Why Do I Buy The Stuff I Buy?

I am, shall we say, a careful purchaser of goods and services.

I spend a lot of time researching the stuff I buy. A LOT of time. I want to be right. I HATE to waste my hard earned cash on rubbish. Not only that, I want to buy stuff that actually does what I want it to do. No point buying a teapot to watch the TV on, even if it happens to be the best teapot ever made.

So why DO I buy the stuff I buy and, if you’re trying to sell me something, why would I buy from you?

Find out here

Me, Mia & Natasha’s Sofa

Cheeky Mia became the first Rottweiler to take a seat on Natasha Kaplinsky’s sofa. She behaved herself, as she always does when on TV, and didn’t trump once.

Note my ‘Rescue Me’ by DogsBlog T-shirt. I am lucky enough to have a limited edition, one-of-a-kind sample and it attracted a lot of interest from some of the TV people who wanted to know where you could get one. At the time I had to disappoint them as they weren’t available, but some exclusives are now on sale at www.dogsblog.com/rescueme

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

I’m trying to gather all my press clippings in one place so I can have a record of them when the day comes that all media refuse to speak to me and my life becomes a shell of an existence no longer defined by the absurd notion that I carry about with me that because some journalists some times ask me what I think about (dog) things that it gives me a place in the world. It’ll happen sooner than later. Especially when I say the ‘C’ word on children’s TV. Ahh well.

Here’s one from the past. Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

It’s to do with dogs, I know that, but I swear I do not recall what I was there for. I just remember not saying very much.


Pink Dog Poo


It is the scourge of communities across Scotland and beyond, and no council has escaped censure for failing to clean up its act. Now one local authority has unveiled a novel solution to the problem of dog dirt – spraying it bright pink in a bid to shame guilty owners.

But, according ‘Ryan O’Mara’, who is the editor-in-chief of dog owners’ magazine K9 and chair of the Coalition for Improved Dog Ownership Standards…

“While it is well-intentioned, this type of scheme will not deter the sort of irresponsible people who allow their dogs to foul this way.

“The only way to stop this problem is to say, ‘If you are caught, it will cost you £2,500’.”

Well, alls I know is – Ryan O’Meara is the editor-in-chief of K9 Magazine (not ‘K9’), he is the chief exec of the Coalition for Improved Dog Ownership Standards (not the chair) – but he DOES think that spraying poo pink is not really the answer to addressing the problem of irresponsible dog owners who allow their pets to foul the streets although he’s not entirely confident enough to place such a precise figure on the fine that will make dog owners think twice about clearing up after their animals.

Source (The Scotsman)

News Hounds

Today I received a box from the USA.

It contained my book.

My first ever forray in to the world of writing for a publisher who wasn’t, well, me!

It’s been probably about a year since the book was completed, so unlike when the magazine comes back from the printer and the fatigue of working on the thing makes you virtually sick of the sight of it by the time you get it back in its hard copy form, I wasn’t totally against the idea of actually sitting and reading through the book!

It made me laugh. I think it’s a really, genuinely fun book for anyone who ‘gets’ dogs and ‘gets’ what dogs are really all about. They make us laugh. They cheer us up. That’s why I agreed to do the book. It celebrates the dog and his ability to lift our mood.

News Hounds - Ryan O'Meara

If you’d like to buy the book, I do hope you enjoy it!

BBC Working Lunch

An interesting day.

Filming for BBC Working Lunch programme – to air in a couple of weeks – discussing online business, the digital revolution and how to make money out of the WWW.

Probably put a good 3 hours of filming in. That will end up as 3 minutes!

Yesterday I did some filming (again for the BBC) on the thorny issue of vet fees. This is a topic I’ve spoken about before for another programme, however I always retain a degree of concern until these things actually air. It is very, very easy to be ‘misrepresented’ (sometimes intentionally, often not).

For example:

“I believe a number of vets are absolutely overcharging their customers and they are giving the industry a really difficult image problem to overcome. However, they are the tiniest minority and the vast majority of vets are amazing, do incredible work and we’d be in a hell of a mess without them”

can easily become…

“I believe a number of vets are absolutely overcharging their customers and they are giving the industry a really difficult image problem to overcome.”

So, we’ll see.

Business Strategy; is it THIS Simple?

No matter where your business happens to be, looking at how you develop and execute your strategy how do these five questions help you solidfy your ideas and plan?

Companies small and large can develop a compelling strategy by answering five key questions. What does the playing field look like? What are our rivals up to? What have we done lately? What keeps us up at night? And given all that, what’s our winning move?

These five questions come direct from the site of Jack and Suzy Welch (source) – and do you know what, I think it really is THAT simple.

Answer those questions and you have your strategy. Fail to even ask those questions and you’re treading water (at best).