Friday, 5 August 2011

Me and my shadow...

I wrote a Tweet late last night and couldn't expand on it until I'd slept on it. 
I had received two emails, both with disturbing contents. 
They appear unconnected, but I can see a pattern.
One alerted me to the story in the Daily Mail about the Airedale Terrier breeders who had intended transporting 12 of their dogs - in the back of an ordinary removal lorry - along with their furniture from London to Doncaster on one of the hottest days of the year. 
The other one, I don't really want to talk about, because it's not very nice. That if I pretend it isn't happening it might go away. But the fact is, it doesn't go away. That I've tried that.
It's someone saying horrible things about me.
Not that it's someone I've ever met, or even someone that knows me even slightly.
I can take not being liked. What is the slight problem is this is a lot more than a whispering campaign.
It is this person's avowed intention to destroy me and everything I do. 
I know this is hard to believe, but one of the things he wants to do is wreck the Don't Cook Your Dog campaign.
What did I do to this man to make him like this, I hear you ask?
It's usually only matters of the heart that generates this much heat, but this is someone I have never even met - although (somewhat alarmingly) he claims we have.
What is it that caused him to waste so much of his time plotting my downfall? 
I uttered five small words, "Pedigree dogs are falling apart," in a certain documentary that aired in 2008. 
It's a moot point that I was right, obviously. 
That we've had no end of reforms ever since.
That it was a heartfelt statement - that I was genuinely worried and that I had been saying much the same thing for the past 25 years of my life.
But my nemesis wants me punished for uttering that phrase which apparently - his reasoning - is why people now buy crossbreeds and why we have so many puppy farms. 
(If we go with his logic, I'm probably also the reason why the whole world is having economic problems, I'm probably responsible for all the increased seismic activity too - and Andy Murray not winning Wimbledon.)
Several major scientific reviews that followed did happen to agree with me, but lucky Professor Bateman isn't being stalked by a man trying to ruin him... just me.
I feel like I have my own personal Professor Moriarty. 
But unlike the BBC Sherlock Holmes remake there are already far too many episodes in this drama.
Do I really hate pedigree dogs as this man continually insists?
Well what do you think? Would I have spent 20 years editing a magazine about dogs - most of them pedigree - if I hated them?
I've spent most of my life trying to protect them. I share my life with a Beardie and a Springer. 
I couldn't love pedigree dogs more if I tried and I care enough to say what needs saying and I have sometimes put my head above the parapet - although I have to say what is going on at the moment is unreasonable. We're straying into areas that Amnesty International would have a view on! This guy is not just getting personal, he's getting creepy weird.
I digress, these two stories are linked, I'll get back to the point.
It's about bravery and clarity. About choosing to make a diffence or just hoping the problem goes away on its own.
When the neighbours saw those Airedales being loaded into that lorry many of of them must have thought to themselves, "that's not right!" 
But it took one of them to actually intervene. One of them to stop being merely an observer of a disaster. 
One deciding to become part of the solution. 
It would have taken a modicum of backbone to intervene.
Everyday in car parks, wonderful people who support the Don't Cook Your Dog campaign swallow hard and engage with people about to leave their dogs in hot cars. 
They don't usually get much thanks, but they can sleep at nights knowing they did the right thing.
Everyone in the world has a perfect right to an opinion and I have no problem at all with people not agreeing with me.
Where it goes wrong is when someone becomes so obsessed with a tiny detail that they lose the plot.
We're running a really significant campaign here to save the lives of dogs - a cause that has united every little bit of the dog world apart from this little group on facebook. 
This guy is still stuck in 2008 and he isn't moving on. It's as if I said something on that day that only he heard.
I am now the personification of all evil and that no blow is too low to fell me.
When someone stops being rational or constructive those around them have some choices. They can either step away and pretend it isn't happening or they can intervene and try to show that person that perhaps they're going too far.
That perhaps plotting to destroy someone for saying five little words you didn't agree with is not an entirely reasonable plan. 
Those neighbours of the Airedale breeders obviously had that moment of ephinay and decided to have an intervention.
There must be some reasonable people around my Moriaty, surely. From the evidence I have been sent there are instead some people telling him he is right. Wanting him to throw more and bigger stones at me.
That's not nice. 
There are many more people watching silently who surely are squirming and feeling guilty. Some of them do actually know me and I am incredibly disappointed in them.
I know it's hard to be the first to stand up and say when something isn't right. 
It is always so much easier to draw the curtains or cross the road.
I know that not everyone has what it takes to stand up to bullies. 
I admit, I'd love not to have this layer of irritation in my life.
But I'm hoping for a glimmer, that just like the good people in our campaign who every day put themselves out to moderate dangerous behaviour, or those neighbours who stopped those Airedales from a hellish journey - that if this guy seriously attempts to harm me or my business or this campaign that some decent person will attempt to stop him.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe this person is going to such lengths after your pectectly valid remark regarding pedigree dogs ( I agree, I also happen to own a pedigree dog- golden retriever) keep blogging, keep making people aware. It stuns me how inconsiderate some dog owners are when it comes to the welfare of their dogs.

