Tuesday, 29 November 2011

First ever steps on grass

This movie made me cry. These Beagles have only ever known life in a research lab. Yet look how trusting they are, how much they want to be someone's pet.
Dogs forgive so much.

Do you have a hard to place dog?

We've just decided to put some more dogs for adoption in the February edition, we've not got quite so much room this time, so hurry!

Here's what the pages look like in the soon to be published January edition....

Here's how to apply - and yes - this is completely free!

All you need to do is send me a hi-res image of any dog you want to feature and 100 words written as if by the dog themselves and the answers to the following questions...

1. Name of dog:
2. Type of dog and size if not obvious:
3. Approx age: (in years)
4. Sex:
5. Neutered?
6. Housetrained?
7. With other dogs?
8. With cats?
9. Good with young children?
10. Good with older children?
11. Location (County):
12. Contact details: (Web and phone)
13. Foster or forever home? 

Email me (beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) and put "Adopt me 2" in the subject please.

Monday, 28 November 2011

An historic day for Hounds for Heroes!

Page Three of the Daily Mail this morning and national ITV News this lunchtime and evening, what a momentous day for Hounds for Heroes.
Now that is what I call a launch...!
Cost - zero. 
Impact - meteoric.
Ever eloquant, Allen Parton did a great job and so did Carol Court...  but the stars of the piece clever EJ and the beautiful, clever puppies on parade.
Well done to the breeders and puppy parents and everyone who raised money, gave time and thought and sweat and tears.
Your great work created today - millions more people have heard of the charity tonight than knew this morning.
If by any chance you alight here via ITV News, please do buy some Hounds for Heroes Christmas cards - £2 a pack to the charity - not just a tiny percentage - see the link at the end.
And everyone you send a card to sees the name on the back and lovely little Juno in his jacket.
We are so very proud that we have Juno on our current cover and January (due out on December 8th) has the first five pups and our Fantastic Tim Rose photo that the Daily Mail loved so much they put on page 3... which made the rest of the media sit up and take notice!
Tim had the patience of a saint that day to get that shot - but it was worth every Nurofen he and I consumed. Little pups need you to do the work while they have fun - but we got there with a lot of help from photoshop and numerous cups of tea from the very understanding puppy walkers and trainers who let us do our thing! It was worth it, wasn't it!
A picture is worth a thousand words and page 3 of the Mail is gold dust.
February Dogs Today will have even more news of the charity and we'll be telling you how to get involved a a puppy walker or a fundraiser. This is such a wonderful charity and I know you all want to get behind it as it reminds the public how totally wonderful dogs can be, how a wagging tail can lift the spirit so much better than even the best chosen words. An d of course Allen writes for us every month as regular readers know! They've watched the charity be born.
I'm sure all Dogs Today readers will have watched the news tonight and have cheered Allen on.
Has there ever been a charity started by someone who was once a recipient of charity? Who has got their life back together to such a degree that they can pass the baton on to give other folk like him the sort of chance of a lifetime he had.
It's the stuff that dreams and Oscar winning feature films are made of....!
Kennel Cough vaccines mean the pups are resting up this week and can't do media - the ITV news was showing library footage shot a couple of weeks ago for local TV news. But the world has definitely awoken and is hungry for more.
Allen said to me today while exercising EJ, "It feels like it did when Endal was dog of the Millennium, there's that same media buzz."
I was so honoured and thrilled to be there in 1999 when the media madness started but I couldn't be more proud of Allen than I am today as this is quite a journey he's been on and there's still so much more to come!
Really is history in the making today.
Here's the link for the Xmas cards. Apologies for the advert, but it's for a VERY good cause!
Please do pass it on!

How does your dog's dinner smell?

Just starting to research a feature on how what your dog smells is different to what we smell. Is anyone aware of any research on this subject that sheds some light on what smells a dog finds attractive and why?
What's your dog's favourite smell and why?
Do some dogs have a better sense of smell than others? How about flat nosed dogs - can they smell at all? (My dogs got no nose...etc)
And how does smell and taste relate? I know they are very linked in humans - if we lose our sense of smell we often lose interest in food. What smells are the strongest?
What's your dogs favourite food and what does it smell like?
Anyone got a dog with a very sensitive nose? Our Oscar for example is incredibly fussy and will literally turn his nose up at anything out of the ordinary.
Tess almost has radar for any food left in a bin - even the tiniest smear on a piece of kitchen towel.
Does dog food that smells good to us smell good to dogs?


