Former tabloid editor Wendy Henry has made an astonishing change of career – she has become a dog "re-socialiser" at London’s Battersea Dogs Home.
Henry, who once edited the News of the World, the Sunday People and The Globe in Florida, now works with sick dogs, preparing them for new owners.
She works with unclaimed dogs recovering from operations or those with kennel cough in a Portakabin rigged out like a domestic front room.
The woman whose no-holds-barred style of editing lost her the NoW and Sunday People jobs now spends her time cuddling and talking soothingly to the dogs as part of their treatment.
"I love it more than anything else I have ever done," Henry said of her full-time job. "I’ve wanted to do something like this for the past couple of years."
The owner of a Jack Russell terrier called Teddy, Henry had been in touch with several animal charities since she left Real Homes magazine in July.
She wrote on spec to Battersea Dogs Home, where she also acts as secretary to several committees.
"I am not doing any journalism now. This is my life," said Henry.
Henry started her high-profile career in journalism with the Manchester News Service as a junior reporter in the Seventies. A six-month trial at the Daily Mail in Manchester failed to win her a job — "I didn’t dress properly; they thought I was too scruffy."
After freelancing, she joined the NoW in the features department. Henry moved on to Woman to be features editor before going to The Sun as series editor, buying books for serialisation. She became woman’s editor and then assistant editor (features) before promotion to editor of the NoW’s Sunday magazine and then editor of the paper itself.
She landed the Sunday People job under Robert Maxwell and when she lost that in 1989 went to the US to edit The Globe.
Her next move was into television, when she became managing editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox tabloid TV programme, A Current Affair.
Henry launched and edited the New York Daily News’s Sunday entertainment supplement, Spotlight, and launched a slimming magazine for the Globe organisation from London.
She worked with Eve Pollard at Parkhill Publishing on the aborted launch of a glossy magazine aimed at larger women and for Cabal Communications, where she worked on Real Homes.
By Jean Morgan