Can you believe it? A Golden Leave-it-There has been named Dog of the Year because he supposedly saved a Canberra family from being burned down in their house.
The Canberra Times waxed lyrical about what a hero this useless hound was, when it is quite obvious that he just hung around outside, whimpering, only worried about where his next meal was coming from.
The house had caught fire after a door lamp housing melted and the Leave-it-There quickly realised - being smart dogs, in a most unattractive way - that his food supply would go up with it, so he sat down to cry. His Boss heard him and wrongly concluded the Leave-it-There was trying to raise an alarm.
So they fed him up on steaks and gave him hugs the next day when what he needed was a good belting before being locked up in the doghouse.
I can tell you, a Chessie like me would have leapt through an open window and dragged 'em all out, one by one - or maybe two at a time. That's the sort of thing we do.
A few years ago a Chessie up Nathalia way even jumped into a swimming pool and tried to drag his master out by the wrist. It turned out he hadn't seen a swimming pool before so you can understand it. Or maybe he was just reminding everyone of what we Chessies are good at. Protecting The Boss is hard-wired into a Chessie.
But I have to live with a Golden Leave-it-There and I know what they're like. They're whimps. They can't stand thunder and lightening, guns going off, any of the stuff that gets a Chessie excited. And it's all about them.
The Leave-it-There at my place is a bit older than me - he's like a grumpy uncle - but sneaky and unpredictable. (The Missus reckons he's highly intelligent - think Evil Genius!) He has these bad dreams and, when he starts snuffling and whimpering in his sleep, you need to watch out: he can wake up thinking he's been attacked and starts snapping like a crocodile. He took a piece out of my cheek last week.
While Queenie and I do what a retriever is supposed to do - ie., retrieve stuff - he takes great pleasure in hiding a ball in the scrub so The Boss or The Missus can't find it. Then he'll sit and watch while they flail about looking for it.
He's never been any different. My mum, Queenie, tried to teach him to take hold of a ball and bring it back when he was a pup but it never sank in. It made her very frustrated. She thinks he's pretty much a dead loss and nips him on the ear even more than she nips me.
It hurts Queenie and me a lot to know a devious, calculating and cowardly Golden Leave-it-There has been made Dog of the Year when some outstanding candidates are present in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever community. And some say I am chief among them. Well, I say it, even if no-one else does. Woof.