I stopped following George around for 5 minutes while I got ready for walkies and when I was putting on my shoes I noticed him walking past the front gate. On the outside.
One-shoe-ed I followed him down the road to the house of the two Scottie dogs. Their mum was in the garden, and it was she who imparted to me the news that made my day.
She said, 'Yesterday he (pointing to the black Scottie) stole a chicken from the next door neighbour's house.' Yay! Someone stole a chicken and it wasn't George!! I'm under no illusions that he wouldn't have, given the opportunity, but in this instance it wasn't him. Hallelujah!
She also said that she frequently has to go out in the mornings, clad in pyjamas and rubber gloves, to clear up the rubbish her dogs have raided from other people's bags. It was music to my ears. I'm not revelling in someone else's misfortune but I did have a smile on my face as I went for a walk.
But the training process has begun. My copy of It's Me or the Dog has arrived and will be, now that I've finished The Book Thief, essential bedtime reading.
I've already flicked through bits. Namely the bit that says, "Get your dog 'done'". The author says that, rather than thinking you're being cruel to your dog, think how much crueler it would be to allow hormonal rushes and urges to assail him when he's allowed no relief. It convinced me.
So George will be going for the snip. But Daughter and Holly Dog will be down in a fortnight and that will mean lots of leaping and bounding for George so probably best not to have stitches then. I'll have to book him in for after that.
When we did get out, we were in the middle of the woods when I went all wibbly wobbly. I put it down to the fact that it was dinnertime and I'd only had fruit for lunch. Trouble was the only edible things I had on me were George's milky biscuits. They began to look more and more tempting.
But then I was distracted imagining there was someone following me. I kept doing that 'spinning round quickly to try and spot them before they hide behind a tree' trick. It's a good job they don't have CCTV in the woods. They would have me marked down as Local Loony and no mistake.