with lots of love and treated them as their own for the last year;
- the animal hotel has never put down dogs;
- the animal hotel has let off 4.000 euro of the cost which were on the account of the Sullivan family;
- the animal hotel has reasonable doubts not to return the dogs to the Sullivan family since they did not bother to make any inquires to the dogs and they have no financial means to take care of the dogs;
- the animal hotel is afraid that the Sullivan family will let the dogs use for breeding to make money;
- the animal hotel regrets that people donated money without knowing all the facts.

If you are not prepared to execute the rectification, we will put your website for discussion.
You give us and also other animal hotels in the Netherlands a bad name. We are working in a most transparent way and have nothing to hide.
If the negative stories of our animal hotel will continue, we will contact a big British daily paper and tell them our side of the story. We want to achieve to make people more reluctant to donate money for purposes which are not fully investigated and therefore can be false.

We regret that also you are have been mislead by this family. We emailed you the letter which we sent to the Sullivan family with all the facts of the situation mentioned.

(This has never been received, this email is the first direct contact from the kennels. The Sullivans say they never received this letter either.)

On your site you don't report this facts at all, on contrary, you keep important information behind and only report the story of the Sullivan's. If you are neutral in this matter, please report also our story on your site. Quite possible that your foundation is getting financial benefits from this matter.

For us this is no longer a financial matter but a plan to save the dogs. The money you deposited on our account, will be returned if we will decide not to return the dogs. This money can then be returned to the people who donated money for these dogs.

We have serious doubts if we will return the dogs and will take this matter further for consideration and wait first your confirmation of executing the rectification on your website.

We are on Pop's Jesses, Megs and Comets side. They deserve a good life.

Dierenpension Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht

Bas en Petra Horsten

Here's my reply...

Dear Bas

I’m sorry – this is a very long reply. In case you struggle to read all of it – in brief I would say...

1 I am happy to print your email in my blog and will do so now. I would point out that this is the first time you have spoken to me directly and that I did try to make contact with you earlier.
2 We knew the Sullivans had got into a terrible financial mess, they needed urgent help and that is what pet owners here are responding to.
3 From my own dealings with Wendy she appears to love these dogs very much and is very keen to have her dogs home. Please release the dogs, the money has now been paid as asked. We have had offers of pet food etc from pet lovers here to help the Sullivan’s further as they struggle to put their lives back together. We will be keeping an eye on them, so do not be afraid that you are releasing them into the unknown.

Here is a fuller version of my answer which I hope explains everything.

I did contact you direct (see below) – I emailed you for your side of the story on January 7th but I never received a reply from you and haven’t ever received the letter you refer to.

Did you post it or email it?

I forwarded my email to a third party who approached via Twitter – they had a friend in Holland who offered to transalte - and they replied to me with some of the points you are now making. This was received just after we had raised all the funds. It was still not a direct response from you. I forwarded the comments to Wendy for comment and her replies seemed fair. The person who translated did not want to be further involved. Did she forward you my response to her email?

The Sullivans said to me via email that they never received the letter you refer to sent in December.

Here is a direct quote from her email:

“With regards to a letter in December, we have never received it, and in fact they do not even know our address in the UK. He did email a friend on 27th December (this was our regular communication with the kennels), which was when he stated he was intending to get rid of the dogs on 9th January. This was written to her in Dutch, which she then had to translate and forward to us. My husband spoke with her on internet chat and asked her to tell the kennel owner we were attempting to raise the money he was asking for and to not get rid of our dogs.”

Knowing I had not heard from you, I never identified your kennels on my blog and stuck to the information supplied direct from Wendy. Wendy says she had been warned that if she didn’t pay you by Saturday the dogs would be disposed of and you seem to back up this up in your current email.

I was very aware that the Sullivans had got behind in their payments to you and that you have reduced the bill, which is very kind of you.

Someone attempted to post a very defamatory anonymous comment about the Sullivans on my blog inferring that I wasn’t in possession of all the facts. I published a reply asking that person to email me direct so I could be investigate this information if it was significiant, but they did not. I continued to received comments via the blog that I could not reply to as no return address was given.

Now that you have contacted me direct I am very happy to put your points across, if that is what you want me to do – but we already knew the Sullivans had fallen behind in their payments and that you have very kindly reduced the bill. All those that gave knew these were people in a mess with a deadline looming.

Wendy’s husband’s health deteriorated rapidly and they had to return to the UK in a hurry and he has been in hospital twice since returning. His disability benefit ceased, probably in error, and is the subject to appeal at the highest level. Offers of work for Wendy and her daughters never materialised. They were in crisis.

