Welcome to my website

Sad farewell to Bod


Our beloved Bees (aka Bod). You were the inspiration behind my stories of Bod the black Labrador and then my book Buddy the War Dog. Your name was affectionately changed to Bees after you met a very busy bee one summer afternoon - when your playful nosiness resulted in a sting on your nose! But the name suited your friendly nature and love of people.


We were so glad we visited you from Friday 5th to 8th July 2019, because on the morning of Tuesday 9th July you were taken from us forever after collapsing in pain. The vet had to make an emergency visit. A scan revealed a tumour under your ribcage which had ruptured causing internal bleeding and horrendous pain for you. It was unlikely you would have survived an operation due to your age and, if you had, your happy doggie life would never have been the same again. 


Thinking back, you probably tried to tell us many times how you were hurting. Looking up pleadingly with those beautiful brown eyes and gently laying a paw on our knees. We knew you didn’t need food, water or to go outside for a wee. Then, those little throaty whining sounds you made, were they just attention seeking or really your cry for help?  


You were slowing down in your movements which we put down to your advanced age of twelve years. Yet your jet black silky, shiny coat did not change and was constantly remarked on by people who met you - how healthy and young you looked. This made it difficult for us to realise your deteriorating condition, and to this day, we wonder if you might have been injured during one of your hectic play antics on the beach and were unable to tell us.


Your happy tail wagged until your last breath as did your puppy playfulness and your gentle kisses shared out to your loving owners, Henry and Becky who were with you in your last moments - kisses you so generously gave throughout your life on the good and bad days.


The happy, fun memories you gave us on walks - splashing in the waves which you loved so much, or frolicking in wild, green meadow grasses will stay with us forever, our beloved Bees. There is still so much more left to be said, and the memories will endure - embedded in out hearts and thoughts.

In doggie heaven amongst the wild flowers with the beckoning sea beyond

"This is my seven times great granddad's book of stories of how dogs like me were used during the War. It starts off with me, Bod in Cornwall, telling my master Archie what was written about my granddad in the War Dog's Journal all those years ago.

It's full of daring and exciting situations: some will make you laugh and some could make you cry. So - you'd better prepare yourself for the unexpected........"




See a Review of Buddy The War Dog in the MARCH 2018 edition of DOGS MONTHLY Magazine - Book Club - page 56 - on sale now or online.  at - www.dogsmonthly.co.uk






Jen Richardson from the Labrador Rescue Trust dropped in to Gullivers Bookshop for the book launch of Buddy the War Dog with her special friend  Lottie the brown Lab.


Jen explained about the work of the Trust and how she helped Lottie to overcome her traumatic experiences.


Very soon, Lottie was enjoying a kiss and chat with Ebony and Jet the other two black Labs and sharing some well-earned doggie treats!


Don't forget for every book sold £1 will be donated to The Labrador Rescur Trust.


Read about the Trust's incredible work on their website: www.labrador-rescue.com


And later - Lottie was so curious to find out more about the book and Buddy's experiences - she decided to ask me for a signed copy! How can a gal refuse?


(photo: Courtesy Stour & Avon Magazine -

M. Barber)




A big thank you to Gullivers Bookshop in Wimborne Minster for hosting the launch of my book - Buddy the War Dog - on Tuesday evening 27th June - and to all the people who attended. It was a great turnout. My special thanks to Jen Richardson, Rod Playford and Jenny from The Labrador Rescue Trust who brought along three lovely rescue Labs - Lottie (brown), **Ebony and Jet (both black) who joined in the celebrations - with a treat or two! Lots more books sold which meant more funds for the Trust who rely on donations for the vital work they do. For every book sold, £1 goes towards the Trust


Part fact part fiction the book is written in the first 'doggie-person'. Buddy, a black Labrador, is the seven times great granddad of Bod who lives in Cornwall. Through the War Dogs' Journal, Buddy relates his experiences during World War II in the Blitz and behind enemy lines in France. He builds lifelong bonds with other canines and his soldier handlers. Amidst the action there are also tender moments, laughter and pathos. 




**Unfortuntely we have some very sad news about Ebony, who after a long and painful battle with Addison's disease gave up her struggle and passed away on 1st August. She was comforted and cared for to the end by her loving owners. A moving tribute to Ebony can be read in the Trust's magzine - Labradors Forever in which Ebony's mum and dad - Rod and Jen Playford said:

"She was a very special girl, who despite her medical conditions was always a bright-eyed and waggy-tailed friend and companion to both of us, Jet and indeed everyone else who knew her. She will remain in our hearts forever."







Buddy is sentenced to death at the start of World War II. Minutes later German bombs are raining down on London and his fate is changed forever.

This is Buddy's story of his experiences and contribution during the War and his brave efforts in the London Blitz of espionage, Nazi persecution in France and his exploits behind enemy lines. 

But will Buddy survive?




Broadcaster Helen Johns of Radio Hospital Bedside interviewed Joan about Buddy The War Dog. Having read the book, she said: "I found it very exciting and read it straight through. I had no idea dogs were actually parachuted behind enemy lines. I'd like to know when you write your next book."The fact that for every book sold, £1 is donated to The Labrador Rescue Trust was of particular interest.  Helen has been a volunteer with RHB for 36 years. 



Throughout their 24/7 broadcasts, Radio Hospital Bedside plays an eclectic range of music to cater for all generations and tastes of patients listening in across four Dorset hospitals.

The station has been operating since 1972 and is staffed totally by volunteers who are passionate about sustaining the station's success through continued fund raising activities as they need to raise around £15,000 a year to keep going.  If you would like to become a Friend of RHB or would like to help their cheerful team, you can find details on their website: www.radiohospitalbedsie.co.uk 


On air and relaxed talking to broadcaster Helen at Hospital Radio Bedside, Royal Bournemouth Hospital - with lots to say about Buddy The War Dog! 

Buddy is Bod's seven times great granddad and his story has been handed down from pup to pup. There could be as many as 8,192 descendants throughout the world related to Buddy. Is your Lab one of them?

 Bod was a playful, funny and gentle black Labrador whose inquisitiveness led him into exciting situations with his young friend Archie

Print Print | Sitemap
© McEnnis Publishing

We are located at:


Magnolia House

24 West Street

Wimborne Minster


BH21 1JS

United Kingdom

Contact us 

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:


+44 01202 856188 +44 01202 856188



To buy a book



Or use our contact form.

Get social with us