Someone is getting the hang of this new-fangled lead and it is not me! I couldn’t get my head out when we met another dog yesterday; the best I could do was plonk all my weight down on the ground and refuse to budge. What made it funny was that the other dog did exactly the same thing. His owner suggested we could have a picnic whilst everyone was waiting for us. Mind you, if anyone had had a picnic on them they could have used it to entice me away, I’m a sucker for a bit of food. My poor mistress is trying so hard to train me and to be fair at home, without distraction I am doing just fine. All it needs is a leaf falling off a tree, let alone an acorn, squirrel, person or dog and my concentration goes completely. It is never that I don’t understand, it is just that I choose not to do it. Without distraction I will walk at heel on or off the lead, sit and stay, come when called. I am refusing to co-operate with the whole ‘lying down’ thing, particularly when I am outdoors and risk getting my coat dirty but I like to think I make up for it in other ways. I keep saying to my mistress, ‘look on the bright side, I could be as badly behaved as the dogs in the books you are reading.’ The worrying thing is that from one of them, about a sheepdog, she seems to be starting to understand some of the things that come naturally to me. Is it my fault I feel compelled to herd? To me a van is just an oversized cow and I need to chase it down, to get it under control. We’ve had a little talk about it and she has asked if for my own safety I would try to curb this tendency. I guess she has a point.