I spoilt my puppy Shame on me!Β 

First off this is my first blog post of the new year so happy new year to you πŸ˜ƒ.

So in August we adopted a 7 month old puppy from Spain.  We had met her and fallen in love and looking back it was a rush decision.  To give a little background on our bundle of Joy her name is River.  She is a pointer mix. She was rescued by a lovely lady from a building site in some pretty nasty circumstances related to plastic bags (I’m sure you get the picture). 

I have always adopted rescue dogs that are older.  It’s lovely to see an oldie running around like a youngster, so taking on a pup was a first for me.  Our little girl has a very strong personality and could see sucker written all over our faces. She was uncouth, unmannered, unwalkable and wild as a wolf.

She chewed everything in sight even her big sisters face 😲.

One day I was doing some charity work and met a lady I had been trying to contact for some time as her facebook page had said she did puppy classes. We talked through Rivers issue’s and then she said to me it sounds like she”s bored.  I admitted that she had not long come out of season and had not been out much due to her behaviour.  My angel of training asked me to commit to at least half an hours walk plus training and scent games.

The following day I was out with kyla my German shepard.  And I came across my angel of training walking her dog and a clients dog.  We walked and talked mainly about River fishtailing on the lead. She showed me an hour long walk I could do with the girls and put me onto a product called the k9 bridle.  I had been considering a halti but in the future I will be using one of these.  All of a sudden I had a dog I could walk!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍.

We started doing that walk every single day.  Some days I would think I really don’t want to do this today but I would push myself to do it.  With the k9 bridle and lots of training in place River changed. She was a happy little soul, and with lots of treats floating around willing to do most things.

The thing is I used to complain that I didn’t get to spend enough time in the woods being a pagan that was my place.  Now I spend upto two hours everyday out in the company of my girls. And the best thing is they get time alone with me.  Kyla is working her recall skills, with mixed results especially when squirrels are around.

River Is learning to walk nicely on a lead, enjoying meeting new dogs and making friends, and she is learning to chase squirrel’s πŸ˜‚ she also enjoys all the smells and sounds in the woods.

As for me I’m a lot more relaxed now. After the walk is done the girls are tired and happy and I can get on and do what it is I need to do.  I am meeting new people every day and making four legged friends.  This is heaven for someone who loves dogs.

I’m learning how to cope with both girls out together.  It can be a little stressful but having brought a 10m lead for river will mean that she can play with her friends and work on her recall until it’s safe to let her off.

I feel guilty though I stopped walking my dogs as I didn’t feel I could handle them but I loved them enough to seek advice and to try different things.  It’s a great feeling as an owner to have the tools to be able to be in control.  I used to panic when river used to fishtail near the road scared she would pull out of her harness and get hurt.  Now she sits and waits until it’s time to go.  Looking back it seems so simple but when your stressed and your puppy is running round the bedroom at four in the morning I guess it’s difficult to think rationaly.

Looking back we spoilt her.  We showered her with love and kisses, but you know the saying spare the rod and spoil the child.  I believe it’s the same with dogs.  She’s still spoilt she gets lots of treats.  Frozen kongs full of yummy goodies. She deserves all that and more but I think we let our hearts rule our heads a bit.  Every child needs discipline as well as love.

Next stop working that nose of hers.we know of a lady who makes scent kits and I cant wait to get madam one. 

Ciao Fidge

(Enjoying puppy time πŸ™„)

The Worst Part of being a Dog owner πŸ˜Ÿ

IS THAT FINAL JOURNEY……

In actual fact it pretty much sucks.

Last week we faced what is the worst day in a dog owners life that final journey.  and man it’s painful.  but let me rewind back to the week before.  

I had been preparing myself for this for quite some time and when you get to that point in a dogs life each vet visit is met with an impending sense of doom. 

Things had progressed on since our last visit and I walked in and told the vet my concerns.  I was quite shocked when he suggested a stronger form of painkiller.  and reminded me that I kind of jumped the gun a bit earlier in the year.

Don’t get me wrong I loved my boy to the moon and back, but I also know that I can’t be selfish and have to do the right thing and in my pets best interests.

