Michelle Morgan - Our dog’s talent is the joy she brings

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Did you see Pudsey the dog from Wellingborough on Britain’s Got Talent last weekend?

His name was Pudsey and he danced around the stage to the Flintstones theme tune along with his owner who, it was clear, absolutely adored him.

While we were watching the antics on stage, Betty the bonkers bichon was curled up on the sofa next to us, sleeping as usual.

“Do you think we can train her to do tricks?” I asked my hubby. Needless to say he almost choked on his digestive at the thought of it.

I’ve had three dogs in my lifetime and not one of them has been keen on tricks or unusual talents of any kind.

The most we have ever been able to achieve with Betty is ‘sit’ and ‘paw’, though my parents’ dog Sam did make it to the ‘stay’ bit too. Betty has never been able to get her head around that particular objective, however…

When I was really small, our dog was called Rinty, and he was an over-sized Yorkshire terrier.

I can’t remember him ever doing any tricks, except for having an obsession with running out the front door at every possibility.

We didn’t have a fence around the front garden in those days and off he’d go like a rocket, running round the estate with my dad trying to keep up with him, desperate to get him back into the house. Unfortunately, our dog never had any intentions of returning, and they’d be gone for hours before finally Rinty would feel sorry for my exhausted dad and let him finally catch up to him.

Betty isn’t one for special talents either, except barking at the postman and trying to kill the mail that dared come through our letter box.

A cage on the back of the door put paid to that particular ‘trick’, however, and now our post can sit in safety, while Betty barks at the big, bad cage that’s preventing her fun. Her only other trick is rampaging after the vacuum cleaner, especially when I’ve got the attachments in place to clean the stairs.

I haven’t quite figured out how to handle that particular ‘hobby’ – somehow a cage around the vacuum doesn’t sound too appealing. But while Betty and my other past fluffs may not be like Pudsey, Lassie or all those other talented dogs, they have still brought much joy into the lives of everyone around them.

And at the end of the day, bringing happiness to others is probably the biggest talent of all.