Friday, 28 May 2010

Competition time!


I'm giving you a few more weeks to come up with a entries this time! Best caption wins a Clix Training Kit from the Company of animals. Email your funniest captions to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk before the 10th June.


Can you guess who Bear's parents are? This is really tricky, so I'm probably going to give you some clues. I can see one of the breeds - but the one you can't see is a Sled dog. Email your best guesses to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk before the 10th June. First to guess correctly gets an Interpet book of their choosing.

And here's a sneaky preview of the next cover.

Wrinkles and wrankles

I got another anonymous letter today on Shar Pei tacking.
If you don't know what this is, let me try to explain.
Shar Pei pups are very wrinkly when they are born and if the wrinkles fall over the eyes they can go blind without some surgical intervention - known as tacking. A staple or a stitch is used to hold the wrinkles out of the way to allow the eyes to still open until the dog grows into his wrinkles.
Not tacking a very wrinkly pup would be cruel as the pups would suffer, but how sad that little pups need this surgery in the first place. Wouldn't it be better to have a lot less wrinkle? Or even no wrinkle at all if they come at such a price. I know breeders have been trying to breed them less wrinkly but if tacking is still needed there's something still very wrong.
The writer introduced themselves as saying that they are a 'proper dog breeder' - not one in a breed that is known to have any health problems. But they were still too afraid to put their name and address to the letter. I suspect there are a lot of 'normal' dog breeders who find tacking highly embarrassing at the very least.
Is the anonymous writer just up to no good? Is tacking a figment of their imagination? Something really extreme that hardly ever happens? Would seem not..
The writer directed me to the dog world breed notes and I quote the relevant passage below.


"The helpline has been busy and the numbers of new owners seeking help with
their new puppies seems to be increasing. Sadly this doesn’t reflect too
well on some of the breeders, who often seem unable or unwilling to help and
simply refer the hapless and worried owners to the helplines. Some vets too
continue to show their ignorance of the breed by giving bad advice and
making things worse for the dogs rather than better.
"One choice case was of a first-time breeder who had one puppy whose eyes had
opened but at four weeks had progressively closed and clearly needed
tacking. Their vet agreed but pronounced that the puppy needed to be ten
weeks old before they would tack. However the case would be that after ten
weeks of discomfort this poor puppy would need more than a simple tack.
"Luckily, the breeder was put in touch with a Shar-Pei-friendly vet via the
stud’s owners and a simple tack done immediately has now led to a happy
puppy with no sight problems at all. It would be nice to think that all such
stories had equally happy endings."


The Kennel Club, in the run up to Pedigree Dogs Exposed, banned pups being shown post-tacking. See here for the link. But two years on it's still happening. Are we any further on? And how would you know if a dog had been tacked as a pup? Do vets routinely report this procedure to the KC? What exactly is a Shar-Pei friendly vet after all?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Want some free legal advice on a pet-related matter?

Legal TV Show, a Non-Broadcast Pilot
 

Are you involved in a dog-related dispute? Want some free legal advice? 

Fighting with an ex-partner over custody of your dog? 
Thinking about taking legal action over any pet problem? 
Tiger Aspect are looking for people to take part in a pilot for a new TV show. So while you'll be filmed, it won't be broadcast. At this stage they just want to test the format. So a win-win - you get free advice without telling the whole world about your dispute!

Please call Anna on 0207 529 9557 or Nicci on 0207 544 1649 if you'd be interested in taking part.




Hair of the dog...

Yesterday's photoshoot was blissful, but as I was driving home I noticed how many different types of dog hair had attached themselves to me and it reminded me of the competition to find the hairiest dog owner in our latest issue.
I have been told that people have been a bit slow in entering and it maybe that I've put a lot of people off by calling it the "hairiest dog owner in Britain" competition as it's not the most glam title is it!
Really there should be no stigma in having a dog that sheds and you could always tick the 'no publicity' box if you're worried that the neighbours might start to talk!
There are some great prizes, so please do start collecting up your hair samples - at this rate a Mexican Hairless could romp home - I'm not joking!

