Tuesday, 9 September 2008

So where the hell have we been...?

Today, I managed to update the website for the first time in two months and there's some terrific new dogs looking for new homes. So why the apparent lack of activity? In fact, the rescue has been pretty busy but I've had no time to update the website because I've been so flat out with my day job as a film-maker, particularly with our latest documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which aired on BBC1 on August 19th, to five million viewers and quite a bit of fuss.

At the moment, I'm on Anglesey taking a few days out. The weather is dreadful so the dogs and I have the beaches to ourself, and to be honest it's bliss... I have with me Boz, Tickle and Jake who think they have died and gone to heaven. Boz thinks seagulls are flying rabbits and he spends so much time chasing them I am having to shovel food into him - to little avail as he's such a naturally skinny boy.

One of the rescue cases we've been busy with is Gemma, a little lady we rescued from Dunboyne pound in Ireland last year. We rehomed Gemma some months ago to a home in Cheshire where all seemed fine. But a couple of months ago, her new mum got back in touch to say she was having problems with her. Gemma was becoming increasingly unpredictable, aggressive even. We're not quite sure what had gone wrong - but the situation appeared to be so serious that there was even talk of putting Gemma to sleep.

We asked Paula Summers a behaviourist from Merseyside to assess Gemma for us and she reckoned that in a different home, Gemma would flourish. So two weeks ago, we moved Gemma to a foster home in Somerset where she proved a real star - getting on wonderfully with the three resident dogs. There was a bit of attention-seeking barking - soon nipped in the bud by foster mum Kerry - and, er, she ate the sofa when left one day. But other than that, she was fine - a really sweet, very affectionate girlie.

So it was with some confidence that last Thursday I dropped her off with Anna and Andy, a lovely couple who live in an idyllic stone cottage on Anglesey with their two dogs, Millie, a gorgeous rescue Belgian Shepherd and Robbie - a truly amazing 20-yr-old mixed breed still going strong (hybrid vigour, you see...) So far so good - and we all met up on Sunday for a walk along the sand dunes. Gemma's eyes were simply sparkling. Lovely to see. And to think this girl could have been put to sleep.

Now you behave yourself, Gemma and do us all proud.


Anonymous said...

Well done on your programme, it's about time someone took issue with the disgusting practices endorsed by the Kennel Club. I really hope some good comes of this. We have a gorgeous black retriever cross called Bess that we rescued from the Border Collie Trust a few years ago (she has some collie in her somewhere). Sadly despite your programme the BCT have decided that they will not boycott Crufts next year, citing that the dogs they rescue are not covered by the Kennel Club; which of course begs the question as to why they are supporting them then. Anyway good luck to you.

Rachel Bartlett said...

I have visited your web site Black Retriever cross several times but have only just realised that you made the remarkable film Pedigree Dogs exposed. I thought your program was excellent, and it rang very true for me personally.
I had a much loved Flatcoat retriever with full pedigree and Cruft lineage and was devastated when he suddenly died of cancer at the age of three and a half.
It was only after his death that I found out there was so much cancer in the breed and also that breeders were reluctant to talk about it. The Flatcoat retriever society do have a research program which looks into the instance of cancer in the breed but I suppose it is up to the breeders to widen the mating circle.
The Flatcoat is a gorgeous dog but I was put off getting another pedigree and so now share life with a young flatcoat X collie who is just great.
When my dog is a bit older i hope to be able to offer a home to one of your rescue dogs.

Jemima Harrison said...

Thank you for the kind comments!