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Labrador Retriever

Marley & Me and me

So I finally got to see the film Marley & Me. Guess what? I cried. I don't mean sniffling in my tissue, and a bit of demure wiping of the odd tear away, I mean the kind of heartfelt sobs that shake you, and leave you fighting to draw the next breath in. I mean when your face screws up of its own accord, your mouth twitches and you feel a wail rising from deep inside you, and doing its best to escape you. (Of course I suppressed the wail for the benefit of those around me.)

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Endal, dog of the millenium

Endal became Allen Parton's assistance dog - the rest is history!

I am my dog's Mom

I was listening to the British comedian Alan Davies telling a story about his Alsatian dog, and I noticed that he spoke of the dog as referring to him as Alan rather than Dad. This is something that becomes apparent about dog owners once you've been around them a while - some refer to themselves as their dog's mom or dad, others imagine the dog using their Christian name. I don't think there's anything wrong with either one, but I don't actually think that's how our dogs relate to us.

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A day at the beach

We had our day at the beach yesterday, and it was marvelous after the winter we've been having. The dogs had a great time; as soon as I opened the boot and let Buddy out, he was leaping about, quivering in excitement that he was going to get a run on the beach. Star takes it all a bit more in her stride, and her passion is digging. What was really enjoyable was that the beach was not crowded, so although we had the leads with us, we didn't have to attach them once. Bliss!

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Full of beans!

Buddy and Star running on the beach.

Paddling

Buddy and Star paddling, with Aberdovey in the background.

Throw it already!

Buddy waiting impatiently for his tennis ball to be thrown.

At the beach

Messing about at the beach.

The joys of (almost) spring

As I type this, Star is lying in a patch of sunlight in front of an open door. This is one of her favourite positions. She likes it best with the door open, so that should the need arise, she can potter out into the garden, but she will accept a door closed situation. Eventually. Today though, the door stands flung open, because on opening it a lovely spring day, complete with warm sunshine, was waiting for us. (It had been waiting an indecently long time in fact, as we tend to lie in on a Saturday morning.)

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Everyone's a critic!

You know some people say that dogs and children don't mix? Well in my opinion dogs and violins don't mix. I have recently started to learn to play the violin. I can play piano a little, and quite a few woodwind instruments ( it's all the same basic concept - a tube with holes to make pitch variations), but stringed instruments have always eluded me. I was bought my first guitar when I was under ten years old. Now, quite a few years later, I still only know a few chords, and most of those I get wrong. I also take ages to change from one chord to the next.

So I decided to ask for a violin for Christmas. Not Christmas just gone, oh no, this was way

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Sharing

258 - Andrew Cotter Olive and Mabel and celebrating Mutts

Sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter made charming videos of his two Labrador dogs Olive and Mabel, which kept us smiling in lockdown and beyond. He talks to Julie about Dog Days, the book he has written about the ups and downs of life with his dogs, and their rise to social media stardom. Photographer Olivia Pritchard loves mutts - mystery mixed breeds as she puts it - and has created a stunning fine art coffee table book in celebration of them. She talks about her experiences meeting the dogs that feature in the book, and about her own rescue dog.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.