I think it's my black coat that's the trouble as my brother, who has a yellow one, doesn't have the same problem. When storm Barbara came and blew my ear inside out the whole black coat / pink inside of ear thing really didn't suit me and made my people laugh. I don't mind being made fun of now, but when I came to live in Church Minshull last September I was more sensitive and certainly very nervous. I'd been rejected from Guide Dog training due to "low stress resilience" – well who does like walking in traffic? – but had managed to train my first "puppy walkers" into letting me sleep in their bedroom, sit on the furniture and generally make out like a real person. My new people would have none of it and expected me to toughen up: I like to remind them who's really in charge by checking how deeply they're sleeping at regular intervals through the night with my strong voice, but I've got used to not sitting on the settee and anyway the pale cushions clash terribly with my black coat.
However to get to the point, instead of having to behave all the time as a guide dog I now get to run around and chase birds and squirrels every day and best of all to roll in "country things". Before Barbara blew my ear inside out my people gave me two hose-pipe baths in one day after I found some fox scat up near Paradise Lane (now that's well named!) and threw my collar away as well! Most days my job is to check out the canal towpath, chase off any undesirables and welcome other dogs, and it was on our way back that I found this big branch down – must be a tough one as I couldn't frighten it off with a good bark. Next time I'll tell you about learning to swim in the canal.
Madai (your rovering reporter)