Dog ends up looking like an alpaca after trip to the groomers is cut short

Most of us have had a disastrous haircut in our lives. This was recently the case for an adorable dog named Cheddar.

haircut

Metro reports that the shih tzu-poodle cross ended up with a half-finished haircut resembling an alpaca, after a trip to the groomers was cut short.

It seems Cheddar was far from a ‘good boy’ at the New Jersey salon, so his owner Lisa Torres was asked to come pick him up early.

The eight-year-old canine had tried to bite the groomer, so his hairdressing appointment came to an abrupt halt – resulting in an unfinished barnet. But Cheddar’s coat had already been blow dried so there was an enormous poof of hair on the top of his head.

Lisa said ‘When I got the call I chuckled a little and thought “oh my god, I’m on my way to pick up a lion”, and when I get there it’s the funniest thing in the world. ‘I walk into the store and I’m completely embarrassed, like “he’s not my dog, he’s a rescue dog, don’t think he’s mine.”

‘The groomer apologised and asked if I wanted to try (again), but I said “no, it’s okay, we can just go” and I completely understood because I wouldn’t want to be carrying on after I got bit (sic).’

Lisa took to Facebook to post some brilliant photos of Cheddar looking extremely smug with his new haircut, in the front seat of her car.

She added: ‘When I got into the car I just found it hilarious because he was sort of looking at me like “what’s wrong mum, this is what I was going for.”

‘I called my boyfriend and told him “I have tears in my eyes, my stomach is hurting and I can’t even pull off because Cheddar is sitting here like he’s cool but he’s not, he looks crazy.”’

According to Lisa, Cheddar has been parading his new style happily around the house ever since. The Facebook post has been making people smile, too, and has since racked up more than 250,000 likes.

(Story source: Metro)

Cat owner baffled by pet’s swimming goggles antics

A cat owner has been left mystified after her pet began bringing home a new type of “gift” – swimming goggles.

Cat Goggles

BBC News reports that Sally Bell says Avery has always brought her small animals but in recent weeks has switched to stealing underwater eyewear.

The feline felon has so far deposited eight pairs at her Bristol home. Despite checking with all her neighbours, Mrs Bell said she had no idea where they are from.

“He’s always been a hunter, bringing home mice and frogs and things like that,” she said. Three weeks ago, four-year-old Avery returned with a pair of goggles.

Mrs Bell said: “It was just one pair and I live in a close and there are quite a lot of families with children so I didn’t think anything of it.” Three days later the pilfering puss produced another two pairs.

‘Quite a celebrity’

“That’s when it became really strange,” added Mrs Bell. “For a few days it was a pair every day.

“I went round all my neighbours who’ve got children. One of the houses has a swimming pool so I thought it was bound to be them.”

But nobody in her part of Longwell Green in east Bristol reported missing any goggles.

Mrs Bell believes Avery is taking the goggles as gifts for her.

“He doesn’t play with the goggles, he just leaves them for me. In fact, the pair he brought home the other day had a dead mouse with them – two presents at once.”

“I feel so bad in case it’s children who are being bought new goggles and they’re getting into trouble because they keep going missing.”

Mrs Bell put an appeal out on social media to try and reunite the owners with their eyewear.

“All people do is laugh. I’ve had no takers but Avery has become quite a celebrity,” she said.

(Story source: BBC News)

‘Heroic’ dog given Speaker’s chair during Commons explosives sweep

A sniffer dog praised for her heroism in the London Bridge terror attack was given the Speaker’s chair as she checked the House of Commons.

sniffer dog

BBC News reports that Sir Lindsay Hoyle let Poppy, an explosives detective dog, sit in his chair as part of her sweep of the Commons and Lords chambers.

The spaniel was awarded a “canine OBE” for her work in checking for potential explosives following the 2017 attack. Eight people died during the attack in Borough Market.

Her handler, PC Spalding, said Poppy, now five, went into buildings, clearing them for armed officers in the aftermath of the attack.

“Even though we clocked up a marathon 30-hour shift, she was still happy to carry on. She is amazing and I put my trust in her 100%,” she said.

Sir Lindsay, who has a menagerie of pets, including a parrot called Boris and Maggie, a 16 kg tortoise, said: “I felt honoured to meet Poppy and her handler PC Spalding – who are a brave and talented double act.