Huskymomma said...

totally disgusting, Dont let him ruin the campaign. Stand with your head held high and tha knowledge you are trying to do whats right for dogs. You are giving them a voice when they have none. For that you should be proud.

Anonymous said...

Just one voice, his is just one voice, his view. Best to ignore him and keep your energy focussed on the dont cook dogs campaign. Remember all the supporters you have ?

Anonymous said...

Another nutter, you do seem to attract them lol. He obviously cant handle the truth, maybe its effecting his profits?? Im with you as Im sure are thousands of others. He cant ruin the DCYD campaign - its already a roaring success. Keep up the great work and speak the truth for those that cant do it for themselves x

Complete Canine Care said...

How sad that some people have such small lives that they feel the need to victimise someone whose aim is clearly and only to improve the welfare of mans best friend, and hopefully bring about a time when man is the dog's best friend in return.
I've been blowing the closed gene pool trumpet for most of my life and it is heartbreaking to describe the disease and discomfort we as a society put our dogs through only to hear 'but they're so cute' etc. When the BBC programme aired I had people phoning up and telling me all the stuff I'd been telling them ad if I didn't know! Infuriating but at least it got something done and, in my opinion, everyone involved should not just be free from persecution but also be knighted for services to animal welfare, and anyone who has been involved in, or still is, breeding dogs for fashion and form in priority to function should keep their mouths shut and hang their heads low.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of your haters realise that many of your supporters, myself included, actually own a pedigree dog.

I think that some of these people are so set in their ways, that they can not understand that actually their dogs have some serious problems and that we want those dogs to never have those problems again or at least not as common as they are now.

It's sad how low some of them will stoop.

Sabby said...

Keep doing what you are doing. The program opened many people’s eyes. There are still some people stuck in the dark ages. I got nothing against pedigree dogs, I got three. One of them is only 4 has had luxating patellar, disk problems and a heart murmer. Not hard to guess what breed? And the campaign not to leave your dog in the car is great. It’s sad that we need such campaign.

alfmcmalf said...

Even hard core show people will struggle to support these breeders. Those poor poor dogs. The support you have Beverley is strong and stretches right across all the canine interest groups. Even the crates were too small, let alone the appalling choice of transport. Bravo those neighbours that took action.

....and please please tell me these so called accredited breeders are NOT moving to Yorkshire! As if this county hasn't got enough problems as it is.


Alex Wilson / Xtra Dog said...

Why do people need to railroad the great work you and Dogs Today do? You edit a fantastic magazine that dog people like us look forward to reading and advertising in. I have a magazine background and in my opinion, as the editor you have the right to yours or your magazine's opinions, reader don't have to agree, but that's what makes for good journalism and debate. The press often have to ask difficult questions - As for Don't Cook the Dog campaign it's fantastic and here at Xtra Dog we display a Don't Cook the Dog poster at every event we atend and it will be in our new brochure that will be printed soon. Keep up the good work Beverley.

Anonymous said...

