Paw me a large one: Britain’s most dog-friendly pub complete with food menus, photo-booth and beer called ‘Bottom Sniffer’

I gaze at the menu board in front of me, wondering whether to opt for sausages or chicken and veg. For drinks, there is a choice of beer or fizz and, as at any country pub, a scrumptious selection of ice creams for dessert.

dog-friendly pub

But all this is not for me. I’m ordering for my dog, Wolfie the whippet. We’re at The Fox & Hounds in Theale, Berks, which last week was named Britain’s most dog-friendly boozer.

It has a dedicated menu board for its four-legged punters, with tasty specials and non-alcoholic tipples including Pawsecco and Bottom Sniffer Beer. Tucked away on a country road, the cosy interior seems nothing unusual.

But landlady Jayne Tisley and her partner Miles Teece have created a doggy utopia where canine customers are treated as well as the human locals.

Jayne says: “We have doggy beds in front of the fire, different sizes of water bowl to suit every breed, an outdoor dog paddling pool and towels if they arrive muddy from a walk.

Lunchtime rush

“The pub also runs a Woofer of the Week competition where a dog is featured as the profile picture on our Facebook page. I have people coming in and asking for their dogs to be chosen – it’s a real honour.”

Jayne organises a dog show each summer, with proceeds going to welfare charity the Dogs Trust, and even hosts dog birthday parties.

One owner drives two hours so their pet can spend his special day there each year.

No size or shape of canine is off limits. In the space of five minutes Wolfie meets Bear, a drooling, 14 st St Bernard, and dainty Susie the papillon, who is asleep on one of the beds beside the fire.

Bear is a regular. Owners Chris and Kim Forbes have been coming to the pub for their weekly coffee with him for two and a half years. Kim, 52, says:

“It’s become a tradition. As he’s got bigger, we were worried we would have an issue, but he’s always welcome. “Every week we say he’s going to see his Auntie Jayne and he knows it means we’re going to the pub.”

Bear can join in all the activities on offer. His head is too big for the doggie photo-booth – a board they poke their head through to be in a picture of the pub’s sign, showing a huntsman and hounds.

But he loves the pub’s ice cream in summer and is a regular in the paddling pool. Wolfie is just right for the photo-booth, though, and jumps in for a go after Jayne’s French bulldog shows the way.

Other regulars include French bulldogs Debbie and Rodney, Jack Russell Nerys and Basset hound Arthur – and the place is so popular that a pet blogger visited from the US after hearing about it on social media.

But how does Jayne keep up with all the yappy customers?

“I often end up taking table bookings with dog names, not humans,” she says with a laugh, before turning to greet a new arrival with a gravy bone from the ‘snack’ jar on the bar.

As the lunchtime rush then builds, dogs from far and wide pass through the doors their number include Romanian rescue dog Vivian, breezy golden labrador Bob and nervous pup Poppy, who is guided in with a treat. All told, I count 15 dogs in the pub.

Slight scuffle

Poppy’s owner Melissa Nealon, 35, from Newbury, says: “We want her out with us all the time, so this pub is ideal.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Warwick, 46, and Mark Johnson 42, from Reading, are debating between chicken and sausage for their Jack Russell/Shih Tzu cross Cooper’s lunch. Sarah says:

“It’s his first time here and he loves it.” But it is not just mutts who have a ball – their owners get a warm welcome, too, and make friends with each other.

Brenda Sandilands, who owns papillon Susie, values the “personal touch”.

She says: “You won’t find it anywhere else -they remember names, orders and drinks.”

While I am impressed by the boozer, a better judge is Wolfie. Since we arrived, he hasn’t stopped excitedly sniffing around, and he has been showered with affection by staff and pub-goers.

He also tries out the indoor doggy tent, for hiding away if it is too noisy, sips a £3 bottle of Bottom Sniffer Beer and investigates the Woofer of the Week calendar, which show- cases the year’s stars.

While most of our visit was peaceful, one slight scuffle did break out near the door. But no problem – the bar staff weave in and out of the excitable dogs all the time, carrying plates of food with ease.

Mason, 18, who has worked at the pub for just over a month, says: “It can be a bit crazy, especially when all the dogs see each other. But I’ve always wanted to work with animals, so this is an environment to experience.”

Indeed, Jayne sees how her staff love their unusual daily duties. She says: “It’s a great incentive for the team, because they all love dogs. When you come to work and stroke a dog it sets off that happy feeling.”

Jayne’s and Miles’ inspiration for the pub grew out of their frustration around a lack of dog-friendly options on offer in the area. She says: “Dog- friendly is in the minority, so it’s important to take a stand and say you can run a good pub and be dog-friendly too.”

They won their prize as part of the fourth annual awards for pubs that welcome dogs, run by rover.com, a network of pet sitters and dog walkers.

Judges looked for selling points such as quiet spaces for pets, the number of water bowls, beds and a place for muddy boots and wet paws to be cleaned and dried.

But what about the most discerning judge of all? Full of beer and biscuits, Wolfie falls into a post-pub slumber on the train. The Fox & Hounds has another satisfied canine customer.

Other top dog-friendly pubs and hotels

The Four Seasons Hotel, Perthshire Scotland.

Escape to the Scottish Highlands with your pooch in hand and pay a visit to The Four Seasons hotel, equipped with stunning views over Loch Earn and even a resident pet butler. The dedicated pet concierge service is sure to make your dog feel like a VIP. From a specially created canine menu, to a pet-sitting and walking service and even a pooch parlour, it will definitely be a hit.

The Chequers Inn, Norfolk.

Situated on the beautiful Norfolk coast and surrounded by coastal walks, beaches and sand dunes your dog will be in heaven whilst staying at The Chequers Inn. With just a small extra fee to bring your furry friend, the Inn will even supply treats and loan you blankets to make your dog’s stay as comfortable as possible.

The Inn on the Lake, Lake District.

On the shores of Lake Ullswater, this Inn offers breath taking surroundings with an abundance of country walks for you and your pet to enjoy. The hotel also has a beautifully kept garden with sweeping lawns, perfect for your dog to enjoy the great outdoors and British weather.

No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath.

This quintessentially English boutique hotel in the heart of Bath could be great for a city break for you and your dog. They happily host up to two fairly small and well behaved dogs in a selection of their rooms, for just a small extra charge.

Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow Cornwall.

Enjoy a luxury Cornish break at Talland Bay, situated only minute’s away from beautiful coastal walks and beaches you definitely won’t be short of walking routes to enjoy during your stay. Dogs are welcome in all of the rooms (bar two) and on-site cottages.

The King’s Arms, Gloucestershire.

Set in the quaint village of Didmarton, within the stunning Cotswold countryside, The King’s Arms welcomes dogs to stay free of charge. Beds, bowls and biscuits are all provided and your pooch can even make friends with the resident Jack Russell while enjoying a Snuffle Dog Beer. The Inn makes for a great base while you and your dog enjoy long walks throughout the countryside.

The Fish Hotel, Cotswolds.

With its impeccable design and ideal location in the Cotswolds, this hotel could be described as ‘the’ perfect place for a pet friendly getaway. For a small extra charge the hotel offers a stay for your dog in one of their eight cosy luxe rooms and two Hilly Huts. Beds, bowls, treats and dog towels are offered to all dog guests during their stay.

(Article source: Various) 

‘My dogs are my world’: Interview with MTV’s Nathan Henry

Nathan Henry is one of MTV’s most recognisable faces. A star of their hit show ‘Geordie Shore’, he recently appeared on E4’s ‘Celebs Go Dating’. He admits that although he’s grown up on reality TV, there’s a vulnerability to appearing on the dating show.

nathan henry

At home, Nathan’s life is run by his two dogs, Buddy and Buster. We caught up with him to hear all about them.

Hi Nathan, thanks for chatting with us today.

Hi! No problem.

I know you have two dogs, Buddy and Buster.

I do.

Buddy’s the oldest, isn’t he, so let’s start with him. How did he come into your life?

Well, I got him with my ex four years ago. We wanted a small dog with a big personality. I didn’t want a tiny dog, like a Chihuahua, but at the same time I didn’t want a really big dog, like an Alsatian, so we did a lot of research and Frenchies seemed to have the perfect balance of personality and size, and be exactly what we were looking for really.

And when I met Buddy, I just fell in love with him and knew he was the one instantly. In fact, he chose me too, to be fair. When I went to see him, all the other puppies were running around and he, well, he had a bit of sass and attitude about him. He was pushing the others out of the way to get to me so I picked him up and he cuddled into me straight away and fell asleep.

You mentioned getting him with an ex. How did you decide who kept Buddy when you split?

Well, he was always my dog. It was my decision initially to get a dog and because of my bond with Buddy and practicalities and stuff, it worked out best for him to stay with me. Plus I looked after him more anyway.

Buster’s also a Frenchie, so did you decide to get another because you fell in love with the breed?

Yeah, exactly that. Buster’s the complete opposite of Buddy. I would say Buddy’s a human dog. He loves affection and attention, he loves being cuddled and he’s very nosy. Whereas Buster is quite a dog’s dog. He will play and he’ll play fetch, but he’d much rather play with dogs.

Buster has a very big personality. I mean Buddy was quite naughty when he was little but not to the extreme that Buster is. (Laughs) Buster is the definition of a terrible toddler.

He’s house-trained now but he has his hiccups. The other day I had a clothes delivery come, I brought it inside and ran to the loo. I was gone maybe 45 seconds. By the time I came back, the parcel was ripped up, the clothes were all over the floor and he was just sitting in the middle of them like nothing was wrong.

Buster’s about six or seven months old now, isn’t he, so he’s been with you a few months and there’s a bit of an age gap between him and Buddy. What made now, or then, a good time to get another dog?

I think with dogs you have to be responsible because dogs are dependant on their owners, or parents, for life, so I didn’t want to make an irresponsible decision and if I’d have got another dog two years ago, it wouldn’t have been the right time. Whereas now I’m very stable, I’m very secure in what I’m doing so it just seemed like the perfect time and then when I met Buster I was like ‘wow, I’m taking you home’

Even though he is naughty, he is just like my little shadow. Everywhere I go, he goes. If I get up to go for a drink of water he’ll come with me to tap. If I go in the bath, he tries to get in the bath. If I go in the shower, he likes to jump in the shower with me. He’s just everywhere. I love it.

How do you think he’ll cope when you go into the ‘Geordie Shore’ house?

Well, luckily my dogs have a very good relationship with my mum. She treats them like they’re her grandchildren so I know they’ll both be in safe, capable hands when I’m filming and they love seeing their Nana so it’s great for her as well.

Did you grow up with dogs?

Yeah, we always had dogs in our family, the majority have been rescued. I remember our first ever dog was a Labrador and he was lovely, we had him while he was moving homes. Then we had a big Alsatian called Prince. He came to us from one of my mum and dad’s close friends. They were moving abroad so we took Prince on.

Then there was Dexter the Dalmatian, we had him for a long time and he was great. And then my mum rescued a big French Bull Mastiff, he was absolutely massive, from a broken home. He was quite a poorly dog, bless him. So we rescued him and gave him the best life he could have had. Considering his size, he was the size of a horse, everyone was scared of him but he was the most loving and affectionate animal. He was great with kids, he loved to cuddle and snuggle right into you. He loved to be up in your business, he was great.

My mum has two dogs now. We rescued a Husky 14 years ago from the Dogs Trust, Nanook, I love her. I feel like I talk about her like she’s my sister (laughs) and recently my mum adopted a Shih Tzu cross.

My mum works in a care home and there was a lady living there and they were close. Unfortunately, she was coming to pass and she wanted someone to take Dora on and give her a home. So my mum being the dog lover that she is, was like ‘we need to take her’ so now Dora’s a part of the family as well.

That’s a beautiful thing to do, to give someone peace of mind like that, knowing that their dog will be cared for and part of a family.

We touched on how Buddy and Buster will cope with you being away filming for ‘Geordie Shore’. You were also on ‘Celebs Go Dating’ a few months back so you like to be busy. What is it about these particular reality shows that have drawn you to them?

I think in an ideal world everyone would like to do a job that they love and I think if you can do a job where you can be yourself 24/7 then, I mean, it’s not a difficult thing to do. Doing reality TV allows me to be authentic, it allows me to be myself. I’ve been doing it for a while now so I must be good at being me (laughs).

I just think, people still want to watch so why not still do it while I can. And I think it’s important to show real-life situations too for people to be relateable.

Growing up I didn’t think I had anyone that was relateable to me. When I was about 12, everyone I sort of did relate to was 30 or 40 years old, so there was a massive age gap.

I think being young and a guy, I can be myself and be relateable to the younger generation so if they’re going through something, they might be able to relate more easily to me.

‘Geordie Shore’ and ‘Celebs Go Dating’ are quite different and some people have said that you came across a bit different on ‘Celebs Go Dating’, is that because the environments are so different or because we’ve seen you grow up on ‘Geordie Shore’ over the years?

The set up is completely different and I do think it’s a case of the environment being different. ‘Celebs Go Dating’ was much more relaxed. It wasn’t centred around my actual life, it was all about dating. And I think dating’s a vulnerable thing to do, so there was a vulnerability and rawness to it that you don’t get on ‘Geordie Shore’.

I’m grateful to the show for allowing me to show my vulnerability. It showed that I’ve got depth, I’m not one dimensional. I think I was 23 when I joined ‘Geordie Shore’ (Nathan’s first season aired in 2015) so I’ve naturally grown up and matured on the show over the years. I think on the new series you’ll see I’m very similar to the person I am on ‘Celebs Go Dating’, it’s just a case that I’ve grown and evolved and I’m kind of aware of what I’m doing now.

Aside from your TV work, I know you have a pet fashion business, Buddy and Me. Did you always want to do something like this or did Buddy inspire it?

