It's been another busy week in the dog world, and to make sure you're
up to date listen to The Dog News Show's latest podcast in which TV's
Debbie Connolly and radio's Julie Hill discuss the latest stories.
All dissected and served up with a healthy portion of honesty
and generously garnished with humour.
The first story is the sad tale of Tia, the dog whose owner
told her to bite a shop assistant. While owner Jessiah Johnson received
a suspended custodial sentence, Tia has been condemned to death. Now,
there is confusion around who owns the dog, and so there is no chance
for an appeal. But is it right for a dog to suffer for a handler's
actions? To read the full story click here.
What do you think of the innovative scheme at the
Ivins Animal Shelter in Ivins, Utah, where rescue dogs are
taken for hikes around the Red Mountain Resort by tourists? Does this
provide much needed entertainment for dogs stuck in rescue, or does it
put dogs unneccessarily at risk? And do you think the decision to adopt
a dog after taking a walk with it is a considered one?
Would you buy a treat for your dog that was called Roast
Postman's Leg? Well such a treat does exist - please note
that it does not contain any real postman - and the Communication
Workers Union is not happy about it. It's certainly no laughing matter
that over 26,000 postal workers have been attacked by dogs since 2008,
but is this bone treat just a bit of fun, or does it encourage an
irresponsible attitude? And where does the responsibility lie for
ensuring our posties stay safe?
Julie's found some more research to provoke Debbie with, so just what
opinions will emerge when they discuss the recent study by the
University of California San Diego, that dogs
do feel jealousy? To read the original research
Do you think dogs can feel envy, or do you think we are guilty of
projecting human emotions onto our four legged friends?
Debbie tackles the disturbing story of
Stephen Potts, who was mauled in the street by two of his own
dogs. This was by all accounts a severe attack, with bystanders trying
to get the dogs off, and resulted in Potts' arm being amputated.
Allegedly the dogs were startled by fireworks, but is that a
satisfactory explanation for such a serious incident? Potts is
apparently a dog breeder, which leads to the question of regulating
breeders - and owners.
To close the show with a smile, Schmaltz Corner features the story of
Henry, the Border Terrier who got lost down a rabbit hole. His owner
called in the fire brigade, but after searching for more than three
days, Henry was proving elusive. Listen to hear the solution his owner
came up with - and to find out whether Julie's story gets "stomped" on
by Debbie yet again.
The relaunch of The Dog News Show is a special episode about
the tragic arson fire at Manchester
and Cheshire Dogs Home. This horror, apparently committed by
a 15 year old boy has captured the attention
of the UK. Currently standing at almost £2 million, the
donations fund has received contributions from celebrities too. Simon
Cowell has donated a holiday break for the two men hailed as
heroes for seeing the fire and saving 20 dogs.
The appalling cruelty of dogs burned alive, some still
receiving veterinary care has understandably created a unique
response, showing the good nature of UK animal lovers. Sadly up
to 60 dogs died in the fire.
Social media has driven a Just Giving Fund,
the legitimate ones are run by the home and by Manchester
News, who ran the first story. This has also attracted
criticism with comments about how this pound doesn't home check,
neuter or vaccinated the dogs sold after their 7 legal days as
strays are up. Other rescues appear to have criticised such a
large fund and Debbie Connolly talks about what motivates some
people to want to adopt and help from miles away whilst dogs on
their own doorsteps die.
Julie Hill discusses an article pointing out the bigger
picture of this crime. The many dogs dumped that create the need
for dog pounds, using an article
by Ally Fogg to illustrate this. The show ends with the
traditional schmatlz corner story, Julie Hill has chosen the
story of the Bichon
Frise reunited with its family after they feared her dead in
the fire, whilst Debbie Connolly reminds people that had the dog
been chipped and/or tagged, it would have gone home and not needed
to be in the pound at all.
Crufts 2014 special from The Dog News Show - the podcast where Debbie
Connolly and Julie Hill discuss the latest dog news stories, exchanging
strong opinions, often with more than a pinch of humour. In this show
you can hear excerpts of the interviews the team did at Crufts, and all
the full length interviews are also on the website.
up in the is show is an interview with Stephen Jenkinson who is the
Kennel Club's Access Advisor. Debbie talked to him about what his job
entails, and how he works with dog owners and land owners to make sure
that dogs can be walked with no danger to them, or to the environments
they are visiting. He brings up some strategies that can be employed to
help, and you can find more information on this page - New approaches to
managing dogs in the countryside.
Julie talks to Dr Claire Guest, founder and head trainer at Medical
Detection Dogs about the work her amazing dogs do working with partners
with a range of conditions. Claire also spills the beans on some
exciting news for the charity, who recently did a demonstration in
front of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The royal
couple have been so moved by the charity's work that the Duchess is now
their patron. Find out more at the Medical Detection
no secret that Debbie is a big fan of police dogs - not to mention
police dog handlers - and her second interview in this show is with
Dave Hibbert who is not only a puppy socialiser, but has founded the Retired WM Police Dog
Benevolent Fund to care for police dogs when they stop
working. This is a cause close to Debbie's heart, as she runs Bravo
Working Dog Rescue, so hear two experts talk about the
retirement care needed for dogs who make our lives safer in so many
feeding is a hot topic in the dog world, so Julie caught up with
enthusiastic raw feeder Judith Broug to talk about her Facebook group Rawfeeding
Rebels. Judith is a total convert to raw feeding, and she not
only feeds her three dogs a raw food diet, she seeks to spread the
benefits to other dog owners. However, Judith doesn't appreciate
over-zealous attempts to persuade owners to adopt a raw approach, and
the Rawfeeding Rebels group is strictly non-judgmental and welcoming.
Hear a very interesting take on the subject of raw feeding in this
gets all Girl Power when she talks to Police Officer Sue Cheek about
her work with her police dogs Beau and King. Sue has been named the
Handler of the Year, and she and her canine partner have been
in situations where they've been shot at and had petrol bombs thrown at
them. Police dogs are often in the front line of the fight against
crime, and they deserve our gratitude, as do the incredible officers
who handle them. Sue was at Crufts taking part in displays in
the main arena, where she and King wowed the crowds.
And finally we come to Schmaltz Corner - the bit you've been waiting
for! Julie talked to Steven Courtney about his Cocker Spaniel Molls who
was trained for him by Medical Detection Dogs. Molls alerts to Steven's
blood sugar levels which are affected by his aggressive and
unpredictable diabetes, allowing him to participate in activities which
were previous impossible, and giving his parents piece of mind. The
partnership were one of the nominees in the Kennel Club's Friends
for Life competition. Will Debbie be able to find something
to stomp all over this story about? Listen and find out.
If you like news and you love dogs, this is the podcast for you. Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill discuss their pick of the dog related news stories of the week - the good, the bad, and the downright mad in some cases. If you'd like to comment on anything you hear in the show or suggest a story for inclusion, get in touch with us or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.
Kicking the show off, Debbie has a story of a worrying Parvo outbreak in Wales. There have been suggestions from The Abandoned Animals Association in Denbighshire that it may be the cost of vaccinations that is putting people off - but surely that's one of the costs that should be taken into account before getting a dog? Vaccination is a complicated issue, and the discussion ranges over the fact that you don't really want to over-vaccinate your dog, but neither do you want to leave him unprotected. Then again if you believe everything you read on Facebook you may not even know what vaccinations are all about anyway - the debate rages!
Meanwhile dogs down under seem to benefiting from the change over in Australia from an analog television signal to a digital one. Julie has the story of how the lack of image flicker in the new digital pictures means dogs are more likely to be able to make sense of the television they are seeing. Dogs are reacting to television shows that depict dogs and other animals, although they don't seem to react so much to people on the screen. Does your dog react to the TV - and does his reaction shape your viewing choices?
According to the Kennel Club society is becoming less tolerant of dogs and creating dog ghettos by banning them from so many locations and only allowing them into a few. More dog control orders restrict where we can take our four-legged-friends, but what can we do about it, and - more to the point - is it the fault of those irresponsible owners who neither train nor clean up after their dogs?
What do you think of the latest Internet craze, which originated in China, of dogs in pantyhose - that's tights to us Brits! In this blog post Julie Hecht expresses her concerns about the fad, and neither Julie nor Debbie understand the motivation of owners who put tights on their dogs. There's absolutely no benefit to the dog, and in fact it may stop them toileting - or even moving. Is it the thin end of this unsavory wedge when we dress our dogs, or hunmanise them for comic effect in You Tube videos, or is it a harmless pastime? One thing's for sure; dogs in tights do not get The Dog News Show approval.
Back to Australia for the penultimate story, which is about a scheme pairing up rescue dogs with prison inmates to give the dogs a better shot at a forever home, and rehabilitate the prisoners. Do you approve of this kind of arrangement? - is it an effective way to get criminals back on the road to going straight, or is it just too pleasant when prison should be a punishment?
It's been a very downbeat dog news week, but there's a Schmaltz Corner to cheer you up with the story of a deaf Pit Bull who found and lost then found a home, and the patient foster mother who was there to pick up the pieces. Without a tireless army of devoted rescuers and fosterers where would we be? If you need help with a deaf dog, in the UK visit the Deaf Dog Network website, and in USA visit the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund website.
If you're looking for a weekly dose of dog flavoured news, look no further then The Dog News Show, the podcast in which Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill present their pick of the dog related headlines, and discuss them with honesty and not infrequent humour. If you'd like to comment on anything you hear in the show, or suggest stories to be included, do get in touch with the show.
Debbie starts this show off with the news that professional dog walkers in London will have to abide by new rules from the end of April. They will need a £300 licence to access the royal parks, a £100 licence for each vehicle they wish to park in the same parks, only be able to walk up to 4 dogs simultaneously, and have to wear an arm band identifying them as a dog walker amongst other conditions. Are these new measure fair? Will they help keep dogs safe?
Julie has a story of sniffer dogs having to be retrained in the USA after several states have decriminalised marijuana, so no longer need the dogs to detect it and alert their handlers. It's an interesting process, retraining a sniffer dog to react to different substances, and working dogs not only go through a thorough training, they are re-evaluated regularly. Some dogs are being retrained to sniff out wildlife or wildlife parts, like rhino horns and ivory that criminals attempt to smuggle into the country. If you'd like to find out more about how working dogs enhance our lives and make our working and leisure locations safe, visit the Bravo Working Dog Rescue website. Bravo helps retiring working dogs by offering rehabilitation and rehoming, as well as finding working roles for dogs who are struggling to fit into pet life.
You may find it difficult to believe this next story is not an April Fool, but apparently visitors to an Argentinian market were fooled into thinking they were buying dogs, when they were actually buying steroid fed ferrets. One woman thought she was buying a Chihuahua, while a man was under the impression he had purchased a Poodle, and was only disillusioned when he took his new "dog" to the vet. Some posters on social networks have commented that they want one of these new steroid-ferrets, but does this incident show just how low we have sunk as a species that we are willing to exploit animals in this extreme way?
Meanwhile Staffordshire Bull Terriers who have had some sad headlines recently, were reported on in a much more balanced way this week. Caralyn Hastings' son was bitten by their Staffie, but the pair insist he is a lovely dog, who simply reacted sharply as his injured leg was touched inadvertently. The article on the incident was very neutral - with a complete lack of the over-the-top adjectives often applied to this breed.
Debbie presents an interesting story from the Ashbourne News Telegraph, of a scheme by the rural insurer NFU Mutual, the British Horse Society and the Association of Chief Police Officers to help socialise puppies to farm animals in rural areas. However, as she points out no dog training organisation is involved, so how well will the classes be run, and most shockingly, the NFU has appeared to condone puppy farms and the dreadful practices that go on in them.
In a Schmaltz Corner Julie believes will gladden your heart, hear the tale of Sheila and Harry Lee, who have installed a stairlift for their dog, Pippa. WHen Dachshund Pippa had a spine operation, Sheila and Harry wanted to avoid her running up and down the stairs, but neither of them felt safe carrying her on the stairs. So the solution was clear - a stairlift. Now Pippa and their other two Daxies - all rescue dogs -descend and ascend safely and in style. So is this over-the-top or true pooch pampering? As usual Schmaltz Corner provokes colourful debate!
In this episode of the podcast where Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill discuss the latest dog related news, there is a mix of stories. As usual, you can comment on anything you hear by emailing the show, or by going to the Twitter or Facebook page.
Debbie revisits the tragic death of teenager Jade Lomas Anderson, who was killed by her friend's family dogs last week. Jade's family want the law on dog attacks to be changed - but a knee jerk reaction on legislation could lead us into hastily brought in laws that dog owners live to regret. Although our heartfelt condolences go to the Lomas Anderson family, it's the owners of dogs who need to be brought to justice; and all owners need to be aware of the right way to bring up their dogs to be well-socialised, well-behaved and not a danger to anyone. Debbie has written a blogpost on the Safepets UK website on the subject, and hopes lessons can be learned to prevent further attacks.
In happier news, Julie has stories in which the appeal of dogs was recently demonstrated. When Andrew Neil took his dog Molly to work with him. Molly was seen wandering around the set of the BBC's This Week program - at one point falling asleep on the sofa with her head in historian David Starkey's lap - and more people watched the show than ever. Meanwhile in the USA, a "photobombing" dog, who popped up in photos his owners posted of an apartment in Chicago they were hoping to rent, the dog's hide and seek poses helped the apartment rent within 24 hours.
In Canada a dog was celebrated as a hero after he rescued two girls who had fallen into icy water. Debbie discusses the tale of Lab-Husky cross Rocky, who swam out into the North Saskatchewan River to save Samara and Krymzen. Some dogs particularly enjoy water training, and in the UK you can give your dog a try with Mind Your Dog, who offer a variety of training opportunities.
If you haven't got time and space for a dog of your own would you like to "borrow" one from time to time? But would you trust your dog to go off for a walk with a stranger? Julie highlights the new Borrow My Doggy website - but questions if it meets dogs' needs, and whether it's better to volunteer for your local shelter, or the Cinnamon Trust than register with this website.
Debbie likes the sound of a new dog friendly park in Dallas which will be opening in May this year. Do you visit venues that welcome your dog more often than you do those where Fido is not welcome? Are businesses who shun our dogs missing out on our money? What responsibilities accompany the opportunity to take our dogs to public venues?
Schmaltz Corner aims to send you away with a smile, and this week Julie hopes the story of Tessa will do just that. Tessa was just hours from being euthanised in a Los Angeles shelter, and was sadly unable to see or walk. Annie Hart, a volunteer from The Bill Foundation helped get Tessa the treatment she needed, and nurse her back to health. Tessa is now looking for her forever home. See Tessa's remarkable recovery in this moving video.
Don't forget that April is National Pet Month - the time to celebrate our pets, promote responsible pet ownership across the UK, highlight the important work of pet care professionals and working companion animals and help raise money for the nation’s pet care charities. Find out more at the National Pet Month website and get in touch with them via Twitter.
In this week's podcast where dogs meet news, Debbie and Julie discuss the distressing stories that have dominated this week's headlines. It's been a sad week in the dog world, and as ever if you have opinions about what you hear, or you'd like to suggest stories for next week, get in touch with the show.
On the 26th March we had the extremely upsetting news that a teenager had been killed by her friend's mother's dogs. 14 year old Jade Lomas-Anderson was visiting her friend's house when apparently she was attacked by four of the family's dogs while alone in the house eating a meat pie. Tragically Jade did not survive the attack, and police marksmen shot the dogs. Debbie and Julie express their condolences to Jade's family, and wonder what lessons can be learned from the incident. How can we prevent tragedies like this from occurring?
Facebook was awash with photos of a Cavalier Spaniel being bitten by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dog, when Mafalda Clewlow asked people to help her find the owner of the dog that had attacked her dog. Things took an ugly turn with people insulting and threatening the Staffie type owner, and rumours and misinformation have been posted and re-posted. In this show we have an interview with the owner of the dog that attacked the Spaniel, as for the first time he puts his side of the incident in his own words. This is a case that has been clouded by confusion about the facts - even the police had to correct their press release clarifying the situation - and at one point there was doubt as to whether the Staffie type dog, Enzo, was alive or dead.
Sadly, Enzo was destroyed earlier this week - but did the furore that broke out around this case on social media sites contribute to his death? And since people realised how much they were hurting Enzo's owner, will they learn their mistake or (as seems to be the case) will the mood swing against Mafalda. Both Debbie and Julie highlight the need for people to calm down and use common sense; be able to disagree without harassing each other. Debbie illustrates how easily misinformation can be shared by people who re-post things without verifying they are true, with the story that has swept the Internet about thieves using stickers to mark houses with dogs that can be stolen.
In other news it's Tick Bite Prevention week. Click on that link to find out more about how to stop your dog being at risk of Lyme Disease; and the only safe way to remove a tick from your dog.