Here's what you have to do:
Put a week's worth of dog fluff or hair in a bag and post it off to Lintbells Ltd, Unit 16 Weston Barns, Weston, SG4 7AX.
And give them your:
Name, Address, Postcode and email address. Plus a daytime phone number so they can tell you you've won!
Tell them the name of your dog, what type it is and it's approximate height at the shoulder and whether it is a naturally short or long coated dog so they can assess the amount of hair you've posted.
And the tie breaker - please say why your dog should win! (Blown up three hoovers, you've started wearing mohair, changed your carpets to match the dog etc etc!)

1st prize - a year's supply of Yumega for one dog - and a photoshoot with a top animal photographer.

(Plus if anyone is really naturally very hairy and proud of it there will be a special prize should you want to send us a photo!)

A bit about the prize:
Yumega is a brilliant supplement that really does sort out so many coat problems - it is a really good source of Omega oils that can be lacking in many diets. For more details about Yumega visit their website.

And the photographer that will be taking your photos will do a lot better than my efforts....! Here's some of my candid shots taken at yesterday's magazine photoshoot. Thank you to everyone who came along - think I missed snapping the gorgeous Curly Coats and our own baby GSD Ferris - too busy cuddling the dogs and talking I reckon.
The food photo reveals the very swish healthy executive lunch we put on! The green box is full of chicken, sausages and bacon we bring to tempt the dogs. But we did have one Bullmastiff turn its nose up at the offerings this time. Apparently he prefers roast lamb! One of the dogs below reminded me a great deal of Russell Crowe. See if you can spot him!


Apologies for the poor camera work - I was only using my phone and sometimes trying to hold onto some very large dogs at the same time!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Crocodiles rock

The great treat trial continues. Over the weekend we tried out the crocodiles, but I have to say any nod at science literally went AWOL!
Both dogs regarded their crunchy crocs as very highly prized, so they wanted to take them out of the house into the far reaches of the garden to eat in privacy. Which all got a bit complicated as I couldn't see both dogs to time them.
Predictably, Tess finished first, probably taking 10 minutes - although it may have been a few minutes more or less!
Oscar was slow to get established and kept moving home with his croc, which proved his downfall.
Tess being quite the cunning dog, staged a diversion, barking at the gate and poor old gullible Oscar fell for it. So we will never know how long it would have taken Oscar to finish, as Tess stole it!
"What's that Tess? You say there's a large delivery of sausages at the gate? I'm on my way!"

The winner takes it all!

And victory tastes very sweet!

The dogs were testing Antos Cerea Crocodiles, bought from Mutley & Mog. They cost £1.05 each. 11p a minute for Tess, but probably left to his own devices Oscar would have taken half an hour so the price would have gone down to  a bargain 4p a minute.
These are vegetable-based snacks said to be good at cleaning teeth - and I'd like to reiterate that no crocodiles were harmed in this experiment.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Time for tea and time for a cow's ear? 11 minutes actually!

Christine in accounts said knowledgeably that 'cows ears are less greasy than pigs ears'. Tess was thrilled with her 'less greasy' teatime cow's ear treat and remarkably she took a full 11 minutes to finish it. There was much crunching and her teeth and paws were kept very busy.
Oscar was initially pleased and got stuck in. That pink blur is indeed his unfeasibly large tongue and not bubble gum! But sadly, after a bit of nibbling, he proved easily distracted.
The black blur is new office pup Ferris. Oscar is in love and Ferris is much better than cows ears, it's official.
So - for Oscar. Cows ears are a fail. But for Tess, it's a big thumbs up - if she had thumbs!
13 minutes on and the cows ear has lost all its alure - although Tess has her beady eyes on it! And can you believe that only yesterday, less than 24 hours ago, Oscar had a complete wash and brush up. What a mess! The office is looking gorgeous too isn't it? Where's my phantom anony-mouse blogger commentator to complain about the housekeeping standards and the poor interior design?
So the verdict.
Cows ears from Mutley & Mog cost £8.60 for 20. That's 43p each.
Cost for keeping Tess occupied 4p a minute!

