Wednesday, 30 June 2010

CHC fires shots at the vaccine industry

Just in from Catherine O'Driscoll:

Although David Cameron, before taking office, predicted that political lobbying was “the next big scandal waiting to happen” and that it had “tainted our politics for too long, an issue that exposes the far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money”, the veterinary vaccine industry has no need for lobbyists. There is a revolving door between the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD – part of Defra) and the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, which is causing harm to pets.

Canine Health Concern members have been mobilised to write to their MPs asking for representation. They are alerting their MPs to a 366-page document written in response to the VMD’s recent Position Paper on Canine Vaccination Schedules, released during March. The VMD document uses veterinary vaccine industry vox pops and industry-sponsored research to justify the over-vaccination of companion animals in the UK. CHC members are also calling for David Cameron’s Government to sever the incestuous ties between the veterinary pharmaceutical industry and the VMD.

The cosy relationship between the VMD and the veterinary vaccine industry is causing unnecessary illness and death in dogs and cats, says Canine Health Concern (CHC). This conflict appears to have arisen with Margaret Thatcher’s government in the ‘80s. Deregulation and pro-business legislation continued under New Labour.

Steve Dean was appointed head of the VMD in 2002. He had spent 17 years as a marketing manager within the pharmaceutical industry, and later became a pharmaceutical industry consultant. Since joining the VMD, he has acted as a speaker at veterinary pharmaceutical industry events and even participated at industry launches. “Professor Dean’s appointment reflects government policy with regard to the veterinary pharmaceutical industry,” says CHC’s Catherine O’Driscoll. “Despite repeated requests to successive governments,” she adds, “the VMD continues to block efforts to reduce vaccine casualties in the pet population.

“Will David Cameron’s government do anything about this – or will pet owners continue to be surprised and angry when their dogs and cats develop cancer, leukaemia, brain damage, arthritis, allergies, or other vaccine-associated diseases from a vaccine they didn’t need in the first place?”

The VMD is allegedly there to protect public and animal health, but it is also ‘keen to minimise the burden of regulation on industry’ and to ‘help the industry bring new products to market’. It cannot both protect consumers and their pets from potentially harmful pharmaceuticals, whilst at the same time viewing the industry as its chief customer and seeking to improve the quality of service it provides to customers.

Members of the VMD and the Veterinary Products Committee (which decides whether it was a vaccine reaction or not) have declared interests (research grants, shares, consultancy) with a wide range of pharmaceutical and vaccine companies. The VMD does not have an arms length relationship with the industry it regulates. Rather, its culture is one of facilitation and support for the highly powerful pharmaceutical industry.

Veterinary bodies around the world have called for a halt to annual vaccination. Independent studies show that dogs and cats, once immune to viral disease, are likely to remain immune for their entire life. Yet the VMD issues threats to veterinarians who might wish to reflect the known science and vaccinate less frequently, and advises Ministers who subsequently repeat those threats.

Richard Allport, a holistic vet who sees many patients referred for treatment with natural medicines, is one of several vets who are supportive of CHC’s views on the VMD. He says: “Many clients say they are pressured by their veterinary practice to still have annual vaccinations, made to feel guilty if they refuse, and made to feel they are being difficult if they ask for titre testing instead.”

Another veterinarian, Michael Fox, says: “I have researched the adverse consequences in dogs and cats of repeated vaccinations that are not necessary, since a single injection confers life-long immunity to most animals. The long-term health consequences are severe for many animals and very costly for their owners.”

In its Position Paper, the VMD acknowledges that life-threatening vaccine reactions in dogs and cats are under-reported, but calls this ‘insignificant’ and brushes under-reporting off. It also admits that it has no idea of the prevalence of viral disease in Britain’s dogs. Nevertheless, it overrides independent expert opinion and says disease threat exceeds vaccine dangers. It claims to be in accord with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association which says we should vaccinate no more than every three years whilst pronouncing that we should vaccinate at least every three years. This is doublespeak.

Whilst annual vaccination against a range of diseases to which dogs and cats are already immune is the norm in the UK, the VMD asserts that pet owners should decide when to vaccinate in consultation with their veterinarians. This is disingenuous and requires that pet owners are more knowledgeable than their vets.

In reality, pet owners are unlikely to know that worldwide veterinary bodies are calling for a halt to annual vaccination; they are unlikely to know that MLV (modified live virus) vaccines protect for life in over 95% of cases; they are unlikely to know the risks associated with unnecessary vaccines; and they are unlikely to be able to argue the science with their vets – who have been educated in colleges which rely upon pharmaceutical industry sponsorship. Neither do pet owners understand that continuing veterinary education is largely delivered by multinationals, or that the law does not allow vets to stray from the revaccination intervals approved by the VMD.

