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Jan 5

Screwed the pooch?

Posted on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 in Arty Farty, Something to think about, Strange and Unusual, Taboo

Whenever anybody I know gets a goo on them for a puppy, I always tell them to try ASH Animal Rescue Centre first . It’s in Kiltegan, not far from Baltinglass (one of the prettier towns in this here county of Wicklow), and is one of those companies that operates strictly by the ‘never put a good dog down’ book. They currently home 20 dogs (though numbers rise to 60-ish), 23 cats, one donkey, one horse, 2 pigs, 3 foxes and two rabbits.

Melissa Hayward, a model with an eye for funk recently adopted a Basset Hound from this crowd and was so impressed, she took it upon herself to create a charity calendar to raise funds for the rescue centre.

And create one she did! It’s so stylish… flourishes of retro flood the pages in high intensity colours that demand a first glance, then a second as the quirky sense of humour sneaked into the pictures hits you.


I would personally love to hang this calendar in my livingroom, but if I did, I have a feeling that my husband might object despite all the scantily clad women knocking about.


“Why on earth would he object to scantily clad women?!?” I hear you ask? Well, he’s not the only one. Pet shops have refused to stock it, and twelve of its backers have pulled out of the project in disgust. Even local TV vet Pete Wedderburn appeared to have difficulty holding his cereal down, labelling the calendar ‘distasteful’ and ‘entirely wrong’.

March. Marching orders, more like…:


There. You’ve seen it. Are you all okay? Anyone in need of defibrillators out there? Jeez. Yes, the puppy is apparently suckling the model’s boob. But isn’t it cute and yet confusingly sexy?!? Doesn’t that show overtones of nurturing associated with the rescue centre, or is this just plain old animal torture? The model doesn’t think so, Agata’s a follower of PETA and is well used to their extreme advertising… apparently the Irish just aren’t ready for it yet though. (Down with this sort of thing!!!) The Daily Mail had a field-day with it, but still published all the pictures, hey.

Co-creator Adelheid Walsh is quoted as saying: ‘We were left really frustrated and in floods of tears because we had all worked for hundreds of hours on this and for free because we wanted to help an animal charity. Then we have people dropping off from the campaign and feminists telling us we are degrading women – we are not.’

Ash themselves refuse to apologise, their spokeswoman Helena Le Mahieu states: ‘The cause is more important. It’s a beautiful calendar and the picture is very tasteful. People should get over the minor details like this and get behind this calendar.’

It leads me to wonder… is it animal cruelty that’s taboo here, or breastfeeding? Either way I find it pretty fascinating and encourage all animal-loving, quirk-searching charity enthusiasts out there to buy a copy. It’s such an excellent cause, not to mention a pretty excellent conversation starter. What do you think?

Click here to buy :)

Bring on the comments

  1. Granny says:

    There now, have just gone and done bought one!
    Much ado about nufin, stupid people.

  2. Brianf says:

    You talked me into it. I bought one too.

  3. Baino says:

    I would if I hadn’t already bought a rather boring RSPCA one. Such a fuss and yet nobody objects to naked firemen or footballers! GAH

  4. Oh come on – they must have known that there would be a lot of hue and cry over this, so either they are really stupid or it was done deliberately to generate publicity. I don’t care either way – deliberate or stupid, dog breastfeeding, whatever. As long as the cute doggies all get adopted into good homes, I don’t care how it is done.

  5. K8 says:

    Granny and Brian; Good on ye!! May your days be filled with puppy love, and your visitors be open-minded :)

    Baino; I object to naked footballers! They’re not half as pleasing as naked rugby players.

    Don’t bug me; In a perfect world these calendars would be hung proudly by our Sacred Heart pictures all over the country, but the inner nun in us prevents it. Some day we’ll loosen up I’m sure.

  6. Holemaster says:

    There’s a serious amount of work gone into that calendar. That would cost you about ten grand to get produced commercially and not including print costs.

    And proper buxom ladies too.

  7. K8 says:

    It was pure love of the subject that drove these people to work so hard for so long for free, what a huge smack in the face it must have been to have it all dismissed so quickly. They can’t see it for what it really is!

    I’m a big fan of the models, how diverse they are of shape… there’s a joke about fine puppies in there somewhere.

  8. Annie says:

    I have an ickle puppy at home that I will never look at the same way again now. NEVAR.

    Just bought a calendar there anyways.

  9. Holemaster says:

    Irish are afraid of design. We’re total philistines when it comes to any form of graphic or architectural design. But they’ll pay a week’s wages for a gaudy tacky handbag.

    *grumbles at pigeons*

  10. K8 says:

    Annie; I want a puppy too! I can’t afford dog food so it could be fed to Wouldye, he hasn’t eaten puppy since his birthday.

    Holemaster; There’s something mystical about handbags that’s just not spoken about. As soon as I find out I won’t tell you because I’m sure it’s very very boring.

  11. hee hee smiles and laughs i cant help but love this calender. i have to get three as i need to sent you down under. but whats all the fuss about talk about storm in a D cup.for fuck sake some people really need to get out more. oh yeah i will be getting my calnders from atattoed and i will be asking about a new tat while i am there. i have to say i have a wee crush on the march model. Its all for charity people. God amighty these girls put their heart and soul into this project and people should be happy. in fact if anything its tongue in cheek cheesecake photography and do you know what i love it. i also have to say i love aprils model. the girl that is love the dog as well. she looks a like like christina hendricks from mad men. all those curves and me standing here with no brakes. *swoons* and fall onto couch

  12. BTW that vet is an idiot who needs to get out more. have showen a few shots of the puppy love calender abroad and all i can say is that some people now love animals more thanks to this.

  13. AndyMandy says:

    Can’t believe these people! The calendar is great – one of the best out there at the moment. The people @ ASH are such a great crowd. They deserve every penny!

  14. Jo says:

    Ohhh… sigh. It’s breastfeeding that’s obscene. Boobs for the lads is all good, but not in their incarnation as milk providers.

    I mean, ok it’s apuppy – but then there’s facebook deeming all pics of breastfeeding babies obscene – which says more about their perversion than that of the proud mammies, I think.

  15. Jo says:

    Handbags are about wombs. It’s a womb thing.

  16. unstranger says:

    Fucking brilliant! Fair dues to her.

  17. K8 says:

    Vicky; People should swoon more, it’s so effective at getting your point across. I got my calendar this morning! My inner lesbian is so happy :)

    AndyMandy; Thanks for visiting me! I love what ASH does, but I’ve no idea how they do it, it’s a miracle these places exist.

    Jo; I saw that! Total nipple shutdown – we don’t want to go upsetting the children, do we?? So weird.

    Unstranger; Isn’t it?!? Crackin’ idea.

  18. Brianf says:

    I just got my calendar today, all the way from Guinness-land. Yea me!

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