Buddy really did inspire it. I knew I wanted to something with one of my best friends and Buddy is my best friend. A lot of celebrities go into similar types of businesses, clothing, for example, but I wanted to do something completely different.

Not many celebrities have their own dog brand so I thought ‘that’s what I want to do’ and I have the best and most beautiful model in Buddy.

People always say ‘don’t work with children or dogs’. We obviously disagree. How do you find working with Buddy and now Buster?

Buddy’s such a loving and caring dog, he’s such a respectful dog and he’s very obedient. And because I’m always taking pictures, he knows when to put the act on and pose so working with him is a dream because he listens to photographers, he sits, he stares, he’s so good. He does an hour fine, then I’ve got to trick him into doing stuff with treats (laughs).

(Laughs) That’s part of the reason we always have treats and toys on hand at our shoots. You never know when you need to bring out a bit of bribery.

Yes (laughs). Treats always work. Buddy loves balls but still hasn’t figured out how to play fetch properly. He’ll bring it back but won’t give it to you so you have to wrestle with him to get it. I mean it does make the game funnier, but still.

Buster must still be learning the ropes though, being a youngster?

Yes, he needs some training (laughs). He needs to watch Buddy and follow his example because that boy just does what he wants.

I always say that these are probably questions you won’t have been asked before – and probably won’t be again – so we can have some fun. If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, who would you choose to swap with and why?

I’d swap with Buster because I want to know what goes through his head when he’s destroying everything and I’d love to know what he’s thinking when get gets caught doing something naughty.

Buddy does this funny thing though. Whenever Buster is doing something naughty, Buddy will run towards me and sit by my leg. So whenever he does that I’m like ‘what’s Buster doing?’ and I’ll go to find him. But when I go to find him he runs behind the curtain and hides so he thinks I can’t see him, but his whole back-end is sticking out so I’ll say ‘I can see you, Buster’. It’s so funny. I’d love to know what’s going through his head when he does that.

That’s so funny. How do you think Buster would cope with being you for the day?

(Laughs) I don’t think he would be able to cope. I travel back and forward a lot, I don’t think he’d cope with that. His attention span would mean we wouldn’t get any work done and he’d probably destroy a lot more things than he should.

We ask all of our celebrities this question, it’s all in the name of fun. Based on personalities alone, which breeds of dog come to mind when you think of these celebrities and why?

Marnie Simpson – A Chihuahua, definitely. Her whole family of Chihuahuas is just incredible. And Marnie has a temper like a Chihuahua as well.

Pete Wicks – I think he’d be an Alsatian. He’s quite an alpha male, isn’t he? He’s also very nice to look at and he’s authoritative so yeah, Alsatian.

Vicky Pattison – A Poodle that’s got a full bouffant comes to mind for Vicky. She holds herself very well and Poodles are very glam and very pristine, they’re quite a regal dog, aren’t they.

Chris Taylor – From ‘Love Island’? Because of his hair, I think he’d be an Afghan Hound (laughs).

And what about you, what breed of dog would you be and why?

I’m obsessed with Frenchies, but if I wasn’t a Frenchie, I think I would probably be a Dobermann because they do look quite intimidating but they’re actually soft and loving, and they have a great coat (laughs).

Moving onto our quick-fire questions, are you ready? What do you do as a dog dad that slightly embarrasses you – or them – but you’ll keep doing it anyway?

I speak to my boys in a ridiculous voice and do you know what, I’m not even embarrassed about it. I do it in public as well, doesn’t matter if we’re in the park, on the street or on a train.

What’s it like?

Buster gets a baby voice and Buddy gets a voice that’s a bit more grown up, but still like he’s a child. I smother them with love (laughs). If they do anything remotely cute, it makes me cry. That’s quite embarrassing (laughs).

When you talk to them, have you pictured in your mind what kind of accent they’d have?

Yes. Buddy’s got a very deep voice and Buster’s got a yappy voice and I think he’s French.

Where is Buddy and Buster’s favourite place in the world to be?

Buddy’s would be lying with his head on my pillow and actually in my bed asleep. He’s a really lazy dog, you know. I wake up at six o’clock in the morning and he’ll growl at me as if to say ‘go back to bed’ until he’s ready to get up and I’m like ‘no, Buddy, we need to go to the toilet, it’s time to get up’. So he’ll run outside and go for a wee but then he’ll run straight back to bed and go back to sleep.

I think Buster’s favourite place to be would be any muddy puddle. If we go for a walk, especially if he’s just been cleaned, he’ll look at the puddle, look at me and then he’ll walk slowly towards it and I’ll be like ‘don’t do it, Buster’ but he’ll already be rolling around it in.

(Laughs) He’s going to keep you on your toes, isn’t he? What do you think is the most important life lesson we can learn from dogs?

To always be grateful for everything you have and to love as hard as you can because dogs love with all of their heart and I think that’s something that humans should all do.

Finish the following sentence, my dogs are…

……my world.

This is always a tough question so you might need some time to think about it, but if you could ask your boys one question and one question only, what would you ask and what do you think they’d say?

Oh, this is interesting. Let me think. I wouldn’t want to ask them if they love me because if they said ‘no’ I’d be gutted (laughs). I think I’d ask them ‘are you happy with your home and is there anything I can do to improve it for you?’ and I think Buddy would say ‘no, it’s perfect, I love it’. Buster, on the other hand, would probably say ‘can I have more things to destroy and more things to chew, and please stop putting the child gate on because I want to chew the bannister’.

Many thanks, Nathan!

(Article source: K9) 

Do they know it’s Christmas? How dogs see Christmas Day

Us humans understand exactly what’s going on at Christmas, but dogs don’t have a clue. It’s a time when their owners put new things up around the home, return home with shopping bags regularly and there’s always a lot of food in the house.

Dog christmas

We don’t often consider what Christmas day must be like for dogs. For some dogs, it can even be a little bit stressful. Here’s Christmas Day from a dog’s perspective.

There’re lots of things wrapped in paper I desperately want to destroy/chew/pull apart. Dogs see presents and instinctively want to get their paws on them. Remember to keep them well out of reach until Christmas day!

Why are my humans eating so much food and not giving it to me? We consume a lot of food on Christmas day, and our poor doggies have to sit there watching us. Don’t give your dog Christmas food as it can be dangerous, give them some dog treats instead.

I usually get lots of attention but today my owner seems distracted. Dogs don’t get much attention on Christmas day because their owners are busy preparing Christmas dinner, eating and opening presents. Make sure your dog still gets a decent walk on Christmas day.

I am getting a bit bored because the focus is not on me. Dogs can easily get bored on Christmas day because they are often ignored in favour of opening presents and enjoying the festivities. Remember to give your dog something to do on Christmas day to keep them occupied.

What is that amazing smell coming from the food room? It smells like heaven. Just like us, dogs can smell the mouth watering aromas coming from the kitchen. They know that lots of food will soon appear. Make sure they don’t steal any food on the sly.

