We had a two week cruise over in the Caribbean calling at ten islands. As you can see from this photo taken in Antigua, the Ventura is a huge ship and can carry 3200 passengers. I had to give four talks while onboard.
On Grenada, I went tubing on a river with rapids swirling down through the jungle. Of the 12 of us doing it, I was the only one who got a puncture and got left, deflated and marooned on a rock until rescued by the leaders of the flotilla.
A Feature in The Sunday Times
October 28th 2012
This was a piece in the Sunday Times Home Section about whether pets have a sense of humour.
A Daily Mail Feature
August 20th 2012
This is a picture of me amongst the fallen trees in Mancombe Woods next to our property. One of the many photos taken to accompany the feature. The Daily Mail sent down a photographer two days before the piece was due to be published.
But they didn’t like the pictures he took so they sent down another one, Richard Austin, only hours before the deadline and he snapped away for ages and then sent in a selection of pictures to the Daily Mail from his laptop on site. Just shows the importance of having good photos to accompany features.
Dora arrived at our home in Somerset having travelled by road from Madrid.
As you can see from the photo, she soon made herself at home.
Leader of the Pack
July 10th 2012
We were flown out to Madrid for three days’ of filming for Nat Geo Wild, where we partook in an episode of "The Leader of the Pack" along with two other couples.
We were assessed by Cesar Milan as to our suitability to take on a seven month old Yorkie cross terrier from Birmingham Dogs’ Home called Dora.
At the end of the filming, we were told that we were going to be her new owners.
Me in the Doghouse
June 26th 2012
Had a feature in the Dail Mail about wives preferring their hounds to their hubbies based on my own experiences. It was accompanied by a great cartoon from Andy Ward who caught my wife's likeness well.
As for me? Well I do have a rather hound-dog expression most of the time. But no, we don't have a bone-patterned settee. The feature provoked a great deal of interest with 72 comments to the on-line piece and was followed by a couple of radio interviews.
Arthur-Rex became Crewkerne's mutt-of-the-moment when featured in the local paper. He had an appearance on the front page and inside there was an interview with him alongside his pawtrait.
When he was trotting down the high street, someone was heard to say, 'Ooh, there's that
famous little doggie.' So besides his own tail, he's made local tongues wag.
We're to meet Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer
June 6th 2012
We've just learnt that we've been chosen as one of three couples from the UK to fly out next month to take part in Cesar Millan's new TV show, The Leader of the Pack, Here's the press release about the show.
Cesar Millan and Nat Geo Wild are proud to announce a new 12-part series Leader of the Pack starring Cesar Millan. In the new series, Millan combats the global issue of canine abandonment, giving 'unadoptable' dogs a second chance and coaching families from across Europe who are vying for the opportunity to adopt these lucky pups.
With countless dogs abandoned across the globe and carrying scars from their experiences that make them poor candidates for adoption, Millan steps in to rehabilitate those dogs whose uncertain futures are threatened with lifelong incarceration or euthanasia.
Transferring extreme cases to his Dog Psychology Center — this time in Spain — Millan will rely on his framework dog behavioral expertise as well as his instincts to isolate each dog's problem issues, reverse bad habits and give dogs the confidence and ability to join their new 'pack'.
He will employ his 'exercise, discipline and affection' method, overcoming hurdles with dogs that are particularly skittish or aggressive to painstakingly rehabilitate each pup at his center and prepare them for adoption.
But Millan's biggest challenge may be training the families from the UK, Italy and the Netherlands who are hoping to give the dogs a new lease on life. Three families from each country will travel to Spain for each episode to compete for the chance to adopt one special pup, and their dog skills will be put to the test.
Millan will evaluate each potential adoptee through a series of assessments designed to gauge their canine compatibility — and identify any red flags — before choosing the dog's best match.
Our Pooch's Passport
May 25th 2012
With the prospect of Arthur-Rex flying out to Madrid to be filmed taking part in a TV show for National Geographic Wild, he had to be micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies and his passport prepared, complete with a rather aloof-looking photo.
May 18th 2012
We had a video made by Tom Allen from Allen Computer Services to introduce ourselves and
Arthur-Rex, our pooch. This was required by the production team of Cesar Millan's new TV show called the Leader of the Pack as we applied to take part in the show.
Making a Meal of It
April 8th 2012
If you come for supper at the Welshmans', you might have to sing for it - or at least read for it.
Pets on Parade is Published
April 2nd 2012
My sequel is finally published. Arthur-Rex has a nose at it, but seems it makes him dog-tired.
A Stingray Leaves Her Mark
January 24th 2012
Just completed a two week guest speaking engagement on the Braemar where we visited seven Caribbean islands including Cuba and Grand Turk. There was a very friendly atmosphere onboard and the four talks I had to give were well attended and the audiences appreciative, laughing in all the right places.
Santiago de Cuba was an eye opener especially as we toured the city in a clapped-out 1958 Chevrolet, the seats of which had lost their spring, and one suspected the suspension to have gone the same way as we scraped along the roads; while gear changes were ear deafening grates, indicators were hand signals, and opening of doors left handles in your palms.
On Antigua, I went swimming with stingrays. In the preamble before taking a powerboat out to the reef, we were instructed on the characteristics of the rays and told if one were to approach you looking for food you might get find yourself getting a suck - stingrays don't have teeth. If that were to happen, just stand still, don't pull away as the ray could then suck even harder and you could end up with a 'lovebite'. OK.
With that information in mind when a female the size of three dinner plates flapped towards me and sucked the inside of my left thigh, I didn't move. So she sucked harder and harder. Ouch. I was left with a huge circular weld. Guess I was lucky she didn't attempt a tasty nibble between my legs. Back on board the powerboat, someone took a picture of my inflamed thigh.