Tuesday 10th October 2006

A new type of missile is being hurled at us by the trees as we go for a walk. My mistress says these are conkers or horse chestnuts. I am not sure where the horses fit in but they are definitely bigger than acorns and hurt if they hit you. My mistress showed me how to take their little prickly green coats off to get to the nut inside. When she asked me what they were used for I though the answer she must be looking for was to eat. Apparently that is possible and they can be roasted but their most important use is the game of ‘Conkers’ in which they are attached to a piece of string and then used to attack another person’s conker until one of them breaks and comes off the string. She explained if you keep your conker until next year it hardens and is therefore better. Apparently you can cheat by putting them in the oven or doing something with vinegar! The biggest problem I can see is that to hold the string properly I would have to hold it in my mouth. Then when someone hit my conker it would come back and hit my head and I don’t think that is such a good idea. Perhaps she could just play against my master and I will take bets on the outcome.

To add to our requirement for inside toilets the PDDP will campaign for all shops, bars and restaurants across Europe to welcome dogs and provide water bowls when requested. I was wondering about making it illegal to carry out any experiment on dogs without their written consent but I don’t want to be labelled extremist at this early stage. It would be good to see the legislation preventing selling cigarettes to humans under the age of 18 extended to dogs as well, although I don’t suppose many buy their own.