You would like to think that as an intelligent animal, I might have raised myself up slightly higher than the old Pavlov’s Dogs Syndrome. However, you’d be wrong. I, like many of my species, make basic associations and assumptions, particularly when these are driven by food. The postman always gives me a biscuit, incidentally he now gives one to Shadow as well. The result is that I know associate things coming through the front door with biscuits. Some dogs chew the post, I just sit there expecting a biscuit to follow it. I can sit there quite a long time before I reluctantly have to accept that someone other than Brian has put something through the letterbox and they have not been as well trained. My Mistress uses the concept to her advantage and if she wants us to come to her from anywhere in the house or garden, she simply shakes the box of biscuits. It already works with Shadow as well, mind you, she has an annoying tendency to come when called anyway.
If you read this diary regularly, you will know that I like ducks. However, I cannot imagine spending £1645 on a floating duck island. I wonder whether the member of parliament concerned would have spent that if it had been his own money he was using. Do you think the ducks appreciated the fact that the island floated or would they have preferred for it to be fixed? I wonder if the ducks ever questioned where the money had come from. I’m off to find a bit of wood to float on the pond and then put in my own expense claim for it. You can just see now if one of you put in an expense claim to your employer for a floating duck island they would get a fairly negative response.