“We are so lucky to have police dogs searching Parliament every day to keep us safe. It’s only when you hear about the escapades of Poppy and all her canine colleagues, that you appreciate the vital work they do to protect us from harm.”

PC Spalding and Poppy were doing their regular sweep in the Houses of Parliament when they bumped into Sir Lindsay.

“He’s really nice – you can see he really loves dogs. He even allowed her to sit on his chair. She was more than happy to smile for the camera,” the officer said.

(Story source: BBC News)

Pet theft law change urged as cases go ‘through the roof’ in lockdown

Campaigners have called on the government to make pet theft a specific offence after instances of the crime “went through the roof” in lockdown.

dog theft

BBC News reports that Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine, told MP’s that during lockdown dog prices “went up and up” and cases of theft increased with it.

She joined others to tell MP’s tougher penalties were needed to deter thieves. The government has said it is already an offence under the Theft Act 1968, with a maximum penalty of seven years.

But campaigners say those who steal animals can currently be punished in the same way as someone who steals a mobile phone or a laptop, as pets are classed as “property” under the act.

They also say the government relying on guidance from the Sentencing Council for England and Wales on the level of harm a theft causes is not enough to take into account the emotional distress. It comes after more than 250,000 signatures were collected on three petitions calling for pet law reform.

In a meeting led by Petition Committee member Tom Hunt, magazine editor Ms Cuddy told MP’s: “Lots of other crimes totally disappeared during lockdown – unfortunately dog theft went through the roof.

“We had some enormous, horrific organised crime. Twenty-two dogs were stolen in a heist like you get in a jewellers.” She said in that example one of the thieves dropped one of the puppies and ran over it.

“Each one of those puppies was going to be someone’s lockdown puppy because unfortunately in lockdown everyone wanted a dog,” she said. “And the prices went up and up and the criminals looked at those figures and looked at all those people who wanted dogs and put two and two together.”

‘Emotionally draining’

She said a tougher deterrent was needed, saying: “They have taken
a member of the family hostage and by not having anything in place
which makes this a serious crime we are enabling the most emotionally draining thing to happen to people.”

Freya Woodhall’s family dog, Willow, was stolen from her garden nearly two years ago and since then she has been “living in limbo”. “Having her taken from us has left us heartbroken, it’s affected us all mentally,” the mum-of-four told the meeting. “There doesn’t seem to be a big enough deterrent to stop people from stealing animals.”

Case for reform

Dr Daniel Allen, an animal geographer at Keele University who has created three petitions calling for pet theft reform, said reasons thieves stole pets include selling them on or breeding them.

According to data compiled by the insurance company Direct Line, 1,931 dog thefts were reported in 2018 – a “record high” – and only 17% of these dogs were returned to their owners.

John Cooper QC told the meeting that the law as it stands means pets “are effectively treated like a typewriter, a mobile phone, a laptop for instance”.

He suggested that the Theft Act 1968 should be amended to classify the theft of a pet as a specific example and include it as a category within the act.

He said another option for reform would be for Parliament to approach the Sentencing Council, “which lays down directives as to how a court should sentence individuals”.

‘Sufficient sanctions’

The Commons’ Petitions Committee has written to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland calling on the government to “ensure the value of pets is fully recognised in the law, as a real deterrent for those who may commit a crime that can have a devastating impact on pet owners and families”.

“By creating a specific offence of pet theft these cases could be both punished and deterred more effectively,” the letter said.

“At the very least, the government should require the police and courts to specifically record the number of reported crimes, arrests and convictions for the theft of pets so the true scale of this problem is made clear.” The government rejected calls to change the law in 2018, saying the Theft Act provided “sufficient sanctions”.

And in response to one of the petitions earlier this year, the government reiterated that the theft of a pet was already a criminal offence under the act, under which the maximum penalty is seven years.

“The sentencing guidelines now take account of the emotional distress and harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and recommends higher penalties for such offences,” it added.

(Story source: BBC News)

Corgi police dog retires after seven years sniffing out crime

Russia’s only corgi police dog has retired after devoting seven years of his life to sniffing out criminals.

police dog

The Metro reports that Redhead the nine-year-old Welsh Corgi was definitely not your usual police dog, but he became one of the most talented sniffer dogs in his force, helping find drugs and firearms thanks to his powerful nose.

His owner, Olga Chumarova, initially got him for her daughter. But Olga, a police canine handler, decided to put Redhead’s sniffing talents to greater use, volunteering him for a job at her force in Nizhny Novgorod.

