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Picture 2Gerwyn Dawe wishes it were tougher for people to
own a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The retired RSPCA inspector and Mayhew Animal Home volunteer
has been dealing with dog problems full-time for over 15 years.

He says he gets frustrated because irresponsible ownership causes
many of these situations.

He mentions a dog he had to euthanize when he worked for the RSPCA
because it was aggressive, a result of the owner never making it clear to
the dog that he was in charge.

“If I had my way,” Gerwyn said, “before you could own a dog you’d
have to go to college for a month to learn about them.”

Dominant

In the case of one of the dogs Gerwyn put down, he says that among
other things the dog’s owner used to play tug with the animal and
always let the dog win.

This reinforced the dog’s perception that he was dominant. “Right
from when the dog’s young, you dominate the dog,” Gerwyn said.
“You make sure you dominate it and I don’t mean dominate by cruelty.
If you play tug with it, win. Don’t let the dog win.”

He adds that the Mayhew Animal Home is right to advocate training
classes for potential dog owners. “Training classes, ninety percent of
the time, are training the owner,” Gerwyn said. “Not the dog.”

Basic care

Claire Harper is an animal welfare officer with the Mayhew.

Part of her job is educating dog owners on how to provide basic care.

According to Claire, many of the people buying Staffies and similar bull
breed dogs as fashion accessories are not thinking about how much time
and money basic care requires.

Claire says these owners can be caught off guard after they have had a
dog for a while.

“It’s almost like the dog has played some nasty trick on them,” Claire said.
“It’s almost like it’s the animal’s fault.”

Family dog

But not every owner wants a Staffy because the dogs are fashionable.
Mandy Oakham , a west London resident says she and her husband have
wanted a Staffy for years, feeling it completed their family.

The Okhams adopted Melanie, a Staffy crossbreed from the Mayhew in May.

And, Mandy says, like with any member of the family, she and her husband
have to consider how their plans affect Melanie.

“With kids if you want to go out you plan your life around the kids,” Mandy said.
“Now we plan our life around the dog…You do think of her like a member of
the family cause she has to fit in.”

Re-homing

Gerwyn says that re-homing a dog like Melanie is one of the reasons he
fosters dogs for the Mayhew.

“It’s what makes the job worthwhile,” Gerwyn said. He visited the Oakhams
in late June to see how Melanie was adjusting to her new home.

He is hopeful that the Oakhams will continue to treat Melanie as a member
of their family.

He says people owe all dogs a good home .

“A dog,” Gerwyn said, “ is the most faithful companion in the world.”

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Summertime

BoardSized

I’m enjoying the longer hours of daylight in London now.

Sunset happens today around 8:15 p.m.

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b-a
To my left in this photograph is colleague Baya Agarwal.

We are taking London’s Metropolitan Line back to Northwick
Park tube station where the University of Westminster is located.

Lots to do and only two weeks left to finish!

We were sleeping on the train Sunday afternoon on our
way back shooting in central London for our 7-minute
documentary film.

Almost have all the footage we need. Now back to the
time line!

Special thanks to Karla Molina, also a colleague on the
doc project, for the photograph.

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London’s Metropolitan Line runs outside my room
window. Here’s what the view looked like after a
rain storm not long ago.train01

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_c4b8780

Spent most of my day off in central London.

I visited Picadilly Circus towards the end of my day
and had a great time photographing pedestrians and
cars trying to use the same streets.

While it was fun for me, I’m sure to much of London
it’s no laughing matter.

This is also probably a good time for me to mention that this
kind of photography is dangerous and I don’t encourage it.

Hope you enjoy the pics though.

_c4b8787

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protests021

This image is part of a slideshow piece I am editing now.

A couple of days ago  I interviewed Camilla Power and am editing

the interview to images I shot during the protest against the Bank

of England on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

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G20 Meltdown and other organizations protested against the Bank of
England on Wednesday, April 1, 2009, the day before the G20 Summit
in London.

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