The dog that eats like a horse

by Leanne Thompson on September 15, 2010

The next time you complain about how much it costs to feed your dog, or bemoan the fact that he’s eating you out of house and home, spare a thought for Gary Randfleish in New South Wales, Australia. His dog, a Pyranees named Snowbear, really does eat like a horse – as he’s roughly the same size as one.

Snowbear weighs the same as an average adult male, 75kg, and towers over his fellow pooch Beethoven (naturally a St Bernard). Snowbear gets lavished with attention wherever he goes and between him and Beethoven they’re eating everything Mr Randfleish can afford to give them.

Gary Randfleish commented about his two very hungry dogs:

“He’s a very friendly, calm soul who loves people. He’s my best mate, and him and Beethoven make quite a pair and match each other quite well.”

Mr Randfleish is an experienced dog owner, having owned many different breeds in the past. He has owned large dogs such as Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds too, so he knows about hungry, high maintenance dogs. In his opinion however, Snowbear (more…)

Top 5 Cartoon Dogs

by Mark James on August 22, 2010

As all good things must inevitably come to an end, so does Dream Dogs’ week long pageant of pooches. If there’s one common theme that’s been present, it’s that each dog we’ve talked about has been a real dog. However, the moment is upon us to look at the staple of kids animated TV shows – the cartoon dog.

There are so many animated shows featuring dogs that this was a hard one to trim down to five. Inevitably, the results are controversial. There are some that you may have thought as an obvious shoe-in that cruelly didn’t make the cut. There was much discussion here at Dream Dogs Towers over who should be included. Other technicalities arose, such as whether K-9, Doctor Who’s radar-eared sidekick should count as a dog at all – after all, he was real in some sense – or Dino, Fred Flintstone’s pet who acted like a dog but looked like a Brontosaurus.

Fisticuffs ensued and noses were bloodied, but after the dust settled we were left with this, our list of the top five cartoon dogs.

Scooby Doo

Arguably Hanna Barbera’s flagship cartoon show; the show stuck to a tried and tested format, with dull-as-ditchwater Fred, minx Daphne and spectacles-dropping frump Velma playing the straight man to Scooby and Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rodgers. Scooby and Shaggy would split from the rest of the gang on the hunt for ‘Scooby snacks’ (whatever they were), and what would follow was predictable. Scooby and Shaggy would try to escape the monster by pretending to be chefs or barbers, Scooby would fall into a trap laid by Fred and someone would appear behind a secret wall panel.

Scooby Doo and the gang

Scooby Doo and the gang

Don’t even think of mentioning (more…)

Top 5 UK Soap Opera actors who own dogs

by Mark James on August 20, 2010

I have to make a confession: I’m not a huge fan of soap operas. My knowledge of Coronation Street begins and ends with Albert Tatlock, and the last time I watched EastEnders, Nick Cotton had broken in Reg Cox’s flat to nick his war medals.

Despite my indifference, soap operas are huge everywhere. Whether it’s a dour Mancunian grumpfest like Albion Market, the ten-gallon, shoulder padded exploits of everyday Texan oil barons or wigged out Mexican daytime soaps about doctors, inheritance battles and unwitting incest, there’s no mistaking their popularity. In salutation to the humble soap actor, we at Dream Dogs give you our top 5 UK soap star dog owners.

Patsy Palmer

The 38 year old actress, who found fame playing Bianca, the freckled foghorn and bedeviller of cockernee thickie Ricky in EastEnders, owns a Shar Pei called Layla. Although you may think that she’s only ever been in the soap, she’s also starred in Grange Hill, Drop the Dead Donkey and The Bill, but ‘let’s face it, who hasn’t been in The Bill? She also played a teen with a face like a welder’s bench in (more…)

St Bernard Breed Profile

by Leanne Thompson on June 9, 2010

The St Bernard is instantly recognisable by most people as a noble giant struggling through blizzards to rescue stranded, frostbitten travellers, reviving them with brandy kept in a cask fastened around his neck. The image of a rescue mission is true, although the St Bernard never had a cask of brandy around his neck; that was purely fictitious. A gentle giant, the St Bernard is a loyal companion who gets on well with people and other animals, responding well to training and a family orientated background.

The national dog of Switzerland, which is where the breed originated, the St Bernard was recognised by the United Kingdom Kennel Club in the late 1800s with the first St Bernard Club being formed in 1882, followed by the formation of several others. This eventually culminated in the English St Bernard club, formed in 1922, the parent club for the breed.

Typical St Bernard facts

Height: Male 75cm (30 in)
Female 70cm (28in)
Weight: Male between 75 and 91kg (165-200lb)
Female between 68 and 91kg (149-200lb)
Average litter size: Between 5 and 10, although can be more.
Life expectancy: Between 8 and 11 years, although sometimes they can live to 13 or 14 years of age.
Good with children: Yes
Kennel Club classification: Working dog

Colour of a St Bernard

St Bernards are typically white with tan, orange and red-brindle patches on the body, which can vary in intensity. The muzzle, chest and legs, along with a blaze down the (more…)

99 St Bernards escape dog breeder

by Leanne Thompson on October 3, 2009

Well you’ve heard of the 101 Dalmatians escaping Cruella De Vil, now we have the sad plight and unfortunately more real story of 99 St Bernards escaping Mary Ellen Collis.

Yesterday, 51 year old Mary Ellen Collis pleased guilty to failing to meet the care and welfare needs of 14 St Bernard dogs and to causing unnecessary suffering to a further 85 St Bernards.

The dog breeder was formerly of Wardana Kennels, Brigstock and the RSPCA was alerted to the dogs condition by the general public.  In November last year, the RSPCA, a vet and the police were appalled at the state of the dogs they found at the dog breeder’s kennels.

The dog kennels were (more…)

Stud dog causes BBC controversy

by Leanne Thompson on February 5, 2009

Fans of Eastenders will know that Gumbo, a slobbering, huge, cuddly St Bernard, has made a real impression on the soap, however, he is also the centre of much controversy this week.

As regular readers will know, it was not too many months ago that the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed and the follow up news that the BBC has dropped Crufts from its broadcasting schedule after 15 years has put the BBC at the centre of many arguments over how the Kennel Club encourages dog breeding for appearance as opposed to health.

It emerges that two-year-old Gumbo, whose real name is Shamus, is (more…)

One hundred St Bernard dogs rescued by RSPCA

by Darren Jamieson on December 1, 2008

The RSPCA has rescued one hundred St Bernard dogs that were abandoned without food or water at a kennels. Sadly, two of the dogs that were rescued later died due to the poor condition that they were found in. The dogs that were rescued were found locked in cages, and had been there for days. They included adult dogs and puppies.

The dogs were found after breeder Mary-Ellen Collis disappeared without trace, her whereabouts are still unknown. Her kennels, the Wardana Kennels, are in Northants. The RSPCA rescued the dogs after the police were alerted to the dogs’ distress by a (more…)