TV presenter makes surprise visit to dog care business


A TV presenter visited a dog care center in Sonning Common as a surprise to the owner, writes Marianna Casal.

Graeme Hall from Channel 5 Dogs behave (very) badly, went to Charlie’s Dog Place in Kennylands Road, which is named after the owner’s 13-year-old son Toni Ilsley, who died of cancer in December 2020.

The tour was hosted by Mike Woods, 76, a customer of the business since it opened last year.

Ms Ilsley already owned Charlie’s Place in the Buckingham Drive family home, Emmer Green, when she took over the former Doggy Dips in Kidby’s Yard.

Mr Hall said: ‘I heard about Charlie’s story and just wanted to help because I’m in a position these days where I can just come and say ‘hello’ to someone and have a few photos and help them so why not?

“It’s really nice that I can make people’s day by just being me – what a privilege.

“It’s a great setup here – it’s well organised, the dogs look lovely and Toni really went all out and got everything right. What a great place.”

Ms Ilsley said Charlie would have loved to meet the TV personality.

“He’s a really lovely man,” she said. “He made my day. It’s one of the greatest things that has happened since we’ve been here. Mr Woods, who has lived on Sonning Common for 54 years, contacted Mr Hall’s secretary to find out if he would surprise Mrs Ilsley.

He said: “She really deserves it. It’s fantastic here. A happy dog ​​comes home every night and everyone who works here is lovely. The company offers day care, dog walking and nights and welcomes dogs with different needs.

Ms. Ilsley provides work experience for students and young people with learning disabilities.

Charlie, a student at Highdown School in Emmer Green, had been battling cancer since 2015 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and twice given the green light after treatment.

He had two dogs, Ernie, a Bichon Frize Shih Tzu mix, and Eric, a Lhasa Apso.

While in Mexico for treatment the week before his death, he and his family stayed at a ranch that had rescued a dog and Charlie told his family he wanted to work with dogs when he was older. .

Ms Ilsley left her job at Prospect Park Hospital in Tilehurst to run the two canine centers full-time. She is a qualified dog trainer and is currently taking an online course in canine behavior.

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