Preparing your dog for the new arrival, fracking and wildlife - here are the letters for May 15, 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son (Name later announced as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor), who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son (Name later announced as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor), who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
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With the recent wonderful addition of Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to our Royal Family, I’m writing to encourage your parents-to-be readers to make sure they prepare their dog for a new arrival, as I am sure the Duchess of Sussex has done with Guy, her pet beagle.

Having a baby is a big event for the whole family, including their dog and the more time they spend training their dog and helping them adjust to the changes that are coming, the easier it will be for all as the dog will experience changes in routine as well as new sights, smells and sounds that may upset them.

There are lots of simple steps your readers can take to help their dog adjust to the arrival of a baby:

* Get them used to the reduced attention before your baby arrives by separating them from you, for short periods of time every day, in the lead up to the birth.

* If they are going to be kept out of certain rooms i.e. the baby’s room, start doing this as soon as possible by setting up baby gates ahead of time. This way they will feel comfortable well in advance of when you need them to.

* Try not to overexcite or stress your dog by staying calm and relaxed when you bring your baby home.

* Teach them how to approach the baby properly and gently. Allow them to make safe initial investigations and approaches under your supervision.

* Give them treats and lots of praise when they behave well around the baby.

* Make sure that your dog has enough to do and is kept well exercised, even if it means considering a dogwalker for a while.

* Make sure your dog must have a place that they feel safe and relaxed; somewhere that they can go to if things are getting too much for them.

Hollie Sevenoaks

Dogs Trust Head of Education


Grim experience from the USA

Re: Monday’s letter, Fracking will help reduce pollution (Your Say, May 13).

The article details comments from a reader who claims, “on a holiday, we saw the results after fracking. It amounted to an area the size of a tennis court. A large pipe came out of the ground for a metre and then went underground again. The area was fenced off and cows roamed in the field. It was not a blot on the landscape.”.

This is a naive statement.

I was born in Chorley and lived most of my life there.

I emigrated to the US in 2005. I live in a rural part of Texas, in an area where the Barnett Shale has a huge amount of natural gas. My 10-acre ranch sits atop the area. Since the reserves were discovered in 1981 and fracking started, we have seen a steady increase in the amount of wells.

A few years back, we started experiencing earthquakes throughout the area (covering huge areas and not local to the wells themselves).

It got so bad that the state got involved and sponsored seismographic studies (I have TWO seismographs on my property, and I have personally experienced the earthquakes and have minor property damage - cracked concrete foundations, drywall etc - as a result). Our city roads are literally destroyed by heavy trucks making daily trips to the well sites to collect the unwanted byproduct bracken water that is released as a result.

You’ll either have a hazardous holding pond of dangerous and toxic water or large holding tanks.

As these tanks fill, they are serviced daily (seven days a week) by trucks hauling the waste water out.

The whole area is a blot with these ugly water holding tanks.

Over the years, some have been retired and sit rusting in fields and pastures.

Wells are abandoned and pose a hazard of contaminating the aquifer that serves us drinking water.

I do not know what the energy solution is.

I do know that fracking should not be one of the proposed solutions.

David Andrews

via email


Laughter from start to finish... thanks

Just a “thank you” for the tickets I won in the Manford Comedy Festival.

My sister and I had a thoroughly good evening, watching John Bishop and Friends.

It was laughter from start to finish. Many thanks.

Sylvia Waddington

Via email


Crows need to 
be culled

Only the other day, a couple of crows or rooks targeteted a young beautiful song thrush.

Whilst its parents tried in vain to defend it, alas it lost its battle to the crows. We don’t need anymore of this butchering. They do need to be culled if we wish to preserve our depleted songbirds. A sad day it was, in the rain too.

Jarvis Browning

Address supplied