We spent a week with a wobbly dog who was clearly miserable and after speaking to the vets on and off during that week I called and asked for my vet to call me I wanted to cut these drugs out.  

That day we had a lovely day and I’m thankful for it.  I spent the day watching TV curled up with all three dogs and benji lay at my feet as he had done for years. around 5pm he attempted to stand up, he cried out which he never did he never showed pain. the rest Is far too painful to write but that visit ended in us letting him go.  there was nothing else we could do it was the only option.

I won’t go through the whole process I don’t want to upset anyone.  I wanted to share our last moments.  I left the room to get the vet and he tried to get off the table to follow me old faithful 😘.

I was determined to share one last experience with him and I knew that he loved reiki.  so I opened up and gave him the reiki he loved so much.  he was at peace and then he was gone. in love and light as it should be.

Both the girls had known.  for ages they had taken turns to comfort him and lie with him.  I think I knew as well.  the evening of his passing our 9 month old puppy had tried to snap him out of the funny turn he was having by nipping him and barking in his face.  our German Shepard assumed guard mode by the door.

I tried to tell myself I was okay, but I wasnt really.  I tried to be strong for the girls. P who were just as heart broken as we were.

One of the things we loved about benji was what we called his victory roll.  it never failed to make me smile.  and when we got back from holiday In august he was on his back victory rolling with delight.  not long after we lost him we were sat in the kitchen and river did a benji victory roll exactly as he used to do.

Now you could argue that she learnt that from him and I have no doubt she did but it certainly means that his memory will live on.  just as he assumed certain traits attributed to kai his previous friend sleeping in my washing pile was one of them.

I think each time you loose a dog you learn something.  benji was the only dog in the house for quite some time before the girls came along.  I will never do that again, he developed such a bond with kyla and I know that rivers puppy antics gave him great pleasure and he watched her with a twinkle in his eye. I wish he could have had that earlier.  

I totally understand that people say oh I could never have another dog it hurts too much and it does.  but believe me your dog doesn’t feel that way.  I have heard of dogs hanging on waiting and I knew that benji was waiting for the girls to take over.  kyla was a headstrong silly girl until river arrived then she became a leader.  

Ive been blessed with three dogs as an adult four if you count river and they have all been amazing loyal companions.  I could never imagine not having a dog in my life.  But that loyalty comes at a price and it’s so so high.

I threw myself into my rescue work.  He inspired me to do it every single day.  his story is in a previous post and I treasure it because it shows just how much he gave me back.  rescue is good for the soul.

If your reading this post then your obviously a dog person like me.  I usually have a meaning to every post I write and I think this time I will let you take from it what you will.  I can remember having a conversation with my son about rainbow bridge in which he described it in vivid detail for his age.  I was captivated and comforted.

I know this post is kind of sad but it’s also a celebration of a second chance well lived and a testement to an amazing friend.

Much love 

Anne-Marie πŸ•

 

PUPPIES! THE TRUTH AND REALITY!!!

So the Christmas season is approaching us and I thought I would do my bit for rescues everywhere by writing about the reality of owning a puppy in the hope that when people are researching getting a puppy this crops up and once reading this account they at least have a good think before rushing out and getting one.

Don’t get me wrong having a puppy is a great experience but it is HARD work.

I blame the movies it’s the same story over and over again.  Child desperately wants a puppy, but always gets one at the END of the movie why? So they don’t have to show you the reality.  Or the puppy is naughty and it is all hearts and flowers because “oh what a loveable scamp” Pah watch this space!!!!!!

Soooo without further ado let me tell you our story…

Back in August this little black and white bundle fell for my other half and we decided she would fit right into our family.  well I say fell for my other half but perhaps she saw that we had sucker written on our foreheads. We named her River.

This picture swayed our decision.  HEIKE SINSBECK is the photographer.  My other half went to get her and brought her home.

WELL…..

I did wonder if somewhere along the line he had swapped our cute sweet little puppy for a velcoraptor!!!! πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

See the princess tag? Within two weeks I couldn’t look at it without laughing!

 So without further ado here are my pointers for owning a puppy.

1/ Stock up on Enzyme Cleaner!!!!

