Everyone say hello to the incredibly cute Max. We had a chat with his owner to learn a little bit more about this gorgeous boy!
Snooze on sofa or romp around the park? Snooze on sofa.
Favourite Toy? Any stuffed animal.
Favourite Food? Turkey Ham
Tell us a bit about Max ...
Max is very shy at first but soon comes to life when he gets to know you! he loves long walks in the forest and swimming in the sea! He loves to cuddle and is a big sook!
Tell us in a sentence why you love Prize Paws ...
We love Prize Paws it's such a simple and lovely idea! Easy to enter, fantastic prizes and friendly staff!
I'm hugely grateful to Mike for being so open in this interview and also for allowing me to chat to Piglet .... that really was the dream. Enjoy!
Part of the reason you started your Facebook page 'Piglet and Me' was to help raise awareness of mental health issues. Would you mind telling us a little bit about your background and why raising awareness is important to you?
It was to raise awareness of mental health, we also try to raise awareness of the bull breed and rescue dogs.
I myself have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder after spending many years in turmoil and being fed antidepressants from one GP to the next. It was only when it got so bad I was hospitalised several times was I properly assessed and the correct treatment given did I manage to have a reasonable life.
Piglet herself was put into rescue at only eight months due to anxiety that manifested itself in extreme spinning. Prior to going into rescue she was almost put to sleep due her issues. She is now settled and has no anxiety but is a bit of a loon.
I’m open about my issues because we have to speak up, if we don’t we end up hiding in the shadows and allowing the stigma rule our lives. Mental health is a huge issue and only by being open do we get other to understand and remove the stigma, I am not my illness.
What advice would you give people struggling with mental health issues?
Talk, I know it’s hard to do when you are in the throes of despair but people need to be aware. Sadly unless it’s extreme few people understand or see the signals so at times we need to reach out and let others know we need help. You are not alone, one in four people suffer from mental health issues in one form or another, you are not abnormal, you are not and oddball or crazy, you are going through something a lot of other people have gone through or are going through. Be brave and reach out, there is so much help out there sometimes you just have make the first move and talk.
You rescued Piglet in 2016. Can you tell us a little bit about her?
She’s a loon but she’s my loon. She was bought as a pup by a family who I think had no real experience of English bull terriers and wasn’t really prepared for their rambunctious nature. She developed anxiety and the family struggled to cope, they sought advice some of which was to have her put to sleep. The previous family did the right thing and placed her into Arundawn Dog Rescue so she could get help. I lost my previous rescue bullie to a poor heat and was heartbroken and then a friend told me about Xen (as she was called then) and we got in touch with the rescue, specifically Elaine who does so much for the dogs. A week or so later we went to visit Piglet when she was ten months old and fell in love, after a 500 mile round trip she came home, we carried on with her treatment started by Elaine and within a few months she was both med and anxiety free. We set the social pages up and the story began.
How has she helped you?
She keeps me company and she knows when I’m struggling, she stays with me and I’m busy with her I don’t have time to ponder on darker times. She is such a character she never fails to make me smile or laugh. She is my freelance therapy dog. She is better than any medication I take.
If I was considering adopting an English Bull Terrier what advice would you give me?
You’re not getting a dog! You think you’re getting a dog but you’re not!
I tell everyone this, an English bull terrier is a creature in its own right, it’s like no other and is more commonly referred to as the English bull terrorist or a toddler in a dog suit. If you are after a nice obedient dog that will walk to heel then get a border collie, if though you want a dog full of character, loyal, loving then you need a bullie.
More than anything regardless of what dog you want in your life do your research and when you have do a little more.
Any top training tips?
I wake up with her and let her out for her ablutions, she gets fed right on time and walks are regular. She sits either next to me or in me, she has the choice of four beds but prefers sleeping across mine.
I think she has me very well trained at the moment!
In 2018 you threw yourself out of a plane wearing a pink tutu to raise money for charity. What can we expect this year? Will the tutu be making another appearance?
The tutu and an unicorn headwear will be making an appearance after I was press ganged during a charity auction. It will be donned out in a bike ride but I have used the tutu for various charity raising events previously. Not sure what we have planned this year but we have a few irons in the fire.
Hi Piglet. We’ve had a lovely chat with your dad and I was hoping we could ask you a few questions. Would that be ok?
What’s it like living with Mike?
Coolio, mes gotted im tained jus rite nos. Mes luvs mes famalam dey alls coolio Liked mes mum an de agerteen, mes steelin foodies fim is room.
Tell me a bit about the cats in your life. Do you get on with them?
De meowfia! Dey weevil alls ov dem, dey scatch mes snoz alls de timely cos mes jus wans toos pays wiv dem. Dey wanteded by de FBI toos cos dey nourty.
Which would you say is your all time favourite …. tennis balls or treats?