Why am I getting so many treats and new toys? Have I been really well behaved today? Lots of owners don’t want to leave their dogs out when it comes to Christmas presents. Many dogs get spoiled on Christmas Day too, but they have no idea why.

All these flashing lights are making me feel dizzy. Festive lighting can be a bit much for some dogs, who get overwhelmed by flashing lights.

My owner is acting strange, what is that liquid they have been drinking all day? Dogs also don’t understand what being drunk is, and a lot of people get a bit tipsy on Christmas day. This can confuse dogs who wonder why their owner is acting so strangely.

I have never seen so many delicious crumbs on the floor. Some dogs can act like vacuum cleaners, eating up all the crumbs that drop on the floor, and there’s likely to be lots on Christmas day.

I can smell treats on that tree, why can’t I have them now? Many owners will actually wrap up presents specifically for their dog and put them on or under the tree. Your dog might be able to smell them and wonder why they can’t have them, or try and find a way to get to them.

Why are there more people on my territory than normal? We often have lots of family members round on Christmas day. For some dogs, this is fine, but for others it can be a bit too hectic and overbearing.

What is that sticky stuff holding those paper things together, it’s terrifying, I want to stay away from it. Everyone knows for some reason, dogs absolutely hate sellotape. The sellotape on presents may freak them out a little on Christmas day. You might find your dog hiding in a corner whilst presents are being opened.

Why cats and dogs are excited for Christmas

We can come up with a million reasons we think this is the best time of year. To name a few: Christmas carols, gorgeous (and tacky) light displays, Santa, elves, Rudolph, classic holiday movies, presents and really cheesy TV specials. But what about cats and dogs? Do they even care or know it’s Christmas? We’d like to think they do. Sure, they probably don’t understand why we always have “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on repeat and don’t really get why we have to go shopping so much. But surely there are some things about the festive season that they look forward to every year. Here are five reasons we think pets are just as excited for Christmas as you are.

It might snow

The festive season coincides with the beginning of winter, so there’s a fairly good chance it will snow in many parts of the country. Cats are often blasé about all forms of precipitation, but there are certain dog breeds that have been waiting all year for the first few flakes to hit the ground.

There are boxes everywhere

Forget luxurious or trendy gifts, what cats (and perhaps some dogs) can’t wait to see under the tree are all the cardboard boxes. And with the growing popularity of online shopping, the holiday season has never been better for cardboard-loving animals. So bring on the shipments from Amazon and Zappos – their boxes are the gifts that keep on giving.

They get a lot of attention

Christmastime means there are more people around to lavish pets with love and affection. Of course, this could also be a reason your cat or dog hates the festive season. Some pets aren’t fans of strangers or guests. And that’s understandable. But for the pets who live for attention, this time of year is a treat.

Presents

Who doesn’t love presents? Cats and dogs appreciate a new ball, bowl or collar. They’ll gladly accept a trendy new product that they never knew they needed. And if you have the funds to splurge on an expensive bed, they simply can’t say no. But if you’re in a bind, well, there’s always the cardboard box.

Quality time with the family

Among the best – and most important – things about Christmas is spending time with loved ones. So as you celebrate the season, don’t forget to sneak in some QT with your furry family member. Because, really, that’s what Christmas is all about.

(Article source: Various) 

Beverley Knight: ‘My dog has taught me real unconditional love and it’s a beautiful thing’

Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight has been at the top of her game making hit records for the last two decades.

Beverley Knight

Next month she is releasing a special live album ‘BK25: Beverley Knight with The Leo Green Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall’, which is the culmination of her most recent tour celebrating 25 years in music and brings her biggest and best songs to life. Her hit songs are woven through my teens into my adult years, give me a song title and I’ll tell you what it reminds me of. There’s something about her songs, the vocals, the connection and feeling, that draws me back to listen again and again (if you haven’t heard it already, you must listen to her live rendition of ‘Angels’ and her new single ‘Now or Never’ is guaranteed to get you moving). Offstage Beverley spends as much time as she can with her family back in the West Midlands, husband James and rescue dog Zain, who we got to learn a lot more about recently.

Hi Beverley, thanks so much for your time today. Tell us all about Zain and how you came to own him.

Hi! My husband and I were thinking about getting a dog and adoption was absolutely the way we wanted to go. But I was a bit fearful, not just because of my own history with dogs, I was scared of dogs my whole life, although I’ve obviously got over that now. But instead because of my lifestyle, you know, the theatre, music, touring, all of that. But we thought, well, we’ll make it work. We will absolutely make it work. People have children and make it work even with busy lifestyles. So we were looking at photos and going through different adoption agencies and then one day we saw Zain and that was it.

Oh wow, love at first sight then? What was it about him that drew you in?

My husband happened to be looking through dogsblog.com one day, he did it all the time, and he’d left the page up so just out of curiosity I started to look and then I came across a video of a little black and white dog playing with a white dog. And I just thought, “Oh, this dog is so cute” and I found myself reading the blurb about the little black and white dog. The blog described him as a dude, said his name was Zain and that he was about nine months old.

There was something about the way he was playing, you know, just something about him specifically, and I said, “James, come and look, I think this might be our dog” and when James saw him he thought he was perfect. We didn’t know what breed he was, we just knew he was a cute faced black and white dog. So we started to make enquiries with his rescue, a charity called Angel’s Kiss, who had used dogsblog.com for publicity. Zain’s rescue was based in Yorkshire but worked with a rescue in Spain, which is where Zain was.

Was the rescue able to tell you anything more about Zain’s history?

We think he was a street dog.

Okay.

So we started the process to adopt him and the next thing we knew, we’d been accepted and Zain was winging his way to us. Well, I say winging, he was actually been driven with other dogs that were being adopted from Spain to other families in the UK.

You mentioned before that you were scared of dogs for years. What changed?

My whole life I was scared of dogs. I had one parent, my mum, who was indifferent to dogs and another, my dad, who was quite fearful of dogs. Jamaican culture is that dogs usually live outside, they don’t come in the house, they’re protection guard dogs so there was always that wariness. My mum and dad really couldn’t understand the whole culture of dogs being in your house and being on the bed, for example. We were just not raised around dogs at all, so I was wary and fearful.

That all changed when I went on holiday to Austin, Texas to hang out with James’s sister Debbie who is a real animal lover. She has dogs, cats, everything. She owned a Pitbull mix called Blue, a big, lumpy, stocky, tough guy dog. I went there thinking I’m never going to get home. This is it. I’m going to write a will because clearly this will be the end of me. I arrived at Debbie’s house, stood at the gate right by the backyard, kind of pressed up against it, thinking, “Oh my god, he’s going to come out. He’s going to come bounding out and he’s going to jump up.” But Blue came out of the main house, slowly, with his tail wagging and just came over and sat next to me, just looking up at me as if to say “I’m not going to hurt you. It’s fine. Don’t be scared.”

It was like he had read my fears and I was stunned because my interactions with dogs were few and far between and they had always involved a dog jumping up, barking and being boisterous, so this was a shock for me.

Eventually, I got the courage up to pet him a little bit tentatively thinking, God, he might bite my hand but he was completely fine. And then slowly over time, I realised that dogs are just like humans in the sense that they have their own personalities, and like humans, how they are is based on how and what they’ve been taught. You know, Debbie had this wonderful rapport with Blue and he was really well trained. He was just the most loving, sweetest dog. The thing that really changed everything was one incident one morning.

Debbie is a breakfast DJ so she went off to work early one day and Blue was left in the house with us. We were in bed fast asleep and I heard this nose, a kind of whining and scratching. I asked James what it was and he said it was Blue and that he wanted to come in.

So I was like, “Oh, well, what happens if I let him in?” He said “You’ll find out, open the door. So I’m half asleep and I opened the door. Well, he came running in and jumped on the bed, tucked himself between James and I and went straight to sleep. I just thought it was the sweetest thing ever. And that was his routine until we left to go home. I just thought he was the sweetest, most gorgeous dog and I was absolutely taken aback at just how lovely and gentle he was and my own feelings towards him. I found myself falling in love with him, and I’m the person who turned up in Austin terrified of dogs.

If we went on a walk or if we went to the shops, if we went anywhere actually, I asked if Blue was able to come so I could look after him. When it came time to go home I was like “Bye, Deb” and when I went to say bye to Blue I just burst into tears. I didn’t want to leave him. All the way home I kept thinking of him and that was the catalyst that made me think, yeah, we can adopt. We can definitely adopt a dog. Literally, overnight my fear of dogs went and that was because of Blue.

He sounds like a very special dog.

I was devastated when he passed recently. I tell everyone Blue changed my life completely because if it wasn’t for Blue, I wouldn’t have Zain.

I saw a post on Instagram recently where you talked about Blue, Pitbulls and Debbie’s rescue work.

Yes, she’s a real fan of rescuing. She has a little girl called Braidy who is in her care at the moment. Braidy was tied up in Central Texas, in a hundred degrees or thereabouts. There was no water, nothing, and she was tied up on a short leash and people had been reporting the state of this dog. Debbie got to hear about it through an organisation in the US called ‘Stand Up for Pits’ so she drove three hours to rescue her and she’s been with her ever since.

Debbie already owns a little rescue French Bulldog called Alfie and Alfie and Braidy are like best buds. Everywhere Alfie goes, Braidy goes too.

What were the early days with Zain like?

Well, we met Zain at the designated meeting/drop off point to drive him home and I remember looking at Zain in the back of the car and he wasn’t responding that well to James, he was a bit fearful of men, but was fine with me, so I was a bit anxious.

When we got home, he sniffed everywhere and kind of settled down after a while. We fed him and just watched him. Our hearts were banging and we were just like “What have we done? It’s all very well this romantic idea of adopted a dog and now it’s a reality”, so we had a bed prepared for him and treats and things, and he was quite a calm dog so that was good.

The first night we were terrified like “What if he cries? What if he whines?”. Well that first night, Zain kind of knew that he was going to be okay. He went to the bed that we bought him and all through the night we were listening out but there was nothing, no whining or anything like that. He was completely fine.

Luckily for us, Zain has quite a chilled personality but we were very careful. We knew, you know, being a rescue, he would have habits and things that we may not be aware of that might manifest themselves over the days and sure enough, they did.

We saw how fearful he was over men and he was okay with dogs but he didn’t particularly like cats. You know, we figured all those things out and day by day it was just a learning process.

My friend happens to be Oli Juste (TV dog behaviourist) so we asked him to come and help us because we wanted to make sure we were doing the best job we could for Zain, and he came around and just taught us how to read his behaviour, you know, so we can read when he’s stressed or anxious, that kind of thing. That was what we were most concerned about.

Okay. What did that help you to pick up on?

We discovered early on that he hadn’t been socialised around little children and kind of exhibited fear of little children, so we were like “Okay, we need to give him some space from little kids and gently introduce him”, not throw too much at him in the early days. So we learnt bit by bit.

The big test was him meeting my family. My family were like me before I met Blue, fearful, wary, and I remember James being excited and saying, “We should take him and introduce him to your mum” and I was like, “She’s not going to like it, we’ve never had a dog in our house. I don’t think this is a good idea.” Anyway, we phoned mum and said “Is it alright if we bring Zain?” and because my husband’s very persuasive, my mum said “Oh yes, bring him. I want to meet him.”

So when we got there I was like “Oh my God Zain, please don’t bark at her. Please don’t jump up.” Well, he went up and sniffed her and was like “Yeah, you’re alright”, went into the back garden for a play then came back in, leapt up on the sofa and sat right next to my mum. And that’s how he was with every member of the family. Even though my brother has young children, Zain got to know them and they got to know Zain and now that they just absolutely adore him.

That must have been a relief?

Yeah.

I know you’ve had a really busy year with lots going on, including touring. Does Zain come with you when you tour?

My life has been very busy, you know, singing, theatre, it’s all been going on. Zain comes with me as much as possible. It’s not always possible and I understand that, but I always ask if Zain can come and find out if places are dog friendly.

James often accompanies me to the various things that I’m getting up to so when Zain comes along he’ll stick pretty close to him, but he’s been really chilled. He’s a really chilled out dog really.

There are a couple of things he doesn’t like. I took him to my rehearsal once when I was rehearsing with the band, and the noise didn’t bother him, but he wasn’t too keen on the kick drum. So, when my drummer was given it all to the kick drum, he was like, “What’s that? I’m not sure about that.” He went over, sniffed it out, decided he wasn’t a fan, kept his distance and fell asleep. He’s really good in new environments. He just sniffs everything out and then he tends to just chill out, and everybody loves him. So, I’m fortunate, very fortunate.

The UK’s first National Dog Adoption Day is approaching (25th October). Based on your whole experience of adopting Zain and everything you’ve learnt, what would you say to anyone thinking about adopting a dog? What would be your best piece of advice to pass on?

I would say that if you wanted to adopt a dog, because it probably won’t be plain sailing, you don’t always know the dog’s history – if you do it’s a bonus – so the first thing I would say is whether you adopt or however you acquire a dog, get a trainer in, someone who absolutely knows what they’re doing and get some basics down to help you learn to read your dog’s behaviour as much as you can. Because the more you get to know your dog, the more you’ll learn about yourself, which then helps you to help your dog.

That’s good advice.

Certainly, that was the case with me and with James. People should know it won’t be plain sailing, there will be challenges, there will be behaviours that might come up that you wouldn’t expect, that was how I discovered Zain didn’t like little children because he just wasn’t used to them.

There’s a lot of trial and error, so be prepared, but show them all the love you can because it’s so worth it. Zain has given us so much joy, so much love and we appreciate him in our lives and he certainly appreciates us. So, it’s absolutely worth it. If you’re prepared to spend time and put the work in, you’ll get all of that back in spades.

Looking at him now, now he’s thinking about getting up to sit next to you, he has a very expressive face, doesn’t he?

