TV and Radio

Radio review: Game of Thrones has a lot to answer for...

Game of Thrones actors Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, and Emilia Clarke, who portrays Daenerys, scan the horizon for huskies.

You and Yours, BBC Radio 4

Start the Week, BBC Radio 4

THERE'S a dog the size of a donkey that walks our streets. A normal size pooper scooper would never do. It makes you think.

Radio 4 consumer programme You and Yours addressed the recent fad for huskies.

It's the Kate Middleton effect - when a celebrity wears a dress and then, all of a sudden, the shops are sold out of it.

The huskies are the Game of Thrones effect. It's all very well in the wilderness of a forest full of wildlings when there's nothing like a wolf padding alongside the Starks and even proving handy in the odd battle.

But a husky striding BT17?

The Dogs Trust believes the growing sales of wolf-type dogs fuelled by Game of Thrones is a problem.

Huskies may be adorable puppies but they grow up to be extremely powerful dogs that can be difficult to train. They pull sleds and there's precious little need for that about these parts.

One woman who rescues the dogs told the programme that huskies are the "best breed in the world" but "not the easiest". One of her huskies had six homes by the age of two.

"It breaks my heart," she said.

It might be okay if the fad were for a Jack Russell, said Barbara Robson of Ashbourne Animal Welfare. But film producers should really think of the knock-on effect.

Dan Richards is a travel writer who loves the wilderness - it's getting to be in shorter supply.

In Start the Week, he talked about trekking to high mountain huts and distant snowy cabins for his book, Outposts.

Apparently Jack Kerouac went slightly mad living alone on a remote mountainside - he ended up inventing several imaginary friends and running a poker tournament. The chips were clearly down.

What was bewitching was Richards's description of those "Marie Celeste" moments in the wilderness - the embers of a recent fire and traces of other lives that you will never know.

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