Tested on animals

How refined, Thursday elevenses for Oscar and Tess were Venison ears from Burns via Mutley & Mog. Both dogs were very keen to take part in this trial. The ears, to my eye, looked very white and didn't seem too exciting by smell, either. But the dogs' senses were obviously enlivened, so maybe they appeal on a sensory level we mere humans don't have the bandwidth for!
Tess had consumed hers in a moment, as expected - far too quickly to capture on film. Oscar took exactly five minutes to polish his off, which feels longer than he usually takes to chew a pigs ear, which seems from memory to be a bit more brittle. You can really hear them crunching them, but today Oscar was quiet and determined in his destruction of the ear. But to be honest, I've never timed the dogs' eating pigs ears, so will have to do that test on another day so I can say definitively!
Oscar was very keen to get on with it and didn't much appreciate having his photo taken. As you can see from the look he's giving me!  He was definitely in the zone eating his venison ear and wanted to concentrate, but for five minutes he stopped trying to sit as near to the new puppy as possible, which I have to say is his favourite occupation apart from eating strange animal parts!
Only downside, there were only three Venison ears in the packet - one and half pairs.
Who deserves that final one?
Price £2.29, per ear 76p
Price per minute for keeping Oscar happy 15p!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

How lovely, strange animal parts in a box...

I have very unfortunately now learned the art of Internet browsing which means I can be tempted by so many more things than you could possibly encounter on a non-virtual shopping expedition. I know, I should be searching for something specific, getting the best deal and getting out of there.
But... I get curious and then I start clicking away...
So today the delivery man just struggled up to the door with mysterious packages that have got the dogs noses a-twitching. And possibly the neighbours talking as the severed body parts arriving may make some of the vegetarians amongst us faint - so please do not read on if you are squeamish.
Our tasting panel is missing its canine version of Michael Winner, so we'll have to wait for a meaningful review.
Oscar is off being groomed and doubtless flirting with all the glamorous Toy Poodles and the bravest cats in the world, so we are down to Tess the Springer Spaniel who will eat cardboard and think it's really delicious and Ferris the baby pup who can't be fed on anything outside his normal diet for fear of upset tums.
But until Oscar returns looking bouffant and fabulous, check out some of the weird and wonderful items we'll be getting Oscar to review. Tess can have some too, of course, but I can tell you now, her only comment will be "can I have some more!" For fear of gluttony we'll be testing a body part a day and taking notes as to speed of consumption and eagerness to devour!
Oscar and Tess have had pigs ears before, and lots of them - just got a box of 50 or 25 pairs! And they are to date both dogs favourite things. In fact if they won't come to their name for any reason (rabbit chasing, interesting smell etc)  I just yell "pigs ears" and they both come running. Passers by must think I've got a strange form of Tourettes!
Oscar really does taste everything he ingests. He is either incredibly suspicious or just very thorough at chewing properly. (Maybe he has enhanced taste buds to make up for the fact he can't see so much of the time because he's pulled his hair bobble out? He can certainly hear better than Tess or indeed most bats! If the bin man is within a five mile radius we know all about it!)
And if you have a more unusual treat to try, please do send them in or tip us off as I have to say the arrival of these strange objects from Mutley and Mog have caused the kind of hysteria that must break out at the offices of Grazia or Elle magazine when a new Louis Vuitton bag is sent in for test!
Pigs ear

Cows ear

Venison ear (Burns)

Venison heart (Burns)

Venison tongue (Burns)


Crocodile (not really made out of crocodile, before anyone writes in!)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Calling all budding cover stars

