The ‘Dogs in the City’ podcast presenter tells us how her beloved Bulldog makes her laugh, sends her to sleep, and steals the limelight from Alan Titchmarsh...
Broadcaster, actress, and vlogger Jo Good boasts an 18-year career with the BBC, along with a lifetime of dog ownership.
Jo co-wrote ‘Barking Blondes’ with close friend and Your Dog columnist Anna Webb, and has appeared as a pet expert on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’, as well as taking part in Sky 1’s ‘dogumentary’ ‘A Different Breed’.
In addition, Jo presents BBC Radio London’s ‘The Barking Hour’ — the only radio-based dog show in the world — every Thursday afternoon, and vlogs weekly under the pseudonym MiddleAgedMinx. Follow Jo on social media @MiddleAgedMinx
Q. Tell us about your first dog?
“My first dog was a Bearded Collie called Henry, who I shared with my boyfriend. I was very young and working in a soap opera in Birmingham so only saw Henry at weekends in London. He was a crazy dog. I had no control over him and he once ran away in Brockwell Park and a mounted policeman helped me to find him.”
Q. Tell us about your current dog?
“My current dog is a British Bulldog called Matilda. She is 10 and very fit. I realise, as a breed, the British Bulldog is very controversial, but through my radio show, I have learned so much about how to keep her healthy. I feed her raw food, and, however much she resents it, she has walks every day. Her breathing is very good but she is incredibly stubborn. But very amusing. She makes me laugh.”
Q. Who has been/is the canine love of your life?
“Matilda is the canine love of my life. It’s just the two of us against the world. She goes everywhere with me. We live in a tiny flat in Marylebone and everyone, including the London cabbies, knows her. She is a London celebrity dog. I am child-free and I’m not deluded enough to think she is my fur baby, but she definitely brought out a maternal instinct in me.”
Q. If you were a dog, which breed would you be?
“I have often been called ‘terrier-like’. I’m small and relentless, and quite amusing… so, a Border Terrier.”
Q. What do you love most about sharing your life with a dog?
“It means there is another heartbeat in my home. Matilda doesn’t need talking to unless I feel like it. She doesn’t judge me, she reads my moods, and is appreciative of any attention I give her. She is the best and most loyal partner I have ever had.”
Q. Tell us a funny story about your dog
“Matilda and I were regular contributors to ITV’s ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’. Alan loved Matilda because she would grab any close-ups from the cameraman due to her photogenic, grumpy face. She is totally food orientated. Every time we did a food item on the show, she would eat all the props before we had even started to talk about them. The audience and Alan loved it. She upstaged all of us as she ate her way through all the set dressing.”
Q. Dogs in the bed: yes or no?
“Definitely. I can’t sleep without Matilda snoring. I find it as soothing as the sea. She sleeps on and in the bed, according to temperature.”
Q. Do you have a favourite place for a dog-friendly holiday?
“At least twice a year, I go to a dog-friendly hotel in Climping, West Sussex. It has a beach but also fields. Dogs are allowed in every room apart from the dining room. They have a dog menu and bring ‘doggy goodnight biscuits’ to the room at night. Matilda loves it and so do I. I would never travel anywhere without her.”