The fluffy officer was trained to search for drugs and detain offenders at train stations and bus stops.

He soon became a local celebrity since corgis are far from typical police dogs in Russian police forces, which normally go for big and strong breeds like German Shepherds.

But where Redhead lacked in size and strength, he more than made up for it with obedience, agility and talent for tricks and commands. His low height meant he was particularly effective at sniffing out objects close to the ground.

Redhead even became an obedience champion in 2015 because of his incredibly docile nature.

On Monday, Redhead’s police department announced his retirement, saying he will continue to do sport and he will take up dancing with Olga.

(Story source: Metro)

Puppy love: Five things most first-time puppy buyers underestimate

Suddenly deciding that you absolutely need a puppy in your life can be something of a revelation, and for some prospective first-time owners, the urge to go out and buy or adopt a canine companion right that minute can be almost overwhelming.

Puppy love

It really isn’t hard to find pups for sale in the UK, of all shapes, sizes and breeds and at all price points, and logistically there is a reasonable chance that you could go from “I want a puppy” to having bought and brought home a puppy within just a couple of days.

However, this is an absolutely terrible idea, and reflects a high level of irresponsibility on the part of both the puppy buyer and the seller in question too.

Getting a puppy is absolutely not a decision that you should rush into or take lightly, and dog ownership transforms your whole life – both for good and for bad – and represents a huge commitment of time, money and resources.

It is also in many ways very limiting, even more so in some regards than having a child, because there are far more places you can’t take your dog along to than there are places that don’t permit children!

Even when it comes to puppy buyers who take plenty of time over making their final decision and picking their eventual puppy, there are several things that most puppy buyers say in hindsight a year or more down the line that they underestimated; and this can cause problems for both dog and owner.

With this in mind, this article will tell you about five things that most first-time puppy buyers underestimate, at their peril. Read on to learn more and avoid the pitfalls!

You’re probably underestimating how much keeping a dog costs

Keeping a puppy and/or adult dog is expensive, and based on the results of numerous years’ worth of PDSA pet ownership surveys, most first-time dog buyers greatly underestimate the costs involved.

This may be due to either failing to factor in certain costs at all, such as grooming, walking services or veterinary care/insurance, or due to unexpected health problems or simply underestimating the cost of things like food and accessories.

You’re probably underestimating how much exercise your dog needs

The amount of any exercise any given dog needs depends on their breed and age, and this can be hugely variable with some breeds like the pug being less challenging in this regards than most others.

However, even when it comes to more sedentary dog breeds, very few dogs in the UK actually get enough exercise of the right type.

Regardless of the type of dog you own, two half-hour walks per day should be considered the bare minimum, and for some breeds, unless you have two or more hours per day to dedicate to active, engaging walks, steer well clear.

You’re probably underestimating the importance of training and setting the rules

Most people who get a puppy have a vague plan to take them to
training classes or teach them the basics at some point, but no real idea of how training a dog works, when to start, or how to logistically teach a dog a command.

Having a plan in place for training and setting and enforcing the rules is something you need to do before your puppy comes home with you, not be a vague afterthought about something you’ll look into further down the line.

If you do not begin to instil routine and boundaries, and set the rules from the get-go, your puppy is apt to become quite a handful, and you’ll teach them bad habits that can be very hard to undo later.

You’re probably underestimating the amount of time and attention your puppy needs

Puppies and adult dogs alike need a lot of attention, and you simply cannot leave them alone for protracted periods of time even when fully grown, such as if you go out to work for eight hours a day.

This is something that first-time owners commonly overlook, in terms of how much time they can leave a dog alone for, and the amount of engagement and interaction they need as well.

Dogs are demanding, high-maintenance pets, and you need to be very sure you have the time, patience and enthusiasm for meeting their needs, both emotionally and physically, before you bring one home.

You’re probably underestimating the importance of picking a healthy puppy and the implications of failing to do so

The idea of your pup getting sick is frightening to all dog owners, and also to people who have yet to even get a puppy. Even with this in mind, all too many puppy buyers overlook the importance of picking a healthy puppy, taking pains to learn what is needed in order to do so, and thoroughly researching breed-specific health issues, health testing, and picking a responsible breeder before they even get as far as picking out a puppy.

