The Dudley Questionnaire
This week, nutritionist and model, Rosemary Ferguson and her tiny sausage dog, Ruby Red
The first time Dudley met Rosemary Ferguson, it was in a smart London Soho members club with a very strict no dogs policy. Ferguson arrived with a wicker basket containing her first Dachshund puppy, Ruby Red. Usually puppies are the only distraction Dudley needs, but Rose is tall, handsome and radiates kindness and is luminous with good health.
Ferguson is a former model whose naturopathy and nutritional practice is a destination for clients that are rumoured to include Victoria Beckham (who is always giving her shout outs on Instagram) and British Vogue’s visionary editor, Edward Enninful (also a very public fan).
All the smart ladies like to boast on Instagram when they are doing Ferguson’s Five Day Plan, a diet delivered to the door that promises detoxing, clear-headedness and “feel fresh by Friday”. Nothing, if not democratic, for those of us without £250 to spare, her webpages and Instagram are crammed with free recipes, tips and further plans for insanely good health. Warm, honest and self-deprecating, much of her content is shot in the kitchen of the Cotswold farmhouse she shares with three daughters, five dogs, and her artist husband, Jake Chapman.
Ferguson still models, sometimes with her daughter, Elfie Reigate, who is signed to her Godmother Kate Moss’s agency. Ferguson and her bestie, Moss, defined the hard partying insouciance of Cool Britannia, and while her life is more about lentils, kids, horses and - natch - dogs now, her past appetite for hedonism certainly informs her professional approach to nutrition. Name us one other nutritional guru who ever posted a pint of lager on their Instagram?
What is your idea of perfect dog-related happiness?
Lying in bed with them all, watching telly
What is/are your greatest fears?
Heights, spiders, cockroaches
Which historical doggy person do you most identify with?
I don’t why I am saying Barbara Woodhouse because I am a truly terrible trainer and share nothing in common with her or Cesar Millan for that matter.
Which living person does your dog most admire, after you?
My husband is a great dog man.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself that you don’t mind in your dog?
What is the trait you most deplore in others but that you don’t mind in your dog?
Her truly terrible table manners – she will eat whatever, whenever, even if it is off the table while we are eating
What is your greatest dog-related extravagance?
The Ramp. It came from Australia and is a special sausage dog ramp – madness. It is literally a plank of wood with some carpet on it, which came all the way round the world so my dog can get on the bed. I will never be allowed to forget the purchase of The Ramp.
What is your favourite dog walk?
‘Dead Mans Walk’ it is behind our house, I love it.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue in mankind?
Dignity, it’s way too much pressure, I always fail, I never achieve it – I think its super overrated, there’s so many more worthwhile things to aim for
What do you consider the most overrated virtue in in dogs?
Bringing the stick you’ve just thrown back. Fetch and retrieve, or in my dog’s case, don’t….
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Every morning I wake up with Brian May’s hair – not that you would know it, I’ve been straightening it since the nineties. Straightening is like my generation’s version of a set and blow dry
What do you most love about your dogs appearance?
Her lovely ears
Which words or phrases do you most overuse when talking to your dog?
‘You do wee wees OUTSIDE’
If your dog could talk, what would he/she sound like?
What do you mean if? She does talk and she sounds exactly like Margot from The Good Life
What does your special talking to the dog voice sound like?
Barbara from the Good Life
What is your greatest regret when it comes to dogs?
That I didn’t have them when I was growing up.
Which dog is the greatest canine love of your life?
All of our doggies past and present and especially The Sausages. Our first was Ruby Red (who this interview about) and now we have Greta too
Which superpower would you most like your dog to have?
I’d be happy with her coming back when I call her
What is your current state of mind?
Pretty pretty good
What is your dog currently doing?
Sleeping next to me
If you could change one thing about your dog, what would it be?
Her hot temper.
What is your earliest memory of a dog?
When I was allowed to look after and be a part of Kylie’s life, Jake’s staffy. He said, ‘Feed her whatever you eat’, which I did. Kylie and I both loved our Big Macs and fries. This, apparently, was not quite what he meant and he was shocked I was so clueless. Things have changed in sixteen years. Today I am a nutritionist and my dogs eat the very finest Bella and Duke organic raw food and take probiotics.
What kind of dog do you look like?
People say I look like Rubes – I think it might be my strong nose.
What is your dog’s most treasured possession?
All the toys, all the bones, all the balls and all the beds in the house. All the other dogs (another puppy Dachshund, two Staffies and a Ridgeback) are terrified of her and her terrible Alpha female temper.
Where would you like to live?
There are loads places I would love to live at some point – I worry I don’t have enough time
What do you most value in your friends?
I’ve known my friends for so long and I value the unconditional love and support we have for each other.
What is it that your dog most dislikes?
She does not like other dogs – she is a complete Dachshund diva – if she was human she would be wearing a turban drinking, a dirty martini and smoking a cocktail cigarette in long holder.
Discover more about Rose at https://www.rosemaryferguson.co.uk