The Diary of Miss Darcy Bustle: 21 July

The Lady’s lovable office dog tells all
Yesterday I was thrown out of a pub. Well, strictly speaking, I was asked to leave as I was not welcome. I had been taken along as a Sunday lunch ‘treat’ which usually means sitting under the table while everyone else has a jolly time eating lots of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Still, it’s nicer than being left at home. But there is a new landlord at the pub and he said that he longer admitted dogs. ‘Sorry,’ he said, ‘Nothing personal.’ But it was personal. And rather silly, as eight people then left and went somewhere else for lunch.

TI got a letter today from a young miniature dachshund who is worried about her place in the world. She lives with a large collie called Gregg and he doesn’t really like her. He has made her feel bad about herself and now, in short, she thinks she is too short. I did think about referring her to Thomas Blaikie but I thought I was the best person to answer. ‘You are short, but sensational,’ I said. ‘Just like me.’ I hope that does the trick. I also told her to nip Gregg’s ankles.

Medical-Detection-Dogs-Charity-DayA great nose for a crucial job

This week has been very very busy as it’s been all noses to the grindstone getting out our summer triple issue. Besides writing my column, my own contribution has been a terribly important one; cuddles. Surprisingly, some people don’t want to cuddle me. What is wrong with them? Wouldn’t they want a very hot, rather smelly, little dog on their laps in a heatwave?’

Today we were sent a press release from some researchers at Manchester University who have discovered that dogs could be trained to detect Parkinson’s disease – although the first indication that it could be detected by sniffing came from a lady called Mrs Milne who noticed that her husband had started to smell differently six years before he was diagnosed. Now they are going to enlist the help of some dogs. As we know, dogs have 300 million smell receptors in their noses compared to a human’s five million. From next week, two Labradors and a cocker spaniel will start work sniffing the swabs from 700 people to see if they can spot a smell and help people years before they get tremors and mobility problems. It makes me very proud to be a dog.

We dogs aren’t just clever though, we have a very high emotional IQ as well. In Thailand, a Labrador called Messy has changed the life of a sad husky called Audi. Whenever Messy heard his neighbour crying because he had been left home alone, he would rush over to the fence and give him a hug. Now, Audi never cries. How lovely is that story?

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