Raising awareness of the plight of homeless dogs

Rustington singer-songwriter Jules Winchester has written a Christmas song – and created an accompanying animation – to raise awareness of the plight of homeless dogs.

Jules Winchester
Jules Winchester

“I have a Springer Spaniel rescue dog from the Dogs Trust Shoreham which we have had five years and he’s an absolute joy,” Jules said. “He is known by the locals as Gorgeous George!”

But her point is that there are plenty of dogs who are nowhere near as fortunate as Gorgeous George is. Think Of Me This Christmas is her response.

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“An acquaintance of mine asked me if I had ever written a Christmas song and she is a dog lover and so am I. And I thought about it and I got to work. And I also thought I would make an animation. I have just started having a go at stop-motion animation. Preparing it took about a week. I had done an animation for another song so I basically knew what to do. It is plasticine and modelling clay and a bit of fondant icing! And I filmed it in a day.

“With the song I just want to raise awareness of the fact that there are so many dogs out there that have just not got a home. It’s heart-breaking to see. I put myself on Twitter and I looked at dog shelters advertising and I just got so upset by it. It is worse at the moment because of the lockdowns. People have had time and have taken in dogs and then they have gone back to work and they can’t look after the dogs and there are so many that are just homeless now needing good homes.

“I’ve always written songs since I was a teenager, just trying to get myself out there. It is hard work on your own. I have met quite a lot of people on the way that have given me advice and help. It is just really a hobby. I have done a few open mics but I suffered really badly with stage fright and so I stopped it. I just can’t get past that. It’s a shame but I do love writing songs and I would like to write songs for other people as well.

“I have my own little mixer at home and I just do it in the spare room. I released the songs myself. I do it all. On this one there is keyboard and guitar and a bit of bass and vocals really. You just make the most of what you have. I just use my imagination and try to pull it all together.

“This is the first single I have ever done. But I have brought out four albums. I did an album with Richard Durrant a few years ago which he helped me produce. It was a great experience. I’m working on a new album at the moment. I’ve done about six songs. It might take a while. The last album took me about three years to do and to sort out. But I would hope that maybe I might release a new album in the next year.”

Link to the song and animation: https://youtu.be/bOPiz2guvPI