We may have some news on the real Fenton... watch this space.... but for now what we think is the best Fenton tribute movie so far...

Hounds for Heroes

Have you seen page three of the Daily Mail today? There's a fantastic article on Hounds for Heroes featuring this lovely photo (above)....

Tim Rose and I spent a very enjoyable morning working with these pups to get this shot, you have to work very fast with pups but I have to say they all look like proper little angels don't they! I had a cuddle with all of them and they are bright as buttons and full of character and potential. It's a hard life!
Can you spot which one is Juno - this month's cover dog? He's grown a bit, but he's still absolutely gorgeous.
If you'd like to support this new charity why not buy these special Hound for Heroes Christmas cards - £2 from each £5 pack of 10 goes to the charity - which is substantially more than most charity Christmas cards.

You can order online via this link  or phone the office Monday to Friday 9-5.30 on 01276 858880.
These large A5 Cards feature January's cover fantastic stars Bonnie and Boris. And the photo was again the best dog photographer in the world Tim Rose with a little bit of help from Kevin Brockbank. What a team!
Would you like to stock these cards in your shop or sell them at your event? Email me for more details beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

Friday, 25 November 2011

Not so Super Tiny Animals?

Here is a copy of the email I have just sent to the ITV press office:

I have already heard lots of people in the welfare world showing grave concern about the upcoming ITV programme about Super Tiny Animals (to be shown Wednesday, 30 November 2011 ITV, 7:30PM - 8:30PM) causing an upsurge in interest in handbag and very small dogs - especially as Christmas is coming. The early evening slot will mean lots of children will be watching the show.

Can I have a quote as to whether the subject will be handled responsibly - will there any reference made to the acquisition of 'handbag dogs' as being a really, really bad idea - or will it be shown as aspirational?

Dogs are an extremely inappropriate fashion accessory as unlike this season's shoes or scarf they can't be pushed to the back of the wardrobe when your idol changes their look. Dogs are sentient beings and should never be bought on impulse as they can easily live 15 years or more and have normal doggie needs and demands no matter how big or small.

The Handbag dog craze has put quite a burden on an already over-stretched rescue system. Britain now has 10.5 million dogs almost double the population of 40 years ago.

Dogs Trust recently went into partnership with Nintendo to make the point that the only dog in your handbag should be a Computer game and that dog ownership is a huge commitment - a message endorsed by the Saturdays. Last year a teenage boy bought a Pomeranian to go with his Christmas outfit and by the New Year his mother had brought the poor little thing into the Dogs Trust for rehoming. Rescue is already full to bursting before Christmas and the last thing we need is a load more people pestering for a handbag dog for Xmas.

Please can I have a statement from the programme makers to assure the animal welfare world that this documentary will not glorify 'handbag' dogs or encourage people to breed extremely small dogs - which in itself has serious health implications.

A copy of this email is on my blog and I would be grateful for a swift response as the rescue world is already beleaguered.

Yours sincerely

Beverley Cuddy
Editor & Publisher

Blue Cross have just issued this statement:

We have seen the number of 'handbag' dogs coming into the charity triple in the past five years so it is definitely something which seems to be a growing concern.

Julie Bedford, head of behaviour at The Blue Cross, said: “We hope that anyone watching the programme will realise you should never get an animal to follow a trend, or for the way it looks. Anyone considering taking on a pet should fully research the breed and its needs to make sure they can give it the happy and fulfilled life it deserves.

“We have seen first-hand the danger of fashion trends with the huge increase in unwanted 'handbag dogs' coming into The Blue Cross.  Dogs like chihuahuas and pomeranians are great pets but they need to be given the stimulation and exercise they need to keep them happy and healthy.  These are little dogs with big personalities and like any pet they must be taken on for the right reasons, not just as a fashion accessory." 