Even a house trained puppy can slip back, and that’s what happened with River, we would let her out goodness how many times a day and would still find smelly and wet suprises on the living room carpet.  It got to the point where we would even treat the adult dogs for going to the toilet in the garden.  Which resulted in some funny looks from them I can tell you.   Get excited when your puppy goes in the Garden it means you won’t have to clean it up.  Our turning point? A piece of astroturf training aid.  Muchas gracias sioux 😘.

2/ They have no manners or boundaries

Puppies don’t know what’s expected of them they jump up on you when you get home, try and steal your food from your plate, bite on your sleeves, jump all over you, chase and bark at the cat, and if your really lucky they work as a team with your slightly geriatric older dog to ensure that you can never leave any food in the oven as it won’t be there when you get back!!!!! A whole pan of mince gone in the ten mins it took me to go to the shop!!! I’m not joking.

We have three dogs and we do everything in pack order, benji, then Kyla then River.  If your going to get a puppy please make sure you research basic obedience, work to ensure your puppy is socialised with other dogs, and figure out what you need to teach your puppy to ensure they are a well behaved well mannered dog!

A picture of the Oven raiding team.

3/ Try and puppy proof your home.

This is easier said than done.  Puppies chew absoloutly every thing.  River seems to favour smelly socks! 😝😝😝😝 it’s disgusting! The straw that broke the camels back was when she chewed a rather intimate object from ann summers.  Need I say more? Adopt a puppy and you get a set of teeth πŸ‘Ή so lock up your valuables and anything you wouldnt like to see in the mouth of your puppy.

4/ Get used to saying “No” or “get down” a lot!

She chews things she shouldn’t,  she chases the cat along the work surfaces and scavages anything she can get her four paws on.  we say no 100 times and she will still do what we have told her not to!

5/ puppies have soooo much energy.

You know that time of night when your getting into bed? your tired and you just want to chill.  well your puppy will think that is playtime.  running round the bedroom jumping all over you and has been that way pretty much since you woke up this morning.  puppies have tons of energy and I’m not even joking.

So that’s my tips on puppies there is more I could say but ultimatly I wrote about what i felt was most important.  Having a puppy is also rewarding as well.  they are loving and eager to please and great fun to watch.  I guess we are lucky because mama Kyla has taken our puppy under her wing.  

Puppies are hard work but it won’t last forever.  as long as you are consistent with your puppy and show them who is Alpha then chances are you will be fine.  don’t let your puppy rule the roost you will be creating a monster one that could backfire and end up in rescue once the problem gets too hard to handle.

don’t get me wrong I love my girl to the moon and back but I never got what I expected and wished I had been more prepared.

Have fun and enjoy!

Ciao Fidge 

(Bedraggled Puppy mom) 

A new chapter – Caseworker for Axarquia Animal RescueΒ 

So I have this Friend who lives in Valez in Malaga,  we met through a mutual friend, and just recently I flew out to see her.  Now I knew about her work with Axarquia Animal Rescue (AAR) through talking to her, and I did ask if we would visit the kennels while we were there.  I think I had some vision of mucking out kennels or taking some dogs for a walk or something along those lines.

We were met by the sounds of barking and the back of a cat who seemed to be the only person who wasn’t bothered by the heat πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and as you can see lots of dogs who were very pleased to see us.

I won’t go into mega amounts of detail about the guys who run the riogordo kennels except to say they were awesome and after visiting I wanted to be a part of the team.

Our visit was also very memorable because of this little lady……..

When we met, her name was lady, she’s a beautiful little pointer cross puppy.  You’ve probably already guessed what’s coming she is coming to live with us in the UK.   Now I’m slightly nervous she’s younger than any dog I’ve ever had before but she’s an old soul and she chose us.  She followed us out as if to say “are we going home now?” Her name is now River.  

She didn’t have a fantastic start in life, I won’t go into details but it was life or death.  And despite everything she has a beautiful personality, a sunny nature and a maturity beyond her years.

So in addition to the new addition I signed up to be a caseworker for the rescue.  A caseworker makes sure the healthcare needs of the animal are met and that everyone on the planet knows they need an amazing forever home.