“Pet owners take their dogs and cats for annual jabs,” says Catherine O’Driscoll, “little knowing that existing antibodies cancel out the vaccine challenge and that no more immunity is provided. They don’t know they are paying for something their animals do not need, and which comes with a risk of life-threatening adverse reactions. It is a scandal, and yet no-one in the UK who has the power to stop this practice will do anything about it. Meanwhile, we have spent the last 16 years trying to help grieving pet owners understand and come to terms with their friends’ deaths.

”If this Government will not halt this damaging practice, then we must assume that profits really do come before life.

For more details go to:

Turn your dog hair into prizes!

This is your last chance to enter the "hairiest dog owner in Britain" competition. And no - you don't have to be hairy!

There's a really great prize!

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 friends think you've started wearing mohair, you've 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. (Yumega is a brilliant supplement that restored the shine to both my dogs coats in a very short period of time!)

(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.

So get the Dyson out and dig out your fluff, clean your brushes, get the sellotape on your hairiest jackets...

Really good chance of winning and entries must arrive by July 8th. If you've been stockpiling your combing - get them in the post now!

It could have been so different

If only we'd fielded a stronger team the England Flags would still be on our cars. I am grateful to Chapstaff for sending me the link to this delightful film.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Free tickets to Just Dogs Live!

We have five family tickets and five pairs of adult tickets to give away for this year’s Just Dogs Live!
Just Dogs Live will be held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, on 9th, 10th and 11th July 2010.
The event will host the East of England Championship Dog Show and, with over 200 breeds attending, will be a wonderful opportunity to discover new breeds, gather tips on nutrition, welfare and training, and to shop a range of doggie goodies!
Many display teams will perform across the three-day spectacular, including the staff and dogs of HMP Whitemoor and the Essex Dogs Display Team.  There will also be a celebration of those dogs that play a vital role in aiding the lives of many humans, including demonstrations from Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Canine Partners and search and rescue on how their dogs are trained.
With demonstrations of gundogs, flyball and agility also included, Just Dogs Live will be a fun event for the whole family.
For ticket prices and to find out more, visit
To win one of five family tickets (two adults and two children) or one of five pairs of adult tickets just send me an email at
We'll print them all out and get one of the office dogs to pick the five lucky winners.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Wednesday nights just got a whole lot better

Set your Sky plus, drink lots of coffee, just don't miss this.

Wednesday nights, BBC1 22:45 (23:15 in Wales)

Only our favourite vet in the whole world (look away Richard, Nick, Alison, Mark....etc - we obviously love you all, too)
Noel Fitzpatrick

I've known this was coming for ages but was wondering when it woudl launch and saw it today on BBC Breakfast where they showed the cat saved from a combine harvester who can walk again thanks to two revolutionary false legs. 
Will never forget meeting the fantastic American Bulldog who wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for his amazing false leg. 
Noel is a dog god.
It's the work of the other Simon Cowell, the lovely guy behind Wildlife SOS.
Watch the fantastic Noel put animals back together in ways no one has ever done before.
I have said before, Noel is a genius who manages to combine cutting edge science with warmth.
He hugs his patients human, canine, feline and performs miracles that provokes slavish hero worhship from pet owners he has helped.
Wednesdays suddenly got worth looking forward to!
Can't wait.
Double espressos all round!
Not the most critical review you'll read, but certainly the most enthusiastic!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Would you like to be on TV?

Next Tuesday?
In London.
Has your pet got a problem you'd like solving live on Channel 4?
The 5 o'clock show has a pet clinic item next Tuesday and they'd love an interesting case to solve.
If you are interested please email me your details and I will pass them on to the researchers.
Can be health-related or behaviour.

Transport will be arranged.
Possibility of a fee...


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Will watchdog prove toothless?

We've all been wondering who will chair the new Advisory Council on Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding and now we know.

It's Professor Sheila Crispin MA, VetMB, BSc, PhD, DVA, DVOphthal, DipECVO, FRCVS

Now you can't say this isn't someone who has a lot of qualifications, but... it's the fact that she's already a member of the Kennel Club which makes me sigh! 
She was even a member of the old KC Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group... and that obviously didn't sort the problem out did it!

What chance then of a firm hand confidently leading them to change? 
Perhaps the only applicant?

