Wednesday 30 January 2008

Things are not always as they appear

A man was flying from Seattle to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes. Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her seeing eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight. He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, "Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?" The blind lady replied, "No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs." Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a seeing eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines! What would you do?

Sunday 27 January 2008

Ganza, Kenza and Patia.

One belongs to the lady with the red anorak, one to the lady with the handbag and one to the lady with the Barbour jacket.
But what happens when they are off the lead and running around with other puppies?
We had fun and games in the puppy class on saturday morning.

Thursday 24 January 2008

Pee is what it's all about

The lovely Winchester Whisperer has sent a household meme on to me.
I thought long and hard about it and decided to talk about cleaning up dog pee. This what I have to say on the subject:
1. Puppy peeing on your kitchen floor.
Clean with soapy water to which some Dettol has been added. Never use bleach because bleach contains ammonia and so does urine. So rather than being repelled, the puppy will be attracted by that very spot. You can also add plain vinegar which acts as a repellent.
2. You are chatting to a friend whose adult male dog pees up against your leg.
Establish why the dog is unhappy about you speaking to its owner. Does the dog feel threatened by you? Probably. Put your trousers in the washing machine and wash with soap at 30°.
3. An adult male dog lifts his leg up against your dining room chairs/ your sofa/your standard lamp/your bookcase.
Re-establish who is boss in the house. Is your dog or are you the alpha male or female in your household – in your pack?
4. Your male dog pees on your bed.
Your are single and female and have just invited your boyfriend home. The kissing and cuddling have taken on a more meaningful intensity and your dog feels threatened. Even more so because the dog has been booted out of your bed which he was sharing with you.
5. Your neighbour’s dog pees when you enter his/her kitchen for a cup of tea.
This is especially displayed in submissive dogs and is known in the jargon as “submissive behaviour”. A young or submissive dog approaching a senior member of the group will frequently dribble out some urine and this is recognised as a mark of submissiveness and reacted to as such by a dominant animal. Ask yourself how you come across?
I pass this meme on to: crystaljigsaw, cornish dreamer, violetsvintage, nobody important, round the water through.

Monday 21 January 2008

Invest in dogs

Bonhams' next Dog sale will take place on Tuesday 12th February 2008 in their New York saleroom. Highlights of the sale will be on view at Bonhams in London, in New Bond Street until Tuesday January 22nd. Bonhams continues to lead the field in this unique market and they are pleased to be able to bring together an interesting selection of paintings, porcelain, works of art and ephemera relating to 'man's best friend'. The sale will feature many popular breeds, including Fox Terriers, Jack Russells, Foxhounds and Irish Wolf Hounds, Irish Setters, Red Setters, and Spaniels. There will also be an interesting group of toy breeds such as the Maltese Terrier, Pomeranian and Dachshund. Some of these paintings can fetch between $10,000-15,000 and $60,000-80,000. A section of the catalogue will be devoted to the first part of one of the largest single-owner collections of dog collars in private hands. Four centuries of dog collars, from 16th century German icon collars to early 20th century leather and brass models will be available.Further collars, dog clothes and leads from the collection of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor will also be offered, including sterling silver collars by renowned British silversmiths and American makers such as Gorham and Tiffany, and a number of 18th and 19th century brass collars.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Death on the Nile

For several years, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation has fought against the mistreatment and massacre of stray dogs in Egypt. They are either poisoned or shot or both. In her letter to President Moubarak, Brigitte Bardot asks for his immediate action. I have copied the letter verbatim in this post. (It has obviously been translated from the French).

"Mr. President,
I have in front of me photos taken yesterday of poor battered dogs, shot by rifles and then left agonizing in pain all over the streets of Cairo. This lamentable spectacle sickens anyone who has even the smallest bit of sensitivity or humanity in them.
For several years now I have implored you to put an end to this cruel practice, to the immense suffering of all the poisoned and beaten dogs, to this shameless slaughter which poses a real problem to public health.I implore you, but you do not even do me the courtesy of responding!
The history and the image of Egypt are inextricable with the animal kingdom. Once respected and venerated as gods, animals are now treated by Egyptians in the worse manner possible with a guilty indifference, and the complicity of the authorities. Countries with less money than Egypt know how to manage their populations of stray dogs humanely, by sterilization. My foundation participates in these programs and can bring you our experience in this realm.
An increase in conscience must be revived in Egypt on the subject of animals' right to live decently, for one also judges a country based on the way they treat their animals!
You know it-- the French are very attached to your country.I am counting on you, on your intervention, mister President, and I bid you accept my assurances of my consideration.
Brigitte Bardot Présidente "

The picture is gruesome ; I am sorry.
I have written to Brigitte Bardot to ask her if she received a reply. Watch this space.

