Catwalk Dogs: Bulli’s Beef
Many readers will know that our sister publication, Dogs Monthly, is serialising the autobiography of Bulli, the lager lout of the world of dogs, who has had the distinction (dubious or laudatory, depending on your point of view) of being hauled over the coals by both the Kennel Club and the Bull Terrier Cub for bringing the world of dogs into disrepute!
Bulli’s approach tends to focus on his needs and the needs of his canine colleagues rather than those of his owners (of whom he has had several) and his view of humans (Humes) in general - and human dog owners in particular - is not high. Bulli currently lives with Malcolm and his wife in a flat off Shepherd’s Bush Green. In the basement a lady called ‘Miss Whiplash’ plies her trade and both Bulli and Malcolm are fascinated. He has recently been ‘rescued’ from Battersea Dogs Home (Bulli, that is, not Malcolm) and as a veteran is about to return to the show ring (he managed to get two CCs under dubious circumstances when with his original owner, Her Supremacy - HS). Curled up on the settee last weekend he watched Catwalk Dogs with Malcolm and Annabelle.
‘Wotcha folks. Our Lou in the office has asked me take time from my usual column in DM and to comment on this Catwalk Dogs play that was on ITV. Well I can tell you I was both appalled and delighted. |
‘I was appalled because they had got some ‘expert’ in to advise them on the world of dogs shows (nice man, I’ve met him and he was sharp enough to move his beautifully tailored trouser leg away before I could lift the rear hand and give him a quick squirt) but why, oh why didn’t they ask me. I would have put them right on the fundamentals, I can tell you. For real aficionados (that’s you - I don’t care) it must have been hugely frustrating. I cringed on your behalf every time a dog went into the ring and an announcer gave out its ring number, pedigree name and the name of the owner too! But I thought my friend Terry Monro (he’s judged me twice and put me down despite HS’s murderous glare) did well - an actor as well a judge and super-steward, is there no end to his talents? And young Kevin Horkin discussing the difficulties of mating Bulldogs could have had a longer spot - that was getting really interesting before the filming cut away to the ‘plot’.
‘On the other hand I was delighted that they showed dogs as real. In the first scene - the sex one - the writers got it just right. As you know, I have never understood why you Humes are always so secretive about sex. You have the advantage of enjoying it more or less when you want to (we dogs have to wait for the right smell to come along) and then you make all this fuss about finding someone attractive. For us the smell’s the thing - I always like going into a dog owner’s house or a car and ferreting around among the cushions (many of you Humes aren’t clean you know) and sniffing out the scents from in-season bitches that have laid undiscovered for months: stud heaven, believe me. And then you have to do it all in the dark, covered up or in secret.
‘That young Wire Fox Terrier, Archie, had it absolutely right - get in there and get involved by licking Michael’s intimate parts - it’s what we are designed to do. I thought Michael (the guy from the BT advert who was playing the part) was going to really let go and lie back and enjoy it but Sally, despite finally siding with the dog, was having none of it.
‘As you can imagine, I didn’t go along with all the lovey-dovey stuff. We canine can’t understand it but a lot of the obsession with dogs and dog shows seems absolutely right. I suspect that Diana Quick’s character is based entirely on my original owner, Her Supremacy (HS behind her back by her enemies, of which there were many). HS had no children and how this Cruella d’Ville could have borne the calm, nice Guy is beyond me but there is no understanding the Hume mating mind.
Anyoldway, the story was pretty slushy but there were some good if infantile jokes. Rosie the dog walker: ‘Pick up your faeces’. Michael: ‘hey‚re not actually mine’, for example. Why do do you Humes make so much about picking up faeces, incidentally? It is biodegradable after all. I think plastic bags, chip packs and pizza cartons (however much I love to snuffle into them) are much more environmentally offensive and blow around for weeks.
‘The key elements of the story were to get Sally (who was desperate for a bay and had had two miscarriages) and Michael (a workaholic lawyer) back together again after they had parted. He had bought her Archie (she said as ‘a substitute‚ he said as ‘an outside interest’) and she got involved in showing him, to his utter bewilderment. (Not surprising - why do you all do it?). She leaves and picked up with Guy who breeds Rotties and is nice (leaving Archie with Michael because it would not kennel with the Rotties would you believe - this did not seem realistic). Michael still loved her so decided to take the fight to the only field that seems to mean anything to Sally - the dog show. During the process Michael gets to know Rosie - who is a dog walker and dog obsessed but nicely - not like Guy’s mother! The relationships begin to develop but, in the end, after a good deal of poncing about (they got that bit right) and some skulduggery at the big final show, Sally and Michael come back together in a suitably soppy ending.
‘I saw that film Best in Show a few years ago and I have to say it captured the unreal bizarreness of your Hume antics rather better but it was a likeable hour and a half and I can tell you that Malcolm and Annette, the audience for whom is was clearly created, absolutely loved it.
‘So a good call by all and congratulations in being able to put up a homegrown programme that lots of Humes appeared to have watched.
‘If you missed it, the DVD will be out in January - you can bet it will be available sooner if our Fiona in books sales has anything to do with it. You could also catch it on your computer at ITV.com as one of those video-streaming thingeys if you have the technology.’