We're doing one of our famous photoshoots on Wednesday May 26th and we're on the lookout for gorgeous dogs to photograph.
We're always particularly keen to capture little pups in all their cuteness - so if you do have a pup at the moment and can get to the shoot do contact Julia (julia@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) with your dog's details and we'll reserve you a slot.
The shoot is taking place in Martin Dawe Photography's wonderful photo studios in Slough, Berkshire. It's a very calm environment, easy to find, air conditioned and loads of car parking. Our photographer Tim Rose is probably the best dog photographer in the world. You get a disk of your images to keep and a doggy bag of stuff to take away. Plus the possibility of walking into Smiths and seeing your dog in the magazine - possibly on the front cover.
Each dog's session only takes a few minutes and we use reward based methods and work really quickly to keep the dogs from getting bored.
Dogs who are scared of flashes are probably the only ones that won't enjoy this experience, and while we do breathe a huge sigh of relief when we get a dog that can do a sit stay, we have become adept at getting the best out of every dog and pup and have lots of tricks up our sleeves to get the perfect shot!
Email julia@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk with more about your dog/s and if poss a pic.
We're interested in all types of dogs but we are definitely doing in-depth breed features on Nova Scotias, Bullmastiffs, Curly Coated Retriever and German Shorthaired Pointers - so we're keen to hear from people who have dogs of any ages in those breeds. 
Do please pass the word on that we're especially keen to photograph some gorgeous dogs! It could be your dog on our front cover next!

Are you on the ball? Help other puppy owners!

Tomorrow is the cut off point for our giving advice to new puppy owners feature. So please hurry up or email me with what you'd like to post!

The two most helpful comments posted in the next 24 hours will win a prize - so thank you PetPlanet!

You'll win a Doggee, no not one with four legs and a waggily tail! This is a clever little device that you can use as a key ring or attach to your dog's collar to hold 20-30 poo bags.

So do have a read and a get posting your best tips please! We'll be editing the section tomorrow afternoon, so you've not got long!


Here are the topics and the links:

Puppy Love 1 - Security and fencing
Puppy Love 2 - Feeding
Puppy Love 3 - Insurance
Puppy Love 4 - Toys and treats
Puppy Love 5 - ID - get me back home
Puppy Love 6 - Training
Puppy Love 7 - Poo and wee and other toilet issues! 

If you struggle to post, and some people do find it a puzzle, then please do email me direct. beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

Friday, 14 May 2010

Puppy Love - about to go to press!

We are about to go to press on the Puppy Love feature - which is an attempt to give a puppy owner the very best advice before a new puppy comes home. You've got till Tuesday to add your comments and words of wisdom, please do take part as many minds can make all the difference.
Here are the topics and the links:

Puppy Love 1 - Security and fencing
Puppy Love 2 - Feeding
Puppy Love 3 - Insurance
Puppy Love 4 - Toys and treats
Puppy Love 5 - ID - get me back home
Puppy Love 6 - Training
Puppy Love 7 - Poo and wee and other toilet problems! 

If you struggle to post, and some people do find it a puzzle, then please do email me direct. beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

I'm disappointed there's no one been on to recommend Indigo collars yet, I'm going tohave to do it myself! Come on folks, pass on your best tips to others! Don't be shy. and please send this far and wide so others can join in!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Baby Today & Puppy Today

On Monday at 3.40am our Chief sub and contributing editor Claire Horton-Bussey gave birth to Alys Elin Efa weighing 8 lbs 14.5 oz. Mother and daughter both doing well and now back home. Here is a newly born Alys with proud big sister Katie.
Everyone at Dogs Today send the family our very best wishes!
Claire was subbing right up to the very very last minute at the weekend and Alys very kindly arrived at exactly the best moment in our monthly schedule - as have all the babies of Dogs Today employees!
And as well as the pitter patter of tiny feet on the team, we also have the pitter patter of tiny paws!
Today we are also joined in the office for the first time by Ferris, our ad sales lady Liz Dixon's new baby GSD puppy probably weighing much the same as a new born baby! Oscar and Tess have had a sniff and a lot of squeaking and the Ian Dunbar house training method seems to be working, no accidents so far and Kong stuffing seems to working and all is peaceful here with all the dogs fast asleep while we work!
Here's a very blurry shot of Ferris ear licking Graham this morning and some less blurry shots of Ferris at home!

Go on, make us laugh!

