VII.  Odds and Ends
Frodo   we   are   glad   to   say   is   growing   up   into   an   exceedingly   conscientious   and   responsible   dog.    He has a considerable concern for solving the weightier problems of this planet single-pawed. Take   for   instance   environmental   pollution.    Frodo's   personal   crusade   against   wrongfully   deposited litter   is   an   example   to   us   all.    Whilst   out   walking   on   a   path   or   green,   he   will   religiously   pick   up   crisp packets,   sweet   wrappers   or   carrier   bags   that   have   been   thoughtlessly   discarded   in   the   wrong   place by   passers   by   and   carry   them   several   yards   ahead   before   depositing   them   carefully   in   a   far   more appropriate section of the path or green. We   can   report   also   Frodo's   tireless   campaign   against   human   idleness.    The   other   day   we   took   him down   to   Brighton   beach   where   something   was   clearly   quite   wrong.    Everywhere   you   looked   there were   signs   about   the   behaviour   of   dogs.    Not   one   was   to   be   seen   regulating   that   of   people.    All over   the   beach   there   were   humans   lounging   around   on   blankets   or   deck   chairs   when   they   could have   been   plunging   energetically   into   the   sea   chasing   stones   like   the   best   of   us,   or   running   along the   shore   chasing   dogs   (who   are   the   best   of   us).    Drastic   measures   were   clearly   required.    As every   dog   knows,   humans   thus   afflicted   are   best   treated   by   approaching   at   a   gallop   and   delivering a   thoroughgoing   overall   sniff   and   tongue   massage,   accompanied   if   possible   by   a   vigorous   self- shaking   if   one   has   just   come   out   of   the   water.    This   treatment   is   particularly   effective   with   people one   has   never   set   eyes   on   before,   who   are   always   so   grateful.    You   can   tell   by   the   delight   on   their faces as they wake up.                                                                                      Martin and Barbara.  *           *           *           *           * (Parish magazine of St John the Baptist, Purbrook, July 2000)