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By Stephen Foster, Nicholas Bell

Ollie used to be on the subject of cured of his basketcase habits;: the neurotic lurcher eventually looked as if it would have his paws planted firmly at the floor (well, almost). yet did Stephen Foster take a well-earned leisure? no longer. He determined something used to be lacking from Ollie's existence, anyone who might quite comprehend him, a chum with whom he can have dog-to-dog chats. "If you want to get one other puppy get a girl," the specialists advised Foster. So he received a boy, a pure-bred Saluki lunatic referred to as Dylan. once the recent dog peered in the course of the door, Ollie threw his grasp a glance of contemptuous disbelief that acknowledged, "I refuse to have whatever whatever to do with this. you are by yourself, pal." The riotously humorous alongside got here Dylan takes up the place Foster's bestselling jogging Ollie left off, yet rather than one dogs conundrum, he is acquired : Dylan, the outlaw, proves to be almost untrainable; Ollie, feeling threatened, turns into more and more delinquent, and Foster is stuck within the center pondering why man's...

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Because I could already see him backsliding. Where, pre-normality, he used to be vaguely psychotic, post-normality he was beginning to show signs of going the other way, of becoming moody and withdrawn. I was not principally looking for a new dog for us, I was looking for a perk-me-up friend and companion for him. It is not as straightforward as all that, though. When Trezza, my partner, and I discovered Ollie in a rescue centre five years ago, I knew nothing about dogs. While I am still no expert, I am more experienced than I was then.

The MOT was coming up: the law requires you to have functioning seatbelts throughout the cabin in order for a vehicle to be ticked off as roadworthy. The quote for three new rear seatbelts came in at more than the Merc banger was worth. Second-hand seatbelts were nowhere to be found. While I was considering acquiring Dylan a dog passport – in order that we could drive to Germany and back and still undercut UK Mercedes main dealer prices for ancillary parts – a syndrome developed whereby the clutch pedal would suddenly sink to the floor without warning.

I remembered having to do something like this with Jack when he was a baby, and not for the first time I wondered at those men who start second families in their forties. After the novelty of the regular leg-over with the younger model has faded away, has it ever been known for such an individual to be happy? No. Why? Because getting up to look after a wailing infant four times a night for months on end (and then having to repeat it all over again when the second one comes along) is a young man’s game.

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