Barry The Dog Jogger Shares An Exclusive Interview With Natural Instinct With His Good Mate, David Gandy!
I’m excited to share an exclusive short interview that I recently did with my good mate, David Gandy and his pup Dora.
As you probably know David Gandy is the most recognisable male model in the business, hailed for his muscular physique in an industry dominated by androgynous boys. But there is more to Essex boy David Gandy than just a pretty face. An ambassador for an animal rescue home can be a risky business with all the temptation. Apart from growing up with dogs and fostering short term for his charity, he had lived a pet-free life. That was until the gorgeous Dora entered his life this year.
Read on, for a behind the scenes look at life with David’s gorgeous Dora, and his thoughts on Natural Instinct too.
Tell me a bit about how you got involved with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home?
A friend of mine, Margherita Taylor, sponsored a kennel for me at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home as a birthday present. I visited Battersea for the first time and it was around the same time Claire Horton became Chief Executive. There were much needed changes and modernisations to Battersea, Claire asked me to be their first ever Ambassador. I agreed of course and very much feel like part of the team and family within the home.
Barry, David, Bubbles and Dora enjoying an Autumn walk
Having visited Battersea numerous times myself and seeing the vast amount of dogs that are looking for a forever home, how did Dora steal your heart? What was it that was so special about her?
Many people always thought it rather strange that I didn’t have a dog, when I was ambassador for Battersea. However, my main message was always about ‘responsible ownership’ for people thinking of owning a dog and it wouldn’t have been right for me to have re-homed a dog before Dora.
So many of the dogs have stolen my heart and I literally could have re-homed hundreds of dogs, especially the dogs that myself and my parents have fostered over the last few years from Battersea. It has always been hard to say goodbye to the fostered dogs, but we have always found them incredible homes. However, dogs are a huge responsibility and because of how much I travelled and living alone, at the time, I couldn’t have given a dog an environment they deserved. After a long chat about taking on the huge responsibility, my girlfriend and I decided that it was the right time for our first dog. We fell in love with Dora and she seemed to slot into our busy lives so easily, with the help of The Dog Jogger of course.
Dora and Bubbles
How long have you had Dora, and what are some of her quirkier habits?
We re-homed Dora in February 2017, when she was around 12-14 weeks old. Dora is the definition of a mongrel. We didn’t know her history nor exactly what breeds she was made up of. So, we had her DNA tested and it came back that she was a mix of Yorkshire Terrier, Collie and Shih Tzu. But that was only 50% of her make-up, the rest of the DNA test couldn’t tell us.
Dora is quite an active dog, she loves and requires two decent walks a day. Being part Collie, she requires lots of mental stimulation. She is in her element running through streams, woodland and parks, so it’s great to live near the Thames and Richmond park. She can also be very stubborn, so I have had to adapt training techniques, especially after finding out about her make-up of breeds. However, she is an adorable dog, everyone loves her and she in return loves everybody and all other dogs.
Who would Dora be if she were a celebrity?
Dora seems to be a celebrity already. Everyone greets her on the street and she gets sent more gifts and packages in the post than me now. I have also posted images and updates on her since we adopted her and the images reach around 500k people per image.
You’ve had my Bubbles join you on a couple of jobs has Dora had the experience of being on a shoot with you yet?
Bubbles was brilliant on shoots and people still love the images that we produced. Dora has been on many shoots with me and everyone loves her being on set and make a real fuss of her. She’s appeared in her first campaign earlier this year for M&S.
Dora accompanies David on an M&S advert
Which is Dora’s favourite Natural Instinct product?
Dora LOVE Natural Instinct dog food. Her favourite products from the range are actually the treats! Many people don t realise that the treats they give their dog by some well-known dog brands are quite unhealthy. However, from Natural Instinct, Dora loves the Fish Skins, the Beef Jerky and the Whitebait. I love the fact that they are all totally natural and full of goodness for her. Her fur has never looked better, so it’s great for her inside and out.
Barry’s dog Bubbles on shoot with David
What advice would you give to someone looking to adopt a rescue dog?
Most people think that the dogs at rescue homes are strays or rescues. Actually, many of the dogs are ‘gifts’ from families that can no longer care for their dog for many different reasons. Battersea know the full history of the dogs in their care and most will be fully trained.
Rescue or stray dogs are different. You will very rarely know their history or what they have had to endure during their life. Therefore, maybe more work and time will be needed with re-homing these dogs. However, like the five dogs I have fostered, the time you put into these dogs is so hugely rewarding.
I would lastly say, don’t go into a rescue home looking for a particular breed, be a little more open minded, I always say the dog will find you, not the other way around.
You and I try to do as much as possible for charities close to our hearts, what other charities are you affiliated with?
I work closely with around 10 charities. However, I am ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Style for Soldiers, Achievement for All and Save the Children.
Last but not least, do you fancy a pint?
Always!! Mine’s a Guinness
By Barry Karacostas
The Dog Jogger