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The pet nanny, a doggy newspaper and a way to help animals in Ukraine

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Pet perfection

Mary Poppins never had to cope with animals, as the Banks family didn’t have a dog. If they had, Lisa Baptiste (pictured below) would have been the ideal hire because she is The Perfect Pet Nanny. “I grew up with dogs, hamsters and guinea pigs and my weekends were spent at the stables,” says Lisa, who looks a­ er four-legged creatures and chickens when their owners go away. With many becoming dog and cat parents during the 2020 lockdown, she’s never been busier. “Lots of people got cockapoos without realising the breeds’ mix makes these dogs much more than just cute and fluffy. The cocker spaniel is a working breed raised for hunting, which makes it high energy, while the highly-intelligent poodle needs constant brain stimulation.” It is this kind of knowledge that has made her so popular and, although not a trainer, she will introduce corrective behaviour alongside company and love. Over the past year, Lisa has noticed a change in the behaviour of some cats. “The return to work has not just been distressing for dogs, but for cats too, who had to adapt to having their owners home all day and are in some cases exhibiting signs of separation anxiety,” says Lisa. She offers bespoke premium services, such as company and care visits by the hour (perfect for puppies through to senior dogs), daily visits for cats and other small pets while their owners are away, and house sitting for holidays. She also offers pet parent coaching to help with scenarios including settling in a new pet to the family, understanding the demands and needs of your pet, animal communication and general pet care advice. www.theperfectpetnanny.co.uk

Lisa Baptiste

Here’s Rocco

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

People can be so rude. After extending a brunch invite to a young pup last week, I found myself seated beside three elderly women who, unbeknownst to me suffered from cynophobia. For those unversed in etymology, that’s an irrational fear of dogs, though I would attribute their scathing looks and curled lips to mere dislike.

“I didn’t know we’d be dining with dogs,” barked one of the women, who had an uncanny resemblance to Cruella De Ville without the style. “We should get the bill,” said her companion in questionable footwear. My guest – a black Tibetan Terrier – seemed oblivious to their sniping. Being young (he turned one in December) and optimistic unlike my jaded self, Albus (that’s his name) was focused on the food and the novelty of being in a restaurant. As a seasoned diner on a human food diet, I could only smile at the snacks his owner had brought to placate him. Good Boy Crunchy Chicken & Calcium Bones is a toddler treat and I declined his offer to share. I have standards and a public profile to maintain and prefer not to chew in public.

I was tempted to yelp when the women left, but I was glad the judge had spotted their doggy disdain. No one eyeballs with contempt quite like a Rinder and I’m proud to be one of them.

I would, however, question his cinema taste, as he’s been going on about the Oscar noms, citing The Power of the Dog as his favourite. Starring his mate Benedict, it’s a moody movie, but no one was more moody than me after seeing it as there isn’t a single canine in the cast. So much for dog power.

Until next time

Rocco Rinder

Help Them

Romania, Poland, Hungary, Lativa, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy are making exceptions for pets being ferried to safety alongside their fleeing Ukrainian owners. There are many charities working to help families with pets fleeing from Ukraine. One, which is working to help those traversing the Siret border crossing, is animal protection association Casa lui Patrocle. Located in Suceava, 40km from the Ukrainian border, the organisation has set up emergency places to welcome any pet that enters Romania.
Please consider donating via: casaluipatrocle.ro/en

 

Ruff Read

First to the letterbox, it’s annoying when the dog gets first dibs on the morning paper. Protect your daily news by distracting the mutt with three issues of his own that crinkle with sound. Available from Amazon £11.99.

 

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