Enter foxy (aar 1539) 

She was abandoned with her siblings and is now currently looking for a new home. Her foster mom adores her, and you know what hats off to anyone who fosters because the one time I tried it I ended up Adopting the slinky little baggage I just couldn’t let go.
You wouldn’t believe how much time i spend thinking about this little soul.  I’m not alone, no one in rescue seems to sleep and now I know why.

Another pup that’s stolen my heart this week is Tulay (aar 1561) 

Again not wanted, taken away from her mum before her eyes were even open.  She’s been poorly, fighting for life, a survivor just like my River and little Foxy.

  The thing is as much as Tulay also dominates my thoughts, I wish that I could rescue her mum πŸ˜”πŸ˜” I actually worry about what sort of life she has and how she’s treated.  One of the reasons that I am a big advocate of spaying female dogs.

Here are a few more guys looking for their forever homes (sorry I know it’s emotional blackmail 😊) 

Please take a look.  There are over 6o dogs in rescue and more on the waiting list it’s heart breaking.

Ferdy (aar 1517)

 He is two years old and is really quiet he likes his own company and has no problem being on his own he is very refined and will not jump up people although he does do a happy dance when he sees you,  he has lost part of his tongue properly for an encounter with a processionry  caterpillar also he doesn’t bark very often he has barked maybe twice in three months.
Look at that face…… got room in your heart and home for this handsome Podenco?

 How about these guys? 

INDI (AAR 1149)

MIKE (AAR 1528)

Pancho (AAR 1207)

Kitty (AAR 1418) 

TILLY (AAR 1443)

Bracken (AAR 1152) 

Merry (AAR 1552) 

Chui (AAR 1554)  

BEAU (AAR 1538) 

There are so many more, heres the link to the gallery to see the guys i couldnt put here. You can find their stories and all their details.  Behind each dog is a dedicated caseworker who will work with you to adoption and beyond.  And those guys are simply amazing.  Above and beyond doesn’t even begin to cover it.

http://www.axarquiaanimalrescue.com/gallery.php?type=Dog

If your still reading thank you so much, please direct any enquiries to the website. 
I want to shout out the the Foster Carers, a lot of the dogs who come through the doors are puppies.  Many far too young to be away from their mom and these guys gear up for long nights of syringe and bottle feeding, the pup you see is a tribute to their dedication and sleepless nights. And I’ve not heard a complaint yet.

Please have a look at the website below. We need foster carers and we need caseworkers too.  Even a like on the Facebook page and sharing an appeal for a forever home can help.  That’s how I started.

www.axarquiaanimalrescue.com

Ciao Fidge

Why adopt an older dog?Β 

People who know me know that I’ve had a dog in my adult life for nearly 20 years.  During that time I’ve only owned one dog that wasn’t an old age pensioner when I adopted them.  He was an exceptional case and he found and rescued me. However I stuck with him until the bitter end through thick and thin.

But when you visit rescue centres there seem to be an exceptional amount of dogs that are around the age of nine.  All waiting for their forever homes, and watching potential adopters head straight for the puppies.  Having taken a younger dog through that age and beyond I’m loath to understand why so many dogs end up in rescue around the age of nine. 

I get it that most people adopt a dog to become part of the family, I get it that older dogs can cost more money when they need vet care and I also get it that when they go over to the bridge it damn well hurts.  

Let me introduce you to my three:

The first dog I owned was a GSD x Lab called kai.

He lived until he was almost 13, and for those 11 years he and my son were my world.  He was a gentle beautiful wise dog who made everyone feel loved, he would ever so gently lay his head on your lap to be stroked.  When his time came I did what was necessary and he took a whole cross breed shaped hole out of my heart.

After loosing him I vowed that I would also adopt older dogs, and however swayed by husky and GSD puppy pics I know the oldies are the ones for me.

Next comes Benji 

AKA trash panda.  We adopted him from dogs trust almost six years ago.  And he has to be one of the most inspirational rescues I’ve ever met.  His story can be found in a previous post entitled confessions of a trash panda.

Benji was nine when we adopted him, a stunning lab x collie who celebrated his 15th birthday this year.

Next comes kyla, her paperwork says she’s nine.  She is a GSD x Collie.

