Special friends of National Pet Week

Harvey the Lifestyle Dog and Jennifer Hyland

Harvey Jennifer Hyland runs a small graphic design partnership from home and Harvey, her Retriever cross dog, is very much part of the organisation. However, in his own right he is leading the way to generating another business that has been inspired through client concepts and creative thinking. Not only has this generated work for her, it has realised promotional products and services in return.

Jennifer says: “With a wide range of samples and initial ideas in the portfolio, the real launch came from Swindon Health Promotion and the Swindon Borough Council Leisure Services. Issues of health and fitness became more exciting when Harvey was involved and thus prompted a better understanding. By illustrating how to be safe in the sun, keep fit, stop smoking and saying no to drugs were just a few of the priorities featured. Leading on to the Junior School Fitness Roadshow programmes – targeting 7,000 children throughout the area, all working to please Harvey. This particular project inspired the creation of a striking and cute character image, which has now been trademarked as the lifestyle dog¹.

“Harvey enjoys his life as a dog but lives it like a human-being, offering the potential to entertain and educate children and adults, while linking the needs of a pet in a shared environment. The ideas that have been tried and tested tell me that Harvey is capable of imparting information to children, ‘Harvey makes coming to school more fun’, said one child from Carlton Junior School in Gloucester (from a local BBC radio interview). That is why there are a number of knowledgeable people interested in advising and supporting me, from connections with Loughborough University, head of art and design at Swindon College, leisure services, nutritional and veterinary contacts to pet and human trainers/behaviourists.

“Bearing in mind how important it is to maintain interest in daily routines of personal health, hygiene, diet, fitness and lifestyle, which can be boring and tiresome, I want the Harvey business to pass on his message through greetings cards, charts, craft packs, cartoons and books etc., to eventually repeating the same in animation and merchandise.

“In the meantime, I am in the process of designing a colouring book that visually explains how to care for a pet throughout its life. The idea is to educate children, especially in areas of little knowledge (UK and overseas).
The publication will initially act as a fundraiser for rescue homes, while interactively teaching the facts of owning a pet.

“Currently, Harvey is the roving reporter for Dogs Monthly magazine. In a double page, full colour spread we have the opportunity boast where no dog has gone before! His connections with a number of other organisations has helped me to build a broader picture, with the added confidence in knowing that my plans have potential. Harvey has achieved celebrity status (and rubbed shoulders with a few) through the Community Forest, Big Arts Week, The Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs Home, Pet Brands, Crosskeys Select Publishers, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Debenhams (back to school launch), Animal Treasures, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC TV, The Pet Health Care Trust, RAF Brize Norton, The Fire Service, Army Cadets, Original Candy Co., National Pet Week, the Police and many more.

“I am passionate, enthusiastic and desperate to fulfill my ambition of making a business that educates a healthy lifestyle in the nicest possible way, and where better than through man’s best friend,” she adds.

Frog the Dog

Children’s author Helen McGlasson moved to Cumbria with in 1999 to make a new life for herself after leaving work with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Happy memories of the family pet dog she had as a small child prompted her to get a puppy of her own, a border collie, whom she named Frog. The adventures they had together inspired Helen to draw cartoons of Frog for her family. It wasn’t long before Helen pulled the cartoons together to illustrate a story about Frog. As Helen has been a prolific writer since the age of eight, it was no surprise that another story quickly followed and then another. There are now five Frog books published, with more to come.

Frog the DogHer latest book, “Frog the Dog and the Broken Bone!” came about after Frog was seriously ill in December 2003, was hospitalised and diagnosed with Addison’s disease. His condition has been successfully managed, and with regular medication Frog is now back to full health. When Frog’s vet realised Frog was the hero of several books, he asked if Helen would write a “going to the vet” story. Helen found it too painful to think of Frog being ill even in a story, so she brought in a new character based on another of the vet’s patients, a Great Dane, who is rescued by Frog and taken to the vet to have his broken leg fixed. Helen hopes that this story will raise awareness of the problem of being “different”, in this case by being so big, and that “big” doesn’t necessarily equate to “scary”. She hopes to have with a Great Dane in the future because she would like a serene dog who will sit on her knee.

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