Barking Blondes: Oh no! Not another dog book!

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

Covered two 300x200 Barking Blondes: Oh no! Not another dog book!Have you ever picked up a box of 100 books?  This week has found the two of us lugging around the equivalent of our combined weight, including the dogs, from boot of the car to one canine venue after another.

Yes, the annual dog show season is upon us, which coincides nicely with the publication of our long awaited biography, Barking Blondes. For any regular readers to this blog, who may be scratching their head each Sunday in bewilderment at two such canine obsessed broadcasters, our story is now in the public domain.

To our publisher’s delight and amusement we have said yes to every dog show opening or judging event this summer, with a proviso that a gazebo is supplied in order to flog the book.

Our first gig was last week and, unfortunately, two hours in we ran out of stock (due not to our popularity but more down to our low expectations) and meant whilst one of us stood guard with the dogs and few remaining copies, the other drove home for supplies. Without assistance, a box of 100 books, cannot be lifted by a 5 ft, middle-aged woman, so only an armful of copies was fetched back to the gazebo. We are determined to find a trolley for this weekend.

It’s fascinating to watch who buys dog books. A lot of people just wanted to pat our dogs whist others read the first line and the last line and then put it down. Ouch! Then there were others, juggling shopping, their own dogs on leads whilst looking simply at the pictures, before purchasing. Most interest came from women as men assumed, given the title, it’s a tale of male bashing. It isn’t. It’s a story of our relationship and the role of our dogs within it.

Does the world need another dog book? Look on your shelves and tell us the well-thumbed, loved works of fiction that stand the test of time such as Rin Tin TinLassie or The Call of the Wild. Then tell us the non-fiction self-help books that have won you over?

Our book case is groaning with encyclopaedias of dog breeds such as the 1970s famous The Observer’s Book of Dogs, along with editions of How to Train Your Dog. It’s interesting to read the historical methods of training from Barbara Woodhouse through to Cesar Millan to the art of performing dogs with the brilliant Mary Ray.

For those wanting to learn about the dogs extraordinary intelligence, The Genius of Dogs is a good place to start or why not to delve further and discover the telepathic ability in Rupert Sheldrake’s landmark Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, which looks at the many unexplained powers of dogs such as their in built “sat nav” or sense of direction.

We also have our guilty pleasures, such as a book on how to knit your own dog (we did, and they are great if a little tight) or a fascinating album of famous dogs in sunglasses. As far as canine publishing is concerned, there is very little unexplored territory… so why have we decided to add to the already groaning bookcases?

Maybe we would have done better to follow Lord Montdore’s words in Nancy Mitford’s  novel Love in a Cold Climate. When asked about his choice of reading he replied: “I’ve only ever read one book, White Fang, it was so good I’ve never read another.”

White Fang explores the world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans… so maybe he was right. It’s all been said.

The Barking Hour, every Thursday, 3-4PM, BBC London 94.9FM

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  • marcbletchley

    morning jo and anna
    i do hope the book launch goes well at least all that lugging about will keep you fit.
    i imagine the content of the book there will be something for everyone
    great sunday morning reading while listening to the wireless.
    woof woof from bletchley towers

  • Rocky Auntie

    I am a big fan of White Fang but have also read other books – including Barking Blonds, which is a cracking read as is Love in a Cold Climate, both witty and urbane.

  • madgooner1

    I’m intrigued that you value dogs above men.

  • Ziggydog

    Just got my copy of Barking Blondes – set to read it tom. Understand how you can definitely love a dog more than a man- one gives unconditional love, the other doesn’t.

  • 5brian5

    Happy “Bank Holiday” Monday Jo, Anna, Molly, & Matilda; Have you two ladies ever seen one of those two-wheeled shopping trollies that I have occasionally seen older people pulling behind themselves. Wire construction, two rather large spoke wheels, it even had a vinyl liner with a top to protect from the elements, you could purchase extra. One of those would be ideal for you both to carry your books. It even collapses, and is inexpensive, around 20quid years ago. Otherwise, B&Q it! D.I.Y.shops should carry some sort of two-handled moving trolly for a reasonable price. I paid $30 US dollars for mine. Regarding your book: There is always room in the world for more knowledge and insight. Even though I haven’t read your book as of yet, I can only imagine what you both have to say. I hope I can find a copy here, and report back to you both, in the famous words of the late Patrick Swayze, in the film “Ghost”, “DITTO”!!! Girls!!! Your radio show, “The Barking Hour” on BBC London, is always a window of knowledge and insight for me to open up every Thursday afternoon! I often, when confronted with an animal related encounter, or situation, wonder how the two of you would handle a similar situation. My cat Tula, usually always has the run of the house, following me from room to room, keeping me company and alerting me to unwanted spiders, and sounds I don’t hear, due to partial deafness. My son is away on business, and has left his “pit-bull” Logan with Tula and I. For the last week, having these two under the same roof with me, has been nothing less than a “pleasure-trip”! Tula, has trained herself to wake me up if I don’t respond immediately to the clock radio at sunrise. She will paw at me, walk on my chest, lick my face, and demand that I play with her. Now, with logan competing with her for my attention, I have the dog licking my face, the cat walking on me, and BBC World blasting out of the clock! The whole symphony! Having two wonderful family members here, that don’t need any discipline or coaxing whatsoever, is a joy. I hope that I can get to the Ann Arbor animal shelter soon, and see some of the rescue dogs which are available, and adopt. Being a very liberal, university town, their adoption policies are very similar to those in the U.K.. Strict! Also, when it comes to men, “DITTO”! I’d rather be a lesbian? Great Blog! Brian (Detroit) xxxx

  • theUKnaturalvet

    Jo and Anna – the book is just terrific – deserves to be as popular as Harry Potter … or 50 Shades of Grey .. there’s the title for your sequel – 50 Shades of Blonde.
    But there’s always room for another dog book and I humbly suggest my own little offering – Heal your Dog the Natural Way by me (Richard Allport) which may not be half as funny as Barking Blondes but is extremely informative on natural therapies and lifestyles for dogs. Even though I say it myself.

  • Pea Horsley

    Hi Jo and Anna, I can’t wait to read you book. A big congratulations to you both and of course, your girls behind-the-scenes, Molly and Matilda. You couldn’t have done it without them. Bless their beautiful hearts. Another book which could grace the dog shelf is, dare I be so bold, my own book – Heart to Heart: Incredible and heartwarming stories from the woman who talks with animals by me (Pea Horsley) – real true life accounts of animals communicating telepathically (just like scientist Rupert Sheldrake has proven), although Heart to Heart requires a book of tissues to hand. Enjoy your publishing publicity. Woof! Woof!

  • Heathbar

    Disappointed to see crazy interview Jo Good did about her former ‘partner’ (aka husband of someone else) George Webley. It was published in The Mirror and then picked up by The Mail Online. In the article, she denied knowing that he was married, despite the fact that he never got divorced. She wondered why his children hadn’t returned her possessions to her from George’s flat. George’s daughter in law, Natalie posted several comments on the Mail website, in answer the interview. Then, this week, I heard her talking about him on Women’s Hour where she said he was jealous of Matilda, and so had to get a dog of his own because of the jealousy?!? Sad to think she has done all this nasty gut spilling in order to sell this book. Better to have kept a dignified silence.

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