Choosing a puppy that turns out to be ailing or that develops a health condition later on down the line is not just concerning; it can also be heart-breaking, and hugely expensive in terms of veterinary fees.

Many people who inadvertently pick a puppy with health problems also find themselves at some point in the position of simply being unable to fund the care their dog needs entirely, and the time, worry and care implications of managing various health conditions and illnesses are not to be overlooked either.

There is no sure-fire way to guarantee any puppy you pick will be healthy for life, but plenty of ways to maximise your chances of doing so, and to negate some entirely avoidable mistakes entirely.

Research is the key to this; both into the health of the dog breed you’re considering, and the individual breed line you’re looking at, and even the breeder or seller themselves.

(Article source: Pets 4 homes)

Snake charmers: Which Pythons make the best pets?

The first step to owning a python as a pet, is to ensure that you are buying them for the right reasons. Pythons as part of the snake world can be good pets, but not bought just for aesthetic reasons, and certainly not used as a showstopper for visitors to your home (yes, it does happen).

Pythons

Pythons need care and attention, not just left in their vivarium for all to see. The second step is to provide above adequate accommodation for them, enough space and a well-prepared habitat for them in as familiar surroundings for their breed as possible. The correct diet is also essential to keep them healthy.

A vast majority of people who want to keep snakes will tend to go for a smaller breed, such as the corn snake, for their first venture into having a snake and to get used to looking after these fascinating creatures. However, in the popularity stakes, there has been an increasing trend in python ownership, with certain breeds being better than others to have as pets.

Some pythons can grow up to 25 feet in length (such as the Reticulated Python or the Burmese Python), so this is obviously not a good choice of pet for anyone living in small accommodation! Pythons of the reticulated breed may also inflict nasty bites, as well as being much harder to satisfy their dietary needs. They are also incredibly ‘heavy’, as their weight can reach
up to 100 kg or more.

Before buying a python as a pet, please do your homework and research the breed you are purchasing, otherwise it will not be fair on either you or the snake.

The expert’s choice – the Ball Python (once known as the Royal Python)

When talking to experts, the undivided opinion is that the Ball Python makes an excellent pet for both beginners as well as the more experienced owners. When buying a ball python, make sure that you buy from a recognised breeder, who will undoubtedly impart the best possible advice in caring for your snake, their characteristics, health implications, diet etc. Soak up their knowledge – any respectable breeder or owner will always be
available to help you through problems once you take your pet home.

Whilst ball pythons are available in pet shops, purchasing from a breeder for the domestic market is a much better idea. They will have had close contact and a knowledge of the ball python, which is invaluable. Reputable breeders will be more than happy to speak to you after your purchase to ensure that your python and you are happy with the arrangements. Pet shops rarely have this in-depth knowledge. Some of the best reasons for choosing a ball python are:

  • They are gentle and affectionate pets that are unlikely to bite. In fact, they are more likely to fear you, than you are to fear them. If frightened, they will simply curl up into a ball, which is why they have the breed name. They enjoy being handled and caressed, and in some cases, likely to fall asleep cuddled around you! If raised domestically by the breeder, they will have been used to being handled from the hatchling stage.
  • Size – these are one of the more manageable sized pythons, growing to an average of 1.2 metres long. Their weight is also not a problem, with an average of 2 kg, although some can weigh less and others more. Females tend to weigh more than males, however.
  • Unless your pet ball python contracts a disease, their longevity is assured, with a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years – so no early tears if you keep them in the correct accommodation, suitable food and medical attention.
  • Easier on the pocket – whilst this shouldn’t be a consideration, it’s good to know that ball pythons are far more economical than other python breeds.

Pythons to potentially avoid as pets

Some pythons should be avoided for domestic pet-keeping, due either to size, characteristics or expense. It’s all very well admiring some of the big beasts of the jungle, but it’s a whole different ball game when kept in captivity – some are simply not used to it and no amount of care and attention will change that.

Never consider pythons that are imported from overseas that have not been bred domestically – they just are not suitable, can carry diseases, have eating problems, parasites and will then potentially be unable to cope with captivity.

You also need to consider your experience in keeping reptiles. If you are a beginner, only consider a snake that is easy to handle and to keep. In this instance, neither Burmese or Reticulated Pythons should be in your mind. Their size, weight and tendency to bite also create problems, as well as the ability to house them correctly.

These larger constrictors can move very quickly and can be extremely strong, causing you an unpleasant and potentially dangerous experience. It is not easy to understand what causes adverse reactions, but certainly response to food can be one of them if triggered.

It is also important to note that some type of Pythons (Royal and Indian Pythons) are covered by CITES regulations, therefore if you are looking to buy one of these two types of Python, the seller must be in possession of the relevant Article 10 certificate from Defra and pass on a copy of this certificate to the buyer.

If your heart is set on owning a python (for the right reasons), just take time to carefully consider the undertaking, and use a reputable breeder. You never know the origin of those purchased in pet shops, even if you think they are giving you the right information at the time.

Treat your pet python with respect, as even the most docile one can attack when least expected.

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Wild wing! Keeping birds of prey

Most people are content to have a cat or a dog as a pet, but for some people keeping an animal that they can work with is the ultimate partnership. Whether it’s a horse, a working dog or a bird of prey, there are many creatures that will work, as well as provide companionship, and give their owners an overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction when the partnership is successful.

Birds of prey

If you prefer a pet of the feathered variety, then keeping a bird of prey can be very rewarding, however there are a number of things that must be considered before you take the plunge.

A raptor is not an easy animal to keep and there are laws which must be adhered to in order to keep one legally in the UK.

Birds of prey also need very specific care – they require attention around the clock and you must have arrangements in place if you are unable to look after the bird.

You should also work out whether you have enough time, funds and facilities to care for your new friend.

Starting out

If you are considering purchasing a bird of prey, the chances are you have some experience of these fabulous creatures and the people who work with them on a regular basis.

Visiting a Bird of Prey centre is a great place to start, but you’ll need some hands-on experience before you bring your own bird home. Talk to owners and keepers; see if you can get some work experience or help an existing owner. Do whatever you can to fully understand the commitment required.

Many birds of prey or falconry clubs offer classes for beginners and there are a few good-quality courses out there that will help develop your experience. If you have a friendly breeder or keeper living nearby, seek them out and see if they’d be willing to share their experience. DVDs and books are also a useful source of reference material, but these cannot replace actual experience.

Finding a bird

There are very strict laws surrounding the keeping of raptors in the UK. You must ensure the bird is captive bred so you need proof of breeding. Before you obtain a bird, you should contact Defra to find out exactly what is required from a legal point of view. Depending on the type of bird you are considering, there are a number of criteria that should be met before bringing a bird home and all should be ringed and have appropriate documentation as proof of its origins.

Again, you should find out exactly what paperwork should be in place before purchasing an animal and it’s worth seeking out a reputable breeder who can help guide you through the process and provide you with your first animal. There are a numerous pitfalls associated with buying a bird of prey so it pays to be vigilant.

Housing your bird

Suitable living accommodation should be prepared before the bird arrives. Whether you are providing an aviary or weathering area, you should ensure this is of a minimum length and width that is at least double the wingspan of the species being housed.

As much room as possible should be given to the bird to ensure optimum comfort, any signs of stress in the bird when in its quarters should be noted and issues addressed without delay.

All housing should be safe from cats, dogs, mink and other predators at all times. When the bird is not flying, or during extended periods of inactivity – such as moulting – the bird will need to be somewhere he can fully relax. The housing area should protect the bird from all weathers and should be dry, draught-free and completely free of contaminants such as fungal
spores.

The area should also be easy to clean as droppings and discarded food will need to be removed daily. Any fittings and fitments should be designed not to cause injury to the bird, and the structure should be robust enough to withstand extremes of weather and temperature. There will also be times when the bird will need to be transported – be it to a demonstration, or for a
visit to the vets. All birds should travel in a specially constructed box.

This should be big enough for the bird to stand without touching the sides or the top of the box. The interior of the box should be dark, as this will keep the animal calm, but ventilation holes should be included towards the bottom of the box.

Clean open-weave carpeting or astroturf should be used on the floor of the box to give the animal good purchase. Overheating should never be allowed, and as birds are particularly susceptible to fumes, they should never travel in a car boot. The box should be clearly marked with the contact details of the owner as well as those of its intended destination.

Feeding your bird

If you intend to train your feathered friend then a nutritious diet should be offered. Any meat should be fresh, stored hygienically and free of lead shot. There are commercial suppliers of raptor food and these can be found in the IBR Falcon Directory. A source of fresh, clean drinking water should be available at all times.

