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Barking Blondes: Things to take into consideration when searching for the perfect pooch

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

barking 300x225 Barking Blondes: Things to take into consideration when searching for the perfect pooch Dressing room etiquette has always intrigued us.

No. 1 is usually reserved for headliners, No. 2 for the “also ran” and further down the corridor, a plaque with  Artists Dressing Room, for the hoy palloy.

Many years ago, whilst performing panto in Bognor, we reached the giddy heights of occupying a No. 1. However, our enthusiasm was slightly curbed when we were expected to share the luxury with one of the ponies.

Having spent most of the run in a trailer within the theatre carpark, the poor animal had shown to be suffering from mange -so how could we refuse the beast shelter?

We spent the final weeks of panto in mutual respect, the pony tethered to the sink, and us squashed on the couch.

It proved to be the most successful of artistic relationships.

So imagine our joy on Tuesday when arriving at the ITV studios for our weekly appearance on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, we discovered we were sharing with four dogs.

Two of them were our own bull breeds, Molly and Matilda (this week they even had their own  on set kennels!) and the other two were appearing on behalf on the Blue Cross. They were Arthur, a jack russell, and Jess, a poodle cross/terrier.

Both of them were to promote an item on rehoming having themselves become orphans.

Unlike human beings where being forced to share a space can sometimes result in territorial resentment…dogs just get on with it.

A few sniffs around each others rear quarters and they all settled down to a day of rest and rehearsal.

Arthur on the sofa, Jess on a blanket and our two indulgently on our laps. All mutts performed beautifully in the live show, even alongside a pony and a meerkat and by going home time we had all bonded.

Hence the emotional pull. If we could feel like this after only a few hours in the presence of two needy dogs… how must it be for the staff of these rescue centres?

Rescue centres are bursting at the seams. The staff have to be altruistic to accept the inevitable emotional attachment and driven by the job satisfaction of finding forever homes and a second chance to hundreds of dogs and cats. Sometimes weeks or months are needed to nurse a dog back to health, or to train and rehabilitate for rehoming. Yet the satisfaction for transforming a dog and giving it a second chance must be high.

As one dog finds a home, another fills their empty kennel in minutes …so severe is the problem of abandoned pets. Many owners don’t think through the commitment of dog ownership. Britain is allegedly a nation of animal lovers, yet shockingly 15% of  dog owners spend more time choosing their Christmas presents than researching the best type of dog for their lifestyle.

It’s so important to provide the appropriate living space, and energy level for a dog. Let’s face it if you love hiking across the Lake District, a Springer Spaniel might suit you better than a Pug.

Another consideration is budget as an average dog will cost up to £16,000 in care through its life. Vets bill have led 40% of pets into rescue simply because the cost of their care has become unaffordable in these recessionary times. Then there’s grooming bills for certain breeds that will mount up and can mean a Poodle finds itself in rescue.

Research is essential in finding the perfect pooch. Remember the bigger the dog, the bigger the ‘doo-doo’.

Barking Blondes by Jo Good & Anna Webb, published by Hamlyn, £12.99 www.octopusbooks.co.uk

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  • Walsingham

    What the hell is ‘hoy palloy’? Read a book some time, or buy a Dictionary, for pity’s sake.

  • 5brian5

    Hi Jo, Anna, Molly & Matilda; The four of you look just fabulous on that very colourful ITV set. The way you both were dressed was perfect! You both get an A++! In regards to the pet abandonment problem, its heart breaking to say the least. I have never seen the rescue centre’s on the local Detroit telly news as much as I have this summer. They are overflowing with dogs and cats that have been tossed out like the weekly rubbish. Although I don’t live in Detroit, I am within its television market so I see all the terrible and cruel injustice that Detroit’s animal population has to deal with. Detroit is in my opinion totally dis-functional on every level, and pets are paying A stiff price. A week or two ago, an unknown / uncaught monster took a gas blowtorch to a poor calico kitten. There is (i believe) a ten thousand dollar reward for the capture of that person. About a week later, a small dog was partially skinned alive. Twenty thousand $ for their capture. How, I’ll never know, but with appropriate medical care, they both survived, and although heavily bandaged, are doing better. Concerned animal lovers sent thousands of dollars to help the two. Its hard for me to comprehend such sociopathic behaviour. I, as I have mentioned in past blogs, have not adopted a dog yet. I know the commitment required, and won’t do it before I feel I’m ready. My cat “Tula” is as loyal and responsive as some of the dogs I’ve had. I have to lay down to get off my feet for a few minutes a couple of times a day. Today when I got horizontal, tula jumped up as she always does, laying down next to my face. The two of us, just a few centimetre’s apart gazed into each others eyes for the longest time. I feel I owe it to her, to treat her like anyone else, not just some item to have around the house. For over a year now,. I have been giving her the proper food, and treating her with the same respect and love I would anyone else. She has evolved into a very interactive and loyal sweetheart. She has been a dream come true in helping me through very dark bouts of depression. Life is too short not to have a furry friend! Great Blog Girls! Oh, and tell Walsingham, “Hoy Palloy” is Hawaiian taco crisp dip! LOL! Brian (Detroit) xxxx PS– If anyone wants to check on the status of the kitten and dog, you can just google channel 7 or 4 in Detroit. The story should still be there.

  • Heathbar

    Why are you Brian from Detroit if you don’t live in Detroit? Are you in Windsor?

  • Heathbar

    Many Tears Rescue do a great job in the UK.


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