Devon Dogs: Smile You’re on Canine Camera!

November 16, 2016

So I’m tapping away at my laptop at China Blue in Totnes when my eye strays to the cake stand and the adjacent stack of Devon Life magazines… I’ve been reading this monthly celebration of the best of the South West since I was a teen and feel a pang of nostalgia. As Bodie shifts position I absently give his head a ruffle. I look back at Devon Life. Then back down at Bodie. And then a lightbulb pops and before I know it I find myself pitching a new series called DEVON DOGS…

I picture a spread with a full page beauty shot of a Devon dog alongside an interview with the owner and a sidebar of their top dog-friendly delights.

Deputy Editor Owen Jones is so swift and positive in his response I am quite taken aback. He says he would like the dog’s stomping ground to correspond with the Devon location showcased in that particular issue. Even better – I love a theme!

The two latest issues of Devon Life…

Devon Life magazine cover October 2016 Plymouth image  devon-life-november-2016-cover

First up (for the September issue) is Torquay, highlight of the English Riviera. I wanted to start with a Happy Ever After rescue success and hit the jackpot with yellow Labrador Harvey. Knowing that easy going Labs are the most popular breed in the world I was surprised to learn that Harvey was practically feral when he was first turned in to the Animals in Distress shelter at Ipplepen. He was adopted by a lovely man who then was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to return him – broken hearts all round. But! Now he’s Top Dog at a boutique hotel in gorgeous Meadfoot Beach, all thanks to hotelier Ian Krender who even serenades Harvey on the grand piano. ‘I mostly stick to classical,’ he smiles ruefully. ‘If I sing he starts to howl!’

Devon Life – Devon Dogs – September – Torquay – Harvey

Devon Dogs series for Devon Life featuring Lab Harvey in Torquay

For October we head to Plymouth. There are 107 Pets As Therapy volunteers in Devon and over half of them have a Plymouth postcode. Through PATs we met the wonderful (and very glamorous) Zoe King and her 7-year-old Cockapoo Basil. They bring furry cheer to the patients at local nursing homes and hospices, including St Luke’s where her own step-father was cared for. By day Zoe is a financial advisor talking stocks and shares and says: ‘It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the material aspects of life. Joining Pets As Therapy has been a great reminder of the power of the kindness of strangers.’ (These pics were taken on a gloriously sunny day at Mount Batten which offers a stunning vantage point for the Hoe and the opportunity for a relaxing coffee on the dog-friendly deck overlooking the marina at The Bridge.)

Devon Life – Devon Dogs – October – Plymouth – Basil

Devon Dogs series for Devon Life magazine featuring Cockapoo Basil in Plymouth

And look who’s November’s Devon Dogs pin-up – Bodie! With the rather dramatic headline “Saved from death row”, this tells the story of how Bodie and I met and moved from the West Coast (USA) to West Country (UK). Or, as I like to say, from Gangland to Farmland. This is one of my favorite beach snaps of Bodie – it was such a wrench for us to leave sunny California but when I look at this scene (with Teignmouth’s distinctive pinkish sands all a-sheen) I think Bodie has it pretty good!

Devon Life – Devon Dogs – November – Teignbridge – Bodie

Devon Dogs article in Devon Life magazine featuring Bodie


If you are Devon-based with a Devon Dogs story you’d like to share, drop us a line at


For more details on Bodie’s Teignbridge Treats – including the Best Dog-Friendly Fish & Chips in the area – click through to Bodie’s Perfect Day in Shaldon here:


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