Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    October 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    What could make a better Christmas gift for the dog lover in your life than a book about the comfort and joy offered by man’s best friend?

    “My Dog, My Friend: heart-warming tales of canine companionship from celebrities and other extraordinary people” contains first person accounts, ranging from the poignant to the entertaining, by celebrities and well-known public figures such as David Blunkett MP, Alan Titchmarsh, Simon Callow, Esther Rantzen, William McIlvanney, Jackie Kay and Brix Smith-Start.

    Their stories are further brought to life with personal photographs of them with their dogs.

    The book is supported by the Samaritans 1, and all author royalties will be donated to the charity, which aims to reduce suicide. The book was compiled by mental health researcher, author and dog lover Jacki Gordon 2

    “My Dog, my Friend: heart-warming tales of canine companionship from celebrities and other extraordinary people” (Hubble & Hattie) is published 4 September, £14.99, available from Amazon, bookshops and www.hubbleandhattie.com

    Chef Antony Worrall Thompson and radio broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray are among over 40 celebrities writing about the support they have received from their dogs during tough times, and how their lives are improved through dog companionship.

    Antony Worrall Thompson writes: ‘It is well documented that in 2012 I had what can only be described as a mental breakdown. During that time I was grateful for the support of my family. And classed as family are my two faithful dogs. I found strength and solace when walking both of them in what was a pretty turbulent time.’

    Dame Jenni Murray writes: ‘I had gone through the worst time of my life by the end of 2006. Both my parents had died within a few months of each other. It soon became obvious that what was necessary to cheer things up was a dog. Butch changed my life and is my constant companion.’

    Professor Stephen Platt, a Samaritans trustee and researcher on suicidal behaviour and mental health, has written the book’s foreword. He says: ‘There is considerable evidence that dogs are an important source of social support, and enhance the emotional wellbeing of their owners.

    ‘We believe My Dog, my Friend will increase awareness about the important role that animals – and dogs in particular – can play in reducing emotional distress and symptoms of physical and mental ill-health.

    ‘Samaritans will use the money generated through sales of the book to increase our capacity to help people. Samaritans would especially like to encourage people in distress or despair to make contact before they reach crisis point.’

    The book, which is published on 4 September 2014, also includes personal accounts about the positive impact dogs have had on those experiencing mental illness, homelessness, chronic illness, such as multiple sclerosis, and young people needing support to develop their social skills.

    Marion Janner OBE has Borderline Personality Disorder. She runs Star Wards, which helps mental health wards provide therapeutic care. Her contribution to the book is written in the voice of her dog, Buddy: ‘Marion does have regular meltdowns when we’re out and about but she somehow manages to get me across streets and back home safely. By that time, she’s feeling calmer and can ring the Samaritans or one of her therapists.’

    Steve Trigg is a former executive turned Big Issue seller, who writes: ‘I had a fantastic job with Npower, and a brand new BMW. I lost everything and ended up in a night shelter. To be honest, I wanted a dog to help me make money. Now that’s not the case. I think the world of Charlie. My dog turned my life around. I would probably be dead by now if it wasn’t for her. Charlie saved my life.’

    1. Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland, which aims to alleviate emotional distress and reduce suicidal feelings and behaviour. As well as providing a 24-hour source of support (by phone, email, letter and face-to-face), Samaritans works in the local community, visiting schools, prisons and workplaces.
    2. Jacki Gordon resigned from the Scottish Government to be at home and satisfy her yearning for a dog, and – six years on – still marvels at the positive impact that her scruffy Lurcher, Looka, has had on her life. Trading her long career within the public sector forthat of a self-employed consultant, Jacki has continued to specialise in deepening the understanding of mental health and wellbeing, including how people can be helped to flourish, and feel more positive and happier in themselves. Jacki’s book successfully and delightfully combines her passion for dogs and her long-standing interest and expertise in mental health.
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    February 13th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Friends for Life 2013 winners Haatchi and Owen (aka Little B) have enjoyed a lot of publicity, both before and especially after their win at Crufts. But today they can expect to become even bigger stars, with the release of their book (written by Wendy Holden) and the announcement that they’re the stars of a YouTube documentary.

