The BBC, Twitter, Bailey and me

bailey july 2013I was  elected to Brentwood Council in 2007 with people knowing I was an animal lover and I always wanted to be the most approachable of councillors, so my animals have always featured on my website and in my work because I want them to know I am “one of them” and not a remote career politician.  I’ve always picked up casework when walking Louis and his predecessors around the ward.

My dog Louis lives with my mum in my Brentwood West ward and has, since 2012 when I got my seat back after a year’s hiatus, been “Brentwoof West Dog” and comes with me on ward walks and often on campaigns and casework visits.  (In the usual democratic ways of the party, we actually voted him in as Brentwoof West dog at a ward meeting!

But Bailey, well I rescued him from certain death!

Hornchurch Animal Rescue put him on Facebook on 27th March – he had been picked up as a matted, dirty stray with an eye, urine and skin infection was old and underweight and was due to be put to sleep immediately.  They stepped in and had him signed over to them and I picked him up at 10pm that night from the dog warden.  Couldn’t quite believe I had done it as I walked out of a stranger’s house on a cold dark London night with a smelly Gollum like creature under my arm!

I was supposed to keep him over Easter whilst he was assessed – to be honest we didn’t expect him to make it to the weekend as he was in such a state.  But, he stayed, the cats and Louis grew used to him and we fell in love!

I have nursed him back to a healthy old dog – he’s about 9 years old and is on tablets for the rest of his life for Cushing’s Disease but you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him.  he’s lively, funny, cheeky and loving – good with kids, cats, dogs and footballs!

He started tweeting for fun, but also to highlight the need for fosterers and adopters for pound dogs who face death through no fault of their own and older rescue dogs and cats that can sometimes be overlooked.  He also tries to help find lost dogs and cats, tweets about animal welfare issues and general dog stuff.  the only subject “off limits” is politics – yes he’ll support us and put a poster up but he’s not a political animal…he’s come here for his retirement.  His job really is to give me a cuddle after campaigning and late meetings!

He’s very thoughtful and will often give out a #DailyBailey tip or two on how to procure sossiges.  he’s also built up a network of tweeting dogs to chat to including a Lhasa Ahpso who lives in a castle and Clapton Terrier of the Border Terrier Posse!

He is named after George Bailey the character in It’s a Wonderful Life – George also got a second chance at life like Bailey the dog and it is one of my favourite films!

The other day, the BBC got to hear about his Twitter account and so did the local Brentwood Gazette. Despite the fame, though, Bailey will never forget the people who rescued him.


* Karen Chilvers is a Liberal Democrat councillor in Brentwood and keen dog lover.

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This entry was posted in News.

One Comment

  • Cute article.

    My dog comes (see picture) on campaigns – tires her out, and generates more conversation than any single political issue does!

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