Friday 4 December 2015

04th December 2015

Dog Theft., Microchipping (all dogs must be microchipped before the 1stApril - This will be a legal requirement!!) and thinking seriously about adopting - buying a dog or a pup just before Christmas - Well maybe You might just THINK AGAIN!!

How many dog owners of all ages Realise that by April 2016 ALL dogs must be microchipped - and it will be part of the Dog Laws already in force.  On 17th December 2015 at St Judes Hall 67  Ilbert Street Queens Park London W10 4QJ - 10am-12midday  Vicki Bannan  our Westminster Dog Warden and myself and the Environmental Warden Nuno Reis will be microchipping - offering advice on dog behaviour and animal care and free neutering vouchers sponsored by Dog Trust can be obtained.  This service is free but most importantly is open to all dog owners in the Borough of Westminster.
For more information visit

Dog Theft
Dog theft is on the increase all over the UK and especially now just before Christmas when small dogs and puppies have been stolen to meet the demand for 'designer dogs'. That does not mean that other larger breeds are not safe from these evil predators.
Make sure your dog - pup is not left alone outside shops - in cars or even in the garden UNATTENDED. It takes minutes to steal your dog.  I have actually been outside a shop for over fifthteen minutes before an owner came out  to her unattended dog  and  she was very upset when I told her about what COULD Happen - hopefully she Or anyone else I have spoken to won't do it again.  Take your dog out before or after you shop for a walk - Am I being 'over the top' - no I have seen too many times what has happened to dogs left alone and it breaks your heart.  Also when you get an id tag - just put your mobile number - and  never put their name - and hopefully they are microchipped so put scan me - Be Aware when walking at night or poorly lit areas. Keep your pet safe

Most Rescues do not home animals two weeks before Christmas for the simple reason - having a new dog or new pup in the house just before and during the festive season is not good for the dog and can be all too overwhelming for the new 'owner'.  Especially a new pup - (But the kids wanted a puppy for Christmas) A pup is not a toy - and he certainly does not come with a 'toilet training kit' 'chewproof' and with all the frantic activity of Christmas - before and on Christmas Day with visitors - Have you really thought it through!!
Think about the breed - If you have the time and committment for the next ten or fifthteen years - holidays  and so the list goes on.  After Christmas and things are back to normal and you feel ready then go to a local rescue and I am sure like every year there will be lots of 'Christmas pups' abandoned to choose from.

Friday 6 November 2015


Where has the the time gone. Where do I start regarding my latest 'dog projects' 'dog workshops' 'dog patrols' and educational advice groups regarding Animal Care and Responsibility!

In August I was awarded a contract by our first London Parish Council to help with dog issues in the area and also start workshops for the community of Queens Park and various projects for both dog owners and non dog owners.

I joined the local Environmental Officer and dog warden for Westminster on their 'dog patrol' around the local area of Queens Park in August 2015.  Though Queens Park has many responsible dog owners who have their dogs on leads and pick up after their dogs {this is one of the by laws and dog owners can be given a fixed penalty for not complying} there are some that constantly ignore the rules on both counts.  Many offenders were found to let their dogs off lead in the childrens play area and led to constant dog fouling. Since working with the dog patrol four fixed penalties have been given out after dog owners given cautions and warnings. I am sure that no one both dog owners and non dog owners want their children - grand children being victims of dog mess!! As a dog owner myself I certainly did not want to be stepping in dog mess every time I went into the park

Education regarding Animal Welfare - Dog Care and Responsibility and also addressing childrens fear of dogs and how to approach dogs in public places to me is very important - and I am lucky to have the full support of Queens Park Public Library who give me access and time slots so I can arrange events to reach out to ages from 5 - 12 and their parents and offer advice and information regarding our pets in the home and local parks.

Dog Workshops commenced in September - October - This workshop was for dogs that had certain social issues - ie fear aggression - interaction with other dogs - recall and pulling on the lead  - Also one on ones were arranged for dogs that needed individual help with training or behavioural issues. The next workshop will be on Sunday 29th November for small breeds from 12pm-1pm  and for large breeds 2pm-3pm

Bonfire night has been but not necessarily gone!! Fireworks will still be going off over this weekend and probablly the next week end as well.  Firework Displays or in your own garden should be supervised and controlled and thats not me being a Party Pooper but firstly you hear so many stories of accidents happening
not only with children but our pets - some pets run off in fright - some get injured - some do not survive so  check bonfires before you light them - (for wildlife) keep your dogs and cats away safe inside - and of course make sure your children are well away from the fireworks and bonfire - Keep safe and keep your precious ones safer

Sunday 12 July 2015

Traveling on Public Transport with your pet (s)

Even if you DO own a car I am sure you might have to use public transport at some time with your pet but imagine having to rely on the courtsey and approval of public transport both of the 'driver' and the public passengers on a regular basis.

Many of the Public Transport Providers in UK Do have provision in place for you to travel with your 'Fido the poodle 'Freddie' the Husky or 'Mollie' the English Bull Terrier  in tow but OFTEN with strict stipulations in place especially on buses where it is at the 'discretion' of the driver!!

How many times have I been on buses (minus my own dogs) but been witness to a 'drivers discretion' or in some cases 'he doesn't like DOGS with a capital D!!  One time even - sticking up for one very obedient and
well behaved Springer Spaniel and ending up with both the owner - the dog and myself been thrown off the bus and threatened with possible interaction with an authority of the Law.

Or I have got on the bus with Missy Blue my whippet cross (wearing an Elizabethan collar - Missy not myself) and had a pleasant and dog friendly driver and met with sniffs - loud exclaimations - people jumping in the air - anything to get out the way of the 'Dangerous Fiend'!!

I pull Missy Blue firmly to my side - I mean I don't want her to 'Catch any of the ailments' of these irate and disgruntle passengers.

Traveling back on First Great Western who along with South West Trains allow two dogs per passenger with my two dogs who slept both ways there and back I and my friend had a great journey with both humourous and friendly ticket conductor and passengers alike.  It was only when I reached Victoria Station that I had to wait over half an hour - five cabs later before Me myself and two small dogs were accepted by the Representatives of London Cabs!! 

Guide Dogs should be allowed on any Public Transport but there have been news stories of Guide Dog Owners refused by Drivers and even one 'Dog Owner' told they should leave their dog behind when traveling!!!

Since 2012  and the relaxation of the UK pet travel (though all proper paperwork and vet checks and vaccinations are a legal requirement of travel)  many more people are traveling abroad with their pets - where on Ferries - owners have to leave their pets during the trip in their cars - on the Eurotunnel  shuttle  dogs and owners travel together in their cars through the Channel Tunnel.

Just coming back from France and No I did not take my dogs but I saw many dogs out with their owners - not on walks through the green countryside but in the cafes and bars  - in  the markets and even the small Art Galleries - Maybe UK will Follow and once again become the Dog Loving Country - we once were

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Rehoming a Rescue dog

We all see the photos of dogs - needing homes - or in  - council dog pounds (desperately needing rescue) - or the ones abroad who have spent most of their lives on the streets or lying old and broken in shelters - and we want to save them all.

In Rescues dogs are brought in - some as strays - others rehomed by members of the public and though a form is filled out by the previous family - not all give 'nothing but the truth' - some even put behavioural problems as the reason for rehoming - needing a reason to give their 'family pet' up - others - they have no time - or - the dog is old  - a new baby and the list goes on.  Most Rescues assess the dogs as best as they can but when we take on that dog - senior - unwanted puppy - and sign those 'adoption papers' we take on the responsibility - the care and the readjustment of that 'new family member'.

Imagine - just how that dog feels - either coming in from the streets (they must have had a family once) or being 'abandoned' by their family - then comes into a new 'temporary home' - new scents - new people - just beginning to trust - settle - and then we come along - and another journey - another new destination.
Scarey - stressful - a few accidents (even though they are toilet trained - not aggressive - and were very friendly when you first 'fell in dog love' at the animal center).

