Archive for March, 2021


Renting with dogs

I was thrilled with how my recent piece for Edition Dog (on the minefield that is renting with dogs) came out. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who shared their opinions and experiences.

As we have discovered, renting with one dog is hard enough; renting with four is almost impossible. We actually got to the stage where we thought we would simply have to split our household – Marc and I going one way with the boys and Mum going her own way with the two girls.

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No pets!

In issue 30 of Edition Dog (March 2021) I reflect on my experience of looking for a rental property and consider the implications of the proposal to ban the ‘no pets’ clause.

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The Good Shepherds

I’ve long been a keen advocate of our rare and vulnerable native breeds and have written numerous articles about them and possible ways to boost their dwindling numbers over the years. Usually, I have gone along the lines of how to redeploy these beautiful dogs into brand new 21st century vocations – given that many of the jobs they were originally bred to do – now longer exist or no longer require them.

However, for my recent two-parter in Country Smallholding Magazine I tried a completely different approach, I wanted to showcase examples of some of the “at risk” terriers and herding breeds doing the job they were initially bred for and their possible usefulness for the modern-day smallholder/hobby farmer.

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I recently wrote a piece about the suitability of several of our terrier breeds for the smallholder. I particularly wanted to focus on their ability to control rats and mice – the bane of any livestock keeper.

I am keen that, to significantly raise their numbers (and interest in them) more of our rare/vulnerable native breeds need to get back to work.

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I kept a number of ferrets in my youth; they are absolutely fascinating animals and make wonderful pets. My brother worked them, something I wasn’t too keen on – memories of Watership Down seriously affected my view of rabbiting. Instead of hunting, I far preferred the day-to-day care and breeding of my mustelid pets.

Recently, I wrote a piece on keeping ferrets and ferreting for Country Smallholding Magazine, and it reawakened memories of one particularly spooky ferreting expedition many years ago.

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A Mini Dachshund Mystery

I recently wrote a piece on the extraordinary rise of the Miniature Dachshund for American dog magazine, Canine Chronicle.

Whilst researching it I came across a fascinating photograph of a girl with what looks like a very respectable looking Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund.

What’s so odd about that you may ask?

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