Archive for April, 2016


From my Crossing the headlines column in Dog World (13 April 2016) I reflect on the case of Baby the Bulldog whose abusive owners were let off lightly.

Reading through the newspapers there are many, many times that you literally despair at the depths of depravity mankind can sink to and one story I read last week really made me wonder what on earth has gone wrong with some of our young people today and it seriously makes me fear for the future.

Andrew and Daniel Frankish’s hideous crime only came to light, two years after the offences had been committed, all because of a sim card being discovered on the floor of a supermarket. When the footage contained on the card was played it revealed truly harrowing footage of two brothers systematically torturing their pet Bulldog. Continue reading

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Three years on from my original post in Dog World on the dangers of microchipping (click HERE for the article), with April 6th looming I revisit the issue.

I recently saw a story in the Daily Mirror that certainly gave me food for thought. It concerned microchipping, which, as many of you know is a particular interest of mine. Three years ago I wrote a letter to Dog World because I was concerned about the blanket acceptance of this procedure and what seemed to be the complete exclusion of all dissenting voices. There had been many concerns raised over the safety of microchipping dogs, movement of the chips and indeed mumblings about a possible link to cancer. Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (24th February 2016).

Thousands of words and column inches have been spent in this paper bemoaning the state of our open shows. Undeniably there are far less of these shows than previously which is a shame as it is widely acknowledged that these shows are where the majority of fledgling exhibitors first step into the ring and ‘find their feet’ and of course, they also provide wonderful opportunities for the up and coming judges of the future to ‘get their hands on some good (and not so good) dogs’.  Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (21st January 2016).

A subject that has certainly generated lots of interest on social media and reams of column inches in both the canine and general press has been the recognition of the Jack Russell by the Kennel Club. Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (22nd December 2015).

I know many of you have followed the progress of our little dog’s (Alfie) burgeoning TV career with interest on Facebook over the past year. He has certainly been a very busy boy, travelling up and down the country, meeting sporting stars and personalities and fronting the latest Vitality advertising campaign.

One evening we received a frantic call from the producer; could Alfie travel up to London for some filming? Due to the short notice, Marc couldn’t arrange time off work and I was up to my neck in young goslings, ducklings and chicks and couldn’t possibly leave the smallholding at such a critical time.

There was only one thing for it – turn to our friends in the show dog community and ask if anyone would be willing to be Alfie’s chaperone for the day! Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (27th November 2015) about the misrepresentations in the national press on rescue charity intake statistics.

An interesting headline caught my eye in the Telegraph last week, ‘Pedigree dog owners abandoning their pets in alarming numbers’.

The article written by Patrick Sawyer went on to say that, “Welfare groups have warned that owners of pedigree dogs are abandoning their pets in alarming numbers after finding that they cannot cope with health problems caused by ‘irresponsible’ breeding.” Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (21st October 2015).

We recently bred our first litter of Boston Terriers and were lucky enough to have four strapping puppies born that have proved to be a constant source of joy and amusement but sadly (and all too soon) reality kicks in and one realises that these little, constantly-busy bodies will soon need homes of their own. Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (23rd September 2015).

In between my chores on the smallholding in the morning and my other work I like to find half an hour to grab a coffee and watch the excellent Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2. I’m a big fan of Ms Derbyshire’s tenacious, no-nonsense interviewing style and the show’s hard hitting debates.

On September 15 the show brought us an exclusive and very rare insight into the dog meat industry in South Korea. Victoria sat on her sofa and gave the obligatory warning that what we were about to see was pretty bleak and that some might find it barbaric, “but to some Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese it’s a tradition going back a thousand years.” Continue reading

From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (2nd September 2015).

HAVE YOU ever noticed how sections of the media seem to become obsessed and fixate on certain subjects? We have the Daily Mail’s current obsession with migrants, the Daily Express’ bizarre obsession with Britain’s erratic weather and Channel Four and Five’s obsession with benefits.

They first gave us Benefit Busters, Benefits Britain and Benefit Street and these were quickly followed by a whole raft of similarly themed shows like Britain’s Benefit Tenants, Gypsies on Benefits and Proud, Too Fat to Work, Me and My 14 kids and now – and of course it was only a matter of time – Dogs on the Dole. Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (22nd July 2015) about my Dachshund, Alfie, becoming the new face of the Vitality adverts.

We all know that appearances on TV and in films can have a profound effect on the popularity (and health) of our dog breeds. Over the years we’ve witnessed the peaks of popularity witnessed by many diverse breeds… and it’s a familiar story that rarely ends well. Continue reading