He does. He’s got this little dinky head, the rest of him is quite solid.

I always say that these are probably questions you won’t have been asked before – and probably won’t be again – so we can have some fun.

If you were to swap roles with Zain for a day, what would you love most about being him?

Zain likes to sleep so if we swapped places and I was him for the day, I think I’d quite enjoy the fact that I could sit down, chill out and find a sunny spot to lie in.

And what do you think he’d love most about being you?

I think he’d absolutely adore the attention that he’d get. I’m very fortunate because I’m very often kindly invited to have meals at different places and he does love food so I think that would be a big bonus for him. The one thing I don’t think he’d like would be having to sing because he does not appreciate my singing at all (laughs).

(Laughs) Does he not?

No, if I start to sing, he starts looking for the door.

Oh dear.

Based on personalities alone, which breeds of dog come to mind when you think of these dog-loving celebrities and why?

Ricky Gervais – He’d be something quite sappy and sweet, like a Labrador because he’s got a sweet nature. He’s clearly a bighearted guy and everybody loves him. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love Ricky Gervais.

Sara Cox – She would be a talkative dog, a bit of a wiser cracker with lots of personality like a little Jack Russell.

Hugh Jackman – Let me think, these questions are brilliant by the way, I think he’d be a big dog, something like a Boxer. Something sweet but impressive to look at.

Mariah Carey – She would be something like a Poodle, a very pretty dog that’s always going to the parlour, wears a bow in her hair and always being the diva dog.

And what about you and James, what breeds of dog would you be and why?

Oh my god. James would be a Staffy for sure. Really good looking, athletic, looks like a tough guy but completely soft and sweet-natured. That would be that would be James. Me, I’d have to be something with huge eyes. Maybe I’d be a Beagle? (laughs)

They like to sing.

Yeah, they’re very vocal.

All right, moving onto some of our quick-fire questions. What items do you never without at home?

I never leave home without my phone. I can’t even pretend. I always tend to have nuts somewhere in my bag to nibble on and I always have a lipstick, so girly. Literally, you could go into my bag now and the lipstick in there won’t even be the one I’ve got on now, it will just be a random one, so I always have a lipstick of some description on me and usually some kind of natural products, like a natural solid stick perfume. I always have one of those in my bag. As much as I can, I use natural products.

And what about Zain, what does he never leave home without?

Well, there’s the obvious poo bags, but there’s always some kind of treat and it’s usually a cheesy one. He’s such a foodie, he loves manchego. It’s his favourite cheese.

What’s your favourite album (of your own) and why?

That’s a great question. Well, when I recorded ‘Soulsville’, it was the best recording experience I’ve ever had.

You know, going to Memphis and going into the famous Royal Studios, standing behind the legendary Al Green’s microphone, it was just like having the musicians in the same room as me. Doing it all completely organically, completely live in that setting, it felt like I was surrounded by the spirits of everybody who had been in that room and recorded there before and it was like that whole experience ended up manifesting itself on the record.

When I listen back to that album, all of the thoughts and feelings, everything I felt about being in that room, come flooding back to me every time so I love just sitting and listening to it. Of course, that’s how I feel now, I might change my mind later on and say well actually ‘Who I Am’ is my favourite because that was my breakout album. It changes, but right now I’m really enjoying ‘Soulsville’ because I was in the cradle of the history of R’n’B, blues and soul, and that meant everything to me. It was like a pilgrimage.

If you could rescue one album or download one album only from Spotify, from another artist, what would it be?

The ‘Sign o’ the Times’ by Prince. I am a Prince nut and to me, he was my mentor from afar. I wanted to write the way he wrote, I wanted to have that same approach. The way he put his band together, the way he would harmonise all of that, growing up, you know, I learnt so much just from listening to him. I listened to him like it was an ology.

He was a genius, wasn’t he?

Yeah. I studied him closely. The thrill of my life was being able to tell him and he was really chuffed about that. So yeah, ‘Sign o’ the Times’, it’s just a complete masterpiece. It’s quite dystopian, but, you know, it’s still relevant now, both in its creativeness and in its lyrics. It has some great, gorgeous love songs, very sexy in places, with some straight out funk moments and full-on rock moments. It’s got everything.

It’s amazing how some albums have that sort of just sound new, even when they’re old because they’re so different completely.

Yeah, that album is the epitome of timeless for me because it just so, so fresh and radical. It was like every genre you could think of in one album.

I know you’re a Wolves fan. I am too. Who’s your favourite Wolves player (past or present) and why?

Growing up my bedroom was wall to wall Prince and Bully Wolves legendary striker Steve Bull. I told him that and he couldn’t believe it. He had so much skill, he was fearless. If Bully got on the ball, you knew it was going to blow a hole through the back of the net. He was just so special and full of passion.

When we think of great goal scorers we think of Paul Gascoigne and the great creators of goals like David Beckham and the way he could bend the ball, but Bully played with so much heart. He gave so much to the game and he’s still giving it now.

He actually has a dog so thinking back to our earlier question, if Steve Bull was a breed of dog based on his personality alone, what breed of dog would he be?

Such a good question. He’d be something quite like a Collie. Quick, clever and ball mad.

What do you think is the most important life lesson that we can learn from dogs?

(Zain’s now falling asleep on Beverley as she answers) Dogs teach us the value of being loyal and kind. If you show kindness to a dog, they will show you all the love in the world. Always. They’re bonded to you forever. Dogs love unconditionally and the value of loyalty is unsurpassed when it comes to dogs. It’s a wonderful trait to have.

Is that what you think is the best thing is about being Zain’s mum?

I absolutely adore being Zain’s mum because you know, even though he really loves his daddy and I come a close second, if I needed him he would be right there. He’d never leave me and I’d never leave him. He has taught me real unconditional love and it’s a beautiful thing.

Finish the following sentence. My dog is…

….a champion. He has survived a very tough beginning and even though it’s quite clear that he has had some trauma in his young life, he’s still willing to give humans a chance and still opened his heart to James and I. He just wins at life because of it. He is an absolute champion of a dog. He’s so great.

And one final question, if you could ask Zain one question and one question only, what would you ask him?

That is such a good question. I think I’d I want to know why Zain chose us because yes something about his demeanour obviously spoke to us but ultimately, he needed to be happy with us. He could have looked at us and thought “No”.

I genuinely think dogs do choose their owners and I’d want to know why us, what was it about us that made him realise he could trust us because we knew we’d be okay with him and we have the power to reason, so we knew that he would be wonderful for us, but I wonder what it was that made him think, “Yeah, these humans are cool. I think I’ll stick around.” Yeah, that’s what I’d love to know.

Many thanks, Beverley!

(Article source: K9) 

Jim & Amora: How a three legged shelter dog saved a veteran

Jim Brakewood Jr. might look like kind of a scary dude. At 6’2”, loaded with muscles, long, wild hair and a beard a to match, he cuts a pretty imposing figure. It’s as if a Viking decided he wasn’t ready for Valhalla just yet and decided to pay Instagram a visit instead.

shelter dog

He has a soft spot for dogs, though. In particular, his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Amora.

Jim has seen war. In two tours in Iraq he has been in battle, he has been wounded and he has lost friends. During his second tour, Jim was shot in the head in Mosul, but somehow survived and made his way back home.

He earned a Purple Heart, but was diagnosed with PTSD and like many of our veterans he turned to drinking and thoughts of suicide.

His warrior spirit wouldn’t allow him to just give up, though.

Jim realized that he was headed down a dangerous path, had been making poor choices and was determined to make a change. After some time, he felt that a young puppy might help with his PTSD training. He recalls the day he went to the humane society to adopt a puppy and met Amora, a three-legged Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

“On the way back to go check out the puppies I walked by Amora. She just had her surgery to amputate her back right leg, she had her cone (on) and her bandages/stitches were still fresh. She tried with all her might to get up and meet me and I could see how much it hurt her but she didn’t care and I fell in love right there.”

As we all know, Pit Bulls often get a bad rap. Marked as an “aggressive breed”, they make up 40% of the 1.5 million dogs euthanized in shelters each year. Even looking like a Pit Bull breed can mean a long stay in a shelter kennel for a dog, or worse, being euthanized immediately. However, Jim wasn’t concerned. Moved to tears at the little pup in her surgery cone, he decided to take her home. She settled in, climbed into his lap and fell asleep. Jim marked the occasion with a photo – Amora asleep and him with a happy smile, even with the tears in his eyes.

The moment Jim captured in the photo turned out to be a huge one.

“I knew my life had changed. I couldn’t kill myself anymore. I knew I had to stay alive to protect her and make sure she was ok. She needed me. I needed her.”

Amora arrived at the shelter after being in a car accident. Her leg was injured to the point that it couldn’t be saved and was removed just before she met Jim. She isn’t a “service animal” or “therapy dog” in the way that we typically think of one. Jim says:

“I have trained Amora in almost no way. She comes when I call her and that’s about as far as I have taken it… She doesn’t have the official designation of ‘service animal’. She cuddles next to me when I need it and I don’t even ask, she knows when to give me space somehow, she gives my life purpose and direction.”

“She keeps me company, gives me a best friend… I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much she means to me and how much she has helped me. I wake up in the middle of the night if she stops snoring.”

“…she gave me the will to live. A 5-year relationship ended, I was a complete and utter isolated shut-in outside the gym and my PTSD and TBI symptoms and issues were just getting overwhelming. I couldn’t enjoy things anymore, I had no motivation for much of anything…”

“…and somehow she changed all that.”

“It’s hard to explain … when I brought her home I just knew I had to protect her and give her the best life I can. And I couldn’t be selfish and kill myself anymore, she needs me.”

Shortly after Jim shared his story with us, he lost Amora to a tragic accident. She is missed every day and remembered fondly as a bright spot in his life. He continues to rescue Pit Bulls, and saved Logan shortly after losing Amora.

(Article source: I Heart Dogs) 

Man brings elderly, homeless dog on a shopping spree and buys him everything he touches.

King is a 12-year-old dog who lived a hard life.

King

I Heart Dogs reports that this dog was abandoned on the streets by his former owner. One day he was hit by a car and lost one of his front legs in the accident. After his amputation, a rescue group known as Marley’s Mutt’s tried to find him a family, but it was difficult because he was a senior. Most families adopt young dogs and puppies. Several months past and nobody wanted to adopt King.

Eventually, TV host, Rocky Kanaka heard King’s story and wanted to help him as much as he could.

Rocky hosts a TV show called Dog’s Day Out. This program showcases Rocky taking shelter dogs out to have a perfect day. The dogs on the show always have a good time and their time on the show usually leads to finding them a new home.

On King’s perfect day, Rocky took him on a shopping spree. In a YouTube video documenting the day, Rocky explained that he would purchase everything King touched. It didn’t matter if it was fish food or reptile heating lamps. If King touched it, Rocky would buy it. The only thing off-limits was a hamster!

As Rocky and King began their perfect day, it was evident the dog was having a blast.

The first thing King chose was some dog food. A sensible decision if I do say so myself. Dog food selected, Rocky directed the fluffy friend to the toy section. King had never had a toy before so he was confused at first. Eventually Rocky held out a dinosaur toy for him to sniff. The TV host decided King liked it and added it to the cart with the dog food.

King had the best time in the treat aisle.

He picked out so many things. He touched a countless amount of treats with his nose as well as a giant ball, a toy rope and a rawhide bone. King even chose to touch a nerf gun that launches tennis balls instead of styrofoam darts.

By the time they left the store, Rocky and King’s shopping cart was filled with a ton of fun toys and yummy treats. King’s tail would wag endlessly at the sight of all his new goodies. After Rocky posted the video, a woman decided to adopt King!

To celebrate the occasion, Rocky took King on another shopping spree. King picked out several toys and treats. He also wanted to adopt a bird, but Rocky would not allow it.

At the end of the video, Rocky met King’s new mom. King was obviously in love with the woman. He wasted no time running up to her and settling in for some cuddles. King had a difficult life, but now he is spending it with a wonderful woman and a ton of new toys, all thanks to Rocky the TV host.

(Story source: I Heart Dogs) 

Loyal dog waits by roadside for four years at exact spot where he lost his owner

The dog jumped off from his owner’s truck on a highway in Thailand and remained on the same spot until they were reunited.

Loyal Dog

The Mirror reports that a stray dog waited four years for his owner to return at the exact spot where the pet jumped from a moving truck.

Passing biker Anuchit Uncharoen saw the dog twice on a highway in Roi-Et, northeastern Thailand, last month. He stopped to check on the dog and was told by the locals that it had been sitting at the same place for the last four years.

Resident Saowaluck Pinnuvech, 45, said that she found the dog at that spot in early 2016.

She said: “I found this dog since 2016, back then he was so skinny and he had skin lesions. “I rode a motorcycle past this road and saw him everyday for a week, so I asked the people about his owner and the locals told me that he was a stray dog.

“They said he had been waiting there since the previous year. “I took him to the vet and adopted him myself and named him Leo, but after a couple of days he was missing from the house and I found him at this spot again so I let him stay here and have been coming to feed him everyday.”

Anuchit decided to share the story of Leo and a video online, which prompted the dog’s owner to come forward.

Owner Noi Sittisarn, 64, said her dog Bong Bong had gone missing after jumping down from her pickup truck in 2015.

She added: “I was travelling on this road but then I noticed that Bong Bong was missing from the trunk. “Me and my husband drove around to find him but we did not find him and we did not know where he could be.”

As she went back to the spot on September 9, Leo bounded over excitedly to Noi and let her to rub his head. However, he refused to go home when she carried him to the pickup truck.

It appeared that Bong Bong needed some time to adjust his feelings so Noi promised to go back again the next day. However, that night Saowaluck called Noi and cried as she confessed that she wanted to keep the dog herself because she had become attached to him.

