Barking Blondes: How committed are you to your dog?

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

barking008 300x295 Barking Blondes: How committed are you to your dog?We sat gripped in our studio this week as a listener came on air asking for help. Returning home to the UK from Spain with his two Spanish water dogs, this chap was unable to find any dog-friendly, rented accommodation.

Rather than part with his dogs, the three of them were sleeping in his car. After a few days, in order to be free to seek employment, he arranged, as a temporary measure, for the dogs to be cared for at Battersea Dogs Home in Windsor. It was then suggested, that for all their sakes, the dogs be re-homed.

His vulnerability of being homeless, unemployed and without his best canine friends, he knew that there was nothing he could do but resort to a dog friendly campsite and a small tent which they now call home. We’re hoping his luck changes as autumn approaches. Even the dogs, happy to be with their master, might flinch at an English winter huddled together in a small tent. A far cry from sunnier Spanish climes!

It set us thinking about owners’ total commitment to their dogs. This listener’s display of total loyalty and literally prioritizing them over his own creature comforts, sends a message to us all, that a dog is for life. August is National Dog Adoption Month, reminding us that thousands of dogs aren’t as lucky. Too many are discarded when times get tough, reflecting our throw away attitudes in today’s society and a reliance of the safety net that are ‘rescue centres’ to pick up the pieces. The problem is these centres are at bursting point.

We’d jump through hoops of fire for our bull breeds, Molly and Matilda. When they joined us in the studio for our weekly radio show, we’d face disgruntled emails about dog hair in the studio. Some claiming sudden allergic reactions and dry cleaning bills. We’d rally these objections against the odds somehow ensuring that the girls would remain with us live on air.

We admit our girls are spoilt, but that’s our priority, the lengths to ensure their well being, is our choice. Trips abroad, hours away from the flat, all of these are no longer options because we have taken on the responsibility of ownership. As pet ‘guardians’ it’s up to us to navigate life’s ups and downs with your dog by your side. It’s a bit like a marriage that needs working at -  through thick and thin.

Sometimes we hear of circumstances beyond our control that means relinquishing our best friend. A baby is planned… or an allergy to dog hair emerges. But many of these events could have been foreseen and accounted for.

Our local Big Issue seller and his girlfriend have just split up. She took the dog. It’s strange to now see him, standing alone, outside the supermarket, without his gorgeous staffie/cross on her blanket by his side. But every Sunday, he buys a train ticket and he travels to the countryside to see her. Why?

“My ex is not as healthy as me,” he confided. “ I want to check the dog is being exercised. Otherwise she gets snappy.”

That’s responsible dog ownership and commitment. Not the cheque book psychology of paying others to nurture.

Barking Blondes’ by Anna Webb & Jo Good, published by Hamlyn, £12.99

  • marcbletchley

    good afternoon jo and anna
    i may have missed the show Thursday but i see a few big issue sellers in my area with dogs and surprising enough look quite healthy the dog that is.
    i could never have a dog myself as for reasons not permitted in bletchley towers and my uncertain housing problem as well looming.
    ahh fond days missed on the late show with matilda snoring through the news and molly barking on command proberly after a meat ball from anna’s person LOL.
    great reading as normal
    woof woof from bletchley towers

  • Suzanne Ennazus

    People say dogs are too stupid to love, but in my opinion they don’t have to try like we do. They are love. You won’t get another human to make you their whole world like a dog does.

  • Suzanne Ennazus

    Maybe you can foster a dog, until they find a permanent home?

  • marcbletchley

    unfortunately pets not allowed against my tenancy agreement plus not fair if i go off to work for 12 hours or more

  • 5brian5

    Hi Jo, Matilda, Molly & Anna; Sometimes its difficult for me to comment on your blog as I usually agree with almost everything you say. I know how much goes into the commitment of caring and loving an animal. When my sons pit bull Logan is here, caring for him seems the equivalent of caring for a baby or small child. Logan, like my cat Tula, demand my attention and presence around them at all times. When my son was young, he always wanted to be with daddy. Whether it was changing nappies, listening to music, or having him on the job with me in his pram, he was always there. (some customers would just freak, so I’d say “find someone to do it cheaper”, that shut them up!) To think of Tula or Logan as less than human, or “stupid”, is not in my conscious realm. Every time I get up in the night, both Logan and Tula follow me, realize what I’m going to do, then run to the kitchen for a snack before meeting me back in bed. Sounds human to me. They both have the latitude to do as they wish, as to me, they never do anything wrong. They are both very neat and tidy, loving, and interactive and I couldn’t ask for more. I sincerely hope that the homeless man who called your show, can somehow find a better solution to his situation, than loosing his loyal friends. I have been homeless, as well as unemployed, and my heart is heavy for him, as I do empathize with his unfortunate dilemma. I know how much Tula and Logan love me, and I couldn’t handle loosing Tula, or never seeing Logan again. Just like people, they’re all different with unique personalities, many times more acceptable than humans! Great Blog “Girls! Brian (Detroit)xxxx

  • madgooner1

    I would have sneaked the dog into the rented accommodation and hope for the best!

  • hectorsmum

    The Dogs Trust have a list of Dog Friendly Landlords which might help.

  • Elle M

    The dogs trust hold a list of dog friendly landlords but it is not publicised enough to owners or landlords. Also you can take dogs abroad!!! You don’t have to sacrifice foreign holidays!

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