Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Farewell to Oscar the celeb dog (and other doggy news stories)

Flicking through the free London paper Metro this morning, you could have been forgiven for thinking the dog lovers on the editorial staff had taken over (and quite right too!).

The big photo story on page three was devoted to gorgeous GSD Oscar. The beautiful dog belonged to Big Issue seller Dennis Gill, who sells the magazine in London's West End. Many a celebrity fell in love with friendly Oscar, and Dennis snapped the famous folk with his four-legged friend. He reports that George Clooney even took Oscar for a stroll on the lead, and that the only star to ever get growled at was Liam Gallagher, who responded by giving Oscar a kiss on the head and telling him he was "beautiful".

Sadly, 12-year-old Oscar gave in to cancer in his old age and is now playing beyond the Rainbow Bridge. It's a lovely tribute to him to see him in the news.

Dogs are often the closest and dearest friends of people in housing crisis, and it's worth remembering that programmes such as Hope Project exist to help with veterinary care and ensure these close friends can stay together in times of trouble.

In happier news, Metro also featured Dottie the Border Collie and her goalkeeping skills. Collies and Collie types need masses of exercise and stimulation, and seven-year-old owner Grace Field keeps Dottie on her toes by practicing dribbling, scoring and penalty shootouts with her. Grace has now become a star striker in her local (boys'!) football team, and it's all thanks to the fact that Dottie is so talented at batting away goals with her paws and nose that Grace reports she "can never get past her".

Grace's mother Lisa adds: "Dottie loves to play ball in the garden. Not many goals get past her, although sometimes she does run off with the ball."
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