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Top 5 episodes – A Dog’s Life


Top 5 episodes – A Dog’s Life

Spotted a podcast you want to try from a Pod Bible recommendation, but not sure how to dive in? We asked Anna Webb of A Dog’s Life to share five podcast episodes and why they’re important to check out for new listeners.

A Dog’s Life delivers highlights of my journey with my first Bull Terrier, Molly. Sharing what I’ve learnt from the people who have changed and are changing our understanding of dogs helps us understand why every dog is extraordinary. It’s a fab to be a part of Podpeople Productions, combining my broadcasting skills and study in holistic health as a nutrition and behaviour expert. A Dog’s Life is fuelling my lifelong passion; it’s a must listen for the dogcentric. 

1) Episode One:  Rupert Sheldrake on the sixth sense and telepathy between dogs and their owners
Rupert Sheldrake is one of my heroes! He’s known for highlighting how telepathy exists between people, and between dogs and their owners. Having read Rupert’s book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home 10 years ago, I wanted to share his work and how Rupert proved scientifically how dogs pick up on their owner’s intentions. For example when they’re returning home. Reading Rupert’s books vindicated me as I had experienced so many uncanny moments shared with my first Miniature Bull Terrier, Molly. Despite already sharing radio time with Rupert as a guest on BBC Radio London’s Barking Hour, which I’ve co-hosted for a decade, chatting to Rupert in his library was a bucket list moment! 

2) Episode Three: Alternative Vet Lise Hansen on Homeopathy
I’m honoured that Lise Hansen is A Dog’s Life‘s ‘house Vet’. I am a great believer in holistic healthcare and when I was referred to a holistic vet 12 years ago, I never turned back!  We continue to embrace the huge toolbox that underpins the more natural, ‘drug free’ approach.  Lise highlights so clearly how homeopathy works and the science behind it, which lies in the laws of physics. As Lise says: “If you analyse the chemicals of a CD, it’s just plastic, you have no idea it’s Beethoven or The Beatles!” 

3) Episode Four: Dr Claire Guest talking about dogs trained to sniff out COVID-19
Dogs have never been more in the news than during lockdown! Not least when the charity Medical Detection Dogs announced they were training six dogs to sniff out COVID-19.  I was honoured to be the first podcast to air this landmark news! I helped launch Medical Detection Dogs in 2008 when a scientific study published in The Lancet revealed that dogs could discriminate the odour of bladder cancer in human urine. This trial, which involved the charity’s first team of super sniffers, launched their work to prove diseases have an odour, which could help in the earlier detection of many cancers and more. By harnessing a dog’s superior olfaction, dogs can be trained to work with people suffering from conditions like diabetes, and alert to life threatening episodes to save lives. With over 300 million scent receptors in their nose, which compares to our five million, the potential of these super sniffers might just save us from ourselves! 

4) Episode Nine: I chat to Police Dog Handler Dave Wardell about his dog known as Fabulous Finn
This episode highlights the extraordinary bond that exists between dogs and their owners – it epitomises the adage: ‘one man and his dog”. Dave speaks openly about the horror of being out on a routine ‘shift’ when the criminal they were pursuing stabbed K9 Finn leaving him a breath away from the death. We chat about guilt, which is an emotion that haunts many of us for different reasons. As the best-selling book Fabulous Finn highlights, he survived, but it could easily have been different. This criminal was charged with only a 5-month sentence for his savage actions. Subsequently ,Dave Wardell campaigned for a law called #FinnsLaw, which became legislation that protects all service animals. We also discuss his campaign for #FinnsLawPart2, which, if passed, will increase sentencing for all animal cruelty and neglect cases in line with the crime considering animals as sentient beings rather than simply as property.  

5) Episode Ten: Toby Rose founder of The Palm Dog
Focussing on cultural dog-centricities, we talk about dogs in film with cinema journalist and founder of the only canine film awards, the Palm Dog, Toby Rose. Apart from a dog’s potential role in any plot, dogs are the familiar, they represent loyalty. A film is not a film without “man’s best friend”. We highlight the canine cinema legends like Rin Tin Tin, who earned more than Greta Garbo and saved Warner Bros from bankruptcy in the 1930’s. We also cover present canine stars like Uggie from The Artist, and merge film and literature in Copperfield where the dog Gyp reveals as much about Dickens as he does about his owner, Dora Spenlow, in the classic.


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