Episode 41 - Paralysed sheepdog, poisoned show dog, rescued retriever and more

In this podcast Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill choose their pick of the week's dog news stories, and share their opinions of them. As usual there's a mixed bag of stories - and you can comment on anything you hear and suggest stories for discussion by getting in touch with the show via email, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
 
What would you do if your dog was unable to get around through illness or injury? Well when Abayed, a sheepdog in Jordan, was mistaken for a stray and shot, his shepherd owners took him to the Humane Center for Animal Welfare where he was fitted with a rear leg cart. Abayed is the first dog in the country to have a cart, and hopefully the way he has adapted to his new way of getting around will help save the lives of other dogs in the country.
 
When Charley Wilcock got her Jack Russell, DD, she had no idea that she was deaf. However, she adapted her training methods and has taught DD a variety of tricks, and the pair has even joined a local dog display team. She wants to let people know that dogs with disabilities can live happy lives and are just as trainable as a dog without disabilities. Charley wants to assemble a display team of all disabled dogs which could help raise awareness of what these dogs can achieve. You can get in touch with her 07792 376226 or email chartoon@hotmail.co.uk. You can see a video of DD on Facebook , and if you need support with a deaf dog, do contact the Deaf Dog Network.
 
Debbie highlights the case of a young crossbreed dog who was handed into a police station by a member of the public, and who was described as "skeletal" weighing around half of her ideal weight. Even after treatment young Jess is in a critical treatment, and it is unsure what the outlook for her is longterm. But how is a dog allowed to get into this state, and what is the recovery process like for a dog who has been compromised in this way?
 
Julie has the sad and strange tale of poor Cruz, the show Samoyed who died soon after the Westminster dog show in America. His owner and handler maintain that he was poisoned by "activists". However, PETA have pointed out that Cruz had had "bark reduction" surgery and if any damage has been done to the dog it was by his owner and handler, not by any strangers concerned about his safety. Debbie and Julie discuss why no post mortem was performed on the dog, and how this case is more bizarre the more you find out about it.
 
It's Crufts week and Debbie shares the Friends for Life Finalists. This is the competition run each year by the Kennel Club which celebrates dogs which have changed, and in some case saved, human lives, and the winner is decided by public vote. It's a lovely way to honour dogs who have served their humans in a variety of ways, and this year's nominees are as heart-warming as ever. From the disabled dog who inspires confidence in his disabled young owner, to the exemplary retiring police dog who has devoted his life to making our world a safer place, to the assistance dogs who brought their people together, to the pet who gave his family a reason to carry on, they are all wonderful dogs - and yes you can vote for them all!
 
As usual, Schmaltz Corner, seeks to send listeners away with a smile, and this time Julie has the story of Pifas, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever who was lost, ended up on a frozen Lake Michigan, was rescued, ran off, was taken into rescue, and then had to be neutered before his owner could have him back. This story has it all including an action hero who leapt into action and took to his kayak to rescue poor Pifas - so does it measure up to Debbie's exacting standards? Probably not! You can see photos of the plight Pifas found himself in on the Daily Mail site, and the Huffington Post has a follow up story of Pifas being reunited with his owner.