Friday, 20 January 2012

A real trooper

Sherlock Holmes's dog in Guy Ritchie's movie is called Gladstone and is the victim of Holmes's experiments but Gladstone pulls through every time.  Will he in the next movie?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Golden Globe hero

The Artist won the Golden Globe for best comedy at last night’s awards ceremony.  The lead actor, Jean Dujardin,  received the best actor award.  Surely the real star of the film has to be Uggie, the Jack Russell.  Here is what The Washington Post has to say about him.   
“When you look at the character of George Valentin” — a silent-era movie star whose career ends with the arrival of talkies — “he’s selfish, egocentric, proud. He’s mean with his own wife, he’s not a positive character. But the fact is, the dog loves him and follows him during all the movie. What happens is, the audience trusts the dog. We think if the dog loves the guy, the guy has to be a good person.”

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Have a smoke

Cigarette dog

Red Cross dogs

During WWI, vast numbers of dogs were employed as sentries, messengers, ammunition, pigeons and food carrier,  scouts, sled dogs, draught dogs, guard dogs, ambulance dogs, ratters, Red Cross casualty dogs and even cigarette dogs.
It's estimated that Germany alone employed over 30,000 dogs for such purposes and about.20,000 served with the French Army, the Italians fielded 3,000 dogs for the Allies, the British, Belgians and the Russians thousands more!
Many different breeds saw active duty during the war depending on the job at hand. Bulldogs, Bloodhounds, Farm Collies, Retrievers, Dobermans, Airedales, Jack Russell and Wired Fox Terriers, Sheepdogs and German Shepherds were all used in a variety of roles. Purebreds did not have any advantage over mixed breeds.  What was important was that they displayed the proper character, had acute hearing and scent, sagacity, fidelity and a strong sense of duty.
Preferred were dogs of medium build and greyish or black in colour, with good eyesight and a keen sense of smell. But the temperament and disposition of the dog usually came first!
Two of the more unusual dogs that were used during the Great War, were the ratters and the YMCA cigarette dogs. Ratters were the terriers, whose natural instincts helped to keep the rat infested muddy trenches clear.  The small Cigarette Dogs, sponsored by the YMCA, had the task of delivering cartons of cigarettes to the troops, stationed on the front lines.
Thousands of soldiers, on both sides, owe their lives to these remarkable animals.

Monday, 9 January 2012

New Year's resolutions

With humans making new resolutions every 12 months to be slimmer, smarter, better and brighter, not to drink cheap wine, read improving books, listen to Wagner, read War & Peace in Russian, is it any wonder their beloved pets are following the trend? What are pets resolving for the New Year?

More play, less work.

Staying fit.

Staying off the furniture, no chewing of legs.

Taking regular naps

Befriending your enemy.