She came to us from suki’s canine rescue.  A local rescue group who are amazing and live sleep and breathe dogs and rescue.  Kyla is whats known in the trade as a failed foster she was only meant to stay three days and she’s been with us almost a year.  She goes by various nickname miss slinky legs, moomin and princess.

https://m.facebook.com/SukisCanineRescueCrew/
Adopting older rescue dogs can mean that they come with some  baggage,  lets face it the older we get the more baggage me carry.  It’s taken benji almost six years to shed his and let me in and when kyla came to us it was clear she had some issues too.  But working through those issues creates a bond between you and your dog, it’s unshakeable and truly soulful.

Kyla filled the great big GSD hole in my heart and ensured that in keeping up with the family tradition I will never pee alone again πŸ˜‚.

πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆphoto spam alert πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Can you see what rescues can do? When given the chance of a forever home? These guys aren’t spring chickens but they make sure they live life to the max.  They ride it like they stole it.  

Every dog is different as I hope I have shown by introducing all three but one thing they all have in common is that they have or do live life to the max despite their age.

So please if your reading this and considering Adopting a dog or know someone who is considering Adopting, firstly please look to rescue first but also please take a look at that dog with the grey or white muzzle.  The one that maybe doesn’t move as fast as the others or the soulful wise old eyes.   Please open your heart to an older dog I promise you they are worth it and you get so much back even if its only.for a few short years.

The photo spam above had a point, yes I love to show my dogs off every single one of them and why not they are all beautiful dogs, but also great examples that like with humans age is nothing but a number.

Thank you for reading, I only write about things I’m passionate about and my dream is to see every older dog in a forever home that accepts the quirky but also sees the potential in an old age pup.

  I wish there wasn’t a need for rescue at all, but I’ve not met anyone in rescue who hasn’t inspired me and that has to suffice for now.

Ciao Fidge 

(Old age pup mom) 

Confessions of a trash panda!

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I thought that my rescue dog Benji deserved his own blog post,  because to be totally honest I admire the old sausage.  He has pretty much rode his second chance at a forever home like he stole it!

Benjis story we believe started in Ireland.  He was a stray, and his vaccination card came from a vets in County Down.  He was sent to England and ended up at Dogs Trust Kenilworth.

I discovered him online and fell in love.  I went to visit but due to DT rules as we were going on holiday that weekend were unable to reserve him.  I spent that whole weekend praying that he wouldnt be reserved. I need not have worried he was a black dog and had been reserved once.

I contented myself with sitting by his kennel.  He was so sad and depressed it was heartbreaking.  Once we were home from our holiday I reserved him and we were finally able to meet him.  I wanted him so much.  I introduced him to my other dog and things seemed okay.  Benji showed us a cute little trick he had of sticking his paws in a bowl of water to cool down.

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While we had been away Benjis rap sheet had been growing he was stressed in kennels and not coping with life in general.  We saw the behaviourist things were that bad. My boy had dominence issues he humped people and had a variety of issues. We were also told he didnt like toys.2

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Once he was adopted our first outing was to stratford and was memorable due to finding out that he loved water and chasing swans. There were also trips to the seaside with him barking in my ear the whole trip.

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Benji had his issues and plenty of phonecalls went back and forth to dogs trust behaviour team, issues arose around rabbit seeking behaviour, weeing up the fireplace, raiding bins and humping.  He also developed a taste for dirty underwear.

For the most part he got on really well with kai my other dog, there were some fights but I was amazed to come home and find them both standing on my bed barking out the window.  Even more amazing was the fact that kai was going deaf and blind.  From that day forward Benji became my hero.

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I Struggled to bond with him despite my hero worship and it remained that way for a very long time, I loved him dont get me wrong but I wasnt as close as I was to kai.

After six months kai went to Rainbow bridge, it was a devastating time and poor Benji pined terribly.  At this time he developed terrible separation anxiety.  I despaired  but refused to give up.

To cut a long story short my boy settled down to become the fantastic dog I had known all along he would be.  As he got older he was diagnosed with arthritis and later began to nod.  The vet told us that he was having seizures and that she didnt know what his life expectancy would be (over twelve months now).

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As he aged Benji and I came to a better understanding.  He became affectionate towards me but always on his terms.  Always a very “Aloof” dog it was heart warming to have gained his trust.

