Episode 44 - Appealing dogs, a water rescue, borrow a dog and more

In this episode of the podcast where Debbie Connolly and Julie Hill discuss the latest dog related news, there is a mix of stories. As usual, you can comment on anything you hear by emailing the show, or by going to the Twitter or Facebook page.

Debbie revisits the tragic death of teenager Jade Lomas Anderson, who was killed by her friend's family dogs last week. Jade's family want the law on dog attacks to be changed - but a knee jerk reaction on legislation could lead us into hastily brought in laws that dog owners live to regret. Although our heartfelt condolences go to the Lomas Anderson family, it's the owners of dogs who need to be brought to justice; and all owners need to be aware of the right way to bring up their dogs to be well-socialised, well-behaved and not a danger to anyone. Debbie has written a blogpost on the Safepets UK website on the subject, and hopes lessons can be learned to prevent further attacks.

In happier news, Julie has stories in which the appeal of dogs was recently demonstrated. When Andrew Neil took his dog Molly to work with him. Molly was seen wandering around the set of the BBC's This Week program - at one point falling asleep on the sofa with her head in historian David Starkey's lap - and more people watched the show than ever. Meanwhile in the USA, a "photobombing" dog, who popped up in photos his owners posted of an apartment in Chicago they were hoping to rent, the dog's hide and seek poses helped the apartment rent within 24 hours.

In Canada a dog was celebrated as a hero after he rescued two girls who had fallen into icy water. Debbie discusses the tale of Lab-Husky cross Rocky, who swam out into the North Saskatchewan River to save Samara and Krymzen. Some dogs particularly enjoy water training, and in the UK you can give your dog a try with Mind Your Dog, who offer a variety of training opportunities.

If you haven't got time and space for a dog of your own would you like to "borrow" one from time to time? But would you trust your dog to go off for a walk with a stranger? Julie highlights the new Borrow My Doggy website - but questions if it meets dogs' needs, and whether it's better to volunteer for your local shelter, or the Cinnamon Trust than register with this website.

Debbie likes the sound of a new dog friendly park in Dallas which will be opening in May this year. Do you visit venues that welcome your dog more often than you do those where Fido is not welcome? Are businesses who shun our dogs missing out on our money? What responsibilities accompany the opportunity to take our dogs to public venues?

Schmaltz Corner aims to send you away with a smile, and this week Julie hopes the story of Tessa will do just that. Tessa was just hours from being euthanised in a Los Angeles shelter, and was sadly unable to see or walk. Annie Hart, a volunteer from The Bill Foundation helped get Tessa the treatment she needed, and nurse her back to health. Tessa is now looking for her forever home. See Tessa's remarkable recovery in this moving video.

Don't forget that April is National Pet Month - the time to celebrate our pets, promote responsible pet ownership across the UK, highlight the important work of pet care professionals and working companion animals and help raise money for the nation’s pet care charities. Find out more at the National Pet Month website and get in touch with them via Twitter.