Hello NewsHounds, we’re back! This week features a Caribbean Street Dog named Dora, Max and his amazing PDSA award, our new ambassador Star Dogtastic and a wonderful collaboration between The Wild at Heart Foundation and BARC London. We’ve also got some PAAWstival updates and news of our very own National Day honouring pet friendly businesses.
Dora the Explorer
What have you been watching on TV? A regular topic on private Zoom calls these days. Not historically a TV buff we have watched pretty much everything that has been recommended over the last 11 months. One of my recent favourites is Death in Paradise, they always get the bad guy, surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.
We were heartened and a little surprised to hear that DI Neville Parker, AKA Ralf Little the goofy DI who is scared of every creature that moves, including handsome Harry the lizard, is thankfully not allergic to dogs. Ralf who plays DI Parker in the show recently posted a heart-warming video on Instagram detailing how he and his team fell in love with, and rescued a little street dog who they named Dora (the Explorer).
Ralf and his colleagues fell for street dog Dora when she visited them on set in Guadeloupe during filming of the shows last season. Dora was all set to fly back to the UK where the team had secured her a forever home, when flight rules changed due to lockdown. What to do with little Dora? Ralf arranged for her to stay with some friends on the island before flying her 1300 miles to his home in Florida.
DI Neville Parker may not quite have got his happy ending in the last episode of Death in Paradise, it looks like Ralf and Dora certainly got theirs, just in time for Valentine’s day. Watch Ralf’s video diary here Ralf Little (@ralf.little) • Instagram photos and videos.
PAAWs Out and About #NationalPetsAreAlwaysWelcomeDay
As we wake up to more positive news every day and the narrative shifts to life slowly getting back to normal, we continue to be grateful to our pets for their companionship over the last year, and to all who kept us safe during this pandemic. We are looking forward to getting out and about to our favourite pet friendly haunts over the coming months. We are also looking forward to meeting some of you at our very first live PAAWstival 2021 in September. To celebrate and give a big nod to all those businesses where Pets Are Always Welcome, we have created our very own National Day. A celebration of all things pet friendly and a warm up for PAAWstival, there will be lots of ways to get involved in National Pets Are Always Welcome Day on 28th August 2021.
National Pets Are Always Welcome Day sponsored by PAAWstival 2021 and the PAAWstival Dog Awards combines our love for our pets, our charities and our belief in tolerance and kindness towards all who love a pet as part of their family. We will be showcasing our pet friendly friends on a dedicated ‘Pets Are Always Welcome Day’ section on our PAAWstival website, where incidentally you will be able to enter our charity Dog Awards very soon. If you’ve got a favourite pet friendly venue that you would like us to feature do let us know.
Drop us a line to email@example.com.
Order of Merit for Max in the Lakes
Congratulations to Max the 13-year-old Springer Spaniel who received the PDSA Order of Merit recently. The PDSA Order of Merit is known as the animal equivalent of an OBE. It recognises animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or society, above and beyond companionship. Max is the first ever pet to receive the award since its inception in 2014.
In 2006, Max’s owner, Kerry Irving, was the victim of a road traffic accident. This left the fit, outdoor-loving 46-year-old unable to walk. As a result, Kerry’s mental health declined and he was diagnosed with severe depression. Two years after the accident, Kerry met Max and their incredible bond gave him a reason to walk again. They climbed Ben Nevis twelve months later – a challenge that proved how far they had come together.
Kerry, a keen amateur photographer started to show Max enjoying his walks in the Lake District on his business Facebook page. As a result, followers grew as more people began visiting the page to enjoy Max’s adventures. Kerry dedicated the entire page to him, renaming it ‘Max out in the Lakes’.
Since 2017, Max has met over 10,000 people through personal meet-and-greets, charity walks, public appearances, school visits and book signings. He has helped to raise nearly £300,000 for a number of charities, including PDSA.
Max’s popularity as a social media star provides a feel-good factor and he has inspired many through dark and difficult times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Max has provided comfort, hope and support to thousands who joined him on walks via Facebook Live. At a time when many people were anxious, Max was there.
Max has become an ambassador for the positive impact that animals have on mental health and wellbeing. PDSA is honoured to award him with the PDSA Order of Merit, for showing the contribution that animals make to human lives, beyond ordinary companionship.