Accepting the appointment, Professor Crispin said:
“I am very honoured to have been selected from what I am aware was a very competitive field of candidates and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute to a step change in the quality of life enjoyed by dogs of all sorts in this country. However, I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge facing us.  From the poor welfare of breeding bitches on puppy farms to the well documented issues of damaging conformation and genetic disease, we have a lot of problems to address.
"My next and most important tasks include the selection of the members of the Council and the development of a strategy prioritising our work over the short and medium term.
I would like to call on those who have a professional, personal or business interest in dogs to support the Council.  That we have got this far is due to the commitment and generosity of a few key dog and animal welfare organisations and to their willingness to work together for the good of dogs.  We will be looking for further support to help us in the task ahead.”

Suspect Clarges Street are smiling today. It's like Fabio finding out the referee for tonight's match is John Terry's dad. 

Who knows maybe Shelia will be independent enough to make the changes that are needed for the protection of the dog in the future?
And who knows maybe we'll win the World Cup....


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Is that better?

While cold and wet was arty and moody, some of you found the text hard to read.
Have had a bit of a fiddle and it's no longer cold and wet, looks quite sunny and hopefully a bit easier to read!

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Good, the Bad and the ...

The world of dogs can surprise and disappoint.
For example, a couple of weekends ago Jemima Harrison sent me a link to a site in Ireland. (Jemima often rescues Retriever crosses from the pounds in Ireland).
There was a photo of a sad looking, tousled young Beardie that had ended up surrended to an Irish pound just for apparently digging up the owner's garden.
I was warned that Charlie wasn't in a good place and we needed to move quickly to get him out. Heart ruled over head and I sent some money to a local rescue to get him lifted out of there immediately, vet checked and groomed. Within the hour he was safe!
The lovely local rescue pointed out that if we liked Beardies, there was another one - Archie, and he was five and just adorable!
So two unexpected Beardies in just one morning when I was supposed to be doing my accounts.
The names Charlie and Archie seemed a perfect fit for our existing doggie family and the photos of the beautiful trusting faces had me measuring the car to see if we could all squeeze in! It was probably fate.
It would be a squeeze and a juggle in every way, but if needs must we'd manage somehow.
My husband's face was a picture.
Two more Beardies would probably be two too many.
A call to Southern Counties Beardie Club Beardie Aid made my day.
They had lovely homes waiting for Archie and Charlie and they could manage everything from that point. Not only that, but if either of them turned out to be 'almost' Beardies it didn't matter, the marvelous Bob and Edna Manning had taken a dog on a photograph before from Ireland and when they actually saw it was only Tibetan Terrier size, that was eight years ago and they kept her themselves she was so adorable!
Bob and Edna are iconic pedigree dog owners for me. Tremendously successful in the show ring as exhibitors and judges and absolutely totally compassionate.
Always there to help a shaggy dog in need.
So that's the good.
Regrettably, on to the bad and the ugly.
Got a call today about a toy breed. The breed welfare is wealthy and there's considerable demand for rescue versions of their breed.
Welfare got a call from a family who weren't coping - they had a little dog that was biting them and had taken over the house. It was one big knot as they couldn't get need her to groom. They had little kids. The dog was biting the kids and who knows what the kids were doing to the dog!
It sounds a pretty typical case for breed rescue.
What should be the response of welfare?
I'd expect the dog to be taken away, trimmed off, examined by a vet to see if there was an underlying problem causing the aggression and based on that assessment the dog would either be given some training, veterinary treatment or if all else failed it would be PTS before it put someone in hospital.
What actually happened, according to the rescue's own report, was that the owners were told to sort the dog out as they couldn't possibly take it in the condition it was in.
Is it just me shaking my head in disbelief.
It takes a lot to make a call for help and if rescue are only going to take perfect dogs that need no work then that waiting list is going to get ever longer and those funds in the bank are going to build as they'll not be spending a penny.
My caller pointed out that she'd had a rescue dog in her care that was also biting everyone, it turned out the dog was in terrible pain with a pyometra and when that was dealt with the dog's temperament was perfect.
And what if this little dog bites one of the owner's children badly? We don't need another headline and the breed's reputation as a pet would be forever sullied.
We can all allow ourselves to get frustrated by flakey owners who let down their dogs, but when an owner isn't coping and tries to get help I do think if the rescue has the resources and the waiting list they need to think of the dog and just forget all about teaching the owner a lesson in responsibility!
I'd want that little dog out of that situation ASAP.
If the owner does get around to going to the vet for a check up I suspect that it'll be a PTS rather than a trim. They're probably deeply ashamed of the mess they've got into. They were brave enough to ask for help once, but sounds like they didn't get much.
I'm so thankful Beardie rescue is in such good hands. That Archie and Charlie are probably being spoilt silly already and are no longer at risk.
Can't help but worry about this other little dog and the precious little hands and faces that are still at risk, too.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Dummy for the pups with no Mummy

