FM1FM presenter Hazel Butterfield chats to us about her gorgeous but “crazy” Beagle Charley who has an affinity for hot water bottles and curries…
What are you working on at the moment?
Everything is quite exciting at the radio station that I work at, FM1FM. We’re just launching a YouTube channel which I’ll be presenting with my colleague, Brian Royer. Also, my personal bloghas just been given a makeover which I’m really impressed with.
What breed is your dog and why did you choose her?
I’ve got a Beagle, I’ve always loved the breed and they’re great family pets. She is a tad on the crazy side as with most Beagles but that just means she fits in perfectly!
How do your friends get on with her?
Really well, those of my friends who have dogs, it’s a great excuse to do a Thames pub crawl. We’re very lucky where we live that dogs are allowed in most pubs and we’re spoilt for choice with Thames walks. Although, she can be a rotter when we’re having friends over for drinks and food, she is either vocal until the treats are shared or if we have a film and curry night, my non-dog owning friends underestimate the lengths a Beagle will go to to ‘liberate’ a keema naan.
How long have you had her?
I’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old (I chose her when she was only 4 weeks old – she looked like a guinea pig!). She turned one on the 18th February 2016.
Does she come with you to work?
My partner sometimes takes her but she has a fascination with wires and he works in IT, not a great combo. She also gets very jealous of laptops. I don’t take her in to the FM1FM Radio studio with me because if she feels like she requires more attention, she can be very vocal about it!
What difference does she make to your life?
She is great socially (she even has her own Twitter feed @charleyswoof) – I love a random chat and she attracts attention wherever we go. Also having a dog is great for fitness! I’ve recently cancelled my gym membership as it’s no longer required. Also me and my boys (six and nine years old) can spend hours in Richmond Park and Bushey Park whatever the weather, rather than stuck indoors or on expensive days out.
Do you take her on holiday with you and if so where?
Yes, we took her camping near Salcombe, Devon last summer – great fun but not an easy task. It was like torture for her seeing all the BBQ’s surrounding her constantly – a tent cannot contain a Beagle that does not wish to be contained! We also take her away regularly for weekends, she has no issues with being in a car.
Does Charley have any funny ways or have there been any funny incidents?
She is obsessed with my hot water bottle, if she sees it she insists we share it. Beagles are a constant source of entertainment and Charley does not disappoint.
Anything you feel strongly about regarding pet welfare?
Yes, testing on animals. How is this ever allowed? I was disgusted to hear that the Beagle farm in Yorkshire was approved. I’ve also always been a huge fan of the Dogs Trust – it’s where I got my first dog from and they are just incredible. They are one of the three charities I try to help via fundraising campaigns (crazy skydives, abseils, tower climbs, etc.)
Do you take her with you to restaurants/pubs/cafés? Any favourites?
We love being out and about so yes, we try and choose places based on whether Charley can join us. In South West London, where I live, dogs are welcome more often than not in cafés and pubs. The Eel Pie in Twickenham is excellent and they always have treats behind the bar, also, Charley puts her brakes on if I ever try and pass a Harris + Hoole without a quick visit!
Where do you exercise exercise Charley? Any favourite parks or places?
She is very spoilt for choice near where I live. There is one walk that I do every Monday-Wednesday mornings after the school drop off with her friends Bowser, a Labrador and Bertie, a Cocker Spaniel. If I turn right instead of left at the gates she puts her brakes on (again!). When she sees her chums she is a very happy puppy for the rest of the day. It’s a lovely river walk without roads or deer to worry about.