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Barking blondes: a tribute to Doris Day

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

blondes dogs 300x225 Barking blondes: a tribute to Doris DayWe spent an entertaining Tuesday evening at The Crazy Coques in Londons’ West End watching a tribute show to Doris Day.

As two, fair fading blondes, with no celebratory status, we are always interested in those who decide to ditch it all in favour of dogs.

Doris Day’s husband fleeced her, emptied her bank account of over $30 million and left her no option but to stay out there and keep working.

Therefore, who can blame her when she said enough is enough and now dedicates her life to her Animal Foundation. It has been running for over 35 years and both, she and the foundation, are strong.

Perhaps she gains strength from knowing her karma is good and that she is helping those who have helped her. It was a dog named Tiny that gave Doris the inspiration to carry on after a serious accident as a teenager.

A car crash left her with one leg in a compound fracture and unable to walk without crutches for two years, killing all her hopes of becoming a dancer.

Tiny helped her road to recovery with his constant companionship, but for no reason, one day ran out into the middle of the road and was killed instantly; in front of her very eyes.

The irony of Doris’s dog suffering the same fate, that she had escaped, led her to dedicate her life to animals.

Many Hollywood stars have set an example and sought emotional strength from animals, often when human beings have let them down.

Bardot and Garbo similarly gave up on people for dogs. Garbo ended her days in New York living with a pack of more than 10 dogs, one of them was the son of Hollywood legend, Rin Tin Tin.  She died, a recluse.

Bardot still campaigns tirelessly for animal rights and her once, radiant beauty has faded, to reveal to many, her inner beauty, her love of animals. Withdrawing herself from a vain and judgmental, celluloid world where beauty is often only skin deep.

Some will say as those above discovered, most people have an agenda. Dogs don’t.

They may demand time from us but they don’t expect a shared bank account. They don’t expect dinner to be served at certain times. But they are so grateful when they get all this and return the compliment with genuine thanks and unconditional love – this is the one attribute that the human condition lacks.

So any relationship with a human is quid pro quo, whereas a relationship with a dog – man’s best friend, is not. Some people judge people by their love of dogs, and won’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs, simply because what is there not to like? The adage that you can’t lie to a dog is perhaps why some are afraid of them – dogs see through the human facade.

They appreciate our attention no matter how meager. They don’t care if you’re having a bad hair day or whether you are broke, if the car is in the garage, if you can’t chauffeur them to their appointment, or whether your trousers clash with your blouse.

No matter how ugly a mutt is the beauty shines out everyday, simply in the truth that is the love of a dog.

So next time you hear jokes about “the old girl at the end of the road who lives with a load of dogs” consider why she does?

And more importantly consider that it could well be one of us.

BARKING AT THE MOON / THURSDAY 3pm BBC LONDON 94.9fm

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  • marcbletchley

    good morning jo and anna
    ive met quite a few people who have given up lots of things so thay can be with there dogs over the years.
    i can see where a lot of good stories with companionship you get with dogs.
    my best friend yvonne has got a new dog to go with her 2 remaining cats i’ll steer her to barking at the moon page soon or is it at the sun now.
    woof woof from bletchley towers xx

  • ivana

    … yes, dogs are much easier beasts to live with than people – and if a combination of the two is not possible, a dog is always preferable. To quote Marilyn Munroe ” Dogs never bite me. Just Humans do”.

  • 5brian5

    Hi Ladies; Its hard to believe, that I can watch so many negative images on American telly, totally emotionless and blank faced, then read your blog and almost be in tears. Its hard to comment on the truth. I too, used to think people who chose animals over people, were a bit odd. My sister for one. She always chose her cats over human interaction, so it seemed. As I have gotten older, remembering loyal animals of mine from the past, and currently having an affectionate and loyal cat that seems to be only interested in happiness, along with making me happy, I suddenly get it! Everybody seems to have an agenda, hidden or not. Since accepting my obviously (by her previous owners) abused cat into my world, where I have allowed her to be a cat and do as she pleases, we have grown together, and interact constantly when I’m here. When someone comes over, “Tula” runs and hides. I, of course don’t blame her, humans are a scarey lot! Jo, one night on BBC London 94.9, many months ago, you were talking with Irene about mothers. I e-mailed you and asked you, to ask Irene, if her mother used to dance around the ironing board singing to Doris Day on the radio like mine would do. Her response was “I wish”! Doris Day evokes many memories of the late 50’s and early 60’s for me. I never knew she had so many problems whilst being married. I guess that’s why I’m happily married to my cat now, after a less than ideal “legal” marriage! L.O.L. Hey at least we’re both happy now! Great Blog! As Always, Thank-You! Brian (Detroit)xxxx

  • Ziggydog

    It is so funny that animals of all species can get along – dogs & cats can make the best of friends- yet people have trouble getting along and being honest. Thank God for man’s best friend. Totally relate to Doris Day’s decision…..love the daytime slot.

  • madgooner1

    Men also often prefer the company of animals

  • Gizwiz

    This is my favourite blog that you’ve written – and it’s so, so true. Pets give us that unconditional love that’s usually only found between parents and children. Probably another reason why, to so many of us, our pets really are our fur babies.

  • http://twitter.com/MrHappySW11 MrReasons2BCheerful

    As always a thought-provoking blog. The most important thing you can give your dog is “time”, as I was told many years ago.

    Growing up with Jack Russells (in the days before they were a kennel club breed) which you used to have the local farmers stop by to take one of the pups, I watched my mother devoting much of her time to her dog.

    When he died and was replaced, it was the same thing; all of those animals rewarded her with their utter devotion. Woe betide anyone trying to sit next to her on the sofa!

    So I learnt by example, and my first dog, Benson, a handsome Blue roan cocker spaniel, with a pedigree better than the Windsor’s, turned out to be a true delight!

    He became a real ambassador with those who don’t like dogs!

    Bruno, my rescue Welsh Terrier, is a different kettle of fish, as he was 7 when I adopted him. Everyone I know comments on the change since he first arrived. So all it takes is one word – Time.


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