Barking Blondes: Pet-related injuries, homeless people and Martha Stewart
At a time when we should be looking our best, given the party season, one of us is sporting a split lip. It involved a lot of blood and the injury is now impressively thick enough to look like the result of thre rounds with Lennox Lewis.
However, embarrassingly it actually occurred from a game of tug with our miniature bull terrier Molly. She suddenly released her bite from the rope toy, which in turn resulted in the hand that was pulling it, flying into the lip with great force and splitting it. In other words, a self-inflicted injury.
Apparently 95 per cent of all accidents happen in the home and a high proportion of them are pet-related.
Last year Martha Stewart homemaker extraordinaire was pictured lying on a stretcher, having received stitches to her own split lip, following an incident with her French bulldog, Francesca. Having bent down to kiss the dog goodbye, she awoke the sleeping Francesca who jumped and knocked her bullet-like head into Martha’s mouth. Goodness knows how many personal appearances had to be cancelled!
A while ago we had the designer Cath Kitson on our show. She had just broken a hip by falling over her border terrier, Stanley (who is also the muse for many of her designs). Displaying all the traits of a typical dog lover, her obvious adoration for Stanley didn’t seem to be over shadowed by this highly frustrating incident. Falls are the highest percentage of pet-related injuries. They usually involves cats due to their ability to sneak up silently behind you. At least with a dog there is usually some audio of panting to warn you. But be prepared, the smell of turkey can lure any canine into the kitchen and a quick turn from the oven, roasting dish in hand, only to be confronted by a salivating, close up pooch is an accident waiting to happen.
Last Christmas, we had a caller to our radio show who had leapt out of bed on Christmas morning and trod on a half chewed calves hoof left on the rug by the family pet. It imbedded itself into the flesh between his big toe and he spent December 25 in A and E.
How many homeless people will we see on the streets over the holiday period? And how many of them are with a dog? May we give a big throw out to St Mungo’s one of the few, if not the only, hostels to allow dogs. If you live on the street a dog is not only protection but also a hot water bottle.
This week Harvey, a resident from St Mungo’s joined us on the show, along with his german shepherd Kya. There is much written about the bond between owner and dog but never is it more evident than the homeless person and their pet. They are literally never apart. As Harvey explained, the lead is superfluous as his dog would never for a moment, consider leaving his side.
He has no idea how much Kya has saved his life but its not unknown for rough sleepers to be attacked or even set alight in their sleep. With a dog by your side, he explained, it’s less likely. St Mungo’s not only offers beds but veterinary service, knitted dog jumpers and dog treats.
A lot of these services are supplied to the hostel by the Dogs Trust, who coined the famous slogan “A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas”. The same could be said, unfortunately, for homelessness.
Have a fantastic Christmas and from the two of us and our dogs Molly and Matilda.
‘Barking at the Moon’ is on every Thursday from 3pm on BBC London 94.9fm
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