He’s cute, he’s furry, he’s eager to please – and he’s also called Cardiff.
This is one Welsh terrier who’s never chased a cat through Bute Park or gone for walkies in the Bay, but that didn’t stop celebrity vet Patrick Mahaney from naming him after the capital.
Cardiff and his owner live in Los Angeles, California, where Patrick makes house calls to look after the pets of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, though his canine best friend is never far from his side.
“With him being a Welsh terrier and Cardiff being the capital of Wales, it seemed like a cute and appropriate name,” said Patrick.
Many Californians assume Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a small beach town north of San Diego allegedly named in honour of the Welsh wife of the town’s developer, is where the dog’s name comes from.
But Patrick, 38, knows better and though he and his six-and-a-half-year-old pet have never been to the original Cardiff, it’s something the New Jersey-born vet would love to do in the future.
“I would like to come at some point, maybe with him or after he passes on. I would like to check-out the inspiration for the breed and see the examples in Wales of what the breeds are like,” said Patrick.
“I have this unrealistic image of Welsh terriers bouncing through fields but I know that probably isn’t always the case!”
Patrick got Cardiff from a breeder in Washington State in 2005 but unfortunately since the pair moved to LA, the terrier has picked up a blood disorder called IMHA.
Patrick himself suffers from a chronic back complaint “I am always having to manage my own comfort on a day-to-day basis so I have established a special connection with most of my patients,” he said.
“I treat myself like I treat them.”
Some of these patients include the pets of Hollywood stars Alicia Silverstone and Bryce Dallas Howard on whom Patrick performs acupuncture and administers Chinese medicine to help with pain management.
He also runs a blog for Cardiff which he describes as “A dog’s perspective on life.
“I want to make sure that I’m showing the interesting things that he does but also the means that I use to control his illness,” said Patrick.
Cardiff even has his own brand of dog treats, Cardiff’s Crunchies – with all natural ingredients of course.
“If it’s not good enough for me to test then it’s not good enough for my dog,” said Patrick.
“There are a lot of bad things that go into pet foods that are deemed unfit for human consumption and as a result pets get sick.
“We should feed our pets the same human grade foods that we eat.”
Patrick is certainly sympathetic to the city of Cardiff’s issues with dog mess. “It’s a problem everywhere,” he said.
“Besides the unsightly nature of waste there’s bacteria or parasites that can get into our water supplies or affect wildlife so it’s really important that we pick up our pets’ poo!”
The vet has set-up a camera outside his home to catch what he calls “fecal offenders” in the act, posting videos online of dog owners who let their pets foul on his lawn.
When he’s not working, Patrick also produces health videos and writes articles for TeddyHilton.com, a pet-related spin-off of the popular gossip website run by Perez Hilton.
But Patrick would still like to visit Wales, the spiritual home of his beloved pet, however rainy and cold he may have heard it is.
As for rugby, he’s not yet a fan. “It’s not a sport you can play for a long time it seems!” he said.
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Copyright of this article (2012) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.