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Archive for April, 2008

Read this!! Good job I am far too large for a fashion handbag… these humans seem to get crazier by the day. I feel very sorry for those tiny creatures (even if I cannot stand their high pitch barks!).

Pet owners warned over latest celebrity craze – the pooch pouch handbag for mini fashion dogs
By GEORGE WEYMAN 20th February 2008


All the rage: A woman takes her dog for a walk in a ‘puppy purse’

Animal charities are warning pet owners to keep their dogs on a lead after the latest in a range of carry cases for small dogs was launched.

Dog owners can now carry their pet in a small fashion bag, slung across an arm and hanging loose from the waist, in a style made popular by Hollywood celebrities Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson.

But the bags, which cost as little as £22, could cause serious distress for dogs, the RSPCA has warned.

It has joined animal welfare charity Four Paws in condemning the bags, which have helped create a boom in small dogs like Chihuahuas and toy Yorkshire terriers.

“A dog is not an accessory and people should not be influenced by fashion,” an RSPCA spokesman told the Daily Express.

“The RSPCA is concerned about the practice of carrying dogs in handbags as some celebrities do. It could actually become distressing to the animal.

“A dog’s welfare should always be of primary importance.”

The charity warns the growing demand for miniature puppies so popular with celebrities has fuelled a cruel and illegal puppy smuggling trade from Eastern Europe.

The puppies are often bred in filthy conditions before being taken to street markets, it claims.

The abolition of EU border controls means there are no checks on whether dogs have been inoculated or are old enough to be transported.

And the dogs are often traumatised by the experience, with as many as 30 dogs a time being crammed into the back of car boots in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland for a painful journey to Britain.

Animal welfare charities warn the latest trend in dog handbags can only increase the demand for small pups.

Designer carriers are considered de rigueur for celebrity dog owners and such upmarket labels as Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton report a roaring trade in the pooch ‘purses’.

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Rent a dog?

Can you imagine renting a dog?
I know that my Alphas have to PAY other humans if they can’t look after us. So this is the other way round… Quite unfair and sad for the K9s, I think!
“American pet rental service is cruel and treats dogs like a ‘timeshare’ say animal charities”

By BEN CLERKIN – Last updated at 16:04pm on 20th April 2008

A dog is supposed to be for life – but can now be for only a weekend or even just a day thanks to a new pet rental service.

Dog lovers who do not have the time or space to keep a full-time pet can hire a part-time one with Flexpetz, an American company setting up in the UK.

But the new dog borrowing scheme has been heavily criticised by animal charities who say it is cruel because renting out dogs like a “timeshare” only serves to confuse and upset them.

pound dogsThe dog borrowing scheme has been heavily criticised by animal charities who say it is cruel

However, such is demand for the service that 100 people in the UK signed up to the members-only scheme before it was even recently launched, after proving popular in the US.

The new London branch currently has five dogs, with most of the animals retired show dogs, which have received full obedience training, and are checked by vets every three months.

They are also fitted with tracking collars in case they are lost.

Members pay an annual fee of £50, a monthly subscription of £49, and £30 per visit by “their” dog.

The fees cover leads, bowls, beds and food which are supplied for every trip.

Marlena Cervantes, a behavioural therapist who launched the service, said that ideally the dogs are shared by only two or three “owners”, and live in a kennel the rest of the time.

“Our members are responsible in that they realise full-time ownership is not an option,” she said.

“They range from a five-year-old girl whose parents work full-time to a 65-year-old woman who’s not physically able to walk a dog every day.

“The demand has been incredible and although we only have five dogs at the London branch we are going to significantly increase that number.

“And we are seriously considering opening more branches across the UK.

“We screen all our members first to make sure they are suitable. We are looking for commitment and compassion and if people do not measure up we do not let them join.”

But the idea of sharing a dog between multiple “owners” has been questioned by animal welfare charities.

Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko, said: “It is with deep concern that the Kennel Club has heard about FlexPetz.

“The concept of renting out dogs as a ‘timeshare’ equivalent is detrimental to the dog, leading to all kinds of confusion for the animal.

“It also raises many questions about the kind of person who is making money at the dog’s expense, what happens when the dog gets older and no one wants it, and what happens in the situation where people who are renting the dog don’t want to give it back?

“It is also of concern that different people will have different ideas about house rules, leading to even further confusion for the dog when it is not given any consistency with which rules to follow.”

There are already many ways in which dog lovers can get access to dogs, even if they don’t have time or space to own one, she added.

“These include volunteering to walk dogs from a local rescue centre, or helping dog related charities which run schemes to send their dogs ‘out’ for the weekend to socialise while they are in training, such as Hearing Dogs for Deaf People,’ she said.

“These dogs need our support first – and there’s no charge to people for the privilege.”

Dogs Trust behaviour advisor Vicki Horsley said: “One critical element of responsible ownership is the commitment to care for a dog for the whole of their lives and not to regard them as disposable.

“Rent-a-dog schemes simply encourages a throw-away attitude that so often leads to dogs ending in rehoming centres.

“The instability that would come from frequent changes of home is likely to lead to chronic stress and anxiety, which could present itself in a variety of health and behaviour problems.”

Pet charity Blue Cross animal behaviourist Ryan Neile said: “When a dog is passed around from one person or home to another, they may become confused, distressed and unpredictable.

“We will often spend months working with such dogs to repair the damage of the past.”

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wild garlic soup surprise

Hi all,

I’m back again. Sometimes one needs a break, and life has been quite busy recently. But now spring seems to be here for good, and today we ventured into the woods, collecting some wild garlic and having a lovely swim in some really muddy pond. Hah! I needed that!

Alpha Su then made a wild garlic soup and tried to smoothe it in a blender. Of course, the whole stuff was spitting around in the kitchen, everyone screaming and cursing, and just Mali and me licking the delicious soup from everywhere on the floor and the kitchen units. What a delight!

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