BRITAIN'S dog owners are seeing their pets in a new light.
No longer canine companions but cash cows.
It's Pudsey who did it and has not run away. Pudsey, the border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross, who won Britain's Got Talent. Yes, after an exhaustive search for entertainment excellence in the UK, the winner was a dog who can stand on his hind legs and dance a bit.
Don't knock it. Pudsey earned his trainer and stage partner Ashleigh the £500,000 first prize. Potential earnings have been exaggerated by some sections of the press as high as £10m.
I will not be in the throng of owners clutching a Bonio and trying to teach Fido the two-step. Mainly because I don't have a dog. Even when I had one, it was the dog who trained me.
Libby was a labrador of superior breeding and infinite single-mindedness who made compliance with human commands a matter of noblesse oblige. I am trying to remember which of Libby's tricks might have made her a TV star. Rolling on a dead and putrefying seal on the beach? Rolling in a spilt tin of red gloss paint and causing alarm to the lieges with her bloody appearance? Setting world records for the fastest time to chew and destroy the wean's new pair of Clark's shoes?
Most dogs are content to fetch sticks. Libby preferred to make a lunge at walking sticks belonging to passing pensioners. In the absence of grouse or pheasant to retrieve, Libby would emerge from garden hedges with an abandoned kebab. She spent many happy hours chasing flies and other winged insects. She once chewed on a wasp with painful consequences. With a lack of perspective she often confused a passing jet plane with a bluebottle and set off in vain pursuit.
Even if Libby could have danced like Ginger Rogers, I'm not sure I would have exposed her to the downside of celebrity. The paparazzi have already caught Pudsey lifting his leg against a lamppost. The bottom-sniffing pic will only be a matter of time. The Daily Star already reports that Pudsey has a gay lover, a cocker spaniel called Sam.
I hate to think what the redtops might have made of my other dug Sophie, an untrainable pug who was not averse to turning tricks behind the sofa.
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