Paws for Pets: Rocco Rinder, canine photographer, Israel guide dogs, housesitters and a couple of great gadgets

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Paws for Pets: Rocco Rinder, canine photographer, Israel guide dogs, housesitters and a couple of great gadgets

Rocco Rinder is getting his tail in a tizz about the chagim

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Rocco and the Judge
Rocco and the Judge

The Judge’s Dog

Au fait with the law and all mutt and Jewish matters, all rise for Rocco Rinder

Oy. It’s happening. No, not the Judge playing Cher’s Believe for the umpteenth time, but Rosh Hashanah. It could be worse. Passover is when the family laughingly try to provoke me into searching for the afikomen. I do it to amuse and for the lamb shank after the seder, but there are limits to what I can do with apples and honey. When you’re the personal property of a legal eagle, remaining immaculate is essential and honey puts me in a sticky predicament. I know it’s a favourite ingredient of the zen bakers who make those trendy organic dog biscuits, but in its natural form it’s sticky on the paws. Yom Kippur is also sticky because of the fasting. Though there is nothing in the Torah about dogs abstaining, it just feels wrong to eat in front of him and I know my place (at the end of his bed when I can). I have seen some dreadful hound behaviour on High Holidays, such as the time a terrier made of with the shofar before it was blown. I get that it’s loud, but if it’s out of earshot, I’m respectful. With manners like mine, my atonement list is short, though the Judge thinks prolific use of b**** is a sin. But what else does a stylish French bull dog call a bossy Bichon Frisé? Suggestions on a New Year card please!

Chag Sameach



Canine Close-Ups

Photographers are rarely smothered in kisses by their subjects but for Emma Slade it’s a perk of the job. Her subjects are dogs and the affectionate ones “prefer to cuddle or kiss me rather than pose,” explains Emma, who once had a sensible job in a bank.

“For 16 years it was long hours and extreme stress,” says Emma who didn’t get a dog until January 2019 when Schlappohr her cockapoo was bought on a whim.  “He changed my outlook on life and I realised there was more to life than earning a good wage,”says Emma who quit her job with no next plan. “I had no idea  what I would do, but I obviously love dogs and enjoyed photography as a hobby, so combined them and became a dog photographer!”

She also took courses, worked with mentors, learned the craft and swapped tailored dresses and high heels for lying on the ground in muddy parks.

“I love it. I love meeting new dogs who have their own personalities, as do their owners. It can be sad sometimes as I’ve photographed a few dogs nearing the end of life, but that old adage about working with animals is not true for me whether they are well-trained or  puppies who aren’t. I’m not a patient person at all, but when I’m photographing dogs, I seem to have all the patience in the world.”

Her canine rapport is evident in the stunning photos, but effort is required.  “Some dogs go through many treats during the session while the owner tries to get them to sit, stand still, or whatever pose we’re trying to achieve.

There are also owners who get quite stressed and embarrassed if their dog isn’t doing what they want.” Emma’s solution is to get everyone to relax and not surprisingly dogs tend to obey quicker than their owners.

Paws in Action Dog Photography​


Transforming Lives One Dog At A Time
It would probably come as no surprise that the dogs trained by the Israel Guide Dog Centre have an incredible transformative impact on the lives of Israelis who are blind or severely visually impaired. However, it may be more of a surprise to know the impact that these amazing animals also have on IDF veterans suffering from the often paralyzing effect of PTSD as a result of all they have been through for their country.

PTSD can have the most terrible impact on someone’s life. Even the sound of a phone ringing can send them into shock, and the thought of venturing outside becomes impossible. Broken sleep due to recurring nightmares can leave the sufferer too exhausted even to think properly.

But all this changes when they are partnered with one of the Centre’s specially trained dogs.

Their calming influence, ability to comfort when needed and unquestioning love and support turns lives around, enabling these brave veterans to retake their rightful place in Israeli society.

The UK arm of the Israel Guide Dog Centre is proud and privileged to be bringing one such partnership to the UK in November for their Annual Reception. This is the first time that an IDF veteran has travelled to the UK with their service dog for such an occasion, and the charity is looking forward to welcoming them.

For more information about the work of the Israel Guide Dog Centre or about the visit in November please contact


Angela Laws with Stella

Pet’icular People

Being asked to do a survey after a hotel stay is not uncommon, but it’s never offered to pets. If it was Angela Laws would get five star ratings from the pets she looks after. Head of community at Trusted Housesitters,  the company is the one you need when the cost of minders and kennels gets scary, but still want to vacation. If the thought of inviting a stranger into your home to look after your animals is more alarming than an excessive boarding bill, think again. Trusted Housesitters was founded by animal lovers, and provides verified sitters with references so you feel safe and in control. Sign up with them and you can scroll through a list of available pet lovers who enjoy living in different parts of the UK or the world for short or extended periods. Angela is one of those sitters, who with her husband John has looked after animals across the globe.

Her love for the wards in her temporary care is best illustrated by the photos she has of each one, many of whom she has minded multiple times. Ziggy was only five months old when the Laws first looked after him. Jewish and living with his family in north London, Ziggy redesigned a pair of shoes and prescription glasses under Angela’s watch, but they were hers – “ And it was my fault for leaving them where his teeth were.”

Teasel the cat welcomes the Scotland-based Laws to her Barnes abode whenever her  parents go to their other home in Massachusetts. “Teasel helps me when I’m working from home,” says Angela who has looked after the obliging cat for the past nine years. Meanwhile in San Diego, Barclay eagerly awaits the Laws arrival as they keep to the regimented time tab set by his owner, a retired naval commander. “We do go “at ease” at times though,”admits Angela who gets

Mother’s Day cards from Barclay. “He goes for a drive every afternoon at 4.00 pm in his Barclay Mobile, a Mercedes Benz of course, to his favourite dog park and sits waiting inside the car in the garage at 3.30pm. He can tell the time.”

Stella belonged to Brian and Eileen Cohen in Los Angeles, but with her passing ties were not broken with the Laws.

“The first time we sat for Brian & Eileen they went to Israel for three weeks. Stella was very food orientated and John was about to share his sandwich when I said ‘NO!! you can’t give her that. She’s Jewish!’ It was a ham sandwich.”

Ask Angela about Bruno the donkey from Dubai, Casey in California (also Jewish) or Coco the Sussex Burmese and she’ll regale you with anecdotes about them or their siblings or the inevitable new pet after losing the first. But the Laws aren’t unique (well, a bit) as Trusted Housesitters has others like them and signing up also gives the sitter use of a free 24/7 Vet Advice Line when you are away. Maybe you’ll want to go now. or call 08081 785384


Drink Up

Make it a happy and healthy New Year for your pets by investing with a PetSafe® Drinkwell® Butterfly Pet Fountain  (£28.99)

It encourages reluctant water drinkers, because it’s running and fresh, so they stay hydrated and has a carbon and foam filters to remove pet hair, debris and bad tastes from the water. PetSafe® also make the Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder (£174.99), which allows owners to manage pet mealtimes from anywhere using their smartphone. Connect the feeder to your home’s Wi-Fi and enjoy convenient meal scheduling and smartphone alerts that update owners when a pet’s been fed, when food level is low, or the feeder is empty.



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: