Tag Archives: Yorkshire Terrier

Dogs, biosecurity and Johnny Depp

The recent story about Johnny Depp’s Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, and their deportation from Australia has some lessons in it that I think have been overlooked.

That’s not totally surprising when you have an Australian Minister like Barnaby Joyce fronting to the media with comments like  “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”

Inflammatory, yes.  Headline grabbing – yes.   But lacking in good information for people to understand the Australian position on the dogs and what the public needs to know when arriving in the country.

Happy Dogz salon's Lianne and Ellie Kent with Pistol and Boo; it was the dogs' visit to the groomers and the subsequent Facebook photos that caught the attention of the Australian authorities

Happy Dogz salon’s Lianne and Ellie Kent with Pistol and Boo; it was the dogs’ visit to the groomers and the subsequent Facebook photos that caught the attention of the Australian authorities

Australia and New Zealand have some very unique flora and fauna – thanks to their geographic isolation from other continents.  The countries are also free of diseases like rabies which are a worry in other western countries like the United States and the UK and mean that animals there must be vaccinated (whereas here, they are not).

Animals can be imported to both Australia and New Zealand, but they are subject to quarantine to ensure that they are not carrying any diseases that could run rampant in these sensitive environments.   There are also requirements when importing semen, for example, for dog breeding.

So, Pistol and Boo were a legitimate biosecurity risk and their presence in the Depp party was apparently not declared.  And I hear that the Australian authorities are now investigating this to find out if Depp, or another member of his party, knowingly broke the law.

At this point, I’m prepared to give Depp the benefit of the doubt.  He and his wife love their dogs and are in the fortunate position to be able to fly them in comfort around the world in a private plane (whereas most of us can’t afford to travel long distances with our dogs, let alone worrying about them as they are treated as luggage in the holds of commercial aircraft).

They also have an ‘entourage’ that attends to their personal needs, and so I do wonder just how switched on Depp was in terms of filling out declaration forms on his arrival in Australia.  I suspect someone in his employment took care of these minor details for him – just as someone in his employment took the dogs to the groomers which started this whole saga to begin with.

So the lessons from all of this?

  • Love your dog, travel with them if you can, but understand your destination requirements in terms of quarantine and also your dog’s health
  • Understand biosecurity risks and obey the requirements of the country you are visiting
  • Treat breaches of laws seriously, but with respect for all parties.  Innocent until proven guilty, etc.
  • And use ‘headline grabbing’ stories for educational opportunities -an opportunity that Australia seems to have missed thanks to a headline-grabbing Minister

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

This is my last will and testament…

If you love your dog, you should consider what would happen if you died.  Who would care for them?  One way of dealing with this issue is to have a pet trust.

To establish a pet trust you need to:

  • Nominate a trustee
  • Designate a caregiver (it would be best to consult this person in advance and make sure they are happy with the responsibility)
  • Set aside a nominated amount of funding for the trust
  • Clearly state what standard of care your dog should receive
  • Establish the trust’s duration (a certain length of time, likely to cover the rest of your dog’s natural life)
  • Designate a beneficiary who will receive any remaining funds once your dog passes
  • Name your dog(s) to be covered by the trust

Here are some more notable bequests to dogs:

Leona Helmsley (The Queen of Mean) set up a pet trust for her Maltese, Trouble.  It was a whopping $12 million.  After the will was contested, the dog’s trust was reduced by $10 million.

Leona Helmsley with her dog, Trouble

Leona Helmsley with her dog, Trouble

In 2010, socialite Gail Posner left a home and a $3 million trust fund to her three dogs.   These dogs were very pampered and were said to have been given weekly spa appointments, traveling to those appointments in a gold Cadillac. Conchita, a Chihuahua, April Maria, a Maltese, and Lucia, a Yorkshire Terrier were the beneficiaries.

Before both of these ladies made their bequests, there was German Countess Carlotta Liebenstein.  She left approximately £43 million to her pet dog Gunther III when she died in 1991.  Gunther III and his son, Gunther IV,  enjoyed the services of a personal maid, chauffeur and a pool.

In 2004, after 10 years of contention, the bank that served as executor for tobacco heiress Doris Duke’s estate agreed to compensate the caretakers of her dogs.  Although Duke had made provision for them in her will, the will was contested for a number of reasons.  The settlement involved over $100,000 to pay two of Duke’s former servants who were responsible for feeding, medicating and cleaning up after the dogs.  Two of the dogs died over the 10 years of fighting.  Only Robert, an old shepherd cross remained.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pets welcome in many workplaces

I tip my hat to the Indianapolis Star for its recent excellent coverage of pet-friendly workplaces in Indiana.

Take Inverse-Square, where Bob Baird takes his German Shepherd to work with him in a demanding job where he leads a team of systems integration specialists.  His online profile on the company’s website clearly lists him as a ‘dog enthuasiast.’ Company employee Anne Marie DeLa Rosa reports that ‘When I’m stressed, I usually call Zoe (a chocolate Labrador retriever) over and rub her ear. That’s my therapy.’

DeLa Rosa also reports that because Zoe is in the office, she’ll take a proper lunch break which includes a short walk.

Inverse-Square is located in The Stutz office park where commercial developer Turner Woodard made it possible for employers to have pet-friendly office policies.  The newspaper reports that 25 percent of the tenants take advantage of the perk.  Two other properties developed by Woodard — the Canterbury Hotel and Wasatch Lake — are also pet-friendly.

Other Indiana companies that are pet-friendly include:

Jacobs Law office: Sam Jacobs allows his office manager Karie Jacobs, 28, to bring her Cockapoo to the office.  Sam has declared that ‘Larry is a wonderful diversion…I can talk to him and he doesn’t talk back.’

Gradison Design Build:   This company includes two Great Danes, one Labrador retriever and a Yorkshire terrier.

Pack leader David Gradison, 75, says ‘They are like family and we’re a family environment.’

Indiana Lighting:   Bella Mia, a Peekapoo, comes to work in Tracy Leeper King’s handbag. ‘She comes to work because she brings joy, positive energy and gives the employees a break from their desks.’

Rusted Moon Outfitters: The company spokeperson is an English Setter named Rosemary.  On the company’s website they  happily announce ‘We’re ready to answer your questions and help you find the gear you need. Visit us in Broad Ripple, just off the Monon Trail. Oh yeah, bring your dog too.’  A photo of Rosemary declares ‘Rosemary says Dogs Welcome’  Yes – this store is also a dog-friendly shopping destination.