    The film was made by a team of student as part of their  documentary filmmaking course at the University of Hertfordshire. “We made this film to not only tell the families story, but to raise awareness of Schwartz Jampel Syndrome and to show how incredible rescue dogs are. A little bit of love can go a hell of a long way.”

    The book, which is released today, was written by Wendy Holden and tells the story how the boy and the dog found each other and formed their special bond. It can purchased through Amazon (link below), in both hardback and Kindle format.

    “On a bitterly cold night in January 2012, Haatchi the dog was hit over the head, and abandoned on a railway line to be hit by a train. The driver saw the adorable five-month old Anatolian Shepherd moments too late. Somehow, the terrified puppy survived the blood loss from his partially severed leg and tail and managed to crawl away to safety.

    Fortunately, Haatchi was rescued, although vets couldn’t save his leg and tail. A Facebook appeal brought him to the attention of a couple of kind-hearted dog lovers, Colleen Drummond and Will Howkins, who are also the dad and stepmum of Owen (known to his family as Little B for ‘little buddy’). One look at Haatchi’s expressive face told them all they needed to know and the lucky dog moved into the Howkins’ family home just six weeks after almost being killed.

    Owen, now aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder which causes his muscles to tense permanently. Largely confined to a wheelchair, he was withdrawn and anxious and found it difficult to make friends. But when Owen awoke the morning after Haatchi arrived he immediately fell in love with the severely disabled rescue animal who would, in turn, rescue him.

    This book tells their inspiring true story – one astonishing little boy and the very special dog who has changed his life forever.”

    Owen and Haatchi will be at Basingstoke Waterstones from 12:30 – 1:30 pm on Saturday 15 February 2014 for book signings and photo ops. Come along if you can to meet this wonderful pair.

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    April 12th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    In short – loved it! Matt Whyman has a way of writing that really captures your attention and brings you in to his family and home life. You can feel through his writing how his feelings for little Hercules changed from ‘not my dog’ to being his best bud and hero. True to life anecdotes, which in my opinion don’t seem exaggerated for readers at all but just a recap for the author. I could say so many things about this book but don’t want to give it all away but would rather people pick up / download / borrow a copy and read it for themselves! A must read for any dog owners – little or large (dogs that is)!

    By: Laura Russell (Doggie Book Club member)

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    April 11th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Thanks to the generosity of the author, we have three FREE signed copies of the above book to give away.

    If you would like one, please just drop us a line at bookclub@dogsinthenews.co.uk (UK addresses only please).  All we ask is that you provide an honest review in return.

    Karen has also written “The Complete Guide to House Training Puppies and Dogs” and is currently working on her third book, “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dog Trainer”. She is a member of the Animal Care College, and has worked as a professional dog trainer and veterinary referral behaviorist since 2001. You can find out more about her at her website.

    This concise and informative book will give you all the tools you need to train your dog, with step by step instructions using different positive training methods so that you can choose which one best suits you and your dog. It will also help you to gain a deeper understanding of why problems occur and how to solve them.

    The comprehensive problem solving section explains how to deal with some common behavioural problems such as excessive barking, digging, jumping up, begging and more. The author explains that attempting to dominate our dogs is detrimental to the affinity of our relationship with them. Treating our pets with consistency and compassion will result in dogs that are well behaved, confident and happy, allowing us to build a strong and mutually enjoyable relationship with them.

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    April 10th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Matt (the author’s) home is full of animals and children. But there is room for one more pet in the Whyman household (or so Emma, Matt’s wife thinks): a Dachshund called Hercules. Hercules turns the house upside down and Matt struggles to come to terms with the fact that he owns a Dachshund, even to the point where he hides from other dog walkers whilst out with him. However, it doesn’t take Matt long to fall in love with this adorable dog.