I too asked if they are capable of looking after the dogs. I am told one of Wendy’s daughters has started a new job today and they are appealing the suspension of her husband’s disability living allowance. Here is another quote from Wendy’s email.

“The owners of the kennels were told of our problem with the DLA (Disabled Living Allowance) and that is why they offered to discount the costs. It has been impossible to go over on a monthly basis due to the costs, with the jobs falling through and the DLA problem. Regular contact has been kept via email and web chat through our mutual friend. Our friend even went and took photos of the dogs for us, 2 of which I sent you to use. It was this friend that told us they were intending to dispose of the dogs on 9th January in web chat. Do we love our dogs? Would we have ever bothered to rescue any of them and would we not have just left them in Spain in a shelter, without all the vets bills for inoculations and microchips?”

I hope this explains everything, what a shame we weren’t able to talk directly earlier as I think we all obviously care about the future of these dogs.

Please let me know ASAP what you have decided to do as I am certain Wendy will be devastated.

Best wishes

Here is the earlier email...

From: Beverley Cuddy
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 2010 08:33:47 +0000
Conversation: Comet and co, Wendy Sullivan
Subject: Comet and co, Wendy Sullivan

Dear Sir or Madam

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I am Chairman of a small UK charity called Tailwaggers Club Trust and the Editor of a magazine called Dogs Today. I am trying to help Wendy Sullivan and her family raise the funds to pay the last of her kenneling bill.

I wanted to make contact to assure you that everything possible is being done to reunite Comet and Co with Wendy and the rest of the family and was hoping to talk to you to establish if there’s anyway of avoiding the dogs being disposed of on Saturday to allow us a little more time? Also to ask if there is any way you’d consider a part payment ASAP and perhaps releasing the dogs to the chap in Belgium who is happy to look after the dogs free of charge until the bill is totally cleared keeping your costs down as much as possible?

I have written a blog about this sad story but realise I don’t yet know your side of the story first hand and wanted to get in touch to verify all the information. For example, how much is needed to pay?

Here are the links:

You will see the JustGiving link next to the story. It currently shows £330 in donations since we started the appeal on January 2nd. Much of that was raised overnight.

I’d be very grateful to hear from you ASAP as I and many others are very keen to resolve this problem. We are snow bound at the moment but still functioning via home phones and Internet.

The story is capturing the hearts of many dog lovers and while they understand everyone should pay their bills this family do seem to have got themselves into a terrible mess and the consequences of losing the dogs totally just seem unthinkable.

Best wishes
Beverley Cuddy

Win a book - get guessing!

Now I'm not at all surprised we have not had a correct answer in for this month's Cross question! It is pretty hard - plus the post has been somewhat patchy to arrive here! Poor old posties.
I suspect even if we'd just put a photo of the more unusual of Buddy's parents most of you still wouldn't know what it was - it is probably one of the rarest breeds in the country!
So I'll be giving clues. I'm starting by confirming one parent is a Border Collie.
Now let's try for the other more elusive ingredient. This dog does look quite like his unusual parent. although the colours are more typically BC.
Please do email your guesses to or for instant feedback get on Twitter. First correct answer received on the email wins the doggie book from Interpet.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Looking for dogs with the ReX factor

I know that readers of this blog do tend to have exceptional dogs. TV fame awaits you...

Do you have a dog that loves to belt out a tune? Does your hound love to howl along to Hendrix? Perhaps you have a pooch that’s partial to Pavarotti?  Maybe your Bulldog is barking about Beethoven?

‘Liza & Huey’s Pet Nation’ is Sky1’s brand new primetime animal entertainment show that celebrates our nations love for animals.

Liza Tarbuck and Huey Morgan are on the look out for the next singing sensation and are inviting all musical mutts to take part.  

To enter, simply send an email titled ‘Rex Factor’ to with a description of your dog’s talent and if possible, a picture or short video clip by 31st January.

The day after ....

Yesterday, which had been a euphoric day, someone posted a quite menacing anonymous comment which for legal reasons I had to reject.
It was a nasty slur against the people we were trying to help and I wasn't sure whether to completely ignore it or not.
I wanted to investigate it, just to be sure, so I left a comment to ask them to contact me directly with more information.
They didn't but instead this comment was left on the blog overnight which I think probably explains everything!

"If I had allowed your comment through it would be unsubstantiated defamation and being anonymous I have no way to contact you directly to enquire what it is you were hinting at." well this is pot calling a kettle black situation Ms Cuddy, afterall you only do post what you want to be seen and dismiss other who disagree with you (or even worse try and under mine or be little them)  as the Liverpudddlian phrase is your just a "gob on a stick"  and only bever peddle you one side views , perhaps like the people at Passionate Production who will have to face the music soon when the ofcom decisionis broacast of thier  lies and decites (shame the OFcom was buckeldd to pressure to change from the original decisons on that sham of a program)you too will soon reaslise your voice may be load but i does not always make it right in the canine world.