Here's this month's caption competition and it's puzzling to us why we haven't had better entries so far! So come on bloggers and Twitterers - send us your best efforts by 1pm Tuesday to win a Nina Ottosson Dog Pyramid for first prize and a tub of Coachies for five runners up.
Email your best captions to comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Banish those negative self destructive thoughts!

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, or so the cliche says. Actually I just can't make an omelette full stop or much else edible, which as we've got six people round for dinner table tonight is unfortunate.
I had thought Puppy Contracts would unite us all, that no one would be grumpy about them, but there's always one - isn't there. And if there's one who comments anonymously there might be 10 more at home all going, "it'll never work".
So for those who missed the comment on the last blog - here it is again with my reply. It does probably all seem too good to be true, too shiny and new, but please dog lovers, just for a moment open your heart and start to believe this might just be a very good idea!

Puppy contract cant work, as no cross breeds/mongrels would ever use them, the vast majority of show breeders already use a form of (or even better type) of puppy contract. Where it will fail is that none of the vets will want to set themselves up to be sued if they give a signature on a form to say the dog will never get ill, after all HD is only 25 hereditary and can be as a result of many other factors ie diet, over exercise, injury. Indeed even if its parents have 0/0 scores it still can end up with hip dysplasia. The same can happen in many other conditions. The puppy contract will end up like a cars MOT and mean its only valid and statement of condition for that puppy on the DAY it is sold. Anonymous


Oh anonymous, you really are a glass half full person aren't you!
The Puppy Contract is already working perfectly well in Sweden. Every niggle you can think of to make it not worth even trying has already been chewed over and overcome.
The puppy contract would apply to everyone, Labradoodles, pedigrees, mongrels - anyone selling a pup. It puts the power in the hands of the consumer and ignites existing legislation.
The contract will be thoroughly legalled and will be a fair contract between puppy buyer and puppy seller, the contracts used at the moment by the TINY number of show breeders compared to the general dog population are all individually written and unlikely to stand up in court if challenged as they don't protect both sides in the sale. They protect the breeder not the buyer.
And the attitude that says we're not interested in ALL dogs, 'we're already doing something else and we're happy with what we do back off' is incredibly short sighted. If there are 10.5 million dogs in Britain - the KC only register 250,000 a year. There are millions of dogs being bred outside their jurisdiction.
Puppy Contract would be for EVERY transaction, not just the elite.
The vet doesn't sign it, either!
It's a transaction between the breeder and the puppy buyer.
It is elegantly simple but beautifully effective - and someone else has thankfully trialled it and ironed out the problems.
Time for all standing behind something that changes the way dogs are bred in this country.
Unite don't fight!
If a breeder has done all they can to avoid a problem they have nothing to fear. Plus the insurance world will have a product for good breeders just like they do in Sweden.
It will just make breeders responsible for producing poor quality pups that run up massive vet bills - and that responsibility will make running a puppy farm or selling dogs in a pet shop simply uneconomic.
It will also make pet owners perfectly aware of what's expected from them, too.
Impulse purchasing from dodgy outlets should become a dim and distant memory.
Which dog lover would not support this?
Beverley Cuddy

To address the latest comments about not wanting too much litigation and that we're all adults etc and we should just stop being so silly, the puppy contract is unlikely to see a vast amount of people going to court. And sadly at the moment after years and years of education, puppy retail outlets are getter bigger rather than smaller!
It's the threat of court that will dissuade people from trading in misery. After one or two precedent cases I think we will see things calm down and people choosing other less stressy ways to make money.
We will never get any political party to outlaw the sale of pets in pet stores, everyone has tried - but they'll no do something that stops someone trading. But give the power to the consumer to insist on higher standards and the pet trade has a clear choice, reform or change jobs.
In Sweden there are very, very few dogs in rescue. Passive ownership and passive breeding seems to stop when you make it obvious there are consequences and responsibilities. Yes there are probably are some people who object to the Swedish system, it's a free country, but I'd love to be living somewhere you only have to bitch about the tiny little details that you think need a tweak! Let's hear from Swedes - I've yet to find someone who doesn't support the puppy contract in Sweden.
The puppy contract here would merely extend the normal consumer laws to the trade in dogs, nothing extra. Just tightens up some of the loopholes that have made bad breeders able to side step their reponsibilities. If you like, this is like an extended warranty just like you'd get on your car or your fridge.
If you sell something that is defective it is obvious you should pay to repair it.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Ballot Box-er or the straw-dog poll