You and Jemima can hold your heads up high. I joined the Stop the BBC making PDE2 Facebook page just to see what was being said. The low level of personal abuse and hate mail is just appalling. Much of what they claim is pure fabrication. I know that neither you nor Jemima hate all pedigree dogs, that both of you love dogs , whether pedigree or not. That PDE wasnt in any way anti pedigree dog breeding, only exposing some of the worst practices by a minority of breeders in a few breeds. I breed pedigree dogs, healthy functional dogs, some of which are shown, and I never felt that PDE was aimed at me or other responsible breeders of pedigree dogs. Jemima has met some of my dogs (at Crufts) and we got on just fine. Like many other breeders of pedigree dogs, I support both of you fully in what you are doing - working for a better future for all dogs, with papers or without
Dont let them get to you!
I dont normally post anywhere anonymously , but prefer not to be subjected to the kind of hate campaign these people are involved in

Anonymous said...

Beverley, you are not the first to suffer at the hands of this man's hate campaigns and you wont be the last. He spends his entire existence making false accusations about people which he can never prove. He's just another insignificant individual with delusions of grandeur who hides behind his PC and attempts to make everybody else's life a misery. Just ignore him. Eventually his small band of followers will wake up and smell the coffee. This hate campaign will fizzle out the same as every other one he has attempted to get off the ground, as will the one about Jemima Harrison.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to look at the band of followers this man claims to have. Firstly it includes few well known names in dog showing, just a lot of also rans and people on the fringes , people who are not very intelligent and dont really know a lot about breeding at top levels. Secondly a lot of people who didnt subscribe themselves to his pages, but were added on by his followers. Thirdly those kind of pages attract a lot of voyeurs, people who dont actually sling mud themselves but enjoy watching other people doing it
Cyberstalking is an offence. There is a National Centre for Cyberstalking Research, and also a Support Network for people who feel they are victims of cyberstalking. People who do cyberstalking can be prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act 1998, although the law still needs to be tightened up further
I really feel for you and Jemima. I was the victim of a cyberstalker in the early days of the internet, somebody who I later realised suffered from a mental illness , and who appeared to be on the internet all around the clock, a person with an obsession and an addiction. I did get help and advice from the police, but it was hard not to get sucked into reacting, defending myself against bizarre allegations and trying to reason with the sick person. Allowing them to get to you takes up time and energy which can be put to so much better use

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you will not allow people the right to reply.

You remove all posts that disagree with you opinion.

You have insulted pedigree dog breeders at every possible opportunity.

I have to take it personally as a dog breeder who also shows. I am not a demon! I am an ordinary person who happens to love a certain breed of dog, taking pleasure in sharing my life with them. I would do nothing that would damage my wonderful breed, why would I?

A suggestion:
Maybe if you were more balanced in you writing, blogging etc., people would be more inclined to listen to what you have to say. As uou are alienating the very people who might listen to a more reasoned argument. I understand that controversy sells more paper than reasoned debate but at what cost.

I love dogs, all breeds and their crosses, as I a sure you do. I feel our focus should be on the puppy farmers and the people who cross allsorts without any concern for their offspring.

I am a member of the site you seem to hate so much, I joined because I feel I do not have a voice anywhere else. Jemima Harrison cannot be allowed to voice such one sided opinions without any redress! All I ask for is BALANCE.

Thank you for listening.

Laure-Anne said...

OMG. Good luck to you. That all sounds so stressful. I've heard of really nasty stories about professional breeders. I was talking to someone who works with dog cancer and stats, and whenever my contact utters a link between a particular breed and cancer, she practically gets death threats!!!

I had no idea about the sinister side of dog breeding, but am discovering it more and more.

My thoughts are with you, hey. Must be really horrid.

Elmo Bear said...

This could only be one person. The trouble is with disorders of this type is that the recommendation is treatment not incarceration so he would still be left to harass you.

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 should give you some solace. Take some legal advice and serve an injunction - the law is the only language this type of tin pot bully understands.

As he is a member of the BNP, maybe some publicity around his membership would ward him off.. don't know how many of those who "support" him know of his membership?

By the way, Moriarty was clever and cunning not a loud mouthed fascist so please don't give him so much credit.

LT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lets face it. The man is a sandwich short of a picnic.

Anonymous said...

This is on-line bullying and should not be allowed. Beverly you are so right with all you say and do and print (mostly!! don't know about that American fella and his pro docking views tho !)Seriously, it is horrible but most people agree with you and Jemima. Keep up the wonderful, sensible work.

janet f said...

