Barking Blondes: Crunk kennels, the wolf within and farewell to a canine comic king
Hot news from New York: the first five-star, luxury dog hotel has just opened. To set your pooch up for a holiday in this downtown Chelsea fun palace, it will cost you $110 per night. It offers 42” flat-screen TVs and Queen Anne beds in all rooms. Then there are the spa treatments such as hot oil and pawdicures to consider, all of which are extra. There is also an air filtration system set up to change every hour to compensate for Manhattan’s pollution.
Where The Big Apple leads, we usually follow, so it was no surprise this week to discover there are exclusive canine hotels lurking beyond the confines of the M25, where London mutts can enjoy a few days away from the Big Smoke.
It was while we were walking our two, Molly and Matilda, through Regent’s Park that we met up with a familiar owner of a golden spaniel without her dog.
“Oh he is staying in so-and-so hotel,” she told us, slightly embarrassed.
“It’s to give him a break. He always comes back leaner and calmer and we can watch him on the webcam in his hotel room every night. Oh, and he gets his portrait painted as a going home present,” she added. “He looks forward to it every year.”
“Where will you be going?” we asked, assuming she was about to fly abroad.
“I’m not. Can’t afford it this year,” she confessed.
What happened to the good old kennels where you offered up Fido for a fortnight and just prayed he didn’t return with fleas and kennel cough and was still wearing his own collar? Thankfully, they are dragging themselves into the 21st century and becoming a thing of the past.
Dogs can become as homesick as children and it doesn’t have to be luxury, but it must always be companionship that is top priority.
Personally, neither of us can ever imagine enjoying a holiday without our dogs.
Much has been written over the past few weeks about the role sport plays towards inspiring children, but what about inspiration through the roles of wolves? And we are not talking Little Red Riding Hood.
We met an interesting guy on Friday, Nigel Reed, the wolf man, who teaches kids about ‘the wolf within’. He was in town to help promote Elijah Wood’s new TV
series, Wilfrid, billed as comedy about a lawyer and his neighbour’s dog.
Nigel goes into schools teaching children the dynamics of a wolf pack. He looks at unwanted anti-social behaviour and insecurity, both characteristics that young wolves and dogs must learn to control within the pack. The children then examine their own behavior using the tools they gleaned from their studies. How they can apply calmness and respect to often turn around their own lives. Nigel is not the first to realize how much we can learn from dogs but he must be one of the first to introduce urban school children to a wolf. Right up close.
The only animal we were introduced to at school was the caretaker’s cat.
Finally, some sad news for cartoon dogs. From December, The Dandy comic is no longer going to be produced as a print edition. Thankfully it will still appear online. This comic gave us one of the earliest dogs in strip form. Black Bob the Border Collie. He first appeared in 1944 and became so legendary he was parodied as Bob, the black bin liner in Viz. We are hoping that Dennis The Menace’s Gnasher is still enjoying a healthy circulation!
Barking at the Moon is on every Tursday frmom 10pm-midnight on BBC London 94.9FMTagged in: comic books, comics, dog care, dogs, education, holidays, hotel for dogs, hotels, kennels, pet care, pets, wolf within
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