If dogs could vote we'd get a much different result tomorrow. Dogs are so much more intuitive than we are, just one sniff and they'd know which leader to follow.
As far as we know, all three candidates don't even have a dog in their lives!
In fact we're struggling to remember a time when there was last a dog at 10 Downing Street!
Would they have a Red Setter, a Kerry Blue or a Yellow Lab?
Do any of the three parties say anything in their manifestos to delight the dog vote? Hardly.
Labour doesn't mention man's best friend even once and the Tories only give the species just the one namecheck and that's with the word "Dangerous" close by.
Liberal Democrats have a little bit about animals generally, but they've all missed a trick.
Not one party has yet adopted the Dogifesto!
But there's still time for one or all to adopt it and encourage the 10.5 million dogs to drag their owners to the polling stations to record a vote for a much better future for our four legged friends.
So what's in the Dogifesto?
Quite simply - the introduction of the Universal Puppy Contract for all sales of dogs. If the contract was included in the already existing Animal Welfare Act we'd have an end to people breeding dogs passively or just plain badly. We'd have the same system as they have in Sweden were a breeder recognises the consequences of breeding a litter and has to do their best to prevent health problems or pick up the vet bills.
We'd see an end to puppy farmers and fickle people breeding from untested dogs for pin money. And the other side of the puppy contract is that puppy buyers would be made aware of their responsibilities.
End result, fewer dogs badly bred. Fewer dogs in rescue. Clearer guidance to consumers and breeders as to good practise.
It would cost the country nothing - which should appeal to the treasurey. And it would be easy to bring in - no long-winded new legislation. And it's tried and tested and already successful in Sweden.
If you'd like a copy of the Dogifesto and some more information about puppy contracts email me and don't forget to get your dog to vote in our poll! (beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk)
And Gordon, Nick and David - there's still time to adopt our Dogifesto. 10.5 million extra votes might just come in very, very handy!

Support for the Dogifesto!


Burgess Supadog supports dogifesto

As Election fever sweeps the country, leading family pet food company, Burgess Pet Care is stepping up to support the wagging tails of Britain’s 12 million dogs for the introduction of a universal puppy contract.

The Dogifesto, first launched in April by leading pet magazine, Dogs Today, is looking to encourage dog owners everywhere to speak out on behalf of their furry friends and to lobby local MPs to support the introduction of a universal puppy contract. 

The idea was first suggested and is supported  by the Dog Breeding Stakeholder group which in a collaboration of organisations and charities that was set up in 2009 and is spearheaded by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

The proposal:  A puppy contract would be added into the existing Animal Welfare Act and entail the signing of a legally-binding document between the dog breeder or pet shot retailer and puppy buyer.

The idea behind the contract is to protect both parties and to try and counteract any unnecessary hurdles that can lead to poor treatment and abandonment of dogs.

The document would ensure the protection of the future health and well-being of each puppy – for example if you are breeder and breed puppies without hip testing this would be declared and would mean you could be l
For more information on buying a dog responsibly go to http://www.perfectpup.co.uk/
If you would like to add your companies support do let us know!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Question Time!