To round off a sad show with a story that focuses on the gentle, caring side of dogs, Julie has a Schmaltz Corner about a terrier cross who has become a guide for his blind Labrador friend.
Episode 42 is our Crufts 2013 special and was filmed at the most prestigious pedigree dog show in the world. Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill have been exploring, finding a variety of stories to bring to you.
We assume that securing our dogs with a harness in the car will keep them safe, but Debbie talks to Alex Wilson from Xtra Dog about the alarming lack of testing on dog car harnesses - and hears about a car harness that has been tested.
Julie talks to Farrah Stevens from the Animal Health Trust about the Herculean efforts on the stand to cycle 400 miles during the 4 days of Crufts to raise money for and awareness of the charity's new cancer centre.
Debbie interviews Marc Abraham - TV's favourite vet - about his anti puppy farm campaign. To hear more from Marc and to help him stamp out the scurge of the dog world, who keep dogs in appalling conditions and produce badly bred puppies purely for money find him on Twitter as @marcthevet.
Julie can't resist a story about dog poo - but this time it's a positive one. She talks to Gill Diamond about the dog poo wormery.
Debbie hears from John Howie of Lintbells about how their range of supplements are helping to keep both pet and show dogs in the best condition and health possible.
As ever there's a Schmaltz Corner to send you away with a smile - Lorraine and Steve Wright have been showing their dogs for 36 years and celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary at the show.
In this podcast Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill choose their pick of the week's dog news stories, and share their opinions of them. As usual there's a mixed bag of stories - and you can comment on anything you hear and suggest stories for discussion by getting in touch with the show via email, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
What would you do if your dog was unable to get around through illness or injury? Well when Abayed, a sheepdog in Jordan, was mistaken for a stray and shot, his shepherd owners took him to the Humane Center for Animal Welfare where he was fitted with a rear leg cart. Abayed is the first dog in the country to have a cart, and hopefully the way he has adapted to his new way of getting around will help save the lives of other dogs in the country.
When Charley Wilcock got her Jack Russell, DD, she had no idea that she was deaf. However, she adapted her training methods and has taught DD a variety of tricks, and the pair has even joined a local dog display team. She wants to let people know that dogs with disabilities can live happy lives and are just as trainable as a dog without disabilities. Charley wants to assemble a display team of all disabled dogs which could help raise awareness of what these dogs can achieve. You can get in touch with her 07792 376226 or email email@example.com. You can see a video of DD on Facebook , and if you need support with a deaf dog, do contact the Deaf Dog Network.
Debbie highlights the case of a young crossbreed dog who was handed into a police station by a member of the public, and who was described as "skeletal" weighing around half of her ideal weight. Even after treatment young Jess is in a critical treatment, and it is unsure what the outlook for her is longterm. But how is a dog allowed to get into this state, and what is the recovery process like for a dog who has been compromised in this way?
Julie has the sad and strange tale of poor Cruz, the show Samoyed who died soon after the Westminster dog show in America. His owner and handler maintain that he was poisoned by "activists". However, PETA have pointed out that Cruz had had "bark reduction" surgery and if any damage has been done to the dog it was by his owner and handler, not by any strangers concerned about his safety. Debbie and Julie discuss why no post mortem was performed on the dog, and how this case is more bizarre the more you find out about it.
It's Crufts week and Debbie shares the Friends for Life Finalists. This is the competition run each year by the Kennel Club which celebrates dogs which have changed, and in some case saved, human lives, and the winner is decided by public vote. It's a lovely way to honour dogs who have served their humans in a variety of ways, and this year's nominees are as heart-warming as ever. From the disabled dog who inspires confidence in his disabled young owner, to the exemplary retiring police dog who has devoted his life to making our world a safer place, to the assistance dogs who brought their people together, to the pet who gave his family a reason to carry on, they are all wonderful dogs - and yes you can vote for them all!
As usual, Schmaltz Corner, seeks to send listeners away with a smile, and this time Julie has the story of Pifas, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever who was lost, ended up on a frozen Lake Michigan, was rescued, ran off, was taken into rescue, and then had to be neutered before his owner could have him back. This story has it all including an action hero who leapt into action and took to his kayak to rescue poor Pifas - so does it measure up to Debbie's exacting standards? Probably not! You can see photos of the plight Pifas found himself in on the Daily Mail site, and the Huffington Post has a follow up story of Pifas being reunited with his owner.
In the podcast where dogs meet news, Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill discuss their pick of the dog related news stories from the last week. You can download the podcast or listen online, and if you'd like to comment on anything you hear, or suggest stories for inclusion in the next show, email the show or contact us on the Facebook or Twitter page. There is also a video version of this episode.
Debbie opens proceedings with a story from New Zealand where a woman's dog fought off her attacker. The woman had already scratched her assailant, but it wasn't until her dog bit him that he ran off. Police are now looking for the attacker, but the really good news is that under New Zealand law, the dog is not at risk of punishment or consequence for his actions. Do you think our dogs should have the freedom to defend us from attack in this way, or should people always have greater legal protection than dogs?
We're often told to beware of unscrupulous breeders, but Julie has a story of a breeder who should have been more wary of her customers. When Doreen Dawson took her two Pekingese puppies to her potential customers' car, they asked for paperwork and then drove off with the puppies. However there are further issues, as the puppies are considered to be a viable form of income by Doreen, which raises questions about why breeders should breed pups. If anyone has information about this crime, which took place in Warsop, they can contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Debbie has a story that carries implications for all dog owners in the UK. Julie Lindley Bull Mastiff dogs attacked three young girls on the street in an incident that hit the headlines. Obviously, our sympathies go to the children involved, but the case raises extremely worrying and important issues. Despite the dogs being well trained and soicialised, and one of them having a long-standing history of being temperamentally sound, of traveling to dog shows around the world, and of being handled by children, for some reason the attack happened - and as a result their owner had to plead guilty under the Dangerous Dogs Act. This is surprising since it wasn't her fault the dogs were out - it appears someone removed a fence panel from the dogs' secure enclosure. Could this happen to you and your dog?
Julie has Debbie's favourite thing - research! This time it's a study from The University of California, where a team have been looking into the medical records of over 700 Golden Retrievers and the affect neutering has had on their health with relation to two joint diseases and three cancers. Their findings were that neutered dogs were at more risk of these diseases. This sparked debate between the show's hosts, although both agree on the need for more research into this area. The full research can be found at this link -Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers.
How do you fancy a doggy "lucky bag" arriving on your doorstep once a month? Pooch Pack offers to provide you with a different selection of dog related products each month, and in this show Debbie presents Julie with a typical pack to explore. The contents is undoubtedly high quality goods, but is the pricing right, and will it suit all dogs?
And to round things off with a story to send you away with a smile we have Schmaltz Corner. This week Julie has the story of a 5 year old Italian Greyhound who is retiring from his successful show career to concentrate on his therapy work. He lives alongside a variety of other dogs, and can clearly function very well in the real world - so does this story get a stomping or not?
As usual, Debbie and Julie have trawled through this week's headlines looking for the most interesting dog stories. In this podcast you can hear their choices and opinions. As ever if you wish to comment on anything you hear, or if you want to suggest a story for inclusion in the show, you can get in touch with the show.
The first story this week is Debbie's take on the dog cull occurring in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where there is a stray population of 200,000 feral dogs. With no dog rescue plan in place to take in or neuter the dogs, an astounding 12,406 dogs were shot in 2012. Clearly this is a heartbreaking situation, but what's the answer? There are suggestions that paying the "shooters" who kill the dogs on a per dog basis encourages them to shoot dogs who aren't actually homeless.
If Labrador Retrievers are so popular, why has one never been Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Show? Julie's done some digging and discovered that Crufts has only been won by a Labrador three times, the most recent in 1937. Furthermore at Westminster a Labrador has never ever won Best of Group - so just why is it that Labs are being ignored? Is it that they don't have a long coat, they aren't as elegant as some, or is that they are just not "flashy" enough?
Having worked with many police dogs and handlers, Debbie was drawn to the hilarious story of the police dog who was asked to supply an incident statement. PD Peach's handler duly wrote out an incident report on his dog's behalf and submitted it. It read, ‘I chase him. I bite him. Bad man. He tasty. Good boy. Good boy Peach.’ Though it made people laugh and was shared around various social networking sites, and apparently now West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department is investigating - but surely this is a harmless bit of humour from someone in a stressful job?
Sophie the two-year-old Maltipoo was in her garden with the other family dog, seven-month-old puppy Lulu, when a coyote came into the garden. Despite being small, Sophie put herself between Lulu and the coyote and saw the potential predator off. Julie tells how, sadly, Sophie and Lulu's family decided they could not keep the dogs as they were worried about a further coyote attack. When Sophie's story hit the headlines, so many people applied to adopt her that the shelter had to take a novel approach to selecting her new owner.
Next, Debbie reports that a group of rogue M.P.s are complaining that the plans to microchip all UK dogs are "woefully inadequate". Since this is Debbie's view as well, she's hoping that we'll see extra laws to compel owners to keep the details of their dog's microchip up to date, and possibly to see something like a log book system in use with British cars. Plus did you know that although the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991the 1871 Dogs Act is still an effective and relevant law regarding dogs?
And so to the part of the show that aims to send you away with a smile on your face - Schmaltz Corner. This week Julie has the tale of Great Dane Ellie Grace who was kept chained up outside but was rescued and rehomed by HART (Helping Animals Reach Tomorrow). But that's not the end of the story, because Ellie Grace's owner had more dogs, so just how did HART help them out too?
In this week's dose of new and views you can hear Debbie and Julie discuss their pick of the dog stories that have hit the headlines. If you would like to participate in the podcast you can comment on any of the stories or suggest content for nest week's show by emailing Debbie@TheDogNewsShow.com or Julie@TheDogNewShow.com, or via the show's Twitter or Facebook pages.
The dog story dominating the news this week is the announcement from Defra on February 6th that as of April 2016 all dogs in the UK will be required by law to be microchipped. Debbie has grave misgivings about the efficacy of this move without the addition of compulsory paper work that would result in "cradle to grave" responsibility - you can read her blogpost on the SafePets UK website. Are you an avid fan of microchips, or are you alarmed at the prospect of being compelled to chip your dog?
Dognition is a new project to examine the ways in which our dogs work things out. Julie has been investigating the site and likes the fact that the angle here is not are our dogs intelligent, but rather how are our dogs intelligent; do they collaborate with us, or are they independent thinkers? The venture is termed citizen science, and for $60 participants are guided by videos through the simple but revealing tests to carry out with their dogs. You can read more about this project in an interview with Dr Brian Hare on the Wired website.
Having trained, rescued and rehabilitated working dogs for many years, Debbie was interested in the story of a police dog who escaped and injured four people. Debbie has already contacted the force in question, offering to take the dog into her Bravo Working Dog Rescue to do whatever is necessary - retraining, rehabilitation, rehoming - if the dog in question is retired. Debbie also makes the point that general purpose dogs like the dog in this story are not dangerous attack dogs, and are well trained animals who devote their lives to making our lives safer and more secure.
A new book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting by Jonathon V. Last, a journalist working in the field of demographic trends, claims that a "pet mania" has gripped America. Julie finds it intriguing that Jonathon interprets it as a negative influence that people treat their dog as a member of the family, insure them and provide for them in their wills. He also finds it unsettling that pets now out number children 4 to 1 in the U.S. You can read more about the book in an interesting blogpost by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell - who you can contact on her twitter feed @fivecoat. There is also more information about the book on the Great Pet Health website.
Debbie has a story from Spallumcheen, in Canada, where a dog control officer is proposing to change fines for dog attacks so that they reflect the seriousness of the incident. Pat Ellis wants to see the usual fine of $500 halved for "less serious" attacks. Interestingly the law in Spallumcheen covers attacks and potential attacks on both people and animals.
And so to the final story which is always Schmaltz Corner - a feel good story to send you away with a smile on your face. And surely the headline here - Real-life Lassie saves elderly woman from freezing ditch - must be a winning story. So will Julie finally get a story that meets with Debbie's approval and escape stomp-free? And where do sandwiches fit into the story? All will be revealed when you download or listen online to the podcast where dogs meet news.
It's been a week of varied week of dog news and Debbie and Julie discuss their pick of the stories in this podcast where dogs meet news. You can hear an interview in this episode with Jenny Brown whose dog Tiga hit the headlines this week. Having listened to all this, if you'd like to comment you can get in touch with the show in various ways, and you can also suggest stories for inclusion. Warning: this podcast contains opinions!
Debbie starts the show off with a story that was shared around most of the social media sites this week - the plight of the "gay" dog who ended up in rescue and was in danger of being put to sleep. The poor dog in question was rejected after his owner saw him mounting another male dog - a behaviour which is part of normal canine interaction - and assumed his dog was homosexual. The unusual position in which the dog found himself caught the attention of many dog lovers and his story was shared and shared, with the result that he has now found a new home. However, the debate this story has stirred up continues.
Julie's back to talking poo again - but so is Ben Fogle, who's been complaining about the amount of dog poo left unscooped in his local park in the Kensington and Chelsea area of London. Ben has some suggestions to solve the problem - for example every time he clears up after his own dog, he clears up a dropping from another dog. But Ben wants to go further, he wants to establish a National Poo Day when we all go out and about and clean up our parks and streets. This is a nationwide problem, with Councils in Edinburgh under pressure to employ more wardens to pick up dog poo. So could you bear picking up other people's dogs' poop? And do you think a mass clear up would sort the problem out long term?
The Internet attracts a lot of criticism, but sometimes the power of social media to unite dog lovers shines through, and surprisingly it's Debbie who has chosen to highlight this story which overflows with the milk of human kindness. Manuela Schafer had been trying for years to catch a stray dog, Shaggy, so she could look after him and find her a good home, but to no avail. When Manuela appealed to California animal rescuer Eldad Hagar he put a request out to his many Facebook followers. The result was 40 caring and determined volunteers converging on COLUMBIA, South Carolina to facilitate the rescue of the elusive dog. After a two hour search through heavily wooded terrain, Shaggy was found and has now been adopted into a new home.
When Margaret Charles fell over during a dog walk in Suffolk in the U.K., Maisie her Cairn Terrier took off and that was the last that was seen of her for eight days. Snow was falling and lying on the ground and temperatures were dipping to minus 6, and despite many volunteers looking for Maisie on a daily basis, Margaret began to give up hope. Then Jenny Brown and her Beagle, Tiga, got involved in the search. Tiga was given Maisie's blanket to get her scent, and after two hours of looking Tiga tracked the missing dog down to where the lead she was still wearing had trapped her beneath some bushes. Included in this show is Julie's interviewed Jenny about her and Tiga's adventures. Maisie is now home safe and sound and she is not the only dog Jenny and Tiga have helped locate, and they have assisted and resolved several Dog Lost UK searches for missing dogs.
How many dogs do you consider safe for one person to walk simultaneously? There are plans to limit the number of dogs that can be walked by one person on Hampstead Heath to four, and the move has stirred up both complaint and praise. Debbie has been finding out what people think about this issue - both pet owners and professional dog walkers, and has found that the number of dogs being walked may not be as important as the dogs or the handler involved.
And after an unusually happy and upbeat show, Julie round proceedings off with Schmaltz Corner which aims to send listeners away with a smile. Teenager Ben Ownby was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at only 17 months of age. He is allergic to adhesive and unable to wear a continuous glucose monitor, but his assistance dog Dakota monitors it for him. Labradoodle Dakota sits beside the pool as Ben participates in his school's swim team practices, and you can see some lovely photos of the pair here. But does this lovely story escape a stomping from Debbie? - no of course not, but what aspect will she pick on this time? Listen and find out.
In this week's podcast you can hear Debbie and Julie talk about some of the more unusual stories that have hit the headlines recently. In the online radio show where dogs meet news you can listen to lively discussions of the latest goings on in the dog world. Views are expressed with honestly and candour - and if you'd like to comment or contribute stories you're very welcome to do so.
Crufts - the biggest pedigree dog show in the world - is just over a month away and already it's claiming headlines. The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, has decided to allow exhibitors to use hairspray and chalk to enhance the appearance of their dogs. These substances were forbidden up until last year, and when four dogs tested positive for them (two for chalk, two for hairspray) the Kennel Club was considering disqualifying them from the competition. However, a group calling themselves the Elnett revolutionaries protested, and won the day, bringing a change of heart from the Kennel Club. So what do you think? - is it fair enough to help a dog's appearance out, or should they be left as nature made them?
There are many issues to take into account when considering if you can offer a dog a good home - but one family took into account how many Facebook "likes" their photo received. The children of the Cordell children put a photo of themselves on the social media site holding a sign that read, "Hi World, We want a puppy. Our Dad said we could get one if we get 1 million likes. He doesn't think we can do it. So like this!" Predictably the photo attracted the million likes within thirteen hours - and while this family have had a before so know the commitment involved, and are intending to get a rescue dog, is this a dangerous precedent to establish?
