Saturday, February 7, 2009
Help Keep Bilbo On The Beach
Over the past year, we've documented the efforts to help keep Bilbo as a lifeguard on Sennen Beach.
The efforts are still underway and your support is needed to keep this special Newife doing what Newfies do -- saving lives.
Andrew and I ask that you take a bit of time to read June Falconer's latest effort and watch her great video on Bilbo, a true hero who only wants to do that which comes naturally to him.
The British Parliament is to be petitioned in the battle to get Bilbo the life-saving beach dog reinstated as a working dog.
In 2008, this special Newfoundland was banned from patrolling the beach where his owner Steve Jamieson is an RNLI lifeguard.
Although the six-year-old is credited with saving at least three lives, Penwith District Council banned the animal from the beach at Sennen Cove, near Land's End, under bylaws over the summer period that apply to all dogs.
However, in June, council bosses relented and allowed him to go back to the beach twice a week for two hours a day to help promote beach safety with Mr. Jamieson.
Now Bilbo's supporters want him to be treated the same as other working dogs and have organised an online petition to present to Parliament next April. Working dogs include dogs for the blind, police dogs and fire investigation dogs.
Janeta Hevizi, who has written a book about Bilbo is behind the move.
She said: "Don't believe the excuses of why Bilbo can't be a working dog – he was one for three summers until 2008, so let's get him the status he deserves, since he works so hard still spreading the message about beach safety in addition to his weekly visits to schools. Bilbo deserves to be given prominence as a working dog and true beach safety asset.
Bilbo is the most docile and professional of dogs, and is totally relaxed around all people in both small and large numbers.
He's always alert to potential hazards that swimmers may face in unpredictable sea currents.
Bilbo's ability is precious and no gimmick. Bilbo has gone to the heart of the nation and in particular far West Cornwall."
Peter Dawes, RNLI head of lifeguards, said: "Bilbo's educational role in schools and twice a week on Sennen beach has complemented the RNLI's team of highly trained lifeguards who patrol Sennen beach throughout the summer season.
"Their comprehensive training includes first aid, radio and rescue skills and best prepares them to respond to someone in danger in the water. This season, they dealt with 134 incidents including a successful resuscitation."
Signatures can be collected and posted to Bilbo c/o The Old Success, Sennen Cove, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7DD.
All signatures must be collected by March 31, 2009, in plenty of time for Bilbo's trip to London in April.
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By June Falconer
This latest movie was made in a continuing effort to help keep Bilbo on the beach.
When you have watched the movie at the bottom of this page
Please sign his petition at this link, it only takes a minute!
IT'S BILBO'S ONLINE GOVERNMENT PETITION TO PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN - WE WANT BILBO TO BE GRANTED OFFICIAL WORKING DOG STATUS THIS SUMMER 2009, SO THAT HE CAN CARRY ON AS A FULL TIME BEACH RESCUE LIFEGUARD DOG, AND SPREAD HIS MESSAGE OF BEACH AND SEA SAFETY AWARENESS WHICH CAN HELP SAVE LIVES OF ADULTS AND CHILDREN FROM DROWNING IN THE SEA.
BILBO'S WEBSITE IS www.bilbosays.com
YOU CAN VIEW BILBO'S GROUP ON FACEBOOK - KEEP BILBO ON THE BEACH
Would you then please forward this link on to your family and friends. We only have a month to help him.
The time for signing the Petition closes on the 8th March 09.
Thank you for your support and to those of you who have already signed. Hope you enjoy the movie!