Being rehomed is stressful for any rescue dog - and it takes time and patience for them to feel safe and secure and also feel they are not YET again be 'moved on' - your dog is like an 'orphaned child' that has no
'sense of belonging' - and the initial settling in period could trigger conflicts with new owners early on if not properly understood and gently introduced into their new surroundings  and time for bonding and behaviour assessment.

When you first get your dog home - Do not overcrowd him - of course friends and relatives want to meet the new addition to the family - but not on the first day or even not for a few days - just let him or her settle in with you - and the immediate family - make sure doors and garden gates are secure (some dogs are great escape artists - thats how some of them got to be found as strays- or with street dogs from abroad their fear of the unknown makes them excellent  houdinis). Your new dog might have a pretty low social competence and hardly any confidence in #newsettings  and though you might have had a meet and greet with your other dog (s) at the centre - in your home environment the reality of being confined in a different setting  with lots of different sounds and people can be a whole different ball game - dont leave toys out or food - observe both your dogs behaviour and the new dog - watch their interactions - if the rescue has given you any advice please heed it - also most rescues in UK and from abroad send a qualified home checker to see you before you adopt - if you have other dogs they will meet them and give feedback to the rescue - some dogs are rehomed as 'the only pet' - and even if they are fine with other dogs in the park can not share their 'home' with other pets - even visiting ones especially on 'first days of being in the new home'.

One of the mistakes we can make - especially with initially shy or nervous dogs is to keep invading their space -  -" wanting to make up for the 'previous unknown life they have had'' or 'pressuring them to 'obey rules and setting boundaries - too soon - or they are not ready to 'take in' just yet. This not done on a gradual basis could make them regress and bring out a fear based defensive reaction not necessarily to you but other dogs or people

I have three rescue dogs - two from UK and one from Greece all females and all had their own stories to tell
and they are great dogs but it took time - and there were frustrations - they all have their individual traits  - and their trials and tribulations before their final forever home - were - unknown but their scars showed through.

The early phase of a rescue dog's rehabilitation can often be hard - tough on the owner - scary and unknown for the dog  - sometimes an adoptor can feel 'What am I doing wrong' 'Why does he not listen to me' 'I can not give up on him but .....'  'Do I give up' - As a home checker - I always say if you need help or just a little friendly boost or advice on any behavioural problem no matter how small contact your home checker or the rescue - take things gradually  - be realistic with your goals  placing less pressure on yourself and most importantly the 'rescue dog' you have  brought into your family because they deserved a chance of life.

If you feel you need a one on one training ask the rescue or your vet if they can recommend a good trainer - or a good recommendation from a friend - check if the trainer has full pet business insurance - ask their experience - and most trainers will be quite happy to give you a run down of what the assessment and training session will entail.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

January 2015

Already into the New Year of 2015 - January the month starting off getting back into the working mode - the new projects - the new beginnings and the loss of friends both human, canine and feline.

The month of January started off with the first Dog Workshop in Queens Park W10 of 2015 - the weather colder than ever and the dogs more eager to go back to the comforts of home than learn #nottojump #howtocomebackwhencalled and #walkingonlead!! Some like #Ghost and Rex two German Shepherds were keen to get the pawty started - others like Mags and the Beagle were not so keen!!

The month of January saw the loss of a friend that spent her life helping others and her rescue and love of animals over 30 years was well known.  A Lady that would  help the homeless both two and four legged - I remember one time she was  walking one of her dogs and a lady was taking a 'senior healthy' yorkshire terrier' to the vets.  My friend asked 'What was wrong with him' - the reply was ' I can not have him any more so I am having him  put to sleep' - My friend took his lead and said - 'You cant do that - I'll take him' and Tooney the Yorkie  lived a good few more years as 'Top Dog'.   I always say why do the 'beautiful animal angels' always leave us too soon.  Blessings my friend - RIP

The month of January a NEW Year for some and the END of an Era for others.