Many Tears Rescue based in Wales has an inventive foster carer sharing the raising of three orphaned pups. The pups' mum collapsed and a vet had to give her a caesarean section but she became comatose and did not produce any milk. The breeder, in desperation, asked Many Tears to take them on and try and save them. The pups, only hours old, started to drink from a premature baby bottle, but between meals started suckling furiously on each other. At this point Leah, who has shared the care of them with her mother, Sylvia, bought them a dummy each. This has saved the from making each other sore by trying to suckle. Many Tears hopes to be able to save these pups and offer them for adoption in five weeks time. To get in touch or make a donation to help Many Tears continue their work see the website at <>  or call 01269 843084 between 10 and 4


Thursday, 17 June 2010

What pressed that button?

Grumpy of Chobham here.
At 1.55am this morning our radio alarm went off.
No, we weren't taking off for the airport or any other sane reason to get up at that time.
The alarm was still set for 6.20am as usual when we checked. It's a very basic alarm and there's only one setting allowed - so no chance of a mistaken second alarm being set at 1.55am.
A good look at the machine revealed that the snooze button would cause the radio to come on, but who or what pressed that button? It only needed a light touch.
The dogs can't get into the bedroom, so they're not guilty.
No kids awake. They slept through the alarm - lucky them!
Extra large spider?
Urban fox deciding to really get middle England angry by waking them up by other methods than knocking the bins over?
It's a mystery!
Please not a mouse, rat, squirrel.....
Or a naughty ghost, I would like a good night's sleep tonight!
Day went further down hill as BT lines let us all down – Internet in the office down from lunchtime onwards, how helpful!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

How to make bread....!

Just seen this link via Facebook and wanted to share the joy!

Kennel Club vet appears to have been unsound

I was wondering how things were going with the German Shepherd puppy so rudely ejected from Crufts. I'd spoken to the owner shortly after Crufts and I know how upset she was, I think she said at the time that much of the journey home was a blur as she was crying so much because of the way she'd been treated. David Payne has forwarded me a copy of the letter she'd just sent the KC and I have to say they'll have to put their very best spinning head on to wriggle out of this one with any dignity.
Poor Pamela, why treat such an outstandingly caring and thorough breeder with such disrespect?  Perhaps it's time for the KC vet to eat a little bit of humble pie and say sorry, that he was mistaken?

Just had a follow up email from Pam, too and it seems Lotty doesn't only look good on Xray, she looks pretty good on the outside, too. At her first show she won Best GSD puppy! I quote:

Lotty (above)- my Crufts evictee because she had an abnormaility of the hind quarters took BEST GSD PUPPY at the County Show (her first show and 1 week under 8  months) under Mrs Ronnie Smalley - who went on to say if she had been a  couple of months older she would have been a serious contender Best of Breed as well! - I wonder what it was the KC official saw that everyone else has missed!!!  Mrs Smalley is no novice when it comes to the correct GSD.  Her prefix is Quixote.
Kind regards Pam Edgington
Starkstrom GSD's


07 June, 2010


Crufts 2010 – Accredited Breeder Status 

I am in receipt of the renewal for the Accredited Breeder Scheme for 2010/2011. (see below) It is rather like receiving another humiliating blow. 

Possibly you are all not aware of the reasons.  I will explain if you will permit me to put forward my point of view.  I do and have done every possible Health check for my German Shepherds, Hip scoring, JRD/DNA Testing, Breed Surveys and only breeding from Grade 1 Surveyed bitches.    Also selecting suitably tested males.  But for whatever reason one of your Officials saw fit this year to Evict me and my young GSD from Crufts on the grounds she was “unsound”.    

Your press announcement said “An abnormality of the Hindquarters”.    Will you please read the attached letter from a BVA/KC Veterinary (see below) regarding her hip screening which I do as standard at 6 months. 

In evicting me your Official actually broke one of your own Regulations. 