Saturday 12 January 2008

Crime buster 2

I wrote to Sheriff Dan McClelland and asked him if he could send me an official photograph of Midge. He sent me two. And here is the reply to my e-mail message to him. "Here are two photos. One is Midge alone and the other is her with me which shows her size. Feel free to use them as you wish. I absolutely agree with you that dogs need to have jobs. I believe that often when a dog gets into behavioral trouble it is because we the humans did not give them an appropriate job so they invent one of their own."

Friday 11 January 2008

Crime buster

German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and bloodhounds are the macho breeds that most North American police departments use in their K-9 units. An innovative sheriff in the Midwest has tried out a new idea. He believes good police dog work can be done by small dogs too. Midge, a 9-month old, 8-pound Chihuahua/rat terrier mix, has become the world's smallest drug sniffing dog. A typical police dog would be Midge's partner in crimefighting, Brutus, a massive German shepherd. McClelland began training Midge to sniff out marijuana when she was 3 months old. She is still learning but she has just passed her test and has received her certification as a real K-9 drug detector in the state of Ohio."We knew," McClelland says, "that, with the type of dog she is and with her size, she was never going to do crowd control, and she's not going to strike terror in the hearts of men, so we decided to make her a social dog." McClellan says he's confident that Midge is more than just a novelty and that she, and other little dogs, will grow to be valuable members of law enforcement teams. Says McClellan: "I believe there's no reason why a small dog can't be as effective as a big dog. She searches big rooms, like a big dog. Her advantage comes in going in small places. … I think we might be onto something.' Midge is being trained as a so-called "single purpose" dog, specialising in sniffing out drugs, unlike bigger dogs, such as Brutus, which are also used for crowd control and catching criminals.The 8-pound Chihuahua/rat terrier mix has now set the world record as the smallest drug dog on the planet. The Guinness Book of World Records sent the Sheriff's Department the certificate to recognise this achievement. Midge has become so popular that she frequently appears in magazines and newspapers. Not just in the US but worldwide. Some of her fans even send her gifts like a camouflage vest, hand painted portraits, and scarves.
Midge is a star and fan mail can be sent to:
I shall write to her and let's see what happens. Watch this space!

Thursday 10 January 2008


I thought I would re-brand my image by using Hillary Clinton’s slogan but before I go public with this can someone please explain to me what this means: “ I have the strength and the experience to deliver change”.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Long lost sister

Kenza and Patia have found their sister, Ganza. All three are coming to the dogclub tonight for their first lesson in the puppy class.
Have a look at this:

Saturday 5 January 2008

One artist and his dog

David Douglas Duncan’s Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund's Odyssey published in 2006, reveals dramatic and intimate black-and-white photographs of Picasso and Lump, the lucky dachshund who found his way from reluctant road warrior to furry, super-stretched icon of twentieth-century art.
Here is an extract from the book jacket text:”One spring morning in 1957, veteran photojournalist David Douglas Duncan paid a visit to his friend and frequent photographic subject Pablo Picasso, at the artist's home near Cannes. As co-pilot alongside Duncan in his Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL was the photographer's pet dachshund, Lump. Photographer and dog were close companions, but Duncan's nomadic lifestyle and his other dog — a giant, jealous Afghan hound who had tyrannized Lump — made their life in Rome difficult. When they arrived at Picasso's Villa La Californie that magical day, Lump decided that he had found paradise on earth, and that he would move in with Picasso, whether he was welcome or not.
This joyous, previously untold story of artist and his dog offers an uncommonly sensitive image of Picasso. Lump was immortalized in a Picasso portrait painted on a plate the day they met, but that was just the start. In an explosion of forty-five paintings inspired by Velázquez's masterpiece Las Meninas, Picasso replaced the impassive hound in the foreground with jaunty renderings of Lump”.
All those luminous canvases are the centrepiece exhibition in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona. Fourteen of the paintings are reproduced in the book, juxtaposed with Duncan's dramatic and intimate black-and-white photographs of Picasso and Lump.

Wednesday 2 January 2008

Horrors of war

Surviving with Wolves by Misha Defonseca is one of the most extraordinary and poignant survival stories to come out of World War II. Misha was only six years old when her parents were taken away from their home in Brussels and sent to Auschwitz. She was given a new name, a new home, and forced into a new religion. No one told her why her parents were no longer with her. As the family who hid Misha were also about to be caught by the Gestapo, the young girl ran away and headed eastwards, where she believed her parents had been sent.So one day, equipped only with a tiny compass and a few provisions, she set out East to find them. Misha crossed Belgium, Germany and Poland on foot alone - until, close to starvation in a vast forest, she was adopted by a family of wolves. She ate and played with the wolf cubs and was protected by their mother. Finally, at the end of the war, she found her way home to Belgium via the Ukraine, Romania and Italy. She never found her parents. Véra Belmont, French film director made a film of this extraordinary tale; it is on general release in Belgium as from today.