I never have managed to stop him raiding the bins, I guess if I had gone hungry and he was very skinny when I got him I might be the same.

Recently my old soldier celebrated his 15th Birthday, I ordered a special birthday cake and party pack which included a hat.  I never expected him to actually wear it.  I trained him with treats and he greeted me that morning wearing his hat.  Also my birthday too, although his paperwork says March 6th.

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Hes had some health issues lately, his back legs havent been working properly.  After some new meds hes back to his old self.  He just seems to go on forever and ever.  He always greets me at the door when I come home.  Hes such a laid back chilled out dude.  I really admire him.  Some days you can just tell that everythings an effort yet he still has a grin and a wag of his tail for you.

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I guess the point of my story is why dont we adopt black dogs? Why do we adopt a rescue dog and then give up on them when it gets too hard.  Think long and hard before you get a rescue or any dog. 

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All the dogs ive had in my life have been rescues.  They give so much back.  Ive had nearly seven years with Benji.  Please adopt older dogs.

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Older dogs rule.

Ciao Fidge
( Old dog fan)

Bubbly Dalmation Jasper.

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Recently I started a crystal healing course and part of our daily tasks is to choose a crystal for the day.Β  One particular day I chose a piece of Dalmatian Jasper.

When it comes to buying and choosing crystals I have the kind of attitude buy/choose now and ask questions later.Β  Its a method that seems to work for me. And i never fail to be suprised at how spot on this method seems to be.

When I started to attune to the crystal I was suprised to find an almost puppy like personality.Β  The first time I’ve ever got a sense of this.Β  It was quite happy to have been chosen. Its also worth noting I had recieved the crystal as a birthday gift.

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So now on to what Cassandra Eason says in the crystal bible.

Dalmation Jasper can reawaken a sense of fun and humour from within.Β  Hence the bubbly personality of the crystal.

It is also remarkably successful for calming, training and healing pets.Β  Also if working with dogs is your profession then this is a great crystal to work with.

Dalmation Jasper can increase telepathic communication with all animals but particularly dogs and is for those who work with canine like power animals such as wolves.Β  Well my spirit guide is a wolf.Β  At this point im beginning to think that I may have underestimated this crystal.

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I have this thing with dogs, Ive had dogs come lean on me randomly out of the blue, and I havent met many dogs that I didnt get on with, but have always wondered what they wanted from me.

Other uses for dalmation jasper include helping protect from nightmares particularly monster type ones and also helping adults and children deal with an irrational fear of dogs.

There are other benefits from this crystal but I would be here all day.Β  Needless to say Im going to be paying more attention to the crystals I buy in the future.

Ciao Fidge
( Stunned and blown away)

Crufts best of breed for GSD 2016

Take a look at this footage, it shows the best of the GSD breed,Β  3 year old Crughaire Catoria aka ToriΒ  looking frankly quite unwell.

My initial reaction to this video was one of shock,anger and horror.

Im a big fan of the German Shepard breed, i wouldnt consider myself an expert by any means. Ive owned one full breed dog who was diagnosed with hip displacia at the age of 18 months and one Gsd x lab who also later in life had hip problems. I now also own a GSD x collie who is 8 years old.

Im going to make a confession though im not a fan of crufts, i would take a mongrel over a pedigree dog anyday and due to that fact i dont have a lot of time for the kennel club either.Β 

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I read a news article in which the dogs owner said that she was shocked and horrified that her beautiful dog was judged in such a way.Β  I totally agree to a point, her dog is beautiful, but should she have been awarded best of breed?

It isnt a secret that the breed has its issues, but i couldnt help but wonder if the kennel club must ultimatly be held responsible in some way, they specify what an award winning dog should look like, so why wouldnt breeders breed that way?

In the same article the kennel club have stated that withdrawing the breed from the competition is an option, i say go for it.Β  Lets be proactive and put the health and welfare of these show dogs first for once.

Hands up who thinks getting a load of pet dogs together and letting them play is a lot more entertaining than watching crufts?

I have a lot more facts to gather before i make my next post on this subject, especially as tori’s owner has stated that most people do not know the breed.

Ciao
Fidge
(Leaving no stone unturned)