I had already emailed Wendy to ask her some more background about her situation as the original comment spooked me. Her reply was in refreshing contrast to the dark and troubled person quoted above.

Firstly, we don't think for one moment you are prying, we are quite open and honest about everything and are more than happy to answer any questions you or others may have.

I'll edit as she has given me a lot of personal information, but they are having to appeal to the parliamentary ombudsmen as her husband's Disability Living Allowance stopped when they returned to Britain when his condition deteriorated. He has been hospitalised twice since returning to the UK.

Some good news though, I thought I should check that they were going to be able to look after the dogs when they got them home...

With regards to coping with the dogs...we have always had at least one dog in the family, we cope with life better with them than without. Our daughters and I take them for walks (sometimes the other way around) ;), my husband provides the tickles behind ears, which with Pop is a full time occupation. If he stops for any reason he gets smacked with a paw.
As for being able to cope financially, our youngest daughter heard yesterday that she has a new job starting on Monday. So we have had two blessings this week.

Hope this helps you to answer any questions thrown at you. If you need any further clarification on anything, please don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you once again for everything you have done for our family,
Kind regards

Stay warm and safe everyone, just seen the aerial picture of Britain on Sky news and it was totally white - looked like a scene from that scary movie the Day After Tomorrow. It's colder than the South Pole today in some parts of Britain.

Dare I suggest that the coldest place on the planet is probably the heart of the person who left that anonymous comment?

PS Perhaps the old misery should take a glimpse at exactly who donated to the JustGiving page? I spy the director of Pedigree Dogs Exposed... since you brought the documentary up in the first place!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The kindness of strangers

Just had a very tearful Wendy on the line. But tears of joy this time.
She's had a call from a wonderful lady who has lived in Spain and totally understood her situation. She has agreed to loan her the rest of the money.
Hopefully the dogs will be home really soon.
I am really looking forward to meeting them.
Well done everyone who passed on the message, donated or just thought positive thoughts.
There were donations from all over the world, people have been so very, very kind.
Special mentions to Jeni Falconer and Cerys Matthews and all the wonderful Tweeters for the great RT effort. And to everyone who gave at what must be the hardest time of the year, you are saints.
It may be cold outside, but we had ourselves a little miracle today! Well done, you've restored my faith in human nature.

I believe in miracles and we certainly need one!

Have emailed the kennels in Holland this morning to see if there is any room for negotiation re the Saturday deadline for the dogs disposal. Heart in mouth, will we get more time? Will they release the dogs to the kind chap in Belgium's care on a part payment to stop the bills mounting further?
Some really amazing donations made overnight via Just Giving. You lot really are inspirational.
Did you watch the BBC2 Horizon documentary last night - the Secret Life of Dogs.
The science of the human canine bond was very interesting. I find looking into Comet's little face I just can't give up on him - and now I know it's entirely normal to feel this way!
I am so looking forward to the day when we can see Comet and Co reunited with their family.
Let's give this another push. We need a miracle, but I still believe in them!

If enough of us make even a tiny effort we can achieve anything! Click here for more of the story and click here for the Tailwaggers blog.

STOP PRESS - You did it! see the latest blog click here

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

What can we do?

Just had a pet owner on the phone in bits.
It's a long story, they've got in a mess. The family had to come home from Spain in a hurry - she moved to make life easier for her disabled husband. They ended up acquiring a few rescue dogs while they were there and their passports weren't in order for a variety of reasons. The dogs ended up in a kennels in Holland sitting out their passports maturing.
The kennel bills were approx 7k euros and most of this was paid. The offer of work for Wendy and her daughters fell through and worse the disability living allowance for her husband stopped inexplicably and would have covered the remaining fees.
The family have been issued with an ultimatum. Pay the remaining kennel fees by this Saturday or the dogs are put to sleep or rehomed.
A chap in Belgium has offered to collect the dogs and hold them free of charge until Wendy is able to collect them. The dogs are now fully passported and ready to travel.
He has tried to negotiate with the kennels but has got nowhere.
They still say pay up or they'll dispose of the dogs.
What can we do?
Anyone got any media contacts in Holland? Anyone able to negotiate in the kennel owners own language?

Here's Comet, Pop, Meg and Jess. This Saturday is the deadline.

For more info on this story click here.

Smartest dog in the world...?

Tonight on BBC2 at 9pm: Horizon. The Secret Life of the Dog.

