Anna Webb launches new podcast A Dog’s Life
- Credit: Archant
From telepathic pooches to training dogs to sniff out Covid 19, the Hackney dog lover’s latest venture is ‘informative and subversive’
Anna Webb has long been an authority on TV, radio and magazines talking about passion for dogs.
Now the Hackney resident - co-host of Radio London’s The Barking Hour with Jo Good - is coralling her canine obsesssion into a podcast.
Episodes of A Dog’s Life have so far featured a chat to Hampstead biologist Rupert Sheldrake who claims dogs are telepathic, and Dr Clare Guest of Medical Detection Dogs on training them to sniff out Covid 19.
“I’ve been mad about dogs all my life, I was going to Crufts when I was eight.” says Webb, whose TV appearances have ranged from This Morning to Channel 5 and Sky1’s A Different Breed.
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“They are such a major part of my life - the podcast is to document my journey with dogs and explore modern dog ownership in all its forms. There will be a little dog-centricity and it will be thought provoking, alternative, and not a little subversive”.
From the family springer spaniels, to her beloved Mini Bull Terrier Molly, and now her replacement Prudence and re-homed Toy Terrier Mr Binks, Webb has never been without a canine companion.
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“I live alone in Hackney and while I love it - dogs are the biggest ice breaker, I have met so many people walking my dogs on Hackney Marshes - in these unsettling times without my two dogs and my cat I would be totally flummoxed. They are my chosen companions and give me great support.”
Webb’s dog-themed chats range from psychology and homeopathy to training to nutrition.
She cites pre-lockdown statistics that a staggering 30 percent of owners never walk their pets: “A lot of owners are now spending much more time with their dogs than they are used, it must be frustrating especially if they have never walked their own dog and now have to do it themselves.”
It’s part of a trend that has seen dog ownership grow to its highest levels of an estimated 10.5 million pets.
“I live off Chatsworth Road where pretty much every cafe is dog friendly but when I first moved to London in 2002, it was barely dog tolerant. If you found a pub that was dog friendly you were thrilled.”
While dogs can’t catch coronovirus, there’s a very slight chance they could carry it on their coats if stroked by someone who had coughed into their hand.
Webb’s debut Podcast was with Dr Guest who is CEO of Medical Detection Dogs.
“It’s a charity close to my heart - diseases have odours and dogs are being used to smell different cancers. We were the first to hear they are training dogs to sniff out Covid 19.
“This country has gone a bit wrong not testing enough people, a lot may have had it and don’t know, but using a dog could be a quick, effective non-invasive way of siphoning off people coming off a plane and indicating who may need to go for a test.”
The 54-year-old has long been interested in the possibility that dogs and owners can communicate telepathically. She’s a fan of controversial biologist Rupert Sheldrake author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home.
“I have seen such odd things happen, sometimes if feels I am having a two way conversation with my dog. I would think about going to the fridge and the dog would be there.”
Future episodes will be recorded via Zoom - next up is an interview with crime writer Laura Wilson on Dogs in Literature.
“I hope the podcast is informative,” says Webb.
“I will be talking to people who are changing our understanding of dogs - on everything from emotional intelligence to nutrition to behaviour. I want to help people to understand their dogs better, at a time like this dogs are amazing at fighting loneliness and isolation.”
A Dog’s Life is available on iTunes and Spotify.
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