Episode 37 - Gay dogs, stray dogs, runaway dogs and more

It's been a week of varied week of dog news and Debbie and Julie discuss their pick of the stories in this podcast where dogs meet news. You can hear an interview in this episode with Jenny Brown whose dog Tiga hit the headlines this week. Having listened to all this, if you'd like to comment you can get in touch with the show in various ways, and you can also suggest stories for inclusion. Warning: this podcast contains opinions!
 
Debbie starts the show off with a story that was shared around most of the social media sites this week - the plight of the "gay" dog who ended up in rescue and was in danger of being put to sleep. The poor dog in question was rejected after his owner saw him mounting another male dog - a behaviour which is part of normal canine interaction - and assumed his dog was homosexual. The unusual position in which the dog found himself caught the attention of many dog lovers and his story was shared and shared, with the result that he has now found a new home. However, the debate this story has stirred up continues.
 
Julie's back to talking poo again - but so is Ben Fogle, who's been complaining about the amount of dog poo left unscooped in his local park in the Kensington and Chelsea area of London. Ben has some suggestions to solve the problem - for example every time he clears up after his own dog, he clears up a dropping from another dog. But Ben wants to go further, he wants to establish a National Poo Day when we all go out and about and clean up our parks and streets. This is a nationwide problem, with Councils in Edinburgh under pressure to employ more wardens to pick up dog poo. So could you bear picking up other people's dogs' poop? And do you think a mass clear up would sort the problem out long term?
 
The Internet attracts a lot of criticism, but sometimes the power of social media to unite dog lovers shines through, and surprisingly it's Debbie who has chosen to highlight this story which overflows with the milk of human kindness. Manuela Schafer had been trying for years to catch a stray dog, Shaggy, so she could look after him and find her a good home, but to no avail. When Manuela appealed to California animal rescuer Eldad Hagar he put a request out to his many Facebook followers. The result was 40 caring and determined volunteers converging on COLUMBIA, South Carolina to facilitate the rescue of the elusive dog. After a two hour search through heavily wooded terrain, Shaggy was found and has now been adopted into a new home.
 
When Margaret Charles fell over during a dog walk in Suffolk in the U.K., Maisie her Cairn Terrier took off and that was the last that was seen of her for eight days. Snow was falling and lying on the ground and temperatures were dipping to minus 6, and despite many volunteers looking for Maisie on a daily basis, Margaret began to give up hope. Then Jenny Brown and her Beagle, Tiga, got involved in the search. Tiga was given Maisie's blanket to get her scent, and after two hours of looking Tiga tracked the missing dog down to where the lead she was still wearing had trapped her beneath some bushes. Included in this show is Julie's interviewed Jenny about her and Tiga's adventures. Maisie is now home safe and sound and she is not the only dog Jenny and Tiga have helped locate, and they have assisted and resolved several Dog Lost UK searches for missing dogs.
 
How many dogs do you consider safe for one person to walk simultaneously? There are plans to limit the number of dogs that can be walked by one person on Hampstead Heath to four, and the move has stirred up both complaint and praise. Debbie has been finding out what people think about this issue - both pet owners and professional dog walkers, and has found that the number of dogs being walked may not be as important as the dogs or the handler involved.
 
And after an unusually happy and upbeat show, Julie round proceedings off with Schmaltz Corner which aims to send listeners away with a smile. Teenager Ben Ownby was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at only 17 months of age. He is allergic to adhesive and unable to wear a continuous glucose monitor, but his assistance dog Dakota monitors it for him. Labradoodle Dakota sits beside the pool as Ben participates in his school's swim team practices, and you can see some lovely photos of the pair here. But does this lovely story escape a stomping from Debbie? - no of course not, but what aspect will she pick on this time? Listen and find out.