Dogs suffer for fashion

LIKE clothes, music, and lifestyle accessories, dog breeds come in and out of fashion.The problem is that if you don't like your flares and platform soles you can leave them in the back of the wardrobe.

LIKE clothes, music, and lifestyle accessories, dog breeds come in and out of fashion.

The problem is that if you don't like your flares and platform soles you can leave them in the back of the wardrobe.

If the Bay City Rollers or Showaddywaddy don't get you up and dancing anymore you can leave their discs in the attic.

But if you have a dog breed that is out of fashion you still have to look after it, to exercise it . . . and to love it!


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Staffordshire Bull Terriers were very fashionable 15 years ago. They were a breed that people across the country seemed to love - and breed that millions wanted to own.

Supply increased to meet demand. More were bred, and the population explosion made them cheaper.

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The problem was, of course, once everyone had one they became too common and gained a reputation as a “chav dog.”

Now fewer people want a “Staffie” and kennels like the RSPCA centre at Martlesham are having to deal with this over-supply.

Dogs are not something that you can turn manufacturing on and off at will. If people want a breed then it takes time to create more puppies.

And if they go off a breed, you can't just throw them away.

It is not the “Staffies” fault that they are no longer fashionable. They still have the ability to make delightful, loving pets. Let us hope that those seeking new homes will soon get the chance to prove that to loving families.

SUFFOLK'S new cultural diversity brought a real feeling of celebration to the area over the weekend as the Muslim and Orthodox communities celebrated their festivals.

Today is the Orthodox Christmas, and over the weekend members of the growing Russian and Eastern European communities were celebrating with fireworks and parties.

And Muslims have been celebrating Eid, marking the end of their holy month.

These festivals, along with our traditional western Christmas celebrations help bring real light into the darkest time of the year for people of all cultures in the area.

As the days now start to get lighter we start the long journey towards spring and summer.

IT'S become something of a cliché over the years, but Ipswich Town are today able to concentrate on the league and the battle for promotion to the Premier League after their unfortunate despatch from the FA Cup by Portsmouth.

The team, and Liam Trotter in particular, were very unfortunate to lose their proud home record in such circumstances.

Trotter's tackle on Mendes was probably a foul - but it did not deserve a red card and nine out of ten referees would have let him stay on the pitch.

But Ipswich have had their share of luck at Portman Road this season - many fans feel Neil Alexander was fortunate to be on the pitch to save Wolves' early penalty when the Midlanders visited Ipswich.

Without the distraction of a cup run the club can now look forward to its league fixtures - and hope that new players help propel the team to the top flight of English football.

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