Weathering and perches

Day flying (diurnal) raptors should not be tethered unless they are flying daily, in training or undergoing veterinary treatment. Small owls for example should not be tethered once they have undergone training and should be kept in an aviary when not being flown.

No tethered birds should be exposed to extreme weather conditions, predation or kept without water. Any perches offered should be of an appropriate size and type for the bird and these should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear. Most foot problems diagnosed in captive raptors are the result of perches in poor repair.

The general health of your bird

Any captive bird of prey should be checked daily for signs of injury. You will quickly get to know your bird and recognise even the slightest deviation from the norm that may indicate illness.

These are delicate creatures and any potential problem should be attended to rapidly. In order to keep potential illnesses at bay the bird’s accommodation should be cleaned daily and any leftover food removed to prevent decay.

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Peek-a-boo! Why is my dog hiding from me?

Every dog is an individual with their own unique traits and personalities, and some dogs are very outgoing and proactive about wanting to meet and say hello to everyone they pass, whilst others tend to be shy around everyone other than people they know very well.

Dog Hiding

However, when it comes to your dog in their own home, this is where dogs tend to feel the most relaxed and settled, as they’re in their own familiar territory where they can relax and chill out.

This means that even dogs that can be anxious or a little shy outside of the home tend to show their natural personalities and come out of their shells more when inside, and this in turn means that you’re more likely to notice changes in your dog’s behaviour or if they start behaving a little oddly when they’re at home.

A good example of this is if your dog suddenly starts hiding or retreating to a snug, enclosed space from which they can’t be tempted out with ease if this isn’t the sort of behaviour they usually display and they’re not simply heading off for a nap.

A dog hiding away will usually be doing so for a reason, and generally, leaving them to it and not disturbing them is the best approach. However, there are some situations in which your dog might be hiding away from you that warrant intervention, as this can mean that something is amiss, which means that learning why your dog is hiding is important.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common reasons why your dog might be hiding away, whether that’s behind the sofa, under a bed, or anywhere else, to help to give you a head start. Read on to learn more.

They’re unwell

Cats in particular tend to retreat and hide away when they’re unwell, but this can also be something that dogs do. If you know that your dog is ill and they’re under treatment or you have been advised to leave them to it when there’s nothing you can do to help, leave them to settle in the best way they can. However, in other situations you will need to find out what is amiss and get a diagnosis and treatment from your vet.

Anxiety

A dog that is feeling anxious may react in a wide range of ways, and for some dogs this means making a big fuss, barking, crying, and trying to get your attention. Other dogs will try to draw as little attention to themselves as possible, which often means simply removing themselves from the scenario or area itself that is making them anxious, and so, hiding away. Identifying and addressing the cause of your dog’s anxiety is important, but don’t make them leave a safe space when they’ve found one without good reason.

Noise and stimulation

If the home is particularly noisy or busier than normal – perhaps because your children have some friends over – many dogs will find this daunting, or may become overstimulated. This can result in them retreating to hide, get out of the way, and reduce the bombardment to their senses – much as the adults of the household might wish to do themselves! In this sort of situation, your dog will come back out again when things have calmed down sufficiently.

Resource guarding

If your dog is being unusually quiet and is trying to keep out of the way, they might be trying to enjoy a bone or favourite treat in peace, or they might have made off with something they shouldn’t have and are trying to avoid bringing attention to themselves. It is worth checking what they’ve got if you’re unsure, in order to potentially save your shoes and/or preserve your dog’s health!

They’re tired

Dogs will usually head for their beds or sleep where they are lying if they’re tired, but if this is not possible or your dog is finding that area too loud, bright or busy, they might seek a quiet hiding spot for their nap. This is particularly likely to be the case if something is a little different to the norm, such as if you have friends over for a nightcap or something unusual is going on that makes your dog want to seek out somewhere quiet or hidden for their nap.

In the doghouse

Finally, a dog might retreat to a hiding place if they’ve been told off, or sent out of the room for being naughty or being a pain. In such situations, dogs do indeed often go off somewhere to hide and stay out of the way of the person who they have annoyed, either because they want to avoid a further telling off or because they’ve been trained to go to a certain place when told to; or a bit of both.

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Nicky Campbell: ‘My dog is the perfect lockdown companion – he understands nothing but is there for us all’

Television and radio presenter Nicky Campbell has launched his new podcast, One of the Family, after his beloved dog, Maxwell, helped him and his family throughout lockdown.