Received from the KC in the Crufts Exhibitors pack a leaflet entitled:-

Notice to Exhibitors
Regulation F(1)15 - Exclusion of dogs.
Paragraph 3 reads:-

By way of a reminder to exhibitors, under Regulation F(1)15 (Exclusion of Dogs) if in the opinion of the Show Secretary, Show Manager or duly appointed official of the Kennel Club any dog is suffering from a visible condition which adversely affects its health or welfare the dog must be examined by the Veterinary Surgeon of the show to establish the validity of the allegation. The Veterinary Surgeon's opinion shall be final and if the allegation is upheld, the dog shall be excluded from all subsequent competition at the Show, including the Group.  However, the dog may remain at the show.   

I would be very pleased to hear how the Kennel Club responds to this.  I am 76 and your Official could have been more sympathetic and asked me to withdraw from the display team and enjoy the rest of Crufts leaving my youngster with our Dog Minder. This I would have done.   But no … it was ‘GO’ a rather harsh decision was it not in light of your above Regulation?  I was too stunned to ask his name and too humiliated to retaliate.

In view of the above how can the Kennel Club justify asking me to renew my subscription to a Scheme when you show no consideration to facts?  Under the circumstances it actually means nothing, just a piece of paper with words on it.  Or that is how I now see it.  I have never once been checked out.  I have also been in the German Shepherd scene for some 50 years and a breeder since 1985.  Only having bred 12 litters in this period of time I would hardly consider it prolific.  Careful selective breeding in fact – for my next generation. 

Whilst I am now aware my young GSD should not have been on the Team, it was by Invitation and I presumed, obviously incorrectly, that this was in order for a Puppy Foundation which is for puppies with no minimum age limit other than the 10 week inoculation time.   I must add that at the time of the eviction the puppy’s age was NOT known by the Kennel Club and did not enter into the equation.

In conclusion I would add that having worked for a plc at Main Board level I am very au fait as to how the Chairman, Chief Executive and Main Board Directors are protected.  It would be nice, just once, to have my faith in humanity restored and not have my letter ‘redirected’. 

I look forward to your comments and an apology for the humiliation. 

Yours faithfully 


Encl.  1) Veterinary assessment letter, April 2010

          2) A copy of your letter requesting I renew my membership to the ABS

 Click here to see copies of the above letters

Monday, 14 June 2010

Lookylikely we quite likey!

I've been asked to bring you news of a lookalike competition, which made me fondly reminisce about our Lookalike competitions of the past.

Who could forget our doggie versions of Richard (Flat Coat) and Judy (Pug), Norman Lamont (French Bulldog.... We found lookalikes for Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, too and they had them sitting in their chairs presenting the Big Breakfast - See I'm showing my age now!

But let's get on to the latest variant of the genre! A new competition that is being judged on Friday.

I'm thinking now who Tess and Oscar look like? I think Oscar has a bit of a look of Courtney Love. They both tend to look a little dischevelled and well, dirty!
Tess is very theatrical and glam - Lawrence Lleweyln Bowen and her were probably separated at birth, I reckon.

And which kind of dog looks like David Cameron? How about a Bedlington Terrier? There are not many dogs with that high a forehead! If you have a dog that has a famous look-alike get in touch with the guys ASAP to win some ace prizes!

Above: Cameron and Clegg -  and a Bedlington Terrier
If you think your dog is a doppleganger for David Cameron or your cat looks like Cheryl Cole upload a snapshot to Windows Live Twitter <>  of your celebrity pet lookalike with the hashtag #celebpet for a chance to win a leather pet carrying case or special pet portrait.
We’re a nation of pet lovers and Windows Live is great way to keep track of your important pet moments. Whether you want to capture their growth from puppy to pooch or save snaps of special occasions, Windows Live Photo Gallery lets you import directly from your digital camera. Or if you’re a Spielberg in the making, furry friends make a great film subject. Windows Live Movie Maker lets you turn your photos and videos into great-looking films to share online, on CD/DVD, and mobile devices. You can even add in soundtracks and effects, and then share your movie with the world.
To enter simply log on to the Windows Twitter feed-  (you will need to have a Twitter account to do this, but they are free and easy to set up). Upload an image of your pet with the hashtag #celebpet and let us know what celebrity you think your pet looks like. The owner of the best pet celebrity lookalike will win a choice of a hand crafted leather pet carrying case or a special pet portrait – you decide! For full Terms and Conditions follow this link

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Will Snowflake melt your heart?

