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.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Could your dream be our dream?

We want someone to be part of a small team (two people) selling the advertising and sponsorship for our magazine Dogs Today. Could it be you? Could it be someone you know?

You’d be talking to existing advertisers, following up new leads and researching your own, too. You need to be persistent, organised and likeable as these are the same advertisers we’ve had for 20 years – so you need to build on and maintain relationships! You need to be reflective of the magazine when you talk to people and be passionate about dogs and what we do – so please do check us out before you apply to make sure you have empathy with the title.

To be good at this job you also need to be a good listener as you need to get to know the advertisers so you can advise them how best to interact with the title. 

Some of the people you deal with will be one-man bands following their dream, too and starting their own doggie businesses.

Some will be agents for some of the biggest multi-national businesses in the world. No two days will be the same, but you’ll need to be calling someone up and making the calls and not just waiting for the phone to ring. 

Advertising and editorial are in the same small building and everyone is hands on, we all answer the phone, make the tea etc (well that’s a lie as I don’t answer the phone hardly ever and I drink more tea than anyone... But apart from me, everyone is very good at putting the kettle on... Well some better than others, but no one is ever asked to make the tea if they don’t want to!).

It is a small company with very big ideas – check out our current campaign about dogs dying in hot cars, we’ve been doing stuff like this for the last 20 years.

We are ethical and caring but we need to be profitable in order to exist – and that means we need a brilliant ad sales team as well as a fantastic editorial dept. We have recently launched on iPad (one of the first dog mags in the world on that format) and our latest campaign is global, so there’s a world of opportunities opening up too with lots of new people discovering a mag that reflects their passion. 

Our office is in very leafy Surrey – we’re on the edge of a common and the outskirts of Chobham village – so you need to drive and have a car to get here. This is an office-based position and the hours are 9am to 5.30pm. We want you to be part of the team and to work closely with editorial. Some of our staff work remotely, but we need our ad personnel on site.

Bringing a dog to work is a privilege but dogs have to fit in with the existing office dogs and the office routine, so it is not an automatic right - but it is certainly much more likely than on a cat mag!

We are saying goodbye to a senior ad sales person and we need someone who already knows not only how to sell but how to organise their time and motivate themselves as they will be set targets but will not be micro-managed.

We work on Macs.
Is there anything else you need to know? Email me!

I hope this give you some idea of the job and that it is interesting enough for your to want to apply. Please tell me why this is your dream job and what you’ll bring to it. This is my dream job and I’d love to find someone for whom this vacancy will be their’s too – I’ve been the Publisher and Editor of this magazine for 20 years and time has flown by, but if you’ve done your research you already know that!
Best wishes
Beverley Cuddy, Publisher And Editor

Please email