Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Dogs have always been a thing at the Hall; you can't get far without encountering a furry four legged friend of some shape or size around here.
In return for their keep, ball games and a tickle under the chin, the dogs give us unconditional love and bring us happiness and laughter. They keep my feet warm under the desk, regularly model for the Hall's latest Instagram post, give me an excuse to get out in the fresh air for daily walks and quite importantly provide me with someone to talk to when I am going mad, having been on my own in the studio for too long.
It is quite unbelievable that as well as all that these super creatures can help humans in even more ways, ways in which can be both life changing and life saving. Lots of dogs from Labradors to Spaniels are actually doing this through a charity we support here at the Hall, called the Medical Detection Dogs (MDD).
Over the last ten years this charity has concerned itself with looking at the dog's amazing use of senses, which can be applied in two different ways to help save lives. The first is the dog's incredible ability to help in the early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. By researching some dog's unique ability to detect diseases using their noses, the charity have made huge advances towards developing technology that it is hoped will one day have a similar quality for early disease diagnosis, which in turn could save hundreds of lives.
Saving lives is also the role of the second type of MDD dogs. These dogs use their senses to alert individuals suffering from conditions such as epilepsy of imminent seizures, associated with their condition. By receiving a warning of an oncoming seizure from the dog the suffer has time to get to a place of safety while the symptoms pass. Having these dogs in their lives means that people suffering with these conditions are able to live a more normal life, participating in activities that they would never have been able to do before, such as the simple act of visiting the village shop.
These dogs and the work the MDD are doing is marvelous. The costs involved in the research and training facilities are extremely high and the charity relies heavily on donations, which is why I decided to try and help in my small way. I have launched 'The Collective Houn's' range of cards and prints from which 10% of every sale is donated to the MDD charity.
By depicting six of our favourite dog breeds in all their glorious colours I hope the range will appeal to dog owners out there, who would also like to help this rewarding charity continue it's great work. If you'd like to learn more about that, or donate directly visit them here, otherwise check out those glorious dogs in our new range at www.toadhallcompany.co.uk