Urgent email just in, can you help?
Snowflake is a Staffie cross of approx nine years old who came into my rescue two years ago. She came in from Yorkshire and had been picked up as a stray and never claimed and was due to be put to sleep. She was the last one on the list who had not been helped.
Snowflake was not an easy job to start with. She came in as a very scared little girl and needed a huge amount of confidence building. She was trialled at a foster home, but was returned for guarding the wife too much. That was when it was decided that she would have to stay here for a couple of months to improve her social skills. She stayed with me for about three months and was mixed with other dogs, cats, children and strangers.
The problem with Snowflake is that she is an obvious abuse case. She can be handshy, but with her handler and once she has gained your trust she is one of the nicest dog that I know. I adore this dog. She loves me and I have no problems with her at all. In my opinion she is easy to handle, has fantastic recall and is so tuned into her owner that it puts all of my own dogs to shame!
Snowflake loves to play fetch and has a great retrieve. She will play this game all day if you allow her to. She normally likes to wander around the garden with a log or a toy in her mouth. It seems to be a bit of a comforter to her.
Snowflake was homed to a family with older teenage children. All was fine until she met a relative with very bad MS. He was very shaky and when he tried to fuss Snowflake she got worried and snapped at him. This was down to her not being introduced properly. She was returned to us and stayed here for a while longer.
In all this time I had never had any problems with Snowflake and never have.
Snowflake's next home lasted for about four months. A younger couple who Snowflake was very happy with.
She had a habit of getting very over-excited when the doorbell rang.
They hired a dog behaviourist who told them after five minute s of watching(!) that she should be euthanased because her habit would never be fixed.
The people who adopted her were not bad people, but naive and so thought that because this advice had been offered by a 'professional', that it must be accurate. They took her to the vets to have the deed done along with her paperwork. Luckily the vets were on the ball and saw the clause in the contract that the rescue had to be contacted should the animal need to be put to sleep and so contacted me for permission. Which obviously I said no way to!
They then took her on holiday with them and had a great week and returned her seven days later.
Snowflake has now gone into foster care. She lives with two Alaskan Malamute bitches and a cat and although she is 'ok' with this situation, sometimes she can get toy possessive and needs to be kept in check. It is far preferable to home this lady somewhere that she can get all the attention. So we are looking for a home where she can be t he only dog.
Snowflake needs a home with no young children and confident handlers. Either someone on their own or a couple who are willing to allow her to settle and blossom as she does when she is here.
She exercises well with other dogs, but doesn't appreciate it if they start on her...she will stick up for herself! She likes to do the Staffie leap of faith into your arms and is loving, affectionate and cuddly to those she trusts.
Snowflake is fully vaccinated, microchipped and spayed.
You must have a fully enclosed garden with fence heights of at least six foot high. Snowflake can be left for short periods of time on her own. She is not destructive. A homecheck will be carried out and a rescue minimum donation applies.
If you can offer Snowflake a home for life then please contact me.

Furry Friends Animal Rescue (Surrey)
Tel: 020 8407 1080/0797 356 9371

Friday, 11 June 2010

The game is over I can reveal it is...

... a brilliant hair bobble for dogs working in the catering industry!

No seriously, it is actually a doggie toothcleaner as correctly first guessed by Geoff.

A few minutes after I took Mina's excellent suggestion of a hair bobble literally, I realised I hadn't retrieved it from Oscar's top knot and then panic - it had completely disappeared.
Surely Oscar wouldn't have eaten it? Tess maybe, but not Oscar!
Craig found it behind the radiator! It was very soggy - perhaps clever Oscar had been trying to clean his teeth himself?
As he'd made a start, I thought I'd keep going.
I'd not been very excited at the prospect of yet another tooth cleaning device. I guess I've seen everything that's been invented and not been that impressed.
I remember the roast beef flavour toothpaste and the fiddly doggie toothbrushes of old and had always found them not worth the wrestle.
But despite my initial amusement at the look of the thing, actually using it was remarkably simple and amazingly effective.
Oscar has pretty good teeth, but there's a little bit of tartar at the top of his canines developing.
My old mum used to have some sort of vicious looking instrument of torture to scrape those bits off our dogs teeth back when I was a kid. I'm far too much of a wimp to do that. But this little finger sock seemed to be just wiping away the tartar a rub at a time. I was cursing not doing a before and after pic!
Now just rubbing a bandaged finger over your dog's tooth wouldn't do that, so after the event I had a look at the packaging!
It's a microfibre cleaner which is impregnanted with silver ions which absorbs and destroys plaque bacteria on contact. It also massages the gums.
You can keep using it for four to six weeks, which is good. And I can honestly say that unlike the other methods I've tried I'd be still using this in six weeks time because Oscar actually enjoyed me massaging his teeth and gums! And I could see it working so I felt it was worthwhile.
So it started off as a bit of a joke - but I've actually learned something today!
I'm now loathe to post out the other one, but Geoff - I am awaiting your postal address and putting it into a plain brown envelope now!
THank you for all the other suggestions - products that still obviously need inventing!
If you'd like to know more about the toothcleaners go to

Can you guess what it is yet?