I'm not sure where this campaign against you is going on but I find it really sad that pedigree dog people behave this way. I was involved in showing for the best part of 20 years, in that time bred two litters and made up a champion. I now show rarely and would not breed again. One of the reasons is the refusal of too many show people (though not all by any means) to see the bigger picture and to acknowledge problems in breeds (my own included). Loving pedigree dogs means wanting to ensure they remain healthy and able to perform the function they are meant for. It is not about sticking your head in the sand and pretending all is well when it isn't.

Beverley - you have spoken up *for* dogs plain and simple - if breeders choose to interpret that as speaking *against* them then maybe they need to look again at their priorities? If it is the dogs' health and well being then we are all on the same side surely? If it is something else - maybe not.

As for trying to wreck this campaign - says a lot about how little he really cares about dog welfare -and how much he overestimates the extent of his influence! :)

In the pink said...

I know Mike and I believe that you now have to consult the police. You cannot go on like this. He is bullying and harassing you.Mike - if you are reading this you must stop this ridiculous campaign. You are making yourself look like someone who is a complete nutcase and very very horrible.

Firey Diva said...

Beverley, you really must get the police involved. He may be a spiteful, mentally disturbed low life, but if he's utterly obsessed, he may also be dangerous. Don't risk your safety, your family's safety or your dogs' safety. Get the police involved.


Anonymous said...

I see you and Miss Harrison, are both playing the victim card at the moment, not sure if the rest of the media will swallow it again, perhaps you had face your own shortfalls.

biskieboo said...

Bullies end up sad and lonely. Truth will always out in the end. Keep up the good work, really looking forward to Pedigree Dogs exposed no 2.

Anonymous said...

Thank god that there are people like you and Jemima to take a stand against some dog breeders who are more interested in showing their dog in breed shows than breeding dogs that are fit for living healthy pain free lives.

Obviously not all breeders of pedigree dogs are like this, but some of these cyber bullies would have the world believe that you have said that they are. Personally I have always found that people who know they are in the wrong are the ones to become the most aggressive, especially when they can dash off this rubbish without being face to face with their victim.

Unfortunately it is not just some of the breed ring lot that hide their heads in the sand, as I have found out to my emotional cost.

I had two beautiful golden retrievers from a breeder of obedience goldens. The parents had all the 'right' health checks in place, but unfortunately there was hidden from view cancer and auto-immune disease within the breeding, which I found out to my and my beautiful dogs cost. The litter sister of my first boy died from Leukaemia and a year later my own boy succombed to this disease, after a very short but aggressive illness. Within months of this happening the first signs of a rare form of skin cancer were appearing on my other dog. He died a few months later from skin cancer and lymphoma. Both these dogs were healthy and well cared for animals before this happened.

A friend had three dogs from this breeder, all developed auto-immune disease, the last one to be diagnosed, according to the vet was definately suffering from a genetic form of this. The breeder mated the litter sister shortly after being told this news. How can this be responsible breeding?

Since then one of these three dogs belonging to my friend has also died from cancer.

I am at a loss to understand how anybody that loves dogs whether they are crossbred - and lets face it that is how all pedigree dogs came about, or the pedigree dog today.

The kennel clubs around the world need to revise the 'blueprint' for so many breeds, then perhaps breeders will breed dogs that are not only good looking, but fit to live a healthy life.


Anonymous said...

Beverley, my advice is to just ignore the emails/ People like this thrive on the replies. Don't feed the troll - that is all he is - a troll to be ignored. You have done a fantastic job of highlighting the dangers of leaving dogs in cars. I sincerely take my hat off to you. Anybody with a modicum of common sense realises that you (and JH) do what you do because of a love for dogs - not because you hate them... You cannot speak common sense to trolls because they simply don't speak our language. xxx

Anonymous said...

you dish it out but cant take it then!!

Tulip said...