A seven-year-old dog in Austria called Betsy has amazed scientists by being able to recognise more than 340 words.
Betsy's skills were recorded as part of the BBC's science programme Horizon.
It examined the increase in scientific investigations into canines, their unique relationships with people, and how they are helping to identify the causes of some human diseases.

Click here for a clip that shows some of Betsy's impressive vocab.

Wonder if they'd talked to the lady who has taught her dogs to speak? Must say that impressed me. I'm sure lots of dogs recognise very many words. I suspect Border Collies have a different sort of intelligence than say Beardies. Borders are usually good at doing what they're told while Beardies tend to improvise.

There must be a difference between training and intelligence. I love dogs that problem solve. I think it's real intelligence when a dog trains its owner for example! I've had Beardies that can open gates, even opening a bolted door! And one that realised the only way to get my lovely old mum's attention during Coronation Street was to stand inbetween her and the TV screen and pretend to squat!

Who has been your most intelligent dog and why?

Snow has fallen

The frozen garden pond in the distance...

Tess after a hunting trip!

 Where once we sat outside the office eating pizza!

Today stepson Cammy should have been sitting his entrance exam. Six months of intense preparation and build up, all for an 11th hour cancellation! So a day of throwing snowballs instead! He thinks it's probably the happiest day of his life.
Two of the Dogs Today team made it through the snow, but I've sent them home again.
The dogs like the snow even if we don't. Tess thought this a perfect day for jumping the fence and going Awol. Here she is after her hunting expedition. She's asleep next to the radiator now, even she thinks its a bit brrrr!
Stay warm, stay safe!

Monday, 4 January 2010

The Times they are a leaking?

Would seem that Val at the Times has had a sneaky peak at Professor Bateson's much awaited report into Pedigree Dog Breeding. Click here for the whole article.

I'll cut and paste the juicy bits...

The Times has learnt that only breeders with a registered number and who are subject to checks on their animals and premises would be allowed to sell or advertise the sale of puppies.
The proposals, which are already in force in France, are an attempt to draw a line under the unscrupulous breeding of dogs for the competition ring, which was highlighted in the television documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed on BBC One 16 months ago.


In future it is envisaged that all puppies would also be sold with a veterinary certificate guaranteeing their health and stating the name of their parents as well as the registered number of the breeder. All dogs would be microchipped and breeders would be subject to random inspections.


Inbreeding of dogs was one of his main concerns, Professor Bateson said. The Kennel Club has banned the mating of parent dogs with offspring and siblings. He believes that this should be extended to grandparent and half-sibling dogs.


The club has already reviewed the standards for each breed, but Professor Bateson questioned the organisation’s role as “judge and jury”. He favours instead a new statutory body to oversee all breeding practices. “I think regulation is the only way to do it. The public need to insist they know the pedigree of a dog and that it has been properly looked after, and only go to accredited breeders,” he said.

So a statutory body outside the KC, all future KC reg to be via the accredited breeder scheme with a vet cert and further tightening up of inbreeding.

I don't think the ABS is quite up to the job yet, but maybe the Professor will work his magic on the KC? Only a tiny number of breeders currently use the scheme so the KC would really have to crank up their recruitment and also satisfy those afraid that they are already letting in the wrong sort of breeder and shooting themselves in the foot.
Shame to not hear mention of the puppy contract in this leak, but maybe it will be in the real thing. In our March edition (out next Thursday) we've got a fascinating article which shows how current consumer legislation could be used to pretty much get rid of puppy farming and other bad breeding practise.

Something to do on Sunday!

Just received this email and wanted to pass it on....

I write to you in the hope that you can lend some support to our campaign to stop Puppy Farming and the sale of Puppies in UK Pet Shops.  I have witnessed the horrors of this evil trade first hand and have fostered and rehabilitated so many of these poor traumatised dogs myself,  also I help different rescues with dogs with 'behavioural problems' but the worst I've seen have to be these poor broken, terrified girls and boys. 
A few months back we discovered a shop on a garden centre site in Sevenoaks was selling multiple breeds of puppies.   
They say they get their pups from 'licenced' breeders but as we know many Puppy Farms are licenced by local councils.  
I started organising peaceful protests outside this establishment to raise public awareness and educate the public on where they SHOULD be getting their puppies from, I know I don't have to go into any details about that with you.
I have also started an online petition which can be found at

There is another peaceful protest organised for THIS coming Sunday 10th January at 12 noon outside Select Puppies and would appreciate if you could post details,  the more people show their disgust at this trade the more can be done to stop it.  The address is:

Main Road
TN14 6ED
Even if people can only attend for an hour it really does make a difference!  we are telling people to wrap up warm and if possible bring a flask of something hot.  We have banners and educational flyers to hand out to people but it they want to get creative and make their own banner then brilliant!
Thank you so much for listening