Dogs Trust have also been in touch with ITV and the kennel Club. 

As yet we have received no reponse from ITV.

The BVA have just sent this email, too... people are getting more and more concerned about this programme...

We are concerned that the forthcoming programme ‘Super Tiny Animals’ to be broadcast on Wednesday 30 November 7.30pm-8.30pm, which comes in the run-up to Christmas, might possibly have the potential to encourage people to buy pets such as ‘handbag’ dogs, micro-pigs or exotic species such as mini marmosets, without their giving full consideration to the huge responsibility and lifetime commitment that comes with pet ownership.

We note in the publicity for the programme that it seeks to find out whether the mini-pet industry is ‘a lucrative business or a cruel genetic mutation’.  Given that the programme is also billed as ‘probing and insightful’ we very much hope that sufficient emphasis will be given not only to the demands and difficulties of owning these mini-pets but to the serious welfare needs of these animals.

Sadly there is growing trend for people to buy animals as fashion accessories or status symbols and indeed it is all too easy to take on a pet without realising the responsibilities for the care and welfare of that animal.  Pets are not disposable commodities.  People must understand their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act and, with so many of our animal rescue and re-homing charities stretched to the limit of their resources, we share a responsibility to draw attention to the enormous responsibility and long-term commitment that comes with pet ownership.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


Helena Cotton
Media & International Affairs Officer
British Veterinary Association

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Have you seen Fenton? Or Benton? We're looking for him!

If you have not yet seen these films, sit down, turn up the volume and have a jolly good chuckle. But do keep reading as we do have a serious point to make.

And this now legendary clip inspired:

Who'd have thought that naughty dogs could travel this far....

And of course Walt Disney has to have a version:

Adding music works:

And some more background:

Are there any more? Do let me know!

But where is Fenton? Did he ever come back and were the deer okay?
We would love to find him and his owner as we have a very generous offer on the table. We'd like to offer them both a deer awareness course.
In the next issue we will have an article that should help anyone else out there with a dog like Fenton.

But if you do know Fenton, please tell him we're looking for him!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Let's put the world to rights...

I'm just starting writing an article and I'd welcome a lively debate on the subject to get me thinking outside the box!
It's my perception that there has never been more good dogs put to sleep.
But is my feeling correct?
Are you on the coal face of rescue?
Are you stretched to breaking point?
Why do you think that is?
I have my theories, but I want to hear yours.
I'd like to hear your thoughts as to the real size of the problem, is it even bigger than the statistics suggest? Dogs Trust say 20 dogs a day being PTS at the moment. Are there any other stats?
Why are we in this mess and crucially what you think would get us out of it?
A breeding amnesty has been suggested, would this help?
How about a breeding tax that put money back into rescue and dog wardens?
Or something else that makes breeding have a consequence like the Puppy Contract?
Is the UK dog population at its highest ever?
And is it just some breeds that have had a population explosion?
Has dog ownership of other breeds other than so called 'status' dogs really declined?
Tell me who you are - pet owner, breeder, rescue person and what you think.
Would really like to hear some alternative theories of how we tackle to the dog problem before I write my happy (!) new year article.
Do either email me beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk or post here or join us on Dogs Today facebook page.

A quick reaction to the first few posts.
If the explosion of Designer Dogs is the cause of the problem why isn't Battersea bursting at the seams with oodles of Doodles?

A further thought...
Many have commented about our throwaway buy-it-now society. But what do we think about people already on the breadline who take on a dog and then discover they cannot afford even the most basic vet bill? Is dog ownership a right or a luxury? Do you feel differently about people who have a change of circumstance after getting the dog?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Remember remember dogs lost on 5th of November

I've been asked to give this a push.

It is always dreadful when dogs go missing, but especially old dogs when it's cold and there's lots of nasty bangs. But this story has people all over the world willing Ruaridh (pronounced Rory) home... can you help, too?

Here's Rory's link on doglost.
Very distressed owner, Aileen is all alone as her partner is visiting his elderly parents in Australia while both her sons are serving in the army. Her sons dearly want to help - but their postings mean they can't get home. They can obviously do without this worry.
People from all over the world are lending a helping hand - maybe they can't just get up to Scotland and search, but they have and are helping with moral support and good ideas - please do join in. The more eyes looking and the more people talking about Rory the better his chances of coming home.
Rory went missing in Boath Park area of Nairn in the Highlands of Scotland on firework night.
He's an 11-year-old neutered male black Labrador cross with an elderly/silver face.
He has a big fatty lump on his right side but no ID as he slipped his collar with the tags on it.
He has a silver tummy due to going grey.
His name is Ruaridh (Rory) and is very friendly-especially with children and would come if called.
Ruaridh (Rory) isn’t chipped due to getting really stressed out at the Vets.
Aileen happened to mention Rory on MSE forum (money saving expert) and lots of people tried to rally round and help. Soon the word was spread far and wide including a Facebook group. With all these people helping we thought it wouldn’t be long before this old timer was found.
The local radio MFR (Moray Firth Radio) was bombarded with emails and after a while they did put an alert out. The local papers ran the story but still nothing.
There were a few possible sightings and these were checked out but by the time someone got there he had gone further a field.
Poor, poor Aileen. Poor Rory.
If you are in the Highlands please keep an eye out for him, or if you are on any forums - doggie or not - can you spread the word and offer moral support?
Rory's facebook page
MSC Forum

Friday, 4 November 2011

Have you been inspired by Allen and Endal?

I'm on the hunt for lovely Dogs Today readers who have been inspired by the Allen and Endal story - who have gone on to raise funds for Hounds for Heroes?
Has this story touched you?
What did you do to raise money?
Or what do you plan to do?
Can you tell me what was it was that particularly inspired you to help? When did you first hear about Allen and Endal?
I can't tell you too much about what this is all in aid of, but it's very, very exciting!
Can you email me beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk and put Hounds for Heroes in the subject.
It's not the amount of money raised that is particularly significant, it's your story as to how the story has inspired you and mobilized you into wanting to get involved.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A spot of brainstorming

I have been collating all the gorgeous dogs' stories that are looking for someone to love them via our special January adoption special and I was wondering would any companies like to get involved?
For example, I'd really like to reward people who choose to take on these dogs.
To somehow mark their generosity of spirit in welcoming a lost soul into their family rather than buying a pup.
Give them a pat on the back.
Or maybe give the rescue a pressie, too to help the next dog that takes the empty place?
What do you think?
Just thinking out loud.
How about some free training advice if it's a dog from a small rescue that doesn't have a behaviour hotline?
Maybe an offer to encourage more fostering? Fostering has been known to turn into a forever home as so many people will tell you!
Anyway, if you're feeling kind and you want to offer the first dog to be re-homed via the adoption special a present, or every dog - or a random dog that you can choose in advance... get in touch with me (beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) or Fred Cope (fred@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk) for imaginative ways to encourage people to consider adopting one of those very patient and hopeful dogs waiting for someone to love them.

Friday is the deadline for your rescue dogs please, we're putting as many in as possible but first come and first served... here's what you need to do.

If you know of a dog that needs a new home here's what you need to send to me:
  1. A good photo (ideally 300dpi and remember a picture is worth a thousand words, so take one that is in focus! And send as an attachment - not embedded in a document)
  2. Name of dog:
  3. Type of dog and size if not obvious:
  4. Approx age: (in years)
  5. Sex:
  6. Neutered?
  7. Housetrained?
  8. With other dogs?
  9. With cats?
  10. Good with young children?
  11. Good with older children?
  12. Location (County):
  13. Contact details: (Web and phone)
  14. Foster or forever home? 
Plus 100 words written in first person (ie as if the dog is looking for a new owner) - something that makes people think of this dog as an individual. Don't over sell - just make the dog seem real.

Please include a web and phone contact as not all of our readers are Internet savy.

Email your words and pictues to beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk
and put ADOPT ME in the subject line so I don't lose them.

We will include as many dogs looking for homes as possible, those coming with the correct word count and good photos will be chosen first above those with incomplete information, so please try to follow the instructions!