I've just received two of these in the post. The postman has learned to become very discreet. The frequent delivery of boxes of severed ears and other body parts has meant I command more than a little bit of respect in these parts!
But I thought we'd have a little bit of fun today.
What do you think it is?
I will reveal all in a couple of hours.
Most amusing reply or direct hit wins the one that's still in its packaging!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Natures Menu on the big screen

In August, if you go to the cinema to see ‘Cats & Dogs 2 The Revenge of Kitty Galore’  I predict you'll see an advert for Orange that will remind you to switch your mobile off. You'll see lots of trailers for other animal related movies that won't be out for at least six months... but you'll also see an advert for dog food that unusually isn't from one of the handful of global companies making so many of our brands!
Natures Menu have taken the plunge and are taking their message to the big screen and then the small screen and we'd like to wish them well with it!
If you'd like a sneaky peak of the advert click here.... 
Good honest food.
Doesn't this Labrador look a bit like Trevor McDonald..? Or is it just me drinking too much coffee again! I'd say he should have gone to Specsavers though as those glasses are way too small! Do you know "Should have gone to Specsavers" is the most common caption competition entry we get in, regardless of the photo we use!

This is like pulling teeth!

This is the last call for captions for this photo...

We desperately need people with a good sense of humour to hurry up and enter our caption competition - we're judging it tomorrow and so far most of the entries would not even raise a smile from a lottery winner! It is the hardest picture ever so we need the most razor-sharp brains working on this! In fact just any entries would be good! I think people may be over-editing and just not sending them. You can use false names if you'd prefer - if you're ashamed of your efforts...! I fondly remember the days when we even had to censor our more racy entries, when reading them out caused total hysteria...

This month's crop - sigh!  I'll give you a pretty reasonable example from the small pile so you can see how low the bar is:

"Dolly hadn't had such a good laugh in donkey's years... "

Now that's not the worse, by a long way! You've got to be able to do better!
Winner gets a Clicker training kit and the runners up get a combined clicker/whistle.
Send your captions ASAP to :
The photo features Smith, a Whippet.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

And here's the good news at last...!

The RSPCA has just issued this statement:

“Following public concern expressed on this issue, the RSPCA has decided to suspend the use of the captive bolt as an approach to euthanasia on any dogs, pending a review.

“Although there is no new scientific evidence on this issue, we do understand that putting animals to sleep does upset many people, so we have also decided to put our policy forward to external consultation, including by vets and independent scientists.
“The RSPCA is sensitive to public opinion, and we hope that by doing this it will reassure people that we are as open and transparent as possible.”

And the link to our earlier coverage of this significant issue.... 

We've campaigned hard on this one, so this is a huge relief. 


Keep checking here for some good news!

I am bursting to tell you something!
But I can't - yet.
We were, I am told, the first to know and as yet the people at the sharp end don't all know - so that has to happen, so until then we've got to sit on our hands.
But I have a massive grin on my face and I want you to have one, too.
So please check back later when I will have been given the go ahead to spread the word!
This news has restored my faith in lots of things.
We can all make a real difference if we stick together.

Two Tailwaggers cases

Just wanted to direct you to the Tailwaggers blog where we have two new cases where extraordinary help is needed to solve them. We don't tell you when it's an average case, but anything that needs a really big push to solve we open up rather than just tell people we can't help.

One is a young dog who has lost his sight. A dog given a good home after his first owner couldn't cope, but being a pre-existing condition the new owner couldn't insure and is struggling to find the money to even have one eye operated on - and it's a time sensitive op.

The other is a Pet Passport cock-up compounding an already very stressful situation. The credit crunch made the family's business venture overseas collapse and they needed to return to Britain ASAP. Poor vet advice overseas meant the dogs' pet passports weren't valid and at border control the dogs had to go into unexpected and expensive quarantine. Stress has made one of the owners very poorly and this has made it really had for the couple to raise the funds to pay the bill as wife has become carer for her husband. Wonderful Home Counties Boxer Welfare has offered to advance the money so the dogs can get released on time, but in the meantime we need to raise some funds to pay this charity back!