Noi said that she was more than happy to let the dog stay with Saowalack. She said: “I have no intention to refuse her request. “Due to her good care of the dog I believed she and the dog will be happy together but I would like her to keep the dog in her house.”

Saowaluck promised to take the dog home and will take a good care of him while Noi is happy to take the dog back, if Saowaluck no longer wants him.

(Story source: The Mirror) 

Truffles the sow gets her own 3d printed micro pig!

Truffles, a 6-year old black sow, who loves nothing better than having a good stroke, has become the mascot for Rochdale-based pig rescue charity, Pig Inn Heaven (www.piginnheaven.co.uk)

Truffles

Pets Mag reports that Arty Lobster (https://artylobster.com), 3D pet sculpture specialists, chose friendly and lovable Truffles as the perfect candidate for a complementary ‘micro’ version of herself to help raise awareness of pigs in rescue. Although Truffles has now found her forever home, her sculpture will serve as the charity’s ‘mascot’.

Janet Deveraux, Secretary of Pig Inn Heaven, said: “We love the 3d printed sculpture of Truffles; this little pig is the best sort of micro pig!”

The charity is constantly raising awareness of the issue of ‘micro’ pigs which look cute and small as piglets but are anything but ‘micro’ when they grow up. The issue is leading to fully grown micro pigs being abandoned by owners who can’t cope with their pets.

Janet said: “Truffles came from a home where the landlord said she could no longer stay. Unlike many pigs in our charge, she was looked after very well by her previous owner. She has now found her forever home, but we have 60 plus other pigs waiting for new homes, as well as turtles and terrapins.

“We have rescued pigs from flats, terraced houses, outside space which is too small, and roaming the streets in towns where they have been dumped. Anyone thinking of getting a pig please visit our sanctuary first as part of your research, you need to be able to look after a pig for a long time, the life span of a pig is between 10 to 20 years.

“It is very important to do your research in advance, if you are told from a breeder that a pig only grows as big as a Labrador please take into account that a pig also grows wider, longer and stronger than a Labrador and in a lot of cases bigger in height.

Lars B Andersen, Founder and MD of Arty Lobster, said: “We chose Truffles because of her lovable, but slightly cheeky, looks. She’s a wonderful character and we wanted to put that across in her 3D sculpture. Her sculpture has already become a talking point at the charity, and if it can help in even a small way to raise awareness, that will be worthwhile.”

To give a Pigs Inn Heaven pig a home, the charity charges a fee of £400 per pig – this covers the initial veterinary health check and the first month of care.

(Story source: Pets Mag) 

1 in 3 Brits not having sex due to pets in bed

•More than one in three (35%) Brits admit they have stopped being intimate with their partner because of their pet sleeping in the same bed

•Over one in four (29%) pet owners say they don’t sit with their partner at home due to pets taking up room on the sofa

•Seven in 10 Britons (71%) set clear ground rules before getting a new pet, but 63% will end up breaking them

pets in bed

There is a lot of preparation and planning to be done before getting a pet and, as part of this, 71% of Brits set clear ground rules such as their furry friend won’t be allowed upstairs, on the bed or near the dining table when families eat.

But how long do these rules last and who really rules the roost at home once our pet walks through the door?

New research has shown that, ahead of bringing their pet home, one in three (34%) pet owners vowed they would not let them sleep in their bed. However, a quarter (25%) disregarded this when their animal companion arrived home, stating that they would even give up room in their bed to ensure that their pet is comfy.

Staggeringly, more than one in three (35%) Brits admitted that their pet sleeping in the bed has stopped them being intimate with their partner, with more than one in four (29%) saying they don’t even sit together at home anymore because their pet is taking up room on the sofa.

The research, conducted by pet food brand Webbox, shows that 63% of those who set ground rules will eventually break them, with over a third letting pets upstairs (40%) and in the bedroom (36%) after saying they wouldn’t be allowed.

A third (35%) of those who broke their ‘no pets on the furniture’ rule have since had furniture ruined because of their furry friend’s claws, and over one in six (18%) Brits have had arguments over who is responsible for the pet at home.

Over a quarter (26%) of Brits that decided to put rules in place break them within one week, and one in eight (14%) disregard them on the very first day that their pet arrives home. One in five (22%) who disregarded ground rules went as far as to admit that their pet rules the roost and is in charge at home.

Men are more likely than women to set rules and stick to them, as 41% say they still follow all the rules set for their pet compared to 32% of women. Female owners are also more likely to give up room in their bed to make sure their beloved pet is comfy (33%) compared to male owners (19%).

Camille Ashforth, Senior Brand Manager at Webbox, advises: “Here in the UK we love our pets. We may all have good intentions about where they can and can’t go before they arrive home, but it’s clear for many Brits that once their beloved pet steps through the door, most of those rules go out of the window. This can often cause frustration for some family members and can also lead to poor behaviour in your pets.

“Even though your pet is part of the family, ensuring boundaries is very important. Your pet should have their own space in the house that they enjoy spending time in, even more than your bed and sofa!

For dogs and cats in particular, establish a cosy part of the house just for them, make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water and some of their favourite long-lasting treats to ensure they always associate this space with joy. Make sure it’s in a quieter part of the house so they can have time out when they need it.

Never send your pet to this space as a punishment when they misbehave as this will just encourage negative connotations with this area. If you can’t get your pet out of bed or off the sofa, try putting yummy treats on the floor next to their bed, and, each day, move it a little closer towards their designated space.”

(Story source: Pets Mag) 

Most popular dog names for 2020 – and many are inspired by Disney and Marvel

If you’re planning on getting a new pooch next year, these 10 names are going to prove very popular.

dog names

Welcoming a furry new friend to the family is kind of a big deal. Your dog is going to become an important part of your life, so you’ve got to make sure you give the little pup the perfect name.

You want something you’re not going to be embarrassed to call when they’re misbehaving out on a walk or that you won’t get completely sick of.

Some people like to go for food-related names like, Fudge or Muffin, but it seems that there’s been a big increase recently in movie-inspired monikers.

According to new figures from dog chew brand, Tasty Bone, almost one in five dogs were named after a film character over the last year. People were particularly taken with Marvel and DC character names, with Loki (Thor), Jarvis (Iron Man) and Harley (Suicide Squad) all doing well.

And the trend looks set to continue into 2020, with Loki and Harley also featuring in the top 10 predictions for the next year.

Some Disney movie names have also made the cut, with Elsa, Simba and Lady all on the list.

The popularity of the Disney names may be due to the recent and upcoming movie releases. The Lion King live action movie hit cinemas in July, Frozen 2 is set to be released next month and the live action Lady and the Tramp will be on Disney + when it hits the UK at some point in the future.

Other names featured in the top 10 were Charlie, Bella, Millie and Maggie.

Here’s a look at the list in full:

  1. Charlie
  2. Loki
  3. Harley
  4. Elsa
  5. Bella
  6. Luke
  7. Simba
  8. Lady
  9. Millie
  10. Maggie

 (Story source: The Mirror)