Country Life Today: The town-dwelling sheepdogs that end up needing counselling

Why working dogs are struggling with modern life just as much as the rest of us; how the Queen is set for a windfall — literally; and a tragedy that's a warning for anyone visiting a British beach this summer.

The dogs who need therapy to help deal with modern life

We had little idea that dog counselling was a widespread phenomenon — at least, not outside of California — but apparently that is the case. And no type of dog is more likely to need a session than the border collie. The reason? Lack of activity. Dogs suffer from the modern sedentary lifestyle just as much as humans do.

‘No other breed is sent for “behaviour therapy” more often,’ reports The Times, whose information comes from a survey commissioned by John Lewis.

The report goes on to explain that, ‘the  therapy sessions treat conditions such as excessive barking, shoe-chewing, aggression and separation anxiety. They can also tackle obsessive behaviours such as compulsive tail-chasing.’

Vet Rebecca Cannon told the paper that that Britain’s favourite sheepdogs ‘are highly intelligent and energetic. But if they are not given a suitable outlet for these instinctive behaviours or not sufficiently stimulated with regular physical and mental exercise, they can become frustrated, bored or anxious.’

As you might expect, the other dogs most likely to need therapy are also breeds bred to work, but who have become popular household pets: labradors, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, cockapoos and border terriers.

Full story (The Times (subscription required)


The Queen ‘could make hundreds of millions’ from offshore wind farms

The Guardian reports that the Crown Estate is in for a major windfall as plans to lease seabeds for offshore wind farms go ahead.

The offshore Wind Farm in the Mersey Estuary

The offshore Wind Farm in the Mersey Estuary.

‘The Queen’s property managers will this week set out terms for the world’s biggest offshore wind auction in a decade,’ the paper reports. ‘Industry experts expect the complex bidding process to raise record sums, which could increase energy bills and hand a windfall to the crown – potentially generating more than £100m a year in royalties for the Queen.’

Full story (The Guardian)


On this day… The House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha becomes the House of Windsor

Prince William and Prince Charles on holiday in Scotland many years ago

Prince William and Prince Charles on holiday in Scotland many years ago.

On July 17, 1917, King George V proclaimed that the male heirs of the royal family would bear the surname ‘Windsor’. Previously King George had belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the surname of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. His choice of surname was spurred on by anti-German sentiment in Britain as a result of the First World War.

In 1960, HM The Queen distinguished her line of House Windsor from the rest by adding a ‘Mountbatten’ before the Windsor, the surname of Prince Phillip’s maternal grandparents. Not all royals use the name, though: Prince George uses the surname ‘Cambridge’ at school, after his father’s dukedom.

Read more (Country Life)


The beachgoer killed by falling rocks is a tragedy and a warning for all of us

The cliffs overlooking Sandymouth on the North Cornwall Coast near Bude.

Sad news emerged on Tuesday that a man was killed in a rockfall at Sandymouth beach near Bude, Cornwall. Several similar incidents have taken place over the last couple of years; experts say that long spells of dry, hot weather followed by a few days of heavy rain are particularly likely to loosen cliffs.

Full story (BBC)


Riddle of the day

‘What can you catch, but never throw?’

The answer is (depressingly, in this heat) a cold.


A simple tweak to the fuel in our petrol pumps ‘equivalent to taking 700,000 cars off the road’

Switching petrol for E10 fuel — which contains 10% bio-ethanol, and 90% petroleum — would be a huge positive step in cutting CO2 emissions in Britain, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

The crops used to make bio-fuel include corn, maize and wheat, waste straw, willow and trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, cord grasses, jerusalem artichoke, miscanthus and sorghum plants.

‘For many reasons it is absolutely a no-brainer,’ Nic Dakin MP, the chairman of the all-party group, told the BBC.

‘On the environmental front, it’s a cleaner, greener fuel at a time when we’re trying to address air pollution and tackle climate change… Cars aren’t going to all switch to battery power overnight and if they did there isn’t the capacity in the National Grid to power all of our transportation.’

Full story (BBC)


And finally…

Surely they forgot to add ‘Country Life subscription‘?