I have owned many pedigree dogs with no problems until I purchased Flora last year. Flora a WHW Terrier was purchased for £600 from a very well known Boxer breeder. I have a Boxer from another breeder. I thought that they would know all about testing so when I asked if she had been tested for any genetic disorders they looked totally shocked and said Westies weren't prone to any. Flora turned out to have Lion Jaw at the base of her skull and von Perthes' disease. She is now 14 months old and is doing fine. I have cried over some of the pain she has endured which is so evident in her eyes and she has been on pain killers until a few weeks ago. She is a product of a repeat mating so there must be other Westies out there like her. She has been spayed. What she had to endure is needless suffering if only breeders thought less about profit and more about the welfare of their animals. Please please please keep highlighting the problem.

Anonymous said...

Keep highlighting the problems your educating people and helping many dogs and that is what counts.

As for those that have been doing this. Publish and out them for the idiots they are then do not give them another single thought.

Anonymous said...

I have crossed swords with Beverly in the past, over the very subject of PDE and am a consistent defender of (certain) show breeders, breeding practices and breeds.

So you would think I might have joined the campaign to prevent a second programme being made? NO WAY!! I would not wish to have any association with the kind of remarks which are being made or those that have made them. This does the world which they are aiming to defend no good at all, completely the reverse in fact. Not all who have issues with PDE agree with this group. The 'Don't Cook your Dog' campaign is fantastic. Please don't let a small, nasty minority of people spoil somthing so positive, nor believe they are representitive of all of us who (proudly) breed and show.

In the past, I have stood up as a lone voice for what I believed was right and it was very, very difficult. Not entirely accurate but I think there is a saying "All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to say nothing".

Matron said...

A fantastic campaign Beverley, and don't you let anyone talk you out of it! You are a shining beacon... and your dogs think so too!

Divine said...

bravo, you received your desired response from this post (ie accolades and support from you *fans*)

but really, how can you honestly expect people to defend you when you turned your back on poor anita? i guess it wasn't pc for you to say ''wait a minute, this is all getting a bit silly.....'' :(

Beverley Cuddy said...

Re: the last somewhat peculiar comment. Anita is presumably Anita Bax, the lovely lady who grooms Oscar and who has been a good friend for many years. For those who don't know what this comment is meant to relate to, several month's ago we carried an article by Jemima Harrison on dog's whiskers and I for one found it fascinating. I had no idea how brilliant dogs' whiskers are - it was a fascinating article and it made me realise that they had a real purpose. I touched Tess's whiskers and noticed how she closed her eyes - what a clever way to protect their vision. And when a dog gets older those whiskers can really give a dog confidence if their sight is failing. If I had a trimmed breed I would remember that article and try to leave my dog's whiskers intact in old age. And if possible try to keep them on generally as I now I knew they had a purpose and were deeply rooted and very sensitive indeed. The article appeared without a letter of complaint or even mild irritation. The Sunday Times read the article and thought it fascinating too. Looking for a story for that weekend decided to use the article as the basis for their piece. They leant very heavilly on it as a starting point but did their own quotes! They also phoned me for a phone number of anyone who might be able to defend trimming off whiskers. As I had talked to Anita on one of my bi-weekly visits with Oscar and knew already she thought that there was no problem with trimming off whiskers and she'd be happy to put the other side of the case - in fact would welcome the opportunity. I gave the ST journo Anita's mobile and thought that would be the end of the story. Anita was very happy to be quoted and we even sourced a photo of Anita grooming a dog for the Sunday Times. When the paper came out though - as well as them completely failing to mention where they had got their story idea from or quoting Jemima - they had managed to very badly misquote Anita and change her words from trim - to pluck! Anita certainly doesn't pluck whiskers and she was understandably VERY upset with the Sunday Times and has reached a settlement with them that includes adverts in lots of publications correcting their error. Now this was VERY definitely their mistake. So not sure what you mean about me standing up for Anita...

Anonymous said...

I think it is time you got some professional and legal help Beverley. First that woman with the other magazine berating you and now this. You are after all doing your job, as well as standing up for your beliefs. No one has the right or the reason to threaten or intimidate you and that law should be invoked and intervene on your behalf. There is a unit within the police that deals with this sort of thing.
Good luck in all that you do. Love the magazine - you are amazing and the dog world needs you whether the canines are mongrel, cross-breeds or pedigrees. Your work for their welfare is tireless.

Amanda Splash said...

Hopefully all everyones hard work will mean that in future both dog trainers and production companies will think twice about undertaking television shows advocating dominance based training.