Haz u gotted don, wer r dey, u hidden dem, fow dem, fow dem, fow dem!
To learn more about Piglet and Mike head over to their website www.pigletandme.uk or you can follow them on Facebook
This year the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been voted Britain's favourite dog breed as decided by ITV viewers. Yay! So we spoke to Chris Clark Co founder, Chairperson and slave to the staffies at Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue, a charity set up in 2008. Chris runs the charity alongside a small team of dedicated volunteers.
What’s the most common reason for these dogs needing to be re-homed?
Most of the dogs that come in to the care of Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue are abused, abandoned, neglected strays although we do also help owners who are dying or fleeing domestic violence.
You must have re-homed hundreds of dogs. Is there any one dogs story that stands out for you and if so could you tell us about it?
Bertie was a lovely staffy who had been so badly let down by another rescuer. Having been given thousands in donations from the public they failed to give him the proper care which resulted in him losing the sight in his eye. By the time we got to him he was only weeks away from losing the sight in his remaining eye. However, with thanks to the wonderful Claudia Hartley Opthalmologist and months of dedicated care from the team here at SBTR, Bertie’s vision was saved and he now has a wonderful life considering he only has the one eye.
What would you say are the main breed characteristics of a staffy?
Playful, robust, affectionate, nursemaid, highly intelligent, courageous, loyal and pure and utter love machine cuddle monster.
How many dogs are you currently looking to re-home?
We currently have 11 dogs for rehoming. We can hold up to 15 but we don’t overload ourselves. We are about quality of care not quantity in numbers. Our rescue is run by unpaid volunteers and we like to keep a few foster homes spare just incase any of the foster carers take ill or there is an emergency.
Obviously you want to make sure that all your dogs go the best homes. What checks do potential re-homers go through?
We have a very strict home checking policy in place. After the home check is complete we take up personal references, veterinary references and landlord check. If at that stage we are not happy then we won’t re-home. We turn down around 60% of applications we receive. Before I started my own charity, I volunteered for three other rescues that were for Staffordshire Bull Terriers. I was shocked at the poor standards of care and their rehoming procedure.
If I was considering re-homing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier what advice would you give me?
I would advise that you do some research in to the breed. If you have never owned a Staffy before we would invite you to the rescue to spend some time with some of the dogs as no two are the same.
Running a charity is obviously expensive. If I don’t have any spare money to donate what other ways can I help Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue?
You can help by sharing our rescue details and our dogs that need rehoming. This is really important to us, as once we have done all the veterinary care and assessments on the dogs, our main aim is to find them their forever homes. This allows us to help another dog in need. Just sharing our Facebook posts is a huge help.
Finally do you have any top training tips you could share with us?
Every dog is different that comes to us at SBTR and training for every dog will not be the same. We promote force free reward training. We like to give the dogs time to settle before we start any training or assessment as for the fist couple of weeks they are often subdued and bewildered as to why they are here. We are a foster based rescue as when I founded the charity it was important to me that the dogs wouldn’t be kennelled long term as it can affect them mentally causing them to shut down.
Ways you can help ...
There are lots of ways you can support Chris and the team. As Chris mentioned liking their Facebook page and sharing their posts makes a massive difference to them.
SBTR Facebook Page
If you would like to make a donation to SBTR you can become a Supa Staff Sponsor with a regular donation of £5 or whatever you can afford. Here are the details if you’d like to set up a standing order
Bank Account: Staffy Rescue
Account Number: 36413068
Sort Code: 30-99-77
(Message your address to their FB page or email firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll be sent a sponsor certificate).
You can also donate using PayPal Giving Fund direct to SBTR using the link below
Or you can make a donation via PayPal using the Friends and Family option at email@example.com or via the PayPal donate button on their website www.sbtrescue.co.uk
Alternatively you can raise funds whilst you shop as Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue are part of Amazon Smile.
This year we want to celebrate the dogs who we have met through our website. If you've previously entered a Prize Paws competition and you'd like us to feature your woofer, just drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line Flo's Friends with your answers to the questions below. Don't forget to include a photo. So here is the first of our gorgeous dogs to feature. Everyone say hello to Tinsel .
We asked Tinsel's owner to tell us a bit about her gorgeous dog. Here's what she had to say ....
Breed: Jack Russell
Snooze on sofa or romp around the park? Romp around Park
Favourite Toy? Ball (Anything that squeaks)
Favourite Food? Chicken noodle
Tell us in a couple of sentences why your dog rocks? Tinsel has an amazing adventurous sense and just loves everyone. She's a very clever girl and loves to give & receive cuddles, she is such a happy wee TREASURE.
Tell us in a sentence why you love Prize Paws? Prize Paws is just amazing to take part and all the lovely prizes on offer for our amazing treasures 🥰️