    Full of humour and beautifully written, you won’t be able to put this book down! This book is a must read for all animal lovers or pet owners, whether you own a dog, cat, chickens or mini pigs you will find this book entertaining.

    By: Katie Tovey (Doggie Book Club member)

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    February 1st, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Synopsis:

    Could you give up your dog? This book, an emotionally charged story of three outsiders, raises that question. Bill lives at the Donegal Country Club. He’s a gentle giant of a dog, but maybe Bill’s just too big. He certainly doesn’t fit in with the other canines in the neighbourhood. Another oddity is ex-model Glenda. Even after her husband dies, other club wives still think she’s a gold digger. As for ten-year-old Ruby, her father remarried and has a new baby. Afraid of losing his love, Ruby tells a lie that forces her grandfather to give up Bill. In the end, the dog’s journey leads to healing—for Ruby, Glenda, and Bill’s Master.

    “Gentle and wise without kitsch or sentimentality” – reader review on Amazon

    Why we chose it:

    February is a cold month best spent indoors with a good novel, so we chose two titles this month. The author was kind enough to provide us with a review copy and we read it in one sitting so we figured that our book club members would enjoy it too.

    What you need to do:

    Buy the book (see below), read it, and wait for our review, out on or around the middle of February. With it, we will offer you some questions and discussion points to think about, and welcome you to comment and share your experience of the book with us and other members. We are not looking for great literary debates – we just want to offer fellow dog lovers a communal reading list and a place to discuss what we’ve read.

    Don’t forget you can also join us on Goodreads.

    Where to buy:

    Follow the links below to get in on Amazon UK and US. (Unfortunately only Kindle editions are available in the UK at the moment, but you can order the paperback from the US site.)

    (If you use a different format of e-reader, or are from somewhere other than the UK or USA, and want me to post links for them too, please let us know!)

    Get Ahead!

    Next month’s title will be “Show Dog” by Josh Dean.

    And don’t forget to check out this month’s other title, “The Love Dog” by Elsa Watson.

    If there is a particular title you’d like to read in the future, do let us know!

    Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy our little Doggie Book Club, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

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    February 1st, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Synopsis:

    When a Hollywood tabloid asks her to write an expose on a reality television dating show called “The Love Dog”, Samantha is thrilled. Hired as the canine star’s handler, Samantha finds that digging up dirt on set is harder then she thought. Apollo, the show’s star, is a sweet Golden Retriever who takes his job as the love dog very seriously. He only wants to help couples fall in love and make everyone on set happy. Mason Hall, the show’s producer and leading man, is down to earth, charming, and… very attractive. If Samantha doesn’t reveal to the world that the reality show isn’t exactly real, her new career will be over before it starts. But when she falls in love with Apollo and Mason, will she still have the heart to expose The Love Dog’s dirty secrets?

    “Watson’s rendering of the inner life of a dog is pitch-perfect.” – Susan Wilson, author

    Why we chose it:

    February is a cold month best spent indoors with a good novel, so we chose two titles this month.  It is also, of course, the month for love – this book, released in paperback on the 14th, seemed ideal! The publisher was good enough to provide a few free copies and we thought that our readers would enjoy the light hearted title.

    What you need to do:

    Buy the book (see below), read it, and wait for our review, out on or around the middle of February. With it, we will offer you some questions and discussion points to think about, and welcome you to comment and share your experience of the book with us and other members. Like I said, we are not looking for great literary debates – we just want to offer fellow dog lovers a communal reading list and a place to discuss what we’ve read.

    Don’t forget you can also join us on Goodreads.

    Where to buy:

    As we said, the publisher was good enough to provide us with four free review copies – please just drop us an email at bookclub@dogsinthenews.co.uk to request one (UK addresses only).

    Or, you can follow the links below to get in on Amazon UK and US. Kindle editions are also available.

    (If you use a different format of e-reader, or are from somewhere other than the UK or USA, and want me to post links for them too, please let me know!)

    Get Ahead!

    Next month’s title will be “Show Dog” by Josh Dean.

    And don’t forget to check out this month’s other title, “Just Bill” by Barry Knister.

    If there is a particular title you’d like to read in the future, do let us know!

    Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy our little Doggie Book Club, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

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    January 29th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Handbags & Poobags was a really good fun read, only slightly interrupted by going on holiday and forgetting to take it with me!

    A funny, cheerful and sometimes all too truthful view on what it means to own a dog. From the many dog poo bag incidents to the complete lack of social life and then right the way round to the endless joy and inexplicable connection between human and dog this book has it all. The best bit? it doesn’t end how many dog books do!

    The long list of pet names for Basil must surely strike a chord with every dog owner out there, although if I called ours Bassie Booboos I think he may look at me as if I had gone mad! It was a wonderfully easy read, you could pick it up for five minutes or settle in for an hour. I would recommend this book to anyone, it would be a lovely gift for someone who already has a dog or who would like one but hasn’t quite got there yet. Wonderful writing and an honest account of Basil’s life.

    By: Amy Skilton (Doggie Book Club Member)

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    January 11th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    First of all, I could read this book happily as at the beginning the author said that the dog doesn’t die!

    I could not put this book down. It is about a party-girl whose responsibilities catch up with her quicker than she could ever anticipate when she buys a puppy with her boyfriend. She tells about the humorous and stressful everyday adventures of dog ownership in London, some making me cringe, while others had me laughing out loud. I could relate to most of her stories and would thoroughly recommend this book to all dog lovers! It is well written and easy to read.

    I give this book 4 out five paws up!

    By: Abbie (Doggie Book Club Member)

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    January 3rd, 2013Laura P (Editor)Book Club

    Handbags and PoobagsSynopsis:

    Author Alice Wright was more interested in “parties, premieres and private members clubs” than puppies until her boyfriend suggested that they adopt a Boxer together. This book chronicles the first few years of Basil’s life, and how Alice adapts to the invasion of her sofa, dog hairs on her clothes and carrying poo bags in her handbag at all times.

    It will be a familiar tale – or serve as a warning – to anyone who has added a dog to the family for the first time, and stories of Basil’s antics will amuse and entertain anyone who has ever let a dog into their lives.  Unlike most canine novels, this is not about a heroic dog or a dog who dies; this is about an ordinary city dog who farts at inappropriate moments, rolls in smelly things in the park and who somehow manages to take up space on the bed every night, despite an expensive dog basket on the floor!

    “A love story with a twist in its very waggy tail. I think Alice Wright is really Bridget Bones!” – Beverley Cuddy, Editor, Dogs Today Magazine

    Why we chose it:

    Alice was kind enough to send us a few review copies, which always butters us up when compiling this list! We also wanted to start the year off with a light read, something funny and heart-warming rather than too heavy or philosophical. From the very first page, we were drawn into the life of a dog owner in Soho and wanted to share this story with our readers.

    What you need to do:

    Buy the book (see below), read it, and wait for our reviews, out over the course of this month. With these, we will offer you some questions and discussion points to think about, and welcome you to comment and share your experience of the book with us and other members. Like I said, we are not looking for great literary debates – we just want to offer fellow dog lovers a communal reading list and a place to discuss what we’ve read.

    Don’t forget you can also join us on Goodreads.

    Where to buy: 

    British members can find “Handbags and Poobags” in paperback on Amazon.co.uk for £4.94, while the Kindle edition is just 99p at the moment.

    Our American friends can also find “H & P” on Amazon.com: the Kindle edition is $1.29, and the paperback will be $6.99

    (If you use a different format of e-reader, or are from somewhere other than the UK or USA, and want me to post links for them too, please let me know!)

    Get Ahead!

    Next month’s title will be “Just Bill” by Barry Knister.  This can be purchased on Amazon, but we have one free copy to give away to any UK member.  Just email bookclub@dogsinthenews.co.uk to enquire.

    If there is a particular title you’d like to read in March, do let us know!

    Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy our little Doggie Book Club, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

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