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Beautiful Beau Print E-mail
Monday, 27 July 2015 09:43

I'm sure many of you remember Beau's Blog that charted the chaotic first year in the life of my flat coated retriever puppy.  Headstong and brimming with self confidence he'd been quite a challenge to train but we were turning the corner when he was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer - at just 17 months old.  So sudden, so shocking, so unfair.  He had one session of chemotherapy but rather than let him suffer any more, I cradled him in my arms and said goodbye.  Flat coats do have a predisposition to cancer but it is rare in such a young dog.  Beau's tragically short life was action packed - as though he knew he didn't have long...

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Depressed dogs Print E-mail
Monday, 06 July 2015 11:22

Dogs are naturally social animals - so being left home alone for hours on end can result in aggression or destructive behaviour.  A study by a UK vet group suggests that as many as 80% of Britain's 10 million dogs suffer from depression and other disorders.  Earlier this year the PDSA blamed problem behaviour on dogs being left alone for hours while their owners are at work, and in June a Swiss study claimed that our frenetic lifestyles cause dogs psychological stress and anxiety.  Many vets are treating anxious dogs with anti depressants such as diazepam, xanax and fluoxetine which may offer respite to the owner but without the additional use of therapy, the dogs never learn to cope with their anxiety.  Drugs may be a quick fix but with time and patience many dogs learn to relax without any medication at all.  Surely therapy, rather than drugs, should be a caring owner's first port of call?

Make friends ... get a dog Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 July 2015 09:01

Way back Jilly Cooper's memorable book The Common Years made clear that if you want to meet new people and make friends, the best way to do it is ... get a dog! Years later, research by insurance company Direct Line shows that nothing has changed - 29% of owners have met lifelong friends while walking their dog.  It's intriguing to learn that 52% of Britons think people with dogs are friendlier than lone walkers and 46% believe that loving animals makes a person more attractive (57% in London)! 

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