Click here to read the stories and see the photos.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Your golden oldie deserves a muffin

Do you have a mature dog you'd like to honour?

Our Golden Oldies pages have a space waiting for your dog's story and photo! And each dog featured receives a freshly baked treat from Daisy's Dog Deli. The oldest dog on the page will win a turkey and rosemary bone-shaped cake and the others will receive a bacon and cheese muffin.

Satisfied Daisy's Dog Deli customers!

All you need to do us email with why your dog deserves to be treated - please attach a photo, include your dog's weight and breed or type. We use this information to calculate your dog's age in human years. Any dog being 100 or older in human years receives a telegram from the the Queen's Corgis. You can also post them to Older and Wiser, Dogs Today, The Dog House, 4 Bonseys Lane, Chobham, Surrey, Gu24 8JJ
Do hurry! We've got a space in the latest issue waiting for your dog's story.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Size zero Dachshunds

An anony-mouse poster inadvertently reminded me via comments on the Shar-Pei thread that we hadn't mentioned the size zero scandal in Dachshunds for quite a while. Seems that there's still a problem. There's a petition you can sign, here's the wording:

In January 2007, the UK Kennel Club agreed that the mandatory weighing of Miniature Dachshunds should cease "as soon as possible" - a decision taken to "remove the perception in the minds of many people that some dogs are deprived of food and/or water prior to competition, in order to meet the maximum weight requirement for Miniatures as outlined in the Dachshund breed standard." The Kennel Club also ruled that dogs could no longer be weighed at Crufts, its flagship show. However, it continued to allow the Dachshund breed clubs to weigh dogs at other shows.  As a result, some exhibitors continue to deprive their dogs of food and/or water prior and during competition. Some may also use laxatives, diuretics, thyroxin and even insert implements into the rectum to encourage dogs to defecate in order to keep them under the maximum weight of 11lbs (5kg). Despite many complaints to the Kennel Club, and considerable adverse publicity, the KC has continued to permit weighing at shows other than Crufts - unfortunately persuaded by influential members of some breed clubs who want to continue weighing. This petition is to ask the Kennel Club to ban the weighing at all KC-endorsed shows and we hope all those who care about the welfare of these little dogs will give us their support.

Please show your support of the above by signing and drawing this petition to the attention of others.

Click here for the link.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Still time to make us laugh...

Now this is a difficult photo, but let me point out some things to you... look closely at those teeth. Is Smith a pup who is teething? Or has he had an argument with a wasp?

Lovely prizes and so little time left. Email your best efforts to and you can enter as many times as you like!

I've started worrying that this photo should be the other way around - that the dog is actually lying on its side!

Come on, it's got to be worth an email....!

Best caption wins a Clix Training Kit from the Company of animals. Email your funniest captions to before the 10th June.

Cross question has been won already - with hardly any clues! Wow.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

I'm Phillip Schofield's worst nightmare

I've been having a bit of an odd day. It's half term and for me that means I'm only half with it. Working mums will know the feeling. You're not 100% working properly and your not 100% being Mum of the Year - so you've got double guilt.
On top of that, I had a really weird dream.
Last night I dreamed I was married to Phillip Schofield, the presenter of This Morning and Dancing on Ice etc.
He's never been on my radar as potential husband material or indeed fantasy material.
And the really weird thing about this dream, where you're meant to be able to do anything you like...
it was how terribly mudane it all was.
He was as he is on screen, really lovely, smiley, supportive - but I just couldn't help being totally irritated by him and letting it show. In my dream I was really horrible to him and he just kept smiling sweetly and putting up with me and being more and more obsequious.
So today I am feeling guilt for that, too!
Relatively normal service will be resumed tomorrow, depending on tonight's dream of course.
It'll probably Peter Andre's turn tonight. Ugh.
Wasn't it great to see Tina and Chandi winning last night on Britain's Got Talent? I heard someone suggesting Chandi is this year's Susan Boyle, still not sure who that offends the most!
On the mag we've known Chandi since she was pretty much a pup - so it was a shock to hear she was now 12 - gosh that's gone so quickly. What a brilliant partnership they are and what temperament to be able to cope with live TV. We've always loved having Tina and Chandi in the studio and no one is cheering them on louder than we are on our couch.
Wouldn't it be great if they could win the whole thing!
Now why couldn't I dream of that?