At PetsPyjamas, we love award-winning TV and Radio presenter Clare Balding. So we were delighted to hear that she has unleashed a brilliant new podcast – ‘Dogcast’ which is all about life with our favourite four legged friends.
For the Podcast, Clare travels up and down the UK, accompanied by her Tibetan Terrier Archie, to speak to a mix of dog-owners, celebrities and experts, each of which share fascinating insights into their lives and their dogs, with some paw-some personal pup stories thrown in there too.
In the same way our dogs are the perfect companion for us, Clare wants her podcast to be the “perfect companion for your dog walk”. We will certainly be tuning in on our doggie walks!
We exclusively caught up with Clare to talk about Dogcast, her pup Archie, and more…
Please tell us about your fabulous new ‘Dogcast’
“Dogcast is a fun podcast celebrating the joy of dogs and how they can change our lives. It also has important veterinary and behavioural advice as well as discussions on conditions like canine arthritis or obesity and how we can change our behaviour to help our dogs. We have a few celebrity interviews as well with the likes of Jennifer Saunders and her whippet Olive, Si King about his labradoodle Artie and the Rev Kate Bottley about her rescue greyhound Buster.”
Tell us about your gorgeous Tibetan Terrier Archie, when did you get him?
“Archie is now 15 years old and we got him from the Araki Kennels near Gloucester. He’s very handsome and generally pretty fit and well for his age. He thinks he owns the sofa and is very food orientated. He can be quite territorial and possessive of something like a chew.”
If you could describe Archie in three words, what would you say?
“Greedy, grumpy, good-looking.”
If Archie were to win an award, what would he win?
“He’d win a race to eat as many sausages as possible in a minute”
What difference does he make to your life?
“Now, more than ever, he provides so much joy. He gives us a reason to go out for a walk, he provides comfort and laughter.”
Does he have any amusing ways?
“His relationship with our cat, Button, is very funny. He is quite respectful of her but occasionally it confuses him when she lies in a strange place so he barks at her. She ignores him.”
Does Archie come with you on your Ramblings for Radio 4?
“He has done in the past but now he walks too slowly and stops too often to sniff everything. I remember taking him on a very wet and cold walk on Offa’s Dyke and he disappeared (which is very unlike him). I shouted and shouted and he eventually came back having rolled in something disgusting. It was a very long and smelly drive home!”
What are your favourite dog-friendly places to visit with Archie?
“He loves our local park and he likes a walk in a wood. He doesn’t like water, so seaside walks are out but a few years ago during a very hot summer we had a fabulous break in Devon and went for a shady walk along the River Teigne and he had a lie down in a shallow part of the river.”
If you were going to take him on a dog-friendly holiday, where would you go?
“We took him to Lucknam Park near Bath which was fantastic and has a very good dog-friendly set up. Also Whatley Manor near Malmesbury in Gloucestershire is fabulous. Unfortunately, Archie doesn’t necessarily obey the rules about not sleeping on the bed so we bring a blanket that will protect the bedding!”
Any strong views on pet welfare that you’d like to share?
“Think about getting a rescue dog – I went to Battersea recently for Dogcast and was so impressed with their set up but also horrified at how many dogs were available. I know there are various situations that force owners to offer their dogs for rehoming but far too often it’s because they didn’t realise how much work it takes to have a dog. Make sure you have time for a dog – they need exercise, company, stimulation and attention. They can’t just be walked and shut away for the rest of the day.”