Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, Trainer, studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT)
Raising Molly (my beloved Mini Bull) in London, we spent 11 years together in the ‘smoke’.
Inhaling tainted air is path of the course for Londoners especially lately with parts of London being as polluted as Beijing.
It’s a risk you have to accept, but its one that can minimised through holistic healthcare and a natural diet.
I’d always promised Molly a move to the country so she’d enjoy fresher less dust-ridden air (and a lawn).
My decision to move to a Buckinghamshire village was influenced by my childhood in Shropshire, and my study with the CIVT (College of Integrated Veterinary Studies), which centred on reducing the ‘toxin-load’.
I felt guilty that Molly had been exposed to pavements laden with toxic ‘nano-particle’ matter for over a decade. Containing well known environmental stressors and ‘carcinogenic’ residue from lead, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide to name a few.
There was no hiding from the fact that some of these ‘nasties’ had likely absorbed into her ‘system’ via her lungs and around in her bloodstream passing through her vital organs.
Molly had enjoyed a raw diet all her life giving her a strong immune system. Feeding a raw, nutritionally dense and species appropriate diet like Natural Instinct naturally supports the body helping balance and counter the negative effects of environmental ‘stressors’.
A blast of fresher air with fewer ‘combustible’ fumes could only be another health boost. Initially our move to a Buckinghamshire village put a spring in Molly’s step. The air was noticeably more oxygenated, even to my human nose.
The peace and quiet was convivial for a while. The slower pace and a change of scenery definitely picked Molly up.
Cause for concern occurred when I first saw a tractor spraying liquid (what I naively hoped was water) on the vast (clearly not organic) arable fields backing onto our cottage.
Studies by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have shown that toxic chemical residues from a cocktail of herbicides, pesticides and insecticides sink into the soil.
Releasing endocrine disrupting chemicals, linked to thyroid issues, liver disease and autoimmune conditions, they reside at ground level, risking being ingested on a dog walk.
Arguably a non-organically farmed arable field is as toxic for walking the dog as a London pavement.
When Molly accidentally got lost in this wheat field for 11 hours the ‘country’ dream was totally shattered.
I missed London where there may have been more concrete, but certainly no chemically tarnished wheat fields!
The village didn’t nearly offer enough mental stimulation for Prudence as a four-month old puppy. To follow in Molly’s footsteps (as an ambassador for Mini-Bulls) we reverted to what had worked for Molly. London had been our training ground.
Travelling into London (on the Chiltern Line) three times a week, it was the only way to expose Prudence to: noise, traffic, movement, people, children, dogs, cafes, restaurants, shops, buses and the underground.
Nuisance dogs and increasingly crowed ‘Park-life were a negative symptom of London’s doggy boom that Molly and I had witnessed over 10 years.
I thought I craved the ‘idyllic’ country walk. Armed with a healthy dose of hindsight, I feel there’s nowhere quite as eerie as walking the dog in an empty field.
I’d foolishly assumed that owners in the shires would be more conscientious about training and socialising their dogs.
Much to my disappointment training seemed more of a novelty compared to in London where it’s becoming more mandatory.
Shocked at the amount of poo bags thrown into hedgerows, hung on branches, country folk appeared no better than Londoners at picking up and disposing of ‘doo-doo’.
I never acclimatised to the limited village street lighting that made walking after dark challenging especially with a mini-bull pup.
It must be said that every dog and every human is an individual. Some are just better suited to more ‘urban’ living, whilst others thrive in the countryside.
Mini-bulls being naturally ‘fair-weather’, lazy and accident-prone are arguably better at being ‘townies than ‘countryphiles’. Just as well as Prudence, Mr Binks and I head back to the ‘smoke’.