Battersea Collars and Coats


Glamour and dogs are a magical wow, indeed a bow wow combination! Add to that the opportunity to raise money for the world famous Battersea Dogs and Cats home and you have the recipe for a wonderful starry soiree. To add to the charm of it all, once again the Collars and Coats fundraiser venue is hidden away among the trees of Battersea Park. While it might be in wooded seclusion the gala site is just a bone`s throw from the Battersea doggie HQ and the majestic Thames.

Adding to the sense of pageant this year was the presence of soldiers in dress uniforms. This guard of honour was of special significance in the year we marked the centenary of the start of World War One. As soldiers will know, dogs played their part in the conflict. One WW1 dog even went from rescue status to movie stardom. And I quote – Wikipedia. `A maleGerman Shepherd Dog (was) rescued from a World War Ibattlefield by an American soldier, Lee Duncan, who nicknamed him “Rinty”. Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and obtained silent film work for the dog. Rin Tin Tin was an immediate box office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame.` And the rest as they say is cinema history. Inspirational!

Such a special prime location was the perfect setting for a glittering array of stars. Big names were expected and big names appeared. Appropriately the welcome was handed from the military to the mutts. A cavalcade of canines lined the red carpet standing sometimes to attention – sometime lounging – but always adorable and looking for loving homes. This four-legged welcoming committee sent out the Battersea message better than any number of fine words.

One extra special guest at this year`s Collars and Coats was the sweetest little Jack, who went by the name of Rex. Stars including Amanda Holden, Paul O`Grady and David Gandy all came over to cuddle, stroke and pose up with Rex. These photos made an extra special, very poignant album for the work of Battersea. Barely a year old he is a true symbol of the work of Battersea.

This plucky little fella had the worst of starts in life. Abandoned a few months, he then had the misfortune to be run over by a car. Despite the best efforts of the Battersea Rescue team he was in such a poor state on no fewer than three occasions he was in danger of being put to sleep. Thanks to the wonderful work of the Battersea team he improved enough to be put up for adoption. Of course, such a difficult start in life had left scars, which affected his temperament making him a tricky case for homing.
So hat`s off to Kitty who took on Rex. Lussorian watched the stars arriving and watched as all the big names took the time to say hello and pose up with Rex. A true unsung,unassuming pooch poster boy for the good works that the evening was championing.

Kitty revealed it was a difficult undertaking caring for Rex and that his grisly injuries had resulted in occasional aggressive behaviour which, at least once, resulted in painful bites. But care, very tender loving care, transformed Rex. This handsome young chap now has a secure home and is safe in the knowledge that he melts hearts wherever he goes.
And not only that, he is something of mascot and takes his duties seriously. Just down the river from the Tower of London poppy moat, on the night, this patriotic pooch sported a poppy to show his support for the forces. This big hearted little dog showed he was already giving back so soon after travelling a tough path along the road to recovery. God Save The Rex!

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