Nicky Campbell

So where are we now with all this? Who knows. What I do know is the last few months have been the most extraordinary of my nearly 40 years in radio.

Being on the air every day has been tough but – and this is the constant caveat – nowhere near as tough as it has been for the people with no job.

They have told us how all their hopes and dreams suddenly vanished when they phoned in, barely able to process the insanity that’s visited the world. Who could? I still can’t.

In normal times, (remember that lifetime ago?) it’s an intense experience talking to people on the radio or to put it better, ‘listening’ to people.

These are the people who trust us. The most powerful phone-ins are always those that truly touch everyday experience. Fighting the system for your autistic child, facing cancer, working in struggling schools.

Brexit was at a slight remove from that – it was the ‘biggest story of our careers’ so we thought, (yea right!) but it was all about who shouted loudest.

It’s when we address the here and now realities of human beings just trying to do the best they can for those they love – that’s what really makes my job worthwhile. But its like being a lightning conductor – everything goes through you and you only feel normal again hours later.

Frankly, if you came off the air after that and go ‘ho hum that’s my work done’ you don’t deserve the privilege of doing what we do.

For the last few months we’ve heard people for hours each morning expressing, often in eloquent, desperate silence, their agony and confusion, their disbelief at the nightmare. We woke up each day but still the nightmare carried on.

Day after day, call after call, I heard lives falling apart, everything they had worked for crumbling beneath their feet.

Everything they’d worked towards turned to dust. They were separated from loved ones, they’d lost loved ones. And every day we realised how lucky we were.

In nearly four decades on the radio I have wept perhaps a dozen times on the air, half of those since March 2020.

These were the times when I could hold back the tide no more; when the searing emotional honesty coming from our listeners has made any pretence at professionalism superfluous and irrelevant.

Mostly in my job you manage to keep your eyes on the road but not always. Not with such soul destroying sadness from a listener who has turned to you in their desperation.

The half hour journey home to South London was a long shoulder slumped haul with a feeling of gratitude and guilt. God I’m lucky. Why am I so lucky?

That poor woman in the care home who has months to live isn’t and all she wants to do is hold her daughter one last time. I really feel this now thinking about my mum, my adopted mum, and my real mum who died in late December.

We arranged the funeral for early January and it was a beautiful send off on a crisp blue skied Edinburgh day. She’d served this country in war as a radar operator on D Day, and in peace as a social worker helping others. Her funeral was unforgettable.

There were 150 people from over the country there in joyful celebration of her love, life and humanity and I will have the memory of her funeral all my life. We were able to laugh and cry with others and celebrate a wonderful life.

We were able go to bed at two in the morning that night, several sheets to the wind after telling story after story and then we could wake up with a stinking hangover but cherishing the day it had been with so many friends and family – a day we will never forget for a woman no one will ever forget.

Everyone deserves to see their loved ones off like that. I am thankful I did but so so sorry that wasn’t the case for far too many.

In lockdown, funerals have been a handful of souls, cold and lonely goodbyes for people whose lives were rich as royalty. And then, in Wilfred Owen’s words, ‘each slow dusk, a drawing down of blinds’. God we were so, so lucky.

Isn’t it strange though and paradoxical that when out walking, being further apart kind of brought people closer together? We clung on to those things because we needed to so badly.

And of course family has been wonderful – being with my four daughters from 16 to 21 and my wife, Tina. But there were others who helped us more than they will ever know. There were others, at the heart of our home, who understood everything but actually knew nothing.

They were oblivious to the momentous events but sensitive to all our feelings. These were our dogs. And in particular my beautiful 12-year-old Labrador retriever Maxwell.

I knew this magical canine quality of course – I have always adored dogs but being with him everyday after those long intense heartbreaking mornings was special beyond words. I was reminded of this everyday.

I had no long trips to Salford for Five Live or Sydney for Long Lost Family. No weekly treks round the UK for the Sunday morning debate programme The Big Questions. It was just life with my family – and right at the heart of that Maxwell, helping us all.

In his younger, fitter, leaner days he brought back balls from wherever we threw them but now – geriatric and measured – he brings back ourselves. The ice breaker. The heart warmer. And the rest of the world seemed to say – dogs are incredible. People experienced such intense relationships with their dogs in these times.

(Article source: The Mirror)