Paws here! Merry whatever from Rob & Rocco Rinder, and Harry Potter’s pets!

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Paws here! Merry whatever from Rob & Rocco Rinder, and Harry Potter’s pets!

Time to focus on the furry four-legged loves of your life! This week, dog friendly London, looking after your pets during the holiday and cleansing shampoo!

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

With TV’s favourite legal eagle Robert Rinder as his owner, French Bulldog Rocco is ready to unleash…

For the past few weeks I’ve been on my own. Well, not entirely, as the Judge would never do such a thing. But if I had to take the stand, this French Bull Dog could swear under oath that he has been left to navigate the pre-festive period sans owner, as he who should be obeyed is off treading the boards.

In Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs would you believe? As he was reluctant to reveal his character when he first told me about the offer, I set about making my own deductions, as I’ve been taught by the best.

Initially my money was on Ms Neige Blanche, what with drag being so current (where is our invite to the show, Ru Paul?), but quicky dismissed the idea despite his uncanny ability to walk in heels.

Snow white with Rob Rinder

After a long nap – well, what else is a lonely dog meant to do? – I rose, refreshed, and realised that as a vertically challenged Jewish man (aren’t they all) he was more likely to be cast as a) Sleepy (he loves his 40 winks); b) Dopey (that would irk him) or c) Bashful (as if!).

But I was wrong. Turns out he is playing The Man in the Mirror at the Bristol Hippodrome, a role he was born to play because he is just so, well…  judgey.

“Who is the fairest of them all?” becomes a rhetorical question on his lips, but he has to respond to Lesley Joseph, who is playing the wicked queen.

The WhatsApp messages he has sent me seem to suggest that Chigwell Dorian is anything but wicked and arrives nightly with heimeshe delicacies to nosh between acts.

Rob and his dog!

If Blondie’s Debbie Harry drops by, I would suggest that Lesley offers her some bagels to block her ears, because the boss sings One Way or Another as past of his schtick and covers are always painful for the original artist.

As the cast are in a theatrical bubble and all attempts to have me play a reindeer failed, I will just have to wait until the Judge comes home. He has dropped hints about a studded Gucci collar, but that could be for him.

Finally I’d like to remind you that dogs aren’t just for… that holiday we aren’t meant to mention.

So Merry Whatever!

Rocco Rinder


Fur flush

Allpaws shampoo

Santa Paws is on his way to some homes, but allPaws Cleansing Dog Shampoo (£14) isn’t tied to a sleigh, because it is a natural way to provide faithful hounds with a bath without irritating delicate skin.


Bow wow book

Want to know the best dog-friendly coffee shop, hotel or parks in London?

Bow wow book

This book, compiled by cult dog magazine Four & Sons, is packed full of locals’ tips on how to enjoy the city with your pooch.

Full of original photography and four-legged advice on where to go fetch a stick (both in London and just beyond), how to meet other dog owners or where to get a schnauzer’s beard trimmed, you won’t want to leave home without it – or Fido.

Does anyone call their dog Fido any more?

Holiday help

Two By Two Vets in Finchley prides itself on being wise before the event. Hence the seasonal warnings from clinical director Dr Andrew Monchar. “There is a lot of chocolate about during the festive period, but it contains theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs and cats, so store it well out of their reach!”

Two by 2 vet with a dog

Dr Monchar also recommends supervising all pets near open fires and log burners, and taking care with sharp poultry carcass bones, which when broken can get lodged in the throat and stomach. “Please also be aware of small pets living outside,” he adds. “They require extra-warm dry bedding, regular checks and unfrozen drinking water.

“And antifreeze for cars tastes sweet to pets, but is potentially fatal if swallowed. Please clear away any spills and don’t let your pet drink from puddles.”

For care, vaccines and health checks895 visit or call 020 3865 8905


Potter’s pets

Nothing escapes Christmas, even reluctant Jews. So it is no surprise that Harry Potter World in Leavesden, Watford, is under a foot of snow. There’s only an inch or two actually and it’s fake, obviously, courtesy of the big art department at the studio. But the tall fir trees and lavish spread of turkey, spuds and rabbit mould chocolate mousse on the long tables in Hogwarts Grand Hall evoke festive in a very filmic way.

Hedwig the owl

If you haven’t been to HP World yet, you really should, as it offers access to every aspect of the creative brilliance that has made the films so remarkable. Regular visitors always find something new to see amid the props, sets and costumes on display and the latest addition is pet corner.


There are real animals – as in Hedwig the owl and Fang the Neapolitan Mastiff, who belongs to Hagrid – and fantastical ones like Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix. As a tribute to the real animals who appeared on screen, there is now a wall of pet thesps, with the cats who played caretaker Argus Filch’s Mrs Norris and Hermione’s Crookshanks.

These are no ordinary felines, as Mrs Norris can spot students misbehaving and Crookshanks knew that Ron’s rat Scabbers was not a rodent, but a man in disguise. For animal lovers, the wall of four-legged film stars is a reason to visit, with or without snow.

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