A rescue Shar Pei has become the subject of a court case in Scotland. Missy was rehomed by Shar Pet Rescue to her new owner, but on the condition that she would be spayed the following week. Sadly this did not happen, and the new owner bred Missy to her other dog, a male Shar Pei, and is trying to sell the surviving puppies from the litter (one of the five died). Is it thorough enough to rehome dogs on a "neutering contract" like this? Should all dogs be neutered before they are adopted? Shar Pet Rescue is demanding the return of Missy and her four pups, and the outcome of the case may well have knock on effects for all rescue dogs.
Would you want your dog in the delivery room as your child was born? Well one woman did and she persuaded St Michael's Hospital in Bristol to let her bring her Labrador Barney with her when she went to the hospital to give birth. Barney was allowed as he is a registered Pets as Therapy dog who is used to visiting hospitals - but is it fair to put a dog in the middle of such a strange situation, especially as one can never predict whether a birth will be straight forward, or be complicated in some way. Many people are horrified at the thought of a dog in the delivery suite as it might bring in germs - do you think a dog is any more of a risk than a human?
Anna Carey has a warning for dog owners after her two year old Miniature Schnauzer died from eating a bone. The bone in question was a Bob Martin’s premium ham bone which splintered as Burtie ate it and ruptured his stomach. The bone was bought from Tesco, and the store has removed the bone from its shelves while Bob Martin paid over £2000 for Burtie's vet's fees without admitting liability and are considering the future of the product.
So after some serious subjects, we come to Schmaltz Corner to send you off with a smile. Julie has the touching story of Buster, the dog who's allergic to grass so has been making hay in the snow which acts as a protective barrier. But Debbie has spotted the one weak spot of the story, and for once the problem is geography. Listen and find out what the problem is.
Listen to this week's show for an honest and humorous take on what's going on in the dog world around the world. Despite the snow there's been lots of dog news and Debbie and Julie discus and debate their chosen stories in the podcast where dogs meet news. Don't forget you can send us any interesting, controversial or heartwarming dog news story you spot for inclusion in the show - and we love to hear your comments too.
When Derek Brady was delivering parcels to a house in Yorkshire, U.K., he decided to enter a garden where an Akita was chained up, even though the owners were not at home. While he tried to put the parcels into a shed, the Akita bit Derek. Now the delivery man is calling for the breed to be covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act, and claims the dog could have killed him. However Debbie believes that adding dogs to the Act makes no difference at all, pointing out there are thousands of Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes for sale in the U.K. Derek received a five figure payout for his injuries - do you think this is fair? The dog involved was put to sleep. What do you think is the way to avoid incidents of this nature?
In Melbourne, Australia, when Jan Morrey's small dog was chased out of the park and into the road by a larger dog and nearly hit by a car, she demanded that the council set aside different times for different sized dogs to visit the park. Other locals have posted responses to her request, and opinions vary. Some dog owners point out that irrespective of the size of dog, it's the control the owner has over it that matters. One owner welcomes the fact that her larger dogs would be free from the "terrorism" of smaller breeds running up and harassing them. However, as Julie points out owners with a pack of mixed sized dogs might have to arrange two visits to the park which would be inconvenient. And do dogs have any concept of their own size anyway?
Symieon Robinson Pierre is the incredibly irresponsible and heartless owner who let his dog out into the street and stayed inside while the dog attacked police officers, leading to the dog being shot dead, leaving the street splattered with both human and canine blood. The dog was a Pitbull-Doberman cross and thanks to Symioen's actions not only did the dog lose his life, but he gained several headlines of the "devil dog" variety, and attracted further bad publicity for Pitbulls. Symioen has been sentenced to 22 months in prison and banned from owning a dog for 5 years. Debbie congratulates Judge Bishop in his handling of this case.
Evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord from the University of Massachusetts, U.S.A. has been investigating the differences between wolves and dogs and their sensory development as pups. Kathryn studied 11 wolves and 43 dogs and found that while dog puppies don't start exploring the world until they can see and hear, wolves are able to walk and are up and about before their hearing and sight kicks in. She found intriguing differences between the way the two subspecies discover the world around them, and how they react to new stimuli - but has she found an answer to the question of why wolves remain wild at heart while dogs become man's best friend?
In Leeds, U.K., Caroline O’Connor has been fined £200 plus a £15 victim surcharge and also ordered to pay costs of £398.44 after being found guilty of letting her dog wander unsupervised around the streets. Despite a Leeds City Council dog warden spotting the dog roaming free, and trying to explain to Caroline that this broke the local Dog Control Order, she ignored this and refused to pay a fixed penalty notice, which resulted in the much harsher punishment when the case was sent to court.
And after a show dealing with some heavy issues, Schmaltz Corner aims to send you away with a smile on your face. Jenny Spence's Doberman, Uber, jumped out of her car in Bristol, was hit by a car and ran off. Uber was missing for 4 days, during which time Jenny was impressed and touched by the way the local community supported her search for her beloved dog. So how was Uber finally found, and how did Jenny say thank you? And what will Debbie find to complain about in Julie's latest heart-warming offering? Listen and find out!
There's never a shortage of shocking headlines and Debbie and Julie start off with a story sent in by friend of the show Wendy Morrell, who spotted an item about sausages laced with nails and apparently left for dogs to ingest in Abergavenny. Over the Christmas period there were warnings on social media sites that dogs were being put at risk by being offered tempting treats soaked in anti-freeze. These warnings also applied to Wales, and if true were very serious as anti-freeze is lethal for dogs. Thanks to Wendy for her contributions to the show.
Debbie shares a cheering story that Greyhound racing is apparently losing popularity with racetracks closing down around the UK. With Debbie's particular interest in working dogs and her passion for helping retiring working dogs find the best retirement home - see the Bravo Working Dog Rescue website for more info - she finds it appalling that so many Greyhounds are "disposed" of so callously rather than any attempt being made to rehabilitate them and help them adapt to a civilian life. Thankfully, dedicated Greyhound rescues such as the Retired Greyhound Trust exist which help these gentle dogs find loving forever homes. There are many myths about Greyhounds, but though they do enjoy an outlet for a short burst of energy, after a quick run a Greyhound's favourite place is curled up somewhere warm and comfortable.
There was a scare in Virginia recently when police received reports of a sighting of a lion walking down the street. Julie tells how the police went as far as contacting the zoo to check no lions were missing, but it turns out the "lion" in question was a Labradoodle that had been clipped to resemble a large cat. The dog's owner, Daniel Painter, is a fan of the football team at Old Dominion University whose mascot is a lion. However, this story stirs up controversy on the show - but just what is the objection? And is it right to groom a dog in such an exotic fashion?
Dr Elsa Flint is the behaviourist who features in Debbie's next story. Dr Flint has been researching barking dogs is New Zealand, and has come up with some interesting findings. It's very easy for owners to become stressed if their dog is accused of being too noise and disturbing neighbours, but Debbie advises owners in that situation to stay calm and monitor their own dog's barking. Julie points out that no council demands that a dog has to remain completely silent, and that it's the frequency of a noise nuisance that causes most trouble. What do you think of Dr Flint's claims to be able to tell from recordings what is causing a dog to bark?
Julie's taking her high horse out for a gallop in response to a story from Lincoln in which a man left his 14 year old Labrador in his van on his drive, and then the van and the dog were stolen. There are many issues with this story - and it's a shame that some owners still choose to leave their dogs in vehicles, and even worse tied up outside shops, at risk of theft. In this story the dog's owner feels his dogs need neither collar nor microchip as they are "fully trained". What's your response to that sentiment? ANyone who has any information about the silver Ford transit van registration WGO7 XZO in which poor Tank was stolen should call 101 quoting incident number 412 of January 7, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Mr Brocklesby is available on 07857 102519.
When three year old Trafford-James Jackson-Poole and his Mum visited a pub one afternoon they had no idea the outing would have such serious consequences. As the family left the pub Trafford-James wandered away and encountered the Akita who lives at the pub, and was bitten. Whatever the true circumstances of the event, poor Trafford-James has been left with an awful injury which will need further surgery. Opinion seems split on this one in the comments left on articles online, with some people damning the whole Akita breed, and others saying parents need to supervise their children better. We'd like to wish Trafford-James a speedy recovery. How would you ensure further attacks or bites are avoided?
After a serious show we need a very uplifting Schmaltz Corner to send us away with a smile, and Julie has pulled out all the stops with the tale of Forest, a poor Mastiff who was shot and tied to a tree in Ohio. But Forest has found an excellent forever home, and the man who shot him is in court this month, so just what does picky Debbie find fault with? Could it be a stomp-free week?
We may only be a week into the new year, but there's been a lot of dog news already in 2013 - and not all of it good. In Belfast, the council has been considering banning dogs completely from all cemeteries, children's play parks and playing fields. The proposals have sparked outrage among local dog owners, with 1600 people signing a petition protesting the move to make all dogs be kept on leash on the area's beaches. Debbie discusses the likelihood that any objections or campaign will make any difference, and also reveals the sneaky strategy she suspects councils are now taking ont he subject of banning dogs from public places.
Meanwhile in Wales the government is seeking to extend the law to cover dog attacks on private property among other things. Julie has the story that the Kennel Club is warning dog owners and encouraging them to respond to the consultation on the proposals for the Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill. There are two sides to this question (at least!) and while people should be protected from attack even on private property, is it right that a dog biting a burglar should be treated the same as a dog who bites the postman? These may seem very different events to us, but how is a dog meant to differentiate? If you have an opinion on this matter you can find out how to leave feedback at the Welsh Government's website.
When your dog is reactive or not particularly dog friendly it can be useful to have a way to warn other dog owners and let them know to give you extra space. One scheme attempting to let dog owners do just that is the Yellow Dog Project. This started this year in June in Sweden and the idea is that if you attach a yellow ribbon or bandana, collar or lead to your dog, it will be a visible warning that other's can easily pick up. But how will Dogs Trust (who produce yellow bandanas) feel about this? And will owners be honest enough to follow the system, and could putting a yellow signal on your dog rebound on you in certain situations? It's a tricky one, and Debbie and Julie give it consideration.
Did you know that more than 1 in 20 dog owners had lost a friend or loved one from their life due to their smelly dog? Well that's what a recent study showed - and furthermore over half the 2000 dog owners that took part in the study said they had missed out on invitations to friends' houses because the friend was afraid they would take their dog with them. The pongy pooches may have rolled in something unsavoury, or may have flatulence, or even musty ears, but if your dog does smell a lot it may be worth getting your vet to take a look at him as some excessive smells can be due to a healthy issue. The newspaper coverage of this story mentions advice to bath your dog from The London Dog Forum, and on that website you can the Debbie Connolly Bites Back column. But apparently we dog lovers take the attitude of love me, love the smell of my dog!
In the North Shore News, Joan Klucha insists that a trained dog is a happy dog. She tells the story of how she encountered a group of women dog walkers and one woman failed to stop her dog jumping all over Joan's dog. The woman added insult to injury by claiming he did this because he was happy; something Joan absolutely refutes and argues persuasively against. Are you tired of off-lead dogs bounding up to you and your dog? And are you even more fed up with their silly excuses and the bad attitude they demonstrate? The truth is that a well trained dog is happy, not dominated, and retains all of his character without inconveniencing other dogs or people.
In the first Schmaltz Corner of 2013 we have a story to send you off with a smile - a Labrador mix puppy who was dumped at a shelter made his own happy ending, making a friend, finding a new home and warming many hearts. But did he warm Debbie Connolly's heart? Listen and find out!
In the last episode of The Dog News Show for 2012 Debbie gets things started with a story about a "furious" dog owner who wants his dog back. Roger Winter left his German Shepherd Frodo tied up outside a shop unattended in Banff, Scotland. He went outside to his dog when he heard Frodo barking and found two children he claims were taunting his dog. One issue this story highlights is that it's a bad idea to leave a dog unattended in public at any time as they are at risk of being stolen, or being deemed out of control in a public place. Frodo was taken away from Roger by the rescue who homed the dog with him originally and re-homed in a new home, which is why Roger is so furious, but the story has many twists and turns to explore.
If you suspected your child was taking drugs and hiding them in your house would you resort to using a sniffer dog to check out your home? Courtesy of Laa Crosby, Julie has the story of Ava from Houston who called on the services of German Shepherd sniffer dog Roxie to nose around her house - with surprising and happy results. A child psychiatrist suggests that such action might be damaging to the parent-child relationship, but might it actually highlight problems that can then be solved? However what does it really mean if a dog indicates the presence of drugs?
Debbie returns to her "furious" theme, but this time with an owner who is angry for all the wrong reasons. Tita Macauley, of Wandsworth, let her dog roam free, and when a dog warden followed the dog home and spoke to Ms Macauley she became so enraged that she has been sentenced to an anger management course as well as a 12-month supervision order and was ordered to pay a £50 fine and £265 costs. What's the answer to such irresponsible ownership?
Dogs Trust recently revealed some of the ludicrous excuses people have given for handing their dogs into one of their shelters. Reasons vary from the incredibly sad, “My dog was too old and no longer brought me any joy”, to the ridiculous, “He keeps scaring the goldfish”. The silly and shallow things that have put people off dogs are genuinely shocking, and are another example of irresponsible ownership.
For her last story of 2012, Debbie sums up her view of the dog world this year - the highs and lows, and where she sees the future of dogs and owners in 2013. Can we solve the problems of puppy farmers - and not only those who breed with no thought, but those rescues who get it wrong and fail both the dogs in their care and those who adopt from them. What do you think of the state of the dog world, and what would you like to see happen next year?
Julie rounds off the show as usual with Schmaltz Corner, this time with the happy and high profile story of Michelle Obama taking her dog Bo with her on a visit to a children's hospital. It's great to see such a well known person promoting the value of dogs as both a family pet and as a visitor to patients.
All of us at The Dog News Show would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year - see you for more dog news stories in 2013.
Dog lovers were horrified recently when a raid on a puppy farm lead to over 80 puppies being taken into custody by the RSPCA. Four of the puppies were dead, including two callously dumped in a bucket in the foot well of a car. You'd think it couldn't get any worse than that, but a fake page was set up by heartless individuals trying to con money out of people and claiming to be re-homing the pups. Debbie points out that the bad news is that these 80 pups are just the tip of the iceberg and there are similar puppy farms churning out puppies all over the country. The message from the RSPCA - and The Dog News Show - is that the best way to close puppy farms down is not to buy from them.
Julie has advice from the RSPCA branch in Sheffield, who would like to share with owner what they call the 12 Dog Rules of Christmas. These guidelines that will help keep your dog happy and healthy during the festive season include making sure visitors don't leave doors open letting your dog escape, and that dogs have a quiet place to escape the Christmas hustle and bustle - and also highlights that many common Christmas food items can be fatal to dogs. The big story this week in the dog world is that the Morrisons Christmas advert has dog lovers up in arms, as it shows a child feeding Christmas pudding to a dog. The worry is that many dog owners will not be aware that even a very few raisins or sultanas can bring on renal failure and death in dogs.
A campaign to have the advert removed from television and to educate the public about the extreme dangers of raisins and dogs has been launched by Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, and Judith Broug Fiac (MissyRedBoots) a board member of the Tailwaggers Club Trust. There is a Facebook page you can join to learn more about just how toxic raisins are to dogs, and to help send the message to Morrisons that dog lovers not only dislike their Christmas advert, but also the arrogant way they have ignored complaints about it.
Debbie has the shocking story of blind psychotherapist Cassandra Chiu who uses a guide dog in Singapore - and has run into at times violent dislike of her dog. Despite Singapore law stating that guide dogs must be allowed access to public places (except operating theatres and zoos) Cassandra has been refused entry to many shops and restaurants because of her dog. Part of the problem may be that there are only currently three guide dog users in Singapore so the public is just not used to them. Congratulations to Cassandra for fighting her corner and forging the way ahead.
Julie wants answers to the question, "Why do millionaires prefer pooches over kitties?" According to recent research (which is soon given the Debbie Connolly scrutiny and found to be wanting) more millionaires have dogs than cats. Julie wonders if millionaires are more likely to be dog owners, but hopes that dog owners are more likely to become millionaires. Did you know how much dog owners contribute to the economy, even in these times of financial trouble, and there are some interesting statistics banded around - and you may be surprised to find out how many million dollars - yes it's in the millions! - dog owners spent on that well know doggy essential, Halloween costumes.
Debbie brings up the case of the Plymouth man who was fined after he let his dogs worry sheep. But is a £10 fine a real deterrent? And did you know that your dog only has to chase sheep for it to be classed as sheep worrying? There are many interesting aspects to this case, and as usual Debbie has blunt advice to the woman who let her husband take her dogs out and then failed to notice them worrying the sheep.
So in a week with some sad and worrying dog related news Julie rounds the show off with Schmaltz Corner to send you off with a smile. The family dog is a wonderful calming friendly presence in the house, but when thieves broke in to an Indianapolis home and threatened to kidnap the baby, one family dog showed his less friendly side. Hear how he saved the day and how the baby escaped without injury.
The headlines this week proclaimed that up to one third of owners had been bitten by their own dog, based on a report brought out by the P.D.S.A. However, Debbie points out that the actual full report puts a slightly different spin on things from the rest of the media. One or two of the findings do make very worrying reading and it's clear that every dog and owner need to attend classes - irrespective of the owner's previous experience. Click here to read the full P.D.S.A. report.
In the U.S.A. and Canada P.E.T.A. has been putting up billboards near schools appealing to children to abandon traditional Thanksgiving food. Julie describes the poster, which has the slogan "KIDS: If you wouldn't eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go vegan." accompanied by a photo shopped photo of an animal with a turkey's body and a dog's head. Children can also download a tombstone from the P.E.T.A. website to stick into the turkey which says, "Here Lies the Corpse of a Tortured Bird." Do you think this a good way to highlight the issues surrounding the raising of farm animals, or is an exploitation of our bond with our dogs?
In the U.K. a child was attacked by a hawk while playing in a park. The young boy was injured, but was it really an "attack" as the media portrayed it, or was it an accident? The owner of the bird of prey was a young man of eighteen who has apparently been seen around the area posing with the hawk - raising the question of whether birds of prey are replacing some dog breeds as the new status pet. If so should birds of prey ownership be covered by similar legislation to the Dangerous Dogs Act?
By coincidence, a dog has also been attacked by a hawk this week, with disastrous consequences. Ollie the Jack Russell Terrier had most of his tongue ripped out by a hawk and there are serious doubts as to whether he will be able to eat or drink independently again, or whether he will have to be euthenised. In this incident the hawk owner had insurance in place to cover the vet's fees, drove the dog and his owner to the vet, and has offered to have the bird put to sleep if he owner of the dog wants that. Accidents happen, and while we at The Dog News Show hope poor Ollie makes a full recovery, we also don't think the death of the bird involved will be of any use. What's your opinion?
From Australia comes the story of Dante the two year old who wandered off into the bush, accompanied by the family German Shepherd Dasher who stayed by his side for the fourteen hours the pair were missing. In a change from usual, it's Debbie who find the story charming, and it's Julie who's asking awkward questions. So is it a Disney-esque tale of two pals wandering off on an adventure, or is it lack of supervision that put both toddler and dog at risk?
Did you know that Keswick in the Lake District is the most dog friendly town in the U.K.? Well it's officially true, as Keswick has won first place in the Kennel Club's Open For Dogs Competition. Apparently dogs are welcome in many of the town's shops and cafes, pubs and bed and breakfasts. We all know that having our dogs made welcome makes us feel more welcome too, so if you know of somewhere that goes the extra mile to make your dog welcome, rather than just tolerated, let us know.
In the U.K. we're used to Pitbulls hitting the news but this week a breeder of another banned breed had his home raided and his dogs confiscated. The Dogo Argentinos were taken from a house in Grimsby, and included a litter of puppies. Debbie points out how heartless it is to breed dogs of a breed that is banned and also the intricacies involved in identifying a dog as being of a certain breed or type. Currently in the U.K. four breeds are banned - the Pitbull, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa and Fila Braziliera. Unfortunately media handling of banned breeds is not always helpful - all this and more is discussed.
A case went to court recently of a man who threw his dog into the sea. Paul Sanders, the man in question, hurled his Border Collie down a fifteen feet drop into twelve inches of water very near some rocks, saying, "This is the way to teach a dog to swim." Onlookers were horrified, but despite Paul Sanders being unrepentant - asserting, "They're my dogs I can do what I like with them!" - a judge ruled he could have his dogs back. The RSPCA is disappointed, and so is Julie - what do you think? Should Paul Sanders be given a second chance or should his dogs be taken away from him?
Too often when a dog attacks through to his owner's bad handling, it's the dog who bears the brunt of any punishment dished out, but when Raul De Abreu's American Bulldog, Rio, attacked his neighbours' dog, it was Raul, not Rio who was brought to justice. Rio knocked over Pauline Marline and then attacked her dog Charlie, as well as injuring Pauline's partner who came to her aid after hearing her screams. Raul was fined a total of £610 and must now keep Rio muzzled and on a lead when in public places - so let's hope Raul sticks to that arrangement, but Debbie has her doubts. .
Meanwhile Julie would like to ban the word "pampered" from any reporting about dogs, as the media constantly misapplies it. The latest example of this is an article featuring, "the most pampered dog in Scotland", about a Pug called Mr Darcy who is a show dog who sleeps on his own antique bed, eats sirloin steak and travels first class. This article is a mix of confused ownership and irresponsible reporting, and calls into question again what would really constitute pampering to a dog and what would be irrelevant from a canine perspective.
In a story from Woolloomooloo, Australia, Debbie has the tale of an owner of whom she really disapproves. The owner and his friend were play fighting with the dog, a Labrador Rhodesian Ridgeback mix when the dog became so riled it attacked the owner. The media approach to the story is more balanced than often seen, and the police treatment of the two dogs involved in this story is also worthy of interest. Sadly though the owner does not want the dog back as he fears another attack - but the question is, who is really to blame here, the owner or the dog?
In a week when there has been a lot of bad news in the dog world, we've never been more in need of Schmaltz Corner and a smile. This week Julie has the story of dog lovers and their dogs who gathered to raise awareness of and funds for American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life event. They have the strong message that dogs can survive cancer and live a happy life, and money raised goes towards research that will benefit both people and animals.
Debbie opens up the show with an interesting bit of news about dogs' freedom to move - move their joints that is. Many dogs have difficulty moving and walking as they grow older, but the great news is that the conditions that cause this can be managed and their affects reduced by simple measures, such as giving supplements, feeding a good diet and limiting exercise. In Debbie's experience dogs can have symptoms alleviated or delayed by the right treatment, and Julie saw an improvement in her dog's agility and mood, even though he had previously displayed no problems, after giving him chews with joint supplements added. The message is that our dogs can stay active longer if we think ahead and take action now.
Meanwhile one dog in Worcester had his movement severely restricted, when he ended up stuck down a hole when he tried a little hunting while out on a walk. Poor Boh the Border Terrier got himself wedged in a badger sett, which presented his potential rescuers with a problem, as badgers setts are protected and must not be disturbed. Firefighters heard the heavy breathing of an animal in distress, and used a snake-eye camera to establish it was a dog, rather than a badger. Representatives from the RSPCA and English Heritage visited the site to confirm the rescue could go ahead, and eventually Boh was pulled from the hole - with the rabbit he had caught still clutched in his mouth!
Badgers are a hot topic at the moment, with their proposed cull, and its effectiveness, being debated in the news. One high-profile person who is dead set against the cull is Queen lead guitarist Brian May. He and fellow wildlife rescuer Anne Brummer attended Marc Abraham's Pup Aid where Debbie interviewed them about their opposition of puppy farming, and their concern about the relationship between humans and wildlife. Brian May would love you to support his Team Badger campaign, which you can find out more about at the Save Me website, and to find out more about Anne Brummer's stirling work rescuing and rehabilitating a variety of wildlife, check out the Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue website.
Dog breeds come in and out of fashion, and some breeds have gone so far out of fashion in the U.K. that they in danger of dying out altogether. The Kennel Club has a watch list of vulnerable breeds and have recently released new figures which reveal that even the iconic Old English Sheepdog's numbers have fallen into decline worryingly. Several other breeds have dropped numerically, with no FOxhounds being registered with the Kennel Club at all in the last year. Other breeds are very low in numbers, with the Cesky Terrier having only 25 puppies registered, and the Clumber Spaniel having just 114. Contrast that with 2,669 Chihuahuas registered, 5,496 Pugs registered, and a staggering 28,787 Labrador Retrievers registered. The Pembroke Corgi, so beloved of the Queen, have also become unpopular, with one online site speculating that her granddaughter in law, Kate, will be "devastated".
The dog world has been rocked with the arrival in the U.K. of controversial dog trainer, so called "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan. There was widespread objection to Cesar's appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh show, but in the event the objectors were delighted when Titchmarsh gave Millan quite a tough time, putting many of the questions and comments that viewers had sent in to him. With Cesar Millan set to tour the UK and record a new series the debate his training methods sparks looks set to rage for a while yet; Debbie and Julie share their opinions of the trainer, but their motivation may just surprise you.
As ever, Schmaltz Corner aims to send you away with a smile on your face and this one's a great one. But just what is the story, centering around Aysha Perry and her dog Sheba, that has Julie sticking to her guns that it's a heartwarming tale, while Debbie brands it the stupidest spin she's ever heard on a story? Listen and all will be revealed.
Debbie opens the show with a news article from the London Dog Forum. The Blue Cross is asking whether the U.K. is still a nation of dog lovers. The charity has to deal with increasing numbers of dogs being abandoned, with more and more bitches coming into shelters pregnant. The charity is striving to make neutering the norm, and is hoping to change owners' attitudes. As an experienced rescuer, Debbie is incensed by the way some owners can't be bothered to neuter their dogs, while Julie reveals the reasons some of her dogs are and some aren't neutered. Is your dog neutered or entire, and do you think neutering most dogs would solve the problem of so many dogs in rescue?
Do you kiss your dog? In a bold - and probably foolish - move Julie yet again brings a news story featuring research for Debbie to point out the problems with. This time it's research done in Japan which shows that kissing your dog or letting it lick your mouth can result in an exchange of mouth bacteria that puts the dental health of both species at risk. But is kissing our dogs acceptable, and how can we safeguard our teeth and show our dogs affection at the same time? All this and more is discussed.
The RSPCA in New South Wales, Australia has come in for some criticism about the fact that it put around 40% of the dogs that came into its shelters during the last financial year to sleep - and that amounts to more than 4800 dogs being killed. Part of the issue raising concern is the assessment being used to decide whether dogs live or die. Dogs gain points for barking, trembling or jumping among other things, and any dogs accruing more than 100 points is deemed unadoptable, and euthanised. But is it fair that such natural and widespread behaviours count against a dog, and is the stressful environment of a kennel a suitable place to accurately assess a dog's character.
In the U.K. a very sad story hit the headlines when two young Border Collies were shot by a farmer while they were in the care of a boarding kennel. The dogs in question were a brother and sister of one and three years of age. They had stayed at the kennels before, and had climbed over the fence before but sadly on this occasion they made it to a field full of sheep where they pinned a sheep down and were fatally shot by the farmer. The owners were uneasy about leaving the dogs in an establishment from which they had already escaped, but received assurances the dogs would be supervised, so just what went wrong? The police have spoken to the farmer and no further action will be taken, although the RSPCA and other local authorities are investigating.
The penultimate story is almost worthy of rounding off the show as Schmaltz Corner, and is the tale of a Jack Russell Terrier who was poisoned and buried in France, only to survive the ordeal. In Charleville-Mezieres, 200 kilometers north east of Paris, poor Ethan the terrier was poisoned and buried, but a passerby noticed the earth "wiggling" and investigated. He discovered Ethan in a dreadful state, convulsing from the poison, and thanks to the man that dug him up, the firefighters who rushed the dog to a local vet, and of course to the vet himself who took time and trouble to get Ethan back to full health. All this happened on Ethan's third birthday, and he was identified thanks to his microchip - so what action will be taken against his owner?
Having had one happy ending, Schmaltz Corner brings you another, with the story of Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd Dog who was tied to a rail track, hit by a train and lost his leg and most of his tail as a result. Haatchi has become the best friend of seven year old Owen Howkins who suffers from Schwartz-Jampel syndrome and had become withdrawn and agoraphobic, but having a faithful dog at his side has changed his life. The power of a dog to change a life and trust again.
Episode 26 opens with the exciting news that Debbie has appeared on the Alan Titchmarsh show. You can find a link to the show on the Bravo Working Dog Rescue website and in this episode of The Dog News Show you can hear how Debbie got on during her TV appearance. Plus why was Alan Titchmarsh a naughty host?
The dog news discussion kicks off with coverage of the fact that stroke patients in hospital have been helped by visits from Pets As Therapy dogs. Cimla Hospital in Neath, Wales, has been allowing both dogs and cats in, and the results are that patients have been recovering faster and more fully. Pets As Therapy have over 4,500 dogs and 108 cats registered in the U.K. who visits hospitals, schools and other organisations. Interacting with dogs has an amazingly beneficial affect on humans, both physically and emotionally and studies have shown that it can even reduce the need for painkilling medication. Listen and find out how you and your dog could become involved. If you dog is already a P.A.T. dog let us know about your experiences.
Julie has spotted a potential business opportunity - training dogs to help golfers. This is inspired by the experiences of English golfer Paul Casey, whose golf ball was picked up by a dog during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Quick-witted Paul tried to get the dog to drop the ball nearer to the hole, but sadly for Paul the dog made off with it, and was not stopped until he reached the next green. Between them Debbie and Julie develop the business idea into a pitch for a television format that Simon Cowell himself might well be interested in. So is the idea a "hole in one"? Or do they need to "iron" out a few creases?
The U.K. news recently has been dominated by the heartbreaking story of young April Jones who was abducted from Machynlleth, in mid-Wales. April went missing on October 1st and since then a tireless search for her has been carried out by police officers, members of the local community and of course many search and rescue dogs. Debbie has chosen this story to highlight one of the many ways that working dogs touch our lives. The dog and handler featured in this story have traveled from Sunderland to Wales to help with the search, and the handler points out that in a search like this one dog is worth twenty men. Everyone at The Dog News Show wishes the Jones family the very best, and hopes that April is found soon.
Have you neutered your dog? If you castrated a male dog did you consider replacing his testicles with implants? Apparently Tamara Ecclestone is considering doing just that, and she's following the lead of Kim Kardsashian. So is it setting a dangerous example when the rich and famous treat their dogs like this? And surely the company marketing fake testicles as "practical" is bending the truth? Julie is outraged by this story and points out that dogs don't have self-image to cope with, and will not feel "emasculated" by the loss of their testicles. Are you in favour of routine neutering or not? It seems attitudes vary around the world, and in Norway legislation is in place to keep dogs intact unless there is a medical reason to neuter.
Leading on from this, Debbie has the sad news from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home that it has seen a 40 per cent increase in the number of ‘handbag’ dogs coming into the home. This includes breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier with a 67% rise in the Yorkies arriving at Battersea, and Chihuahuas also suffering with a 36% rise in their breed ending up in the shelter. One Chihuahua involved was a small dog with a very big attitude - and he found help at Lizzie's Barn in South Wales. Diminutive Bobby's behavioural issues have been sorted out by Fionna Ashman at Lizzie's Barn, showing that pampering and spoiling a dog does them damage, but meeting their needs as a dog keeps them happy and healthy.
In Schmaltz Corner Julie has two stories for the price of one. In Massachusetts, a toy Poodle cross was hit by a car, but instead of being injured, she got stuck behind the grill of the vehicle and was only discovered after a further eleven miles had been traveled. Amazingly the dog survived. Meanwhile in Southern California, a Keeshond mix hitched a lift in a Chevy truck and was only discovered after an amazing hundred and ten miles - and again the dog survived. So do both stories get past Debbie stomp-free? - don't bet on it!
We all like products that are good for our dogs, keep them occupied and are environmentally friendly too and the latest product to fit this description is the Stagbar. Glen and Deborah Campbell run Pure Dog, a company that turns deer antlers into dog chews and this seems to be a really clever idea. Stags grow new antlers every year, and shed them each year, so Pure Dog are actually turning a waste product into a useful one by turning shed antlers into chews for dogs.The enterprise started off in Glen and Deborah's house but they have now moved into a 1,800 square feet warehouse, so clearly the product is popular with dogs. Have your dogs tried a Stagbar?
Robby King had a horrendous experience recently when police shot his dog in his own backyard. Robby set his home alarm off by mistake, and when he phoned the alarm company he couldn't recall his password so they couldn't switch it off for him. He decided that although he had been on the way to the hospital to see his first grandchild being born he would wait for the police. But in a tragic development officers accessed the rear of the house and shot Robby's chocolate Labrador dead when he ran out of the house and barked at them. The police say protocol was followed and the case is closed - but what could have been done differently to avoid the death of a dog who had done nothing wrong?
US Airman Miles Rodriguez was stationed at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk when he abandoned his three dogs at home, with the result that one dog died and the remaining two became emaciated. Miles had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and his ex-wife left her Yorkshire Terrier with him when she left, then Miles added another Staffordshire Bull Terrier bringing his pack to three. Under normal circumstances his care of his dogs was far from ideal; he visited them every other day. But when he was confined to his military base for 60 days he made no provision for his dogs. The puppy died, and in a callous attempt to hide his crimes, Miles threw the other two starving dogs over the fence into a neighbour's garden. The surviving dogs have gone to America to live with the ex-Mrs Rodriguez, Miles will be sentenced in October, but does he deserve our hatred or our sympathy?
Many of us would rush to defend our dogs from any kind of danger - but how many of us would actually wrestle an alligator to save our dog? Well when 66 year old Stephen Gustafson was gardening in Florida, USA, he looked up to see his West Highland Terrier Bounce in the mouth of an alligator. Stephen leapt into the water and grappled with the huge reptile, til poor little Bounce was free, and managed to clamp the alligator's mouth shut before getting away from the predator and swimming to safety. We salute Stephen's bravery - would you be as brave? What's the worst danger you've saved your dog from?
We all know that dogs are safest in cars in crates, behind properly fitted guards or secured by harnesses, but the state of New Jersey in America is considering bringing in legislation to make this legally mandatory. So where does you dog travel? Would you welcome a similar law where you live, and would you know how to buy a harness that would adequately protect your dog? Debbie has some great advice.
If you heard Episode 20 of The Dog News Show, you'll remember the sad story of Anthony Ortolani who abandoned his dog Missy up Mount Bierstadt in Colorado when she was injured. Scott and Amanda Washburn found Missy several days later, and though they too had to initially leave the dog, they organised a team of volunteers and returned to rescue Missy, using a large back pack to carry her down the mountain. In a fantastic development, Ortolani has signed over the dog, plead guilty to the offense of a county ordinance (rather than animal cruelty) and the best bit of all is that Missy will soon go to live with one of her rescuers.
And finally, in Schmaltz Corner Julie brings you the heart-lifting story of Jess the Springer Spaniel who helps her sheep rearing owner by holding a milk bottle in her teeth and feeding orphaned lambs. There are beautiful photos of Jess in action, but is this story stomp-proof? Of course not - listen and find out how Debbie takes the wind out of Julie's sails. Again!
You've heard of buy-on-get-one-free offers, but an American realtor came up with a novel idea recently - rent the house, get the Pitbull for free and a reduction in rent! Sandy Zalagens offered a unit for rent at $950 in normal circumstances, but with a reduction down to $800 a month discount if the tenant adopted Big Louie, and 80 pound Pitbull. In a very positive story, which is great news for the public image of this much maligned breed, Jessie McElwee took up the deal - and she moved in accompanied by her cat, and three of them are very happy together. Maybe this could be the way forward for dog rescue?
Greyfriars Bobby was a dog who kept a vigil at his dead owner's grave for several years. There has been much discussion about Bobby's breed and whether the story is true or urban myth, but a dog hit the headlines this week who has done just the same. Argentinian Miguel Guzman bought German Shepherd Capitan as a present for his son in 2005, and sadly Miguel died in 2006. Shortly after his death, Capitan went missing and now lives on his owner's grave. But how did Capitan find his way to the grave? Who feeds him? And should his family allow his behaviour to carry on? Your comments are invited.
Dog lovers everywhere are outraged by the eating of dog meat that persists in area of some countries, but in more positive news, it's emerged that Weixian County, in Hebei Province, recently became the first county in China to adopt a comprehensive regulation that bans both the consumption of dog meat and the slaughter of dogs for consumption. Dogs are not on the menu across China, and three high profile rescues of dogs destined to be eaten have helped raise awareness of the dog meat trade, and hopefully this horrible practice will continue to decrease. Increasing numbers of dogs are being kept as pets in China, and gradually the message is getting across that dogs are great companions, not food items. What do you think? Is eating a dog so different from eating a pig or cow? Is all meat murder? Let us know.
Meanwhile, the ancestor of our dogs, the grey wolf is about to become the victim of hunters once again in Wyoming USA. The state of Wyoming will no longer class the grey wolf as protected from 1st October 2012, and the species will be fair game for hunters and trappers except those animals within Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The state has apparently pledged to ensure wolf numbers don't fall below at least 10- breeding pairs - but is that enough to ensure a healthy, varied gene pool? And should the control of an animal population really be turned into a sport with glory given to those who kill the most "trophies"?
An establishment in Manchester which calls itself a boarding kennels has been forced to close down after eleven break-ins in nine years. Edward Marsden claims he can no longer guarantee the safety of clients' dogs and says he has recently had 12 dogs of his own stolen. Thieves have taken five West Highland terriers, a Maltese terrier, three black Poodles, a gold and white Shih Tzu, a golden Cocker Spaniel and a Bichon Frise, and Mr Marsden complains that that is all of his "stock" gone. But just what is Mr Marsden up to with so many dogs of so many different breeds? And who refers to their beloved dogs as stock? For advice on how to help the fight against Puppy Farms visit Debbie's blog at the SafePets UK website.
Schmaltz Corner this week has the tale of Chewy the Great Pyrenees dog who was rescued from an abusive home by the Barrhead Animal Rescue Society (BARS) in Alberta, Canada. BARS made Chewy their pet of the week and featured him on social media websites, where he caught the attention of Steve SOlomon who trains animals for TV and films. He wanted Chewy to be a stand in for a dog in a Disney movie - but irrespective of whether Chewy makes it into the movies or not, Steve guarantees him a home for life. If only all rescue dogs could have such a happy ending.
Vaccination - or lack of it - is the subject that starts Episode 23 of The Dog News Show. Debbie has a story of a young puppy who apparently went to his new home having already come into contact with Weils Disease. Weils Disease in usually caught from rats' urine and can prove fatal, but dogs can be vaccinated against it - the disease is referred to as Leptospirosis in dogs. Sadly, when young Labrador Max went to his new home he became ill very quickly and nearly died, although thanks to his owners promptly taking him to the vet he survived. It's unclear how old Max was at the time of becoming ill, but the case highlights the need to have a sufficient vaccination program in place as soon as possible. Vaccinating our dogs has become a controversial issue - how do you approach it, and do you vaccinate your dogs? Has your dog suffered from a disease it could have been vaccinated against?
Nineteen areas in North Somerset will have Dog Control Orders (DCOs) coming into effect, despite the fact that the majority of the public who responded during public consultation being against the orders. In some areas the DCOs mean dogs will have to be kept on a lead, or not allowed into ponds, but seven council owned areas will be completely off limits to dogs. When similar DCOs were threatened in Ottery St. Mary in Devon, UK, a group called Ottery Dogs responded, and are a good example of how to tackle the proposed banning of dogs from certain areas. You can find out more about Ottery Dogs at their website, and you can also follow @OtteryDogs on Twitter.
In Plymouth in the UK, a 60 year old woman stopped to fuss a dog who to her resembled a teddy bear only to be bitten very badly on the arm. The incident happened at 9:00a.m. in Mutley Park, off Thorn Park, in Mannamead, and the man who owned the dog picked it up and ran away. The woman will be left with a nasty scar, and anyone who saw the attack, or who may be able to identify the dog or the man, is asked to contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting crime reference number EC/12/8459. The attack raises the question of whether more education is needed about the best way to approach strange dogs - do you let strangers touch your dog?
Meanwhile, it's been weeks since we featured a good empathy story on the show, and Julie's come up trumps with a story from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths University in London. Researchers observed dogs approaching strangers and known people who were exhibiting one of three different behaviours - humming, crying, or talking. The findings - according to the researchers - indicate that dogs do indeed empathise with us. For those of you who enjoy it when Debbie goes a-stomping, you're in for a treat - and it all kicks off before Julie even gets to the meat of the story. Do you think dogs empathise with us?
In Grimsby Percy the cat must surely have lost one of his fabled nine lives, after he was attacked viscously by two Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dogs in Grimsby. Fortunately for Percy Sarah Kemp heard the noise of the attack and went to his rescue. But in order to get the dog to drop the cat, she had to punch him and press her finger in his eye. Poor Percy suffered internal bleeding, broken ribs and a dislocated leg, and is recuperating at the vet's surgery. The dogs' owner has apparently made attempts to fortify his garden and prevent the dogs escaping, but is this the answer? Wouldn't training be good idea too?
This week's Schmaltz Corner features Wensley the Shetland Sheepdog, who escaped from his owner, and nearly ended up in an incinerator. After an eagle-eyed crane operator spotted poor Wensley in the hopper at Eastcroft incinerator in Nottingham in with all the refuse. Two fire-fighters rescued Wensley and his microchip - hurrah for microchips! - ensured he was reunited with his owners. But what lessons can be learned from this experience?
In episode 22 of The Dog News Show Debbie gets the ball rolling with a story that's sure to provoke outrage. The Right Honorable David Blunkett is the Minister of Parliament for Brightside and Hillsborough; he also happens to be blind and have a guide dog. David and his dog Cosby, were on their way to their officially allotted seat at the Paralympics, currently taking place in London, when an official stopped them, and told David that the seat he was heading for wasn't suitable for an assistance dog. After a conversation a seat was found for Mr Blunkett in another part of the stadium, but this is a disgraceful way for a disabled person to be treated - and how ironic that this discrimination happened at the Paralympics. This is in the same week that assistance dogs access advocate Wendy Morrell was turned away by a taxi driver who didn't want to take her assistance dog Udo in his cab. But resourceful Wendy took action - you can find out more about Wendy via her twitter feed @goldencaesar.
If you live alone and you have animals, how do you make sure they will be cared for if you are put out of action temporarily - or permanently. Two stories have hit the headlines recently that highlight how their owner's death can also be fatal for a dog. In the first story from Port Lincoln, South Australia, Basil the Blue Heeler got trapped in the toilet for a month when his owner sadly died in his house. Fortunately for Basil he drank from the toilet and survived, but it could have been a very different story. For a Jack Russell terrier in Arbroath, Scotland, being trapped in the house with his dead owner for 8 days with no source of water caused his kidneys to fail and he had to be put to sleep. But is there a practical system that can be put in place to help people and their animals who are at risk of this happening?
Marc Abraham - known as Marc the TV vet due to his appearances on numerous shows - is passionate about animal welfare. He runs the campaign Where's Mum? and has organised a huge fun dog show to publicise the plight of dogs in dog farms and to educate people on how to go about getting a dog in the right way. This year's Pup Aid will be on Saturday 8th September and in this show you can hear an extract from an interview Debbie did with Marc where he talks about the fun filled - and celebrity filled - family friendly day out that is Pup Aid. Plus if you want to play Name the Breed (as mentioned in the show) checkout Marc's Twitter feed - @marcthevet.
A very odd and sad story emerged from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which stray dogs managed to get into the city's zoo and attack five kangaroos. Apparently the zoo had been modernising and taking fences down to provide greater access to the animals, but it had tragic consequences for the kangaroos. But were the stray dogs hungry or thirsty, and what can be don to help the stray population of the area?
Next a disturbing story from Mexico, where a drug gang hacked off a dog's front paws. The poor dog in question survived the ordeal but was left disabled. Luckily for him he was taken to a shelter which cared enough about him to raise the thousands of dollars necessary to have prosthetic limbs made for him. Lemon Pie as he has been nicknamed, is now learning to use his artificial legs and seems happy and oblivious to any hardships. However, is it always right to try and "fix" every health problem a dog has, and what justice should be meted out to the mindless thugs who damaged the dog in this way?
After a show which deals with some weighty and serious issues, we send you off with a smile thanks to Schmaltz Corner. This week you can hear the tale of the determined dog rescuers of Seaford in Sussex, who went ahead with a fun dog show in the face of awful weather conditions and still managed to raise £1,000 for Seaford Dog Rescue. Plucky dog lovers of Sussex, we salute you!
The latest Internet craze of "dogshaming" is the story that kicks off Episode 21 of The Dog News Show - and it has divided opinion not just in the dog community but also in the presenters of the show too. One of them finds it funny, the other finds it unpleasant - can you guess which is which? But is it the dog's fault when he commits a "crime"? And where does any "shame" attached belong - with the dog or the owner? See Julie's response to dog shaming on the DogCast Radio site. The girls thrash all this and more out, and before they leave the subject of shame there is a follow up on a story featured in Episode 18. Shane Potts abandoned his two Jack Russell Terriers and when one starved to death, the other dog ate it to stay alive, Potts has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, plus a 10 year ban on keeping animals and a fine of £500.
It's been a while since Debbie got to stomp on any research, so to keep her happy Julie has a story of research into OCD behaviour in dogs. The study was done in Helsinki, Finland, and has come up with some interesting findings; that dogs who display OCD behaviour such as chasing their tail excessively are more likely to have been taken away from their mother too early. Dogs who have vitamin and mineral supplements added to their food are less likely to exhibit OCD symptoms. It's hoped that the study can help to shed light on OCD in humans.
You may know actor Peter Egan best from his role in Ever Decreasing Circles - although you will be seeing him on your televisions this Christmas too, and without revealing too much fans of Downton Abbey should stay tuned! - but are you aware he is a committed advocate for dog welfare and runs his own charity All Dogs Matter? Included in this show is an extract from an interview Debbie did with Peter, and hopefully she'll be catching up with him again when they both attend Marc Abraham's Pupaid in September. You can read an interview with Peter Egan on the Safepets UK website, and you can hear an extract of Debbie's interview with Marc Abraham in Episode 22 next week.
The next story is from Adelaide, Australia, where there have been problems with dog attacks - at one point there were four dog attacks in the space of four days. With both local residents and dog behaviour expert and Australian Veterinary Association spokeswoman Doctor Kersti Seksel supporting mandatory dog training, is that really the answer? Could mandatory training be enforced, or is it better to offer substantial incentives to those who do train their dogs? Plus should owners of all dog breeds be compelled to attend training classes or should some breeds be singled out?
There are stories about dogs falling off cliffs in the news virtually every week, but thankfully when Bella the 15 month old Labrador fell off a cliff while on holiday in Dorset she not only sustained no injuries, but she found her way back to the holiday home the family were staying in. How did she do it? Was it her strong sense of smell or something else? How did her owner react, and why do people keep walking their dogs off lead near cliffs?
In Schmaltz Corner, we end the show with the beautiful story of the duckling rescued and taken into a rescue centre, where she has befriended two dogs, Skip the Terrier and Holly the Collie. Little Fifty Pence, so called as when she was found as a tiny duckling that was how small she was, has fitted right into the pack, attempting to play football with her canine pals, and knowing her place in the "pecking" order. But is it the happy ever after you might hope? Listen and find out.
Episode 20 of The Dog News Shows sees a return to that perennial problem of poo. Taxpayers in Islington, North London, are outraged that their hard earned taxes have been wasted by the council on a scheme to clear the area of dog poo. However, although £134,000 has been spend to employ a team of 22 dog mess wardens, the project has only seen 26 fines issued, so although it was hoped the scheme would be self-financing the income generated has fallen well short of what was hoped, leaving the council heavily out of pocket. One local councilor, Greg Foxsmith described the matter as a "complete waste" - we're not sure if the pun was intended or not. Debbie and Julie discuss how other councils have tackled the issue more successfully.
Meanwhile, it's not just us commoners who have problems with our dogs - the royal family's dogs have been making headlines recently. With the Windsor family gathering at Balmoral for their annual summer break, their dogs are having to adjust to new routines and surroundings. It's no surprise then that under this pressure the dogs suddenly thrown together with strange dogs, in a strange place, and not with their owners but in the care of the Queen's dog boy started fighting. Sadly Princess Beatrice's Norfolk Terrier, Max, took the brunt of the attack, and nearly lost an ear. This is just the latest in a long line of royal canine kerfuffles, so should their royal highnesses be calling on Debbie Connolly for advice, and will Julie Hill end up in The Tower for her irreverent comments?
From Georgia, USA, comes the very sad story of Rebecca Carey who devoted her life to rescuing dogs and other animals. She had been taking in abandoned animals for ten years, and was found dead in her house recently. There was so much blood at the scene of the crime that police initially thought Rebecca had been the victim of a vicious murder, but it then emerged that one or more of her dogs had been responsible for her death. When she dies, Rebecca was sharing her house with five dogs, all of whom have been put to sleep - but was this the right decision? Should homes have been found for the dogs, and why were certain breeds singled out in the reporting of the event?
Anthony Ortolani and his friend were 13,000 feet up Mount Bierstadt in Colorado when Anthony's dog Missy was injured. With a snow storm imminent, Anthony made the decision to leave his dog, and the friends went home without her. Scott and Amanda Washburn found Missy several days later, and though they too had to initially leave the dog, they organised a team of volunteers and returned to rescue Missy, using a large back pack to carry her down the mountain. At that point Anthony heard about the rescue via a climbers' social networking site, thanked them, offered to reimburse them and asked to be reunited with Missy, who was then at a local veterinarian's surgery. However, Anthony was in for a shock and not only has his dog not been returned to him, but he has been charged with cruelty to an animal and will be in court in October 2012. What would you do if you were faced with a life or death choice that involved leaving your dog? Should Anthony be prosecuted, and should Missy have been put in danger in the first place? Your comments, as ever, are invited.
Is heelwork to music degrading to the dogs that participate in it? Should the moves involved be restricted for the dog's safety? Apparently in the wake of Ashleigh and Pudsey's triumph in talent show Britain's Got Talent there has been a 20% rise in participants of the sport, and the Kennel Club is seeking to make sure the dogs involved are as safe as possible, and is issuing strict new guidelines. The guidelines outline moves that will not be deemed acceptable, but are they too subjective, and does the Kennel Club have bigger fish to fry anyway?
In a slightly controversial Schmlatz Corner Julie and Debbie discuss the fact that a gentle dog-walking romance Monday to Friday Man has knocked Fifty Shade of Grey off the top spot on the Amazon UK website. So does Julie get stomped? - and has either of the girls read Fifty Shades? All will be revealed!
Episode 19 of The Dog News Show is a mix of the weird and wacky, alongside the wonderful and the very sad dog related news stories from the last week. Debbie starts the ball rolling with a story about sheep texting...no you didn't read that wrong, this really is a story about sheep texting. However, the texting is actually generated from a collar on the sheep's neck which monitors their heart rate and sends a text alert to the farmer if the heart rate raises too high. It is thought that a sheep's heartbeat triples during a wolf attack, and with forewarning, farmers could protect their stock more effectively - even if they can't afford a sheepdog. But what's the difference between a sheepdog and a guardian dog? And could this texting technology help our understanding and training of our pet dogs?
Julie also has a story about a dog related invention - a doggy umbrella, created by Charlotte Smith from Manchester. Charlotte's own dog Jarvis disliked going out in the rain - and goodness knows we've had enough rain in the UK this year - until he had his own canine umbrella. But could this innovation cause as many problems as it solves? Do you think your dog would welcome the shelter or be spooked by it? Might the raindrops hitting the umbrella be too noisy for some dogs? In short would this device have dogs singing or just howling in the rain?
All dogs need to be groomed but has creative grooming gone too far? This is best described as furry topiary and in the States competitors are taking things to extremes. Dogs are now not only having their fur cut and dyed in unnatural styles and colours, but are having their coat embellished with a variety of accessories to make them resemble muppets or make it look as if an owl is nestling in their fur. So where should the line be drawn between acceptable and necessary grooming and going completely over the top and turning dogs into objects of ridicule? What level of creative grooming would you apply to your dog?
When Lindsey Evans' Rhodesian Ridgeback Millie needed surgery on her leg, Lindsey was shocked when the vet said that Millie needed to lose weight first. Millie weighed in at a whopping nine stone, and was put on a strict diet. The problem had arisen from Lindsey sharing her own unhealthy diet with her dog, including chocolate, crisps and biscuits, which had caused Lindsey's own weight to rise to twenty five stone. Inspired by her dog's weight loss LIndsey enrolled at a slimming club, with the result that Millie lost four stone and Lindsey lost fifteen. Well done to them both, and what a positive story in these times of rising obesity in both people, dogs and other companion animals.
Lesley Banks loved her Rottweiler Brannigan so much she wanted to protect him from any danger - and she paid the ultimate price for her devotion to her dog. In 2009 Brannigan saved Lesley's life when he woke her during a fire, allowing them both to get to safety, and she was extremely grateful. However, Brannigan had bitten Lesley on at least one occasion, and when he bit her in August 2011 Lesley was so scared he would be put down that she treated the bite herself and refused to seek help. Within forty eight hours she was dead from septicemia. Debbie discusses the law involved here and reassures owners that Brannigan would not have been put to sleep if his owner had sought help. But what's happened to Brannigan since Lesley's death, and could this whole tragedy have been avoided?
Schmaltz Corner this week is a celebration of the love and deep bond we develop with our animals. When Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took a photo of John Unger and his dog Schoep in lake Wisconsin and posted it on Facebook she had no idea how many people would respond to the photo. John adopted Schoep from a shelter when he was just a few months old, and now at the grand old age of nineteen, the dog has bad arthritis. So John wades out into the warm lake with him cradled in his arms so that the supportive and relaxing effect of the water eases his pain and lulls him into a peaceful sleep. The photo of John tenderly holding his dog, with Schoep's head nestled into his shoulder has moved dog lovers around the world - and now donations are pouring in to pay for the dog's medical treatment. Only able to pay for painkillers, John's vet was advising that the end might be near for elderly Schoep, but happily now, thanks to the generosity of strangers moved by the pair's story, Schoep is benefiting from laser treatment that he will need for the rest of his life. If you'd like to donate to Schoep's treatment, contact Bay Area Animal Hospital on 715-682-8865 with your credit card number ready, or mail a cheque to 3601 E Hwy 2 Ashland, WI 54806 - all contributions go into Schoep's account. Here's wishing John and Schoep the very best.
We all know that dogs have a beneficial affect on us, but in episode 18 of The Dog News Show Debbie has a story of a dog who is helping a veteran with post traumatic stress syndrome. Raymond Galmiche had two deployments in Vietnam and has since suffered night time terrors and daytime flashbacks. Now thanks to a German Shepherd Dog called Dazzle, Galmiche is feeling better and finding some peace. The dog was supplied by James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida and is part of a study into whether PTSD sufferers could benefit from a canine assistance dog.
From a GSD helping an ex-serviceman to the story of a Chihuahua who became the heroine of a neighbourhood search and rescue operation. Julie has the story of three young girls who went missing with their dog in a wood in Georgia, USA. Friends and neighbours rallied round to look for them, however, it was a tiny three year old dog called Bell who picked up the children's scent and led her owner straight to them. Fortunately the girls had been pulled into the woods by their own dog, and had been unable to find their way home, which highlights the dangers of letting children and dogs wander off unsupervised.
Two shocking and distressing stories emerged from Derbyshire in the UK recently. In one, a young mother was dragging her puppy along the road so harshly the young dog was bleeding and injured. The RSPCA is seeking to ban Rachel Taylor from pet ownership for the rest of her life - although Taylor believes her veterinarian will defend her. In the second story from Derbyshire Shane Potts abandoned his house to move in with his mother, but left his two Jack Russell Terriers alone in the house. The two dogs were without food and water and when one died, the surviving dog ate her to avoid starving himself. Rachel Taylor's case continues in three weeks, Shane Potts will be sentenced for two charges of causing unnecessary suffering later this month.
COuncil officials in Nottingham are trying to highlight to dog owners the dangers of blue-green algae. This can grow in stagnant water in summer months, and while it can cause illness in humans it can be fatal to dogs. Between 2008 and 2010, ten dogs in Nottinghamshire died after coming into toxins from the algae, and this is a problem that affects not just the whole of the UK but many countries worldwide. Blue-green algae kills dogs fast, so take it seriously and keep your dog away from it.
Sadly dog meat is still on the menu in Vietnam, despite the fact that many people are coming to love dogs and appreciate what devoted companions they make. Pet dogs are sometime stolen to supply the dog meat trade, particularly in rural Vietnam, but the tide of public opinion is turning, so will this vile practice of eating dog flesh continue much longer. We can only hope not, and it does seem that particularly among younger people, eating dogs is becoming unacceptable.
In Schmaltz Corner we end the show with a story to send you away smiling. When State Senator Rich Alloway spotted a lifeless dog in her owner's arms at the beach in Maryland he knew he must take action. Rich's wife Shannon was the person he turned to and she definitely became the heroine of the hour, immediately applying mouth-to-snout resuscitation. So the only question left to answer is did Debbie stomp on Julie's happy-ever-after story? - listen and find out.
Dogs' ability to recognise and nurture the young of other species is the story that kicks off episode 17 of The Dog News Show. A Pointer-cross dog in a German zoo has been helping raise a lion cub whose mother rejected him. It doesn't seem to matter where it's playing with the children who live in the same house as them, and orphaned litter of kittens or a more exotic species, dogs seem to have an innate sense that a young creature should be cared for.
However, dogs can also sense who is acting out of the ordinary - and that's just what happened in our second story. When eleven year old Rottweiler Missy was left home alone she took exception to an arm that came through a catflap and bit it. Missy did so much damage to the would-be burglar that there was a pool of blood on the floor from which police extracted enough DNA to catch the culprit - hoorah! If only there was a Missy waiting to distribute retribution to all burglars.
Next up is the holidaymaker who attempted to get rid of her dog by dumping him on a beach. However, unbeknown to the woman, her husband had microchipped their dog and keen dog wardens were soon knocking on her caravan door to return her dog - and demand some money for wasting officers' time and public money. Needless to say that as a seasoned rescuer this story has Debbie's hackles well and truly up.
Lancelot Encore is a clone of a dog called Sir Lancelot, and he is now the father of a litter of puppies. The litter are being heralded by their breeder as "future pups from the past" - but aren't all puppies a product of their ancestors? So is cloning your dog a tribute to your love for him, or is it disrespectful to his memory? And is making a business out of breeding a clone's offspring and marketing them as such exploitative? Julie feels strongly that each dog is an adventure and takes you on a unique journey, and is just not comfortable with this whole business.
That a dog should be dumped is shocking enough, but when a puppy was abandoned from a car and found to have been brutally beaten it was doubly shocking. This is an appalling crime that someone has committed. The young black Staffordshire Bull Terrier was left by blue convertible BMW near the underpass of the A1M at junction 8 near Graveley Road at around 11.30am. Anyone with relevant information should call DC Tucker via 101 quoting 368 of 30/07/12, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
You've probably noticed that the Olympics 2012 are in full swing in London, and if you want to attend the game with an assistance dog there is some fantastic advice on the Assistance Dogs website. Many thanks to Wendy Morrell for highlighting this information and congratulations to Wendy who along with her friend Karen Ruddlestone advised LOCOG about assistance dog considerations for the games, and took part in the Olympic torch relay - both accompanied by their own devoted canine partner.
To send you off with a smile Schmaltz Corner brings you the video of a very small dog puffing and panting to carry a rather large cat - see it and smile! So does Julie finally escape a stomping from Debbie? - well maybe, but don't miss Debbie's wild goose chase story, in which our wildlife warrior heroine steps in to save the lives of some Canada geese. Two happy endings for the price of one this week.
It's Episode 16 of The Dog News Show already and Debbie has a sad tale of woe concerning a dog who was lost, found and then taken into custody. Sam Hanson-Fleming lost his Husky-Shepherd mix dog Chase, student Jordan Biggs found the dog, christened him Bear and kept him. Jordan had Bear trained as her asthma service dog, and they spent a happy year together. Then Sam spotted the pair out on a walk and asked for his dog back, but Jordan refused. Friends of Sam accused him of having mistreated the dog, with the result that police arrested Jordan, Bear is in custody, and neither of them can currently have the dog. Debbie has vital advice on what to do if you find a lost dog to avoid getting yourself in a similar mess, and meanwhile the case continues.
If you haven't encountered the dog sport of DockDogs, you've missed out. Julie has a story about a competition near Chicago, where dogs could compete at jumping the furthest, the highest or completing the speediest retrieve. Dogs of any breed, mix and size can compete in the sport as long as they're over six months old, and older dogs can participate as there is virtually no impact on their joints. It's a fun sport to take part in - as long as your dog is willing to jump off the dock! - and it's entertaining for spectators too. To find out more about Dock Dogs visit the DockDogs website or the All About Dogs website.
It's not often that the owner of a dangerous dog serves jail time but Kevin Large has had to do just that after his Rhodesian Ridgeback mauled a young boy. Large had been told to reinforce his fence to keep his dog in his garden, but failed to do so. When the dog made it out of the garden he mauled Erfan Ali who was helping his mother in their garden. Large is now in prison, the dog has been destroyed, but Erfan has been left traumatised as well as having scars that will need years of treatment. The Welsh Government is apparently considering tightening up legislation on the care and management of dogs - but will it be too little too late?
The headline asked "With her £20,000 designer wardrobe, is Bella the Bichon Frise Britain's most pampered pet?" and the resounding answer is, "No she is not!" Bella's owner, 17 year old Laura, is under the impression that what dogs want most is designer clothes. And the only thing they want more than designer clothes is designer bags to be carried in. Poor Bella even has her nails painted. This is not the way dogs are meant to live, and what a pity this misguided teen has wasted thousand of pounds on satisfying her own desires, while inflicting suffering on her dog. What would you say to Laura to explain what a dog really wants out of life?
Debbie's last story is the odd tale of a woman whose dog ran off and caused them both to fall down a ravine in Fife, Scotland. Apparently the dog was an ex-Guide dog who had been taught not to bark - but is that the truth or has yet another dog story been misrepresented? As usual, Debbie has sound advice to avoid getting into this kind of mess - and how to deal with a runaway dog.
Julie's still striving to send listeners away with a smile and this week has the case of Sunny the rescue dog who was plucked from her shelter by dog trainer William Berloni, who was looking for a dog to play Sandy in the musical Annie. Not only was Sunny saved, but funds are also being raised for other rescue dogs by Annie ticket sales. A pretty good Schmaltz Corner - so does Debbie Connolly stomp all over it? - does a Labrador drool at dinner time?
In Episode 15 of The Dog News Show, Julie kicks things off with a story from Rachel Rounds how has written in the Daily Mail about her experiences of how her pregnancy has effected her dog. Rachel's seven year old Labrador Maxi has shown a sudden interest in her "bump" and apparently this is a documented phenomenon, if not a common one. Debbie has had clients who've had similar experiences, and Julie recently interviewed an expert who has observed that women's hormones can interfere with dog training. Have you ever found pregnancy or menstruation have had an effect on your dog - or do you think it's a myth?
The story of Lennox the pitbull type dog who was taken from his family home in Belfast and held for being a dangerous dog has spread around the world. Sadly, after exhaustive legal wrangling, Lennox was put to sleep on 11th July 2012. His family will never forget him and neither will Lennox's "army" - the band of committed supporters his story drew; but how will the wider campaign to free him be remembered, and how does it reflect on the dog community? Debbie reflects that the many dogs in this position in counties all around the UK need equal support, and suggests what the way forward might be.
Many people think that Greyhounds are energetic dogs who need lots of exercise, but the truth is that Greyhounds are sprinters rather than marathon runners, and after a walk or run they are most likely to be found curled up on the sofa or in front of the fire. Olive the Greyhound has been visiting Corsham Primary School in Wiltshire to help the children who are struggling with reading. The lovely aspect of this story is that while Olive - and her canine colleague Tim - have been helping the children, then children have been in turn raising funds for Greyhounds in need.
Next up is a story from Cardiff of a bored "guard" dog trying to tempt passers by into amusing him by throwing a tennis ball. A short film has been made of the dog's actions, and apparently people have traveled miles to take a turn at throwing the ball for the enigmatic "Mr Dog". But is the story as cute as it first appears? Is keeping a dog trapped in a commercial yard for so much of the time in fact cruel?
Working dogs are close to Debbie's heart and she has set up Bravo Working Dog Rescue to help rehabilitate and rehome failed and retiring working dogs. She talks about how some dogs are betrayed when they come to the end of their working life, and urges caution to anyone donating a dog to become a working dog.
In Schmaltz Corner, to end the show with a smile, Julie has the story of a eight year old dog Lexus, who lost the use of her back legs and whose story was featured on the Internet after her owners created a homemade cart for her. Apparently Lexus was delighted with her make-do method of getting around, but now a company who makes carts for dogs has donated a specially made vehicle for her. So does this happy ending pass the Debbie Connolly test? Well yes and no - listen and all will become clear!
There's a break with tradition in episode 14 of The Dog News Show because it's Debbie that's bringing the research to the discussion, not Julie. The latest research which was done in Finland indicates that babies who live in a household that includes a dog have far fewer health problems. Specifically, they have ear infections, coughs or runny noses less of the time, and are less likely to need antibiotics. So what is it about having a dog in the house that improves the health of children? - Debbie and Julie explore the subject.
Ben Fogle was in the headlines this week as his beloved Labrador Inca was put to sleep. Ben was bereft, tweeting that he had lost his best friend, he was heartbroken and couldn't stop crying. Many dog lovers will empathise and sympathise with him, but why is it that some people just don't understand why we mourn our dogs and other pets so deeply? The Tony Livesey show on Radio 5 Live asked Julie to take part in a phone-in on dog loss inspired by Ben Fogle's very public grief, and they were asking the question, "Is it right to mourn a dog?" - of course Julie pointed out to them that yes it's absolutely acceptable to mourn a four legged family member. So how do we get the message across to people who say, "It's just a dog?" and what's the best way to respond if this is said to you?
Next up Debbie has the story of the pensioner who was attacked by a pack of five dogs. However, while Debbie has sympathy for the lady involved, who has sustained very nasty injuries, she has issues with the way the story is reported. She highlights the fact that there are many problems with the Dangerous Dogs Act in that it causes some owners to unnecessarily fear having their dogs taken away, but also that it can be used to deal with problem dogs before they have actually bitten anyone.
The theme of dog attacks or incidents is continued with a story sent in by listener and valued friend of the show Wendy Morrell. Wendy emailed in a story that happened in Bournemouth where an energetic Doberman knocked a pensioner over, and the owner refused to give his details and left the scene of the accident without offering any help to the victim, who has ended up with a metal plate and screws in her knee and is immobile for six weeks. Since March 2012 there have been at least three other occasions where a woman has been injured by a loose dog with an irresponsible owner who didn't even try to offer help or make amends of any kind. The girls have some innovative suggestions to combat the problem, which Debbie points out is by no means limited to the Bournemouth area.
In Schmaltz Corner, to send you off with a smile on your face, we have the inspiring story of Jacob. Jacob's a Husky cross who won the Most Handsome Dog at the Shropshire heat of Scruffts. He is a rescue dog who was involved in a horrendous accident on the M6 motorway which lead to him going missing for three days, then shortly after his return he was attacked by another dog. This has left him very nervous of both people and dogs, but he and his handler achieved success simply by spending time in such a busy environment as Scruffts, and it's a testament to what a dog can do if he's given the chance, and to how great handling can support a dog and make his life easier and happier.
In Episode 13 of The Dog News Show Debbie has the story of the unhappy New York couple who are at war not over their dog, but over the website devoted to their dog. The dog in question is Pomeranian Sammy who inspired a website full of photos of him around New York called Sammy and the City. When his owners Scott Smith and Anna Camara were together all was well, but when their relationship came to an end they came to blows over who owned the financially valuable website. Neither Debbie nor Julie have much sympathy for the couple, and could understand more if their dispute was over who got the dog, not who got the dollars.
Next up, Julie has a story of doggy concierge services being offered in New York apartment buildings. Is this a force for good that will enhance dogs' lives, or is it a license for dog owners to act irresponsibly and pay someone else to pick up the pieces for them? Will the services result in dogs who are better looked after, or in dogs who are unsettled by a lack of routine?
Poor Bono the police sniffer dog has had his accuracy called into doubt - by a defendant in whose car Bono correctly detected the presence of drugs. Allegedly, Bono has only been right 26% of the time, which is about 1 in 4 - is this an acceptable success rate in a police dog? However, it may not be as bad as it seems, as it could be that Bono is being put off by the lingering scent of drugs that have been in the car, but have been removed by the time he is alerting to their smell. It all makes for an interesting legal discussion though.
Is the incident of a family dog saving a toddler from drowning in a swimming pool all it seems? We all know dogs and children can get into children when unsupervised, sometimes in the blink of an eye, and this case highlights the need to remain vigilant. Labrador Bear does seem to have saved the toddler he lives with, but it could have turned out so differently. For example, consider the events in Texas where an unsupervised dog caused severe injury to a three year old who approached him.
The weirdest news story in this show is that of West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland who intend to spray paint dog mess left in public places bright pink. Yes it was pink dogs last week, and it's pink poo this week! The theory is that this will shame owners into picking up after their dogs - but will it work? Is it more likely that both poo and paint will be rained away before they can have any effect at all? And surely there are better ways to use council workers' time?
Finally to send you away with a smile we have the story of Hilary Swank's visit to Bucharest, Romania, to shine a light on the 35,000 stray dogs there in need of help. Hilary was there to see a project which brings together stray dogs and institutionalised people. Hilary has a rescue dog and is passionate about neutering pet dogs and about encouraging no-kill policies in shelters.
Before we get down to the serious business of the news featured in episode 12 of The Dog News Show, if you're intrigued by Debbie's photo of her cat with a look-alike piglet, simply click here to assuage your curiosity. Cute isn't it? However the colouring of Emma Watson's dog - or is it actually Emma's friend's dog? - has raised some eyebrows rather than smiles recently after the dog was dyed pink. So is it a harmless whim or does it compromise the dog's dignity? - Debbie and Julie discuss.
Having spent the last week in Scotland, Julie has the sad story of a lady who was walking her dog near Aberdeen when a thunder storm struck. Lightning hit the woman, giving her mild burns, while her dog was killed. There are many questions about this event - how did the lightning travel to the dog, and why was the woman not affected? What lessons can be learned here about keeping our dog's safe?
Debbie focuses attention on the story of Mugly, an eight year old Chinese Crested dog who traveled from her home in Cambridgeshire to California to compete in a famous dog show and win. But is the title of Ugliest Dog in the World one you'd want your dog to win? Is ugly a word that should even be applied to dogs - or any animal? And why does the title so often go to the same breed?
Meanwhile in Scotland there is the tale of the NHS Chairman who left his twelve year old dog home alone for several days, so that when the Scottish RSPCA rescued her, not only had she been without food and water, but her fur was matted and she has soiled and wet herself and her bedding. Michael Keggans was fined £900 and banned from keeping animals for 5 years, but initially kept his job. However as pressure mounted on him and whether his position as an animal abuser in a caring profession was tenable, he resigned.
It seems the spectre of a hoodie with a status dog is never far away with more stories hitting the headlines every day. In one of the latest incidents, a police officer was bitten as he arrested a dog's owner who was in his car at the time. Debbie explores how this case may have interesting repercussions and could set a legal precedent for dangerous dogs legislation.
And Schmaltz Corner sends listeners away with a smile on their face (or could that be a grimace after Julie's attempt at a Scottish accent?) with the true life canine hero Misty, the Border Terrier who stayed by her owners side after he collapsed near a fast flowing burn. Maybe Misty is continuing the Scottish tradition of loyal dogs of which Greyfriars Bobby is a famous example? You can read Greyfriars Bobby's story here.
In Episode 11 of The Dog News Show we open with a story that's been in the headlines a lot this week - the dreadful attack on toddler Keiron Guess. Keiron wandered into a garden where two Staffie type dogs lived and received serious injuries for which he had several hours' surgery, and was kept in an induced coma for a week. The teenaged owner of the dog has expressed no remorse, and will suffer no punishment or fine as the attack occurred on private land. Debbie and Julie discuss the implications of this shocking case and wish Keiron as speedy a recovery as possible.
By contrast the second story tells of how a missing dog sparked a search which save the life of a tiny, very young human baby. This happened in Ghana, where the dog was eventually found curled up around the completely unharmed infant, and highlights the fact that dogs' true nature is to bond with and live in harmony with humans.
And in a story from Detroit, USA, we hear that some humans understand the true value of canine life. Firefighters tackling a serious house fire evacuated the human occupants, and then carried the virtually lifeless bodies of two dogs from the building. A fireman then took off his own oxygen mask and used it to help both dogs to recover from the effects of smoke inhalation. You can see video of the touching events on You Tube, and you can see a longer trailer of the Burn film which highlights the dangerous work of the firefighters involved, and find out how to support them on the Burn website.
Do you ever get into your car and then panic about whether you remembered to bring your dog with you? Well Michael Siau had no idea that his nine month old Yorkshire Terrier, Rambo. had escaped from his truck while it was parked at a rest stop in Missouri. The escape was not detected until 170 miles later, by which time Michael was in Ohio. After many frantic phone calls, Michael managed to get an animal control officer to go to the rest stop to search for poor Rambo - and Rambo was waiting there. Hear how close Michael came to losing his dog, and what made the reunion even more poignant.
Penultimately, we have the tangled web of accusation and counter accusation going on in part of the dog show world. With claims of bribery, intimidation and bullying flying back and forth, what really is going on, and what's the secret of keeping yourself on the right road in any doggy discipline?
In Schmaltz Corner the feel good story to send you away smiling is that on the dog christened Miracle, after his rescue was organised with the help of Facebook. After the dog was spotted with his head stuck fast in a plastic container two women used the power of social media to spread the message that he needed help - and the happy twist in the tale is that Miracle was not the only dog that got rescued that day. All this and more, delivered with humour, honesty and a healthy dollop of attitude too - nowhere else brings you the dog news quite like this!
The tenth episode of The Dog News Show opens with a story that may divide opinion - although for once Debbie and Julie are in agreement, and neither of them are in favour of the latest trend for pampered pooches. This is a trend in America, and we can only hope it doesn't spread - a dog doesn't need his claws painted, so why should he go through the discomfort and inconvenience of having them painted, and will the need to protect his nail art impact on his quality of life? Nail art for dogs gets a big thumbs down from The Dog News Show.
Next up for consideration are two stories that are a big reminded to keep an eye on our dogs when we're out and about and train a good "leave" command. In the first story, a Labrador from South Wales died after eating mouldy cheese that had been inconsiderately dumped rather than disposed of in a bin. In the second story a dog was bitten by an adder in his own back garden in Oxfordshire. If your dog is unfortunate enough to be bitten by an adder - or any other poisonous snake - he will have a much better chance of survival if you are aware of the bite and can inform your vet who can then give the most effective treatment.
Debbie has a story of a dog attack involving a Pitbull and a Poodle in Boston, U.S.A. However all is not quite what it would seem, and there are many surprising aspects of this story - listen to find out more!
Julie has found more research into dogs' behaviour and emotion. This study investigates whether dogs feel guilt - and the short answer is of course, "No they don't!" Hear Debbie and Julie's thoughts on this complicated study that comes up with some interesting findings.
Microchipping your dog is so important in case he is ever lost or stolen, and in this episode you can hear the story of Libby who was finally reunited with her owner after six years thanks to her chip. So what happened when they were reunited? Did Libby remember her former family, and what made the meeting extra poignant? Are you a fan of microchipping or not? Don't forget that you can have your say on any of the topics discussed via the Facebook page or Twitter account.
Finally in Schmaltz Corner, has Julie finally found a story that Debbie can't trample all over? Well maybe, maybe not. Hear the story of Poppy, a pup who ended up in rescue and was bounced from shelter to shelter with at least three families adopting and then rejecting her in her first few months of life. But luckily the qualities that can get a pet dog into trouble - intelligence, determination, independence - can make a great working dog. Find out exactly how Poppy got her happy ending and the other rescue dogs who have matured into excellent working dogs.
In Episode 9 of The Dog News Show we start with very good news which will have a positive impact on the future of many breeds. The Kennel Club has announced that it will no longer register pups born from merle-to-merle matings. This will affect many breeds including Shetland Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Beaucerons, Chihuahuas, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers and Bull Terriers (Miniature). The merle colouring may be very attractive but it can be associated with serious health problems - Debbie talks of her personal experience of this issue.
The psychology department at Leicester University have been carrying out research comparing human character traits with dog breed preference and have come up with the conclusion that jerks like aggressive dogs. This research is based on a study where subjects filled out a personality questionnaire and indicated which breed of dog they liked - however both Julie and Debbie take issue with the way the study defines aggressive. How have the researchers decided on levels of aggression? Have they relied on breed stereotypes? Is the research actually unhelpful in its depiction of some breeds? Plus could Debbie and Julie get some funding for some fun research of their own? Probably not, but a girl can dream!
In Arizona two Pitbulls were discovered stray beside the road, but sadly one had been killed in a car accident and the other, a male dog, refused to leave her side. He lay by his dead friend for several hours, licking her face confused as to why she was unresponsive. This case brings up many questions - such as why did the authorities take so long to arrive? Why did the dog stay with his friend for so long? Will the dog - who is in care and exhibiting signs on depression - get a happy ending? And could it be true that Debbie really has a softer side?
What arrangements do you make for your dog when you go on vacation? If you don't or can't take your dog with you, you can opt for a pet sitter who will visit your house, or put your dog into kennels, but a new website in America called Dog Vacay offers hosts who will board your dog for you. The great thing about this business is that not only do the organisers of the website check out the hosts they supply, but dog owners and their dogs are encouraged to meet the host in advance of the vacation to check they are a good match. What do you think is the safest provision to make when you holiday without your dog?
In deepest darkest Hackney in London, a "beast" has apparently been terrorising the neighbourhood. One student was so scared she barely had the nerve to take photos before she fled. But the mystery has been solved, the myth has been busted and the solution involves a large Newfoundland dog and the drummer from Kula Shaker. Listen and all will be revealed.
Finally, Episode 9 comes to a close with Schmaltz Corner. A stray dog attached himself to a group of cyclists on a trek across China after they gave him some food, and one of the cyclists will now adopt the dog. A simple enough tale you might think, but no, controversy rears its head, and Julie and Debbie have very different takes on the story, so the show comes to a close with disagreement raging, and one of the presenters going off in a huff - feel free to chip in with your opinion on the matter via the Facebook page or Twitter account.
In the eigth episode of The Dog News Show the first story up for discussion is the Cambridge woman who faces eviction because she has failed to cope with her barking dog. This is a worrying case, but Debbie would like to point out that eviction is a last resort for a council to take, and that dog owners would be given lots of warning and many chances to deal with the problem before it got to such a serious stage. Debbie has advice for those who are dealing with their own dog barking, or being troubled by a neighbour's dog on her SafePets UK website.
Next up we have another worrying story, that of the Northamptonshire woman who will marry dogs to each other for £150. That's the minimum price, but apparently many pet owners opt for expensive extras - chauffeur driven cars, catering and so on - and can end up spending £20,000 on their canine ceremony. Is it morally wrong to spend that much money on a dog "wedding" when it could change the live of dogs in rescue? And what could be worse than doggy marriage? - Debbie and Julie reveal this and more on a subject that has them simultaneously amused and outraged.
It wouldn't be The Dog News Show if it didn't mention dangerous dogs at some point, and show 8 is no exception. There are new proposals from the Sentencing Council for tougher sentences for dangerous dog owners, but will it tackle the real problem or will it just allot blame and punishment after the event? And why should it make any difference who is bitten by a dog? - the proposals refer to elderly and blind people, but surely they are not the only ones in need of protection? Debbie has useful insights into the law on dangerous dogs, and again has advice for anyone experiencing problems with approaching the police on this matter.
Meanwhile the next story transports us back into the mists of time, with news of how one archaeologist is claiming that by teaming up with dogs modern humans gained an advantage over the other primate species they were in competition with. Early humans also included dog teeth in their jewellery, and occasionally depicted dogs in their cave paintings. To learn more about dogs in cave paintings check out Tamsin Pickeral's article 5000 years of the dog in art on the DogCast Radio website.
To send you off with a smile on your face the show finishes with Schmaltz Corner, which this week features Briard called Norman who can perform many impressive tricks, including riding a bike. However what's really heart warming is that Norman is using his fame to promote the message the adopting a rescue dog is a great way to bring a dog into your life, and that if you do buy a dog you should avoid puppy farms and pet shops completely. Find out more about talented Norman on his Facebook page.
In Episode 7 of The Dog News Show we start with the amazing story of a Pitbull, Lily, who pulled her unconscious owner off a train track in America. Lily is undoubtedly a hero - but is there more to this story than would first appear? The owner in question has a problem with alcohol. The dog sustained severe injuries when an oncoming train hit her, and she subsequently lost a front leg. There are serious questions here, which Debbie and Julie explore - should alcoholics be in charge of a dog? Did the dog act out of instinct or empathy? One thing is for sure - Lily is a great example of how loyal and courageous a Pitbull can be, and she's made positive headlines for her breed.
Many studies have proved how good dogs are for us - they lower blood pressure, increase endorphins, and help us deal with stress. Many colleges across the United States are getting dogs onto their campus in order to help relax students. Some dogs are companion dogs in training, some belong to staff, some are therapy dogs and some are rescue dogs, but they all help the students cope with what's going on in their lives, especially at times of extra stress like exams. Would you have welcomed a dog around when you were sitting exams? Would you like to see schemes like this becoming more widespread? Would you be willing to volunteer to take your dog to help students relax? Debbie and Julie would love to know what you think.
In Episode 5 of The Dog News Show, the girls discussed the very sad story of a one year old baby who was killed by his grandmother's dog. The dog in question, a was sentenced to be put to sleep, but a rescue group stepped in and said they could train and rehome the dog. However, because the dog had already been slated to be destroyed local law decreed that was what must happen. But is it right that a dog who has killed a child should get a second chance? When a tragedy like this happens who should say what happens to the dog? Would you take on a dog with a past history of killing? Debbie and Julie discuss the story sympathetically, covering the wider issues this case has highlighted.
After the discussion of empathy in Episode 6 of The Dog News Show, Julie is delighted to learn that some scientists think that dogs "catching" yawns from their owners is evidence that they can empathise. Debbie is not convinced and is reserving judgment, but they'd both like to be given funding to investigate the matter further. In their own inimitable way of course. Until the scientific paper of Connnolly and Hill comes out, you can investigate the matter further with a paper considering whether "Canis Empathicus" exists or not. Where do you stand on the question? Are you convinced your dog understands and responds to your feelings, or do you think dogs are ruled by instincts, and we simply project higher emotions onto them?
And in a story that gets both Debbie and Julie showing strong feelings, a school in Nottinghamshire has apparently asked parents to leave their dogs at home when they pick up their offspring. So does the school have the right to make such a request? Do the parents have the right to take their dogs with them? Are teachers overstepping their boundaries? Well Debbie and Julie might well end up doing maths at playtime but they give their forthright opinions on the matter anyway.
To send you away with a smile on your face we have possibly the most touching story yet. When artist Jessica Stone decided to take on a dog with special needs, she brought beautiful Piper into her life. Piper has various challenges, but she has copied her artist owner and taken up painting. YOu can see video of Piper painting here and you can see some of her paintings here. Piper who now has her own Facebook page sells her paintings, and some of the profits go back to San Antonio Bulldog Rescue who rehomed Piper with Jessica. We do like happy endings here at The Dog News Show.
In Episode 6 of The Dog News Show, Lemongate is still a hot topic! For those who haven't caught up with this story (where have you been?) here's the story so far: Keith Lemon (A.K.A. Leigh Francis) had three children who had been pestering their parents for a dog competing to win a dog on his Keith Lemon's Lemonaid show. When one little girl won the competition, a Pug puppy was presented to her. This has caused outrage among those concerned about dog welfare, and if like Debbie and Julie you are offended and concerned by Keith Lemon giving a Pug puppy as a prize you can make your voice heard by complaining to Ofcom about the show, complain directly to ITV and there is also a petition to amend the law and make the giving of live animals as prizes illegal. You can join the facebook page KeithLemonsPuppyPrizeProtest and for more information, you can read Debbie's blogpost Keith Lemon ITV show LemonAid and the Pug Puppy and Julie's blogpost Keith Lemon's Lemonaid gave a puppy as a prize on ITV.
The scientific world have been getting to grips with what dogs think and feel, and some intriguing research has been done with MRI scans. When dogs in the scanner were given a, "you're going to get a treat" signal the caudate region of their brain was activated. This area in humans is associated with rewards, so does that indicate that dogs think along similar lines to humans. Can your dog empathise with you? Does he love you? Could these questions and more be answered by this method of research? Debbie and Julie become embroiled in debate on several points here. Empathy is defined as, "Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives." - Are our dogs really capable of that? We'd love to know what you think. Plus find out what Debbie's Lassie Test is.
If you not only wonder what your dog is thinking but what he's getting up to when you're out of the house, you might be interested in using Skype to check up on him. Apparently, dog owners are using the online telephone and video service to phone home and watch and talk to their dogs. Debbie knows it can be very useful to use a camera to see what your dog does when left home alone - it's a technique she's used to help sort out clients' problems on many occasions. Debbie and Julie would be very interested to see any video of dogs while their owners are out, whether they're happily relaxing or exhibiting separation anxiety. Have you used technology to keep in touch with your dog?
Meanwhile Julie's at it again - talking poo that is! Hear how free WiFi is motivating dog owners to scoop the poop in Mexico City, Mexico. And in the very different environments of Flintshire, North Wales and Arizona, USA there are schemes afoot to power street lighting with dog poo. However, the council's in the different locations have very different attitudes towards the efforts to pup poop to use - guess which is more helpful to the problem solving projects. Plus hear about the challenges of trying to use anaerobic digestion in an environment where the temperature can get so high it kills off the microbes doing the digesting.
If you are interested in raising funds for the very deserving Dogs for the Disabled why not find out about their Big Dogs Breakfast idea - simply have a meal or snack with family, friends or colleagues and ask for donations for the charity that supplies life-changing dogs. See Wendy's assistance dog Udo, trained by Dogs for the Disabled do his fetching a tissue behaviour.
If you fancy meeting Debbie in the flesh pop along to the Bearded Collie show she'll be judging this Sunday, 13th May.
Finally, in Schmaltz Corner, to send you off with a smile we have the story of the dog owner who found her Golden Retriever on her lawn being attacked by a 250lb black bear. What would you do if you were confronted by such a horrifying scene? - hear how this lady responded in this case, and the odd weapon with which she drove away the bear.
In Episode 5 of The Dog News Show, the big question is should dogs be given as prizes in competitions. Now of course the answer is, "No!" but Keith Lemon (A.K.A. Leigh Francis) doesn't seem to realise this and on his show, Keith Lemon's Lemonaid, he had three children who had been pestering their parents for a dog competing to win a dog. When one little girl won the competition, a Pug puppy was presented to her. This has caused outrage among those concerned about dog welfare, and goes against the advice from Marc Abraham who runs the Where's Mum campaign, and also organises Pup Aid to promote the right way to but a puppy.
If like Debbie and Julie you are outraged by Keith Lemon giving a Pug puppy as a prize you can make your voice heard by complaining to Ofcom about the show, complain directly to ITV and there is also a petition to amend the law and make the giving of live animals as prizes illegal. You can join the facebook page KeithLemonsPuppyPrizeProtest and for more information, you can read Debbie's blogpost Keith Lemon ITV show LemonAid and the Pug Puppy and Julie's blogpost Keith Lemon's Lemonaid gave a puppy as a prize on ITV.
Another story highlighted is the sad case of over 500 dogs crammed into 156 cages and being transported on a lorry in China, believed to be destined to be served up in restaurants. The lorry was stopped by police, but they were powerless as the cargo was not actually illegal in China. Luckily a rescue organisation stepped in and bought the dogs, but the real question is how do we stop the trade in dog meat? If you want to see dog meat taken off the menu, help support the work of WSPA and find out about the work of Animals Asia.
A very sad story came to light in Las Vegas recently, where a baby was killed by his Grandmother's dog. What causes dogs to attack babies and young children, and how can families make sure their dog and their infants live in harmony? Debbie and Julie discuss all this and more.
Does your express more interest in your food than his own? Well now you can find out the science behind it as recent research reported in Scientific American has shown that dogs react differently to food and make different choices based on how they perceive a human's attitude to the food.
Do you know the law in relation to your dog and livestock worrying? Do you realise that you could be putting your dog's life at risk without being aware of it, and that farmers have the right to defend their animals? A Leicestershire farm recently lost several sheep thanks to irresponsible dog ownership, and this is a problem than comes up again and again across the UK.
Having dealt with some serious subjects, Debbie and Julie send you away with a smile on your face with the story of Cactus Jack, the little pup with a big happy heart who hit the headlines when he was found stuck in a cactus in Arizona. Find out what happened to Jack and how his celebrity helped other rescue dogs too.
In the fourth episode of The Dog News Show the hot topic is microchipping. Debbie and Julie discuss the story of the California Bichon Frise who was missing for six years and who was finally reunited with her owner thanks to her microchip. But where was she for those six years? Why wasn't her microchip scanned in all that time? How do we make sure that our dogs are actually scanned? Should dogs be scanned every time they visit the veterinarian? What do you think is the answer?
Meanwhile, in the UK the dog world went crazy in expectation of an announcement that the microchipping of dogs was about to be made mandatory. However when the announcement finally came on Monday morning, it was not as definitive had been both hoped and feared, depending on your viewpoint. You can read Defra's statement in full on Beverley Cuddy's Cold Wet Nose blog, and if you have an opinion on microchipping, do contact Defra and have your say. Do we need more legislation? Find out more about the legal situation at the Dog Law website, run by Trevor Cooper.
The latest form of assistance dog being proposed is Guide Dogs for the mind to help guide dementia sufferers through the day. The dogs will be trained to respond to sound cues and will remind their owner to eat, wash or take medication. But Debbie and Julie have some concerns about this project - how will the dogs' welfare be ensured? Who will oversee the dogs' work and what will happen when a person is deemed unable to look after their dog any more?
Many dogs are sold or rehomed with a contract in place, but what does a puppy contract really mean, and how legally enforceable is it? The RSPCA recently brought out their version of a puppy contract, but does it include all the detail necessary? If you're a breeder or you rehome dogs, what does your contract include? Have you had cause to act upon in it a dog's interest? Have you ever signed a puppy contract and then regretted it?
An incredibly sad story surfaced in America recently where a rescue dog who had not long been adopted, attacked the baby who lived in the family home, and the baby very sadly died of his injuries. Without commenting on this particular tragic case, how do we make sure the rescues sufficiently assess dogs before they are rehomed? How do rescues check that potential adopted represent themselves accurately, and what's the safest way to introduce a new rescue dog into a household? A newspaper report can be seen here, but please be aware this is a distressing story.
April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and the ASPCA has some suggestions for ways to get involved and help prevent cruelty. Some of the suggestions include keeping a close eye on your neighbours' animals, but is it right to spy on people? Is it better to befriend people and help them improve the care they give their pets?
And finally in Schmaltz Corner, to send you off with a smile and a warmed heart, we have the story of Lisa Hulber who rescued Effie, a dog with health and behavioural problems. In an unexpected turn, Effie saved Lisa's life by detecting cancer even though doctors missed it. To find out about the amazing work of cancer detection dogs and dogs who assist their owners with a variety of medical conditions, visit the Medical Detection Dogs site.
The third episode of The Dog News Show is packed with the latest news stories, and Debbie and Julie give their take on them. What do you make of the story that over 800 retiring army dogs have been put down as they were judged too fierce to spend their remaining years as a pet? Debbie Connolly has helped many ex-working dogs live happily as pets, and believes working dogs deserve as much help and rehabilitation as possible. While she acknowledges that not every ex-army dog will be able to adapt to civilian life, he subject is so close to her heart that is launching Bravo Working Dog Rescue in an effort to support even more ex-working dogs when they leave service. For more information watch this space!
Have you heard of the Dog Scouts of America? Their motto is, "Our dog's lives are much shorted than ours - let's help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can." This is an attitude which coincides with Julie Hill's own, which is to make each day as good as possible for your dog and to make memories with them. The Dog Scouts of America have been in the news recently, and they encourage owners to get active with their dog and try out as many different activities as possible. Participants earn badges, much like regular scouts, and the organisation raises money for charity and has a lot of useful resources on their website. Do you think the UK could benefit from a similar movement?
Debbie highlights a sad story of a Labrador who died after being treated with carprofen. However, she stresses that there is no need for owners to panic. One of Debbie's own German Shepherds had a bad reaction to the drug, but she has seen countless others who have benefited from it. So how do you make sure your dog is getting the best and safest treatment from your vet? What should you do if your dog does have a bad reaction? Debbie and Julie discuss this and more.
When Russ Berkman's dog ate his tickets to a practice round of the Masters tournament, Russ gave the dog hydrogen peroxide to make him sick. Russ then pieced the mangled remains together and went off to watch the golf. Neither Debbie or Julie think this is a wise course of action, and wonder if there was anything their dog could eat that they would even wish to get back in such a manner. What would your dog have to eat to make you want to make him sick. Please note that if your dog does swallow anything unusual you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible and not administer chemicals more usually found in hair dye.
Puppy farms are a plague on the the dog world, but it is plain that more and more people are trying to make money out of breeding dogs with no concern for the welfare of the dogs involved. Puppy Love campaigns passionately against the farming of dogs, and C.A.R.I.A.D. is a coalition of many concerned dog organisations who work together to try to stamp out this vile practice. One of the issues that complicates the problem is that while pet shops carry on buying from puppy farms - and so while people choose to give their money to a pet shop rather than to a reputable breeder or rescue, puppy farming remains lucrative. What is the answer? - legislation? education?
This month is National Pet Month in the UK, so visit the website and find how to get involved and celebrate being a responsible owner. And if you fancy treating your dog to a new bed, toy or anything else, visit new website My Dog World where you can find a price comparison feature and know that a proportion of each purchase is donated to dog charities.
To warm the cockles of your heart (whatever they are) episode 3 rounds off with the story of Alice, a deaf dog who was dumped by her breeder when her disability emerged. Luckily for Alice she was rescued by The Blue Cross and adopted by a couple who are deaf themslves. Alice has been trained using sign language and there are several videos on the Internet demonstrating what a clever dog she is and how well she has taken to training. If you would like more information about training a deaf dog visit the Deaf Dog Network website.
In the second episode of The Dog News Show there are stories to make you smile, frown and maybe even shed a tear. There is a practice in America known as flipping dogs, which means buying a dog cheaply or acquiring it for free and then selling it on quickly for a profit. There is a petition you can sign if you think this practice should be stopped - and as an experienced rescuer Debbie highlights the dangers of taking an unknown unassessed dog into your home. This problem is not confined to the United States though, and many British dog lovers are horrified to find out that unscrupulous people are trading in dogs, and passing off puppy farmed dogs as being carefully bred. So how do we solve this problem? - education or legislation, what do you think?
At this time of year our thoughts often turn to booking a holiday, and the Isle of Wight has a treat in store for dog owners looking for a dog friendly holiday. The island has launched a campaign highlighting how dog friendly it is and there is a colourful brochure that can be downloaded showing the fun resident and visiting dogs are having, and recommending beaches, pubs and other venues where dogs will be truly welcome. Debbie and Julie discuss the difference between dogs tolerated and dogs welcome, and Julie shares her distrust of most ferry trips for dogs. However, the good news is that dogs on the Isle of Wight ferry are not only free but can accompany their owners, rather than having to stay locked in a vehicle.
In Gloucestershire a four year old boy received serious injuries from a dog that will leave him scarred - so why did the story only make the local newspaper? Is it because the dog involved is not usually perceived as dangerous? And what will the dog's fate be now? There are many issues to be considered in this case - should the boy have been in the house at all? Should he have had access to the dog? Debbie and Julie would be very interested in your views on this very sad story, and who do your sympathies lie with?
A petition has been organised to object to Richmond Council's proposal to amend an existing Dog Control Order so that one person will only be able to walk four dogs at once. The organisers of the petition would prefer to be allowed to walk six dogs, and also object to having to keep two dogs on lead while in public. But just how many dogs do you think it's safe to walk at any one time? How many dogs can you control, or even keep your eye on? What should the limit be? If you are an owner or professional dog walker who is able to demonstrate the ability to walk and control more than four dogs at once do get in touch as Debbie and Julie would be interested in accompanying you on a walk (if you are within a reasonable distance of Shropshire, South Wales or London) or seeing video of your walk.
In other news, Debbie highlights an excellent April Fool's joke that might have had many owners wishing it was true - a laptop for dogs. Julie mentions an event organised by Barbara Sykes called For The Love of Dogs, which seeks to unite many different individuals and agencies involved with dogs to look at the future for dogs, and Debbie wants to know if you think there should be a body made up of non Kennel Club members who advise the club on breeding. If so visit her petition - Pedigree Dog Owners and Rescuers: Create Pedigree Dog Alliance to advise Kennel Club & Govt on dog breeding.
To send you away with a happy glow, the show ends with the story of Dachshund Beyonce - a born survivor who was nearly not born at all, and at birth could fit into the bowl of a teaspoon. Now this tiny dog is helping highlight the plight of and help raise funds for other animals who are desperately in need. To read Beyonce's full story and see some delightful photos, visit The Grace Foundation's website.
In the first episode of The Dog News Show Debbie Connolly (SafePets UK, Dog Borstal) and Julie Hill (DogCast Radio) discuss several dog related topics. What was going on in the incident where a dog attack resulted with five policemen in hospital? How should you react in a dog attack? What does the whole sad story reveal about the owner of the dog?
A new survey came out recently from the Marine Conservation Society revealing that UK beaches have had more full poo bags dumped on them than ever before. Why are dog owners bagging the poo and then abandoning it? Failing to clean up after our dogs is unforgivable and just what are people thinking when they throw a poo bag into a tree? This serious subject is discussed with due consideration, and more than a hint of irreverence.
There has been speculation that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plan to train their new puppy Lupo to be a working dog they can take to shoots with them. Is this a suitable occupation for such a high profile dog - or such high profile owners for that matter. Debbie and Julie may well have come up with the real reason why Lupo was so fascinated with a crisp packet while out on a walk too.
The Pet Education Trust has a warning for owners who think they have guaranteed their pet's future by leaving a legacy to a charity. Things don't always work out as the owner hopes, the Trust points out, and a recent dog who was put to sleep is a case in point.
In other news, if you have a crossbreed dog you may be interested in Scruffts, a fun dog show run by the Kennel Club exclusively for non-pedigree dogs. An upcoming BBC3 show Don't Blame The Dog may shock some viewers with the training methods it espouses. If you have a destructive dog (or cat) who damages toys, Bruce and Ben Fogle's competition Scratched and Chewed is for you; get creative, take a photograph of the evidence and upload it at the London Vet Clinic website.
In an effort to send listeners away with their heart suitably warmed, Debbie and Julie include the story of a bedraggled, abandoned stray dog who found her happy ending in America, thanks to Hope for Paws rescue society. Hankies at the ready for Fiona's story!
TV's Debbie Connolly and radio's Julie Hill discuss what's going on right now in the world of dogs in the UK, USA and internationally. Join us on Twitter @dognewsshow too!
A weekly discussion show that keeps you up to date and gives you vital insight into topical dog stories. If it's dog related Debbie and Julie have opinions on it, and they're not afraid to share them - from dangerous dogs to heart-warming rescue stories and everything in between.