James Marston: I’m not really a dog fan, sorry

Rob Brewster with Sam and Blue after their Crufts appearance

Rob Brewster with Sam and Blue after their Crufts appearance - Credit: Archant

Isn’t life dangerous these days? No longer limited to chocolate box villages with a little old lady who has a nose for crime, poisoning and intrigue have also found their way into Crufts.

I shouldn’t laugh but there is something a little amusing about this most genteel of scenes being, seemingly, affected by blatant jealousy.

Now I know from experience that writing almost anything about cats or dogs can result in hate mail, so I admit I am someone who doesn’t much like dogs – well it’s not so much dogs I don’t like as inconsiderate owners who think everyone else likes dogs and make no effort to control them.

Too many times have I heard “don’t worry he won’t bite” – to be bitten moments later.

Too many times have I heard “the worst he’ll do is slobber all over you” – a phrase that usually makes me want to retort with “Would you mind awfully if I slobbered over you then?” Though, of course I never do. Instead I just grin and bear it and hope it stops soon.

Once a lady even suggested, as I walked from my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant), that I shouldn’t show fear in front of her huge German Shepherd – off the lead typically – as he would be unlikely to eat me all at once – I had to laugh.

The bigger question, of course, is why on earth should someone poison a dog? Even I wouldn’t go that far.

Most Read

This week, however, it hasn’t been dogs but horses that have crept into my working day.

I was in Newmarket on Tuesday visiting Diomed Stables to look at racing industry charity Racing Welfare.

Racing, you see, isn’t all glamour, nice hats and helicopters. There are a fair number of people, employers and employees alike, who need the charity which offers everything from debt advice to addiction recovery support.

At Diomed, I met two ladies whom the charity had helped through a difficult time – read about it in the paper soon.

I also went, with my plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy, to an equally inspiring rehearsal in Ipswich by theatre group Unscene Suffolk.

This is a group of people who are visually impaired who use the power of theatre to tell their stories, share their experiences and have a bit of fun along the way.

Both visits this week have been humbling to say the least and, as so regularly happens in my trade, gave me another opportunity to count my many and varied blessings - something perhaps that the Crufts poisoner ought to have thought about as well.