Currently, I barely have enough time to breathe let alone blog, as we're flat out on Pedigree Dogs Exposed 2 - so apologies for the silence. Our first viewing with the BBC is on January 4th, so there'll be no Christmas for me this year, but I did find time last night to be interviewed by Victoria Stilwell for her Positively podcast. For those who have more time than me and want to listen, our chat starts between a quarter and a third of the way through the podcast here.
I do urge my friends over on the Stop the BBC from Making Another PDE Facebook site to listen as you'll hear no less than three clear admissions of puppy abuse on my part perpetrated during the interview itself. The victim is the puppy pictured above. Well, he wouldn't stop barking.
His name is Wrigley (although he's more usually called Pupster) and his mum is a tiny working-bred English Setter who was pregnant when she arrived from Ireland as a rescue. Who was Dad? Best guess is a mountain goat. That's our 5ft-high Yew hedge he's jumped on. Wrigley is a fabulous pup - a real ray of sunshine; we should have rehomed him, really, but he makes us laugh and in the way that puppies sometimes are, he's been a positive influence on the rest of the dogs.
I first met Victoria and her husband Van at Crufts in 2008. We've stayed in touch very sporadically since then and we met again a couple of weeks ago at the APGAW meeting on dog-breeding at the Houses of Parliament. We were given permission by APGAW Chairman Neil Parish to film the meeting, which prompted the Kennel Club to pull out. Neil Parish read out the following statement at the start of the meeting:
"The Kennel Club was keen to be involved in APGAW's meeting regarding health and welfare developments in dog breeding since these are issues which we consider to be of paramount importance. However, in view of the decision to allow filming by Passionate Productions, the Kennel Club has elected not to attend since we do not trust those involved to present an unbiased account of proceedings."
Fortunately, the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and the Dog Advisory Council felt able to attend to speak - and in the audience were many others from dog welfare and dog interest groups.
The Kennel Club's decision to not attend was disappointing. I do understand its concern but can't help feeling that they are currently receiving very poor PR advice. No-shows do not, in the main, go down well with the public.
And television loves an empty chair.