And yes - this is FREE!

Please do spread this opportunity far and wide. This Friday (morning) is the latest possible for entries and it is first come, first served.

Is your dog psychic? Want to be on TV?

Do you have stories or evidence that your dog may have psychic abilities – or some sort of sixth sense? 

Any dogs that know when their owners are coming home – or have predicted any events – or anything quirky or unusual that might suggest a dogs has unusual powers?

This is for a series on National Geographic called Wild Case Files.  

It investigates strange events in the animal world.

If you have a story... here is the chap...


Help stop the slow death of Japan's abandoned animals

Depressing news from Japan, this is taken from the Mayhew International website:

The situation in Japan is still in such turmoil and for the animals it just
keeps getting worse. The news does the situation no justice, they air
stories of rescues and only the occasional true glimpse into the hell that
the animals in the disaster area are going through.

In the 20km no-go zone around the nuclear reactors people were told they
could not take their animals with them but they would only be gone a couple
of days. It has been over a month, the animals were left inside houses,
tethered in yards and in the case of livestock left in small pens with only
a couple of days worth of food and water and no way to get more. Even with
ARK and a couple of other groups going around the barracades to reach these
animals tens if not hundreds of thousands of animals have died a slow death
of starvation and dehydration. This horrible scene is about to repeat.

With the threat of the evacuation zone being extended to 30km, at least one
other town is scheduled to be evacuated within a month and the authorities
have already told people they will not be able to take their pets with them.
We can not allow them to force people to leave their animals behind again.
We need the voices of everyone in the world concerned with animal welfare to
speak up and let the Japanese government know that this is unacceptable.

Please join us in pressuring the Japanese government to set aside housing
for pets to stay with their people. The Mayhew have prepared a petition, for people
and organisations to sign and send to the three people listed below. If you
could use your organisation's stamp or official letter paper to add to the
authenticity, it would have more effect. Please add comments if you like
too. Please could you post by express mail.

Mr. Ryu Matsumoto, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, 1-6-1 Nagata-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914

Mr. Yorihisa Matsuno, The Democratic Party of Japan, #240 House of
Representatives, 2-1-2 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8982

Mr. Kouriki Jojima, The Democratic Party of Japan, 2-27 Miyamoto-cho,
Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 210-0004

We are also working on getting property closer to the disaster area to house
animals and to use as a base of operation as our Osaka shelter is not only
too far away but also quite full with the animals we have already taken in.
We would like for this facility to become a place for all organisations
around the world that would like to help in this effort to work together to
rescue as many animals from this disaster as possible. If you would like to
join in this group please let us know.

Thank you in advance for your support, Elizabeth Oliver ARK, Animal Refuge Kansai - ARK

Here is the petition wording - please copy and print out:

P E T I T I O N date: ___ / ___/ ___

To: Mr. Ryu Matsumoto, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan 1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914
 Mr. Yorihisa Matsuno, Chairman, Democratic Party of Japan #240 House of Representatives, 2-1-2 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8982!
Mr. Koriki Jojima, Democratic Party of Japan2-27 Miyamoto-cho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 210-0004

Purpose of Petition

To request that, when housing is provided to victims of the earthquake and tsunami that
struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, measures be taken to allow cohabitation with their
companion animals (dogs, cats and other pets, henceforward referred to as PETS).
Reasons for Petition
1 Housing provided to earthquake victims by the national or local governments generally falls
into the following categories:
a) Evacuation centers;
b) Existing public housing, such as municipal and prefectural housing, or housing built for national public servants;
c) Temporary housing
d) Newly constructed public housing.
2 Meanwhile, it is stated in Article 4 of “Basic Principles of the Environment Ministry in its
Response to the Tohoku-Pacific Region Earthquake” published on March 16, 2011, that
“adequate support will be provided to ensure that pets in the
disaster area receive appropriate care so that people and their pets
can maintain good relations while living within the disaster area.”
For pets to be banned from evacuation centers, public housing and temporary housing,
forcing earthquake victims and their pets to live separately, would therefore be in direct violation of
this stated aim of the Environment Ministry.

 signed _______________________________