On Thursday the head of the RSPCA press office is coming to see me. The recent Channel 4 news item seems to be the catalyst for our first meeting in 20 years of publishing this magazine. Click here for that blog.
I'd like to ask some meaningful questions and wonder if anyone out there has any suggestions for questions they'd like answering?
Thursday is a huge day for the country, obviously - but our animal charities are unelected and maybe we need them to tell us what their manifesto is before we leave them our hard-earned cash.
What questions would you ask to ascertain how your money should be spent?
I think the crux of the debate is what it is that we think the RSPCA is and does it match up to who they are?
Do we want them to prevent cruelty or just to prosecute after the event?
Should being the animal police force be their USP? Or do we think they should be a lot more than that?
Does their branch structure need reform so that when we leave money to the generic RSPCA it is spread more evenly across all the work the charity does rather than most of the money going to central costs.
Is it time to split the charity into tough policing and the more paternal welfare side?
And what's the story with the use of the captive bolt? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, such a barbaric method in someone's else's hands would surely be the subject of an RSPCA campaign... but the RSPCA seem to be literally standing behind their guns.
Have they lost their way or did they change years ago and we just didn't notice?
Or indeed has there always been a split between to the factions within the charity and we the public just haven't seen the cracks?
Or are we just being mean to the biggest animal welfare charity? Anything that big will have its bad bits and its good bits, their last set of accounts showed a massive 54 million pound loss. How on earth did that happen? Surely a ship that big doesn't make quick movements?
Do send me the questions you would like to see asked?
Failing that - what cakes should we get in for this historic meeting on election day? I sense it could be a maximum Jaffa Cake type occasion.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

We need you!

Do you have some free time and a desire to help other pet owners in a practical way? Have you got some office skills? Could you attend a few meetings a year in London?
The Tailwaggers Club Trust needs some additional trustees and particularly someone/ some people to take on some of the secretarial and accounting roles as our wonderful Secretary/Treasurer is hoping to retire after 20 years of loyal service. Side Nye is a remarkable and inspirational 78 year old and it's now only due to failing sight that he's asking to spread the work.
Tailwaggers is a lovely charity. It's ancient but it's even more vital today than it was back in the 1920s when it started. There's no big swanky offices or fat cat salaries. It's lean and best of all very personal.
Every case is listened to on its own merits and often that in itself is a huge help to pet owners in distressing situations.
I doubt we'll we find another Sid - but there are must be altruistic people out there who will help their fellow humans get through a crisis and stick with their pets?
Sid's daughter Carol mans the phone side of things, but Sid is our first email contact. He receives the pleas for help and then contacts the vet where necessary for more information or passes the appeal sideways to the trustees if it's a practical problem that we all need to brainstorm.
If you are interested in getting involved in this friendly little charity and making an incredible difference to pets and their people please do get in touch for more details.
Here's a breakdown of what Sid does - we could split these between several people as he does seem to do a great deal!

ACCOUNTING

  • Maintain record of all payments and receipts analysed by category
  • Maintain a Statement of Activity and Balance Sheet.
  • (Currently this is achieved by a spreadsheet where a single entry for each transaction
  • updates all the required fields)
  • Prepare budget for current year.
  • Reconcile  book balances with bank statements every month.
  • Transfer money between accounts as required.
  • Bank cheques received and acknowledge donations.
  • Write Annual Report
  • Prepare accounts for audit at year end 31st March, ensuring supporting documentation is complete

MEETINGS

  • Fix dates for meetings based on Trustees availability.
  • Prepare and circulate agenda in advance of the meeting
  • Prepare such financial reports as required by Trustees for presentation/discussion at meetings.
  • Take minutes.

CHARITY COMMISSION

  • Complete Annual Return (Can now be done on-line)
  • Send them a certified copy of any resolution agreed by trustees changing any administrative aspect of our Governing Document.

GENERAL
Check Email daily and deal with messages as necessary.

Here's the Tailwaggers blog for more information about the charity and the work it does. We'd also love to attract someone who is a whizz at web design as the Tailwaggers website badly needs updating. Plus anyone interested in fund raising - we can't have too many people helping raise funds as since the Blue Cross stopped helping people with grants at the end of January Tailwaggers is often the ONLY charity giving assistance to people in crisis.

If you'd like to know more, please get in touch. I've been working with Tailwaggers for quite a few years now (though not as long as Sid!) and it is amazing how much of a difference this charity makes and how many lives it touches. Read the story of Charlie for just a glimpse of what we do. Please do join us, it's a great team of animal lovers - we just need some new signings!

Anyone who knows anyone this might suit, please do get in touch. My email is beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk