From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ on 16th November 2016, I follow up on my previous article on the subject of how to tackle exhibitor dissatisfaction.
My last article, ‘The real reason people are quitting’ certainly stirred the hornet’s nest and provoked a deluge of very interesting reaction from show-going dog folk. Unusually for the dog world there was a general feeling of agreement for what I had written and a consensus that if we are to survive and thrive as a hobby, some very important and urgent changes definitely need to take place. Continue reading
Published in my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (19th October 2016), my article sparked a large debate – with hundreds of share and online comments – among exhibitors in response to my observations and suggestions regarding dog shows, breed standards, judging and exhibitor dissatisfaction.
One subject that has certainly got a lot of you talking on social media is the announcement of an idea that a reduction in the number of breed clubs through amalgamation could lead to higher show entries. I can see where those who support such a move are coming from but, like a lot of you, I think they are missing the point.
Show entries are falling for a whole host of complex reasons, reasons that have been fully discussed in this paper by various commentators for many, many years and frustratingly so many of the useful ideas put forward by people who really know what they are talking about have been dismissed or completely ignored. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ on 17 August 2016 promoting the Pedigree Paws Unite event.
‘It’s Good News Week, someone’s dropped a bomb somewhere contaminating atmosphere and blackening the sky’ – these are the opening lines from the biggest hit of British band Hedgehoppers Anonymous back in 1965.
The song takes a satirical swipe at the media’s all-consuming obsession with bad news and the lyrics couldn’t be more apt today. Every morning it seems we awake to hear yet more stories of gloom and doom in our press, more examples of man’s inhumanity to man and a heavy feeling of despair and unease. 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 (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
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (11th February 2015).
For most people, New Year’s Eve is now a dim and distant (and for some a distinctly hazy) memory but, for me, that night is still very, very fresh in the mind!
It found me shivering in the cold outside Pet Control at Calais Eurotunnel with a 15-week-old Dachshund in my arms having just been told that her passport was not ‘fully in order’ and we couldn’t travel home.
And to think that up to that point it had all been going so well. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (7th January 2015).
I always find the months of December and January dominated by two questions. In December the big question always seems to be, ‘Going anywhere nice for Christmas?’ and January seems to be dominated by, ‘So, have you made any new year’s resolutions yet?’
My usual replies are; to the first, ‘Spending it with family’ and, to the second, was always a firm, resounding ‘No’. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (10th December 2014).
Moving home should be a time full of happiness and excitement but our recent experience of it has been severely lacking in these particular elements; instead it has been a time filled with complications, delays and unforeseen problems – many of which could have been so easily avoided. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (8th October 2014).
One of the joys of living in this country is being able to walk into a store like WH Smith or any one of our large supermarkets and being able to flick through the vast array of glossy magazines on offer on a mind-boggling amount of subjects. I find it incredible that subjects like model trains or stitchcraft, etc, can support three or four dedicated, high quality magazines – but somehow they do. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ on 10th September 2014.
Like most of the writers for Dog World, I write because I have a passion for pedigree dogs and nothing thrills me more than having an article engender debate and argument. Recently I wrote an article about my first year’s experience of showing, written off the back of two excellent articles by Sheila Atter and Andrew Brace tackling the thorny issues of bullying and the integrity of judges. Continue reading