Episode 36 - hairspray at Crufts, dogs in the delivery suite and more

In this week's podcast you can hear Debbie and Julie talk about some of the more unusual stories that have hit the headlines recently. In the online radio show where dogs meet news you can listen to lively discussions of the latest goings on in the dog world. Views are expressed with honestly and candour - and if you'd like to comment or contribute stories you're very welcome to do so.

Crufts - the biggest pedigree dog show in the world - is just over a month away and already it's claiming headlines. The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, has decided to allow exhibitors to use hairspray and chalk to enhance the appearance of their dogs. These substances were forbidden up until last year, and when four dogs tested positive for them (two for chalk, two for hairspray) the Kennel Club was considering disqualifying them from the competition. However, a group calling themselves the Elnett revolutionaries protested, and won the day, bringing a change of heart from the Kennel Club. So what do you think? - is it fair enough to help a dog's appearance out, or should they be left as nature made them?

There are many issues to take into account when considering if you can offer a dog a good home - but one family took into account how many Facebook "likes" their photo received. The children of the Cordell children put a photo of themselves on the social media site holding a sign that read, "Hi World, We want a puppy. Our Dad said we could get one if we get 1 million likes. He doesn't think we can do it. So like this!" Predictably the photo attracted the million likes within thirteen hours - and while this family have had a before so know the commitment involved, and are intending to get a rescue dog, is this a dangerous precedent to establish?

A rescue Shar Pei has become the subject of a court case in Scotland. Missy was rehomed by Shar Pet Rescue to her new owner, but on the condition that she would be spayed the following week. Sadly this did not happen, and the new owner bred Missy to her other dog, a male Shar Pei, and is trying to sell the surviving puppies from the litter (one of the five died). Is it thorough enough to rehome dogs on a "neutering contract" like this? Should all dogs be neutered before they are adopted? Shar Pet Rescue is demanding the return of Missy and her four pups, and the outcome of the case may well have knock on effects for all rescue dogs.

Would you want your dog in the delivery room as your child was born? Well one woman did and she persuaded St Michael's Hospital in Bristol to let her bring her Labrador Barney with her when she went to the hospital to give birth. Barney was allowed as he is a registered Pets as Therapy dog who is used to visiting hospitals - but is it fair to put a dog in the middle of such a strange situation, especially as one can never predict whether a birth will be straight forward, or be complicated in some way. Many people are horrified at the thought of a dog in the delivery suite as it might bring in germs - do you think a dog is any more of a risk than a human?

Anna Carey has a warning for dog owners after her two year old Miniature Schnauzer died from eating a bone. The bone in question was a Bob Martin’s premium ham bone which splintered as Burtie ate it and ruptured his stomach. The bone was bought from Tesco, and the store has removed the bone from its shelves while Bob Martin paid over £2000 for Burtie's vet's fees without admitting liability and are considering the future of the product.

So after some serious subjects, we come to Schmaltz Corner to send you off with a smile. Julie has the touching story of Buster, the dog who's allergic to grass so has been making hay in the snow which acts as a protective barrier. But Debbie has spotted the one weak spot of the story, and for once the problem is geography. Listen and find out what the problem is.