Like any dog, Dash regularly shakes when she gets up or goes outside. That loose-limbed, full-body shake which starts from the tip of her nose and ends in the corkscrewing of her tail. After she does it, she always looks slightly stunned. Sometimes, it’s done with such vigour that she turns one of her ear-flaps inside out. It folds back over her head and can stay there for up to ten minutes. This gives her the highly comical appearance of having a ‘comb-over’ hairstyle. There have been some legendary comb-overs in UK culture – Arthur Scargill, Rab C Nesbitt, Robert Robinson – but none to match the ex-England and Man Utd footballer, Bobby Charlton. For this reason, when Dash has one ear folded over, I’ve nicknamed it a ‘semi-Bobby’. Only once before has she ever accomplished a ‘full Bobby’ (i.e. both ears) and it lasted just a few seconds. Before today, that is. Going out to toilet at lunch, she shook herself and both ears magically folded over, staying that way long enough for me to grab the camera and record it for posterity. After I’d stopped laughing, it also made me think. I’d seen similar pictures of greyhounds which had just been rescued, but their ears weren’t folded over – they’d been cut off altogether. The reason for the mutilation is that all greyhounds contain an identifying tattoo in one ear. (If of Irish provenance, there’s a tattoo in both.) Cut off the ears and you conveniently make the dog untraceable, thereby avoiding prosecution. Pretty barbaric stuff. The book I’ve written (now due out next week!) doesn’t overtly tackle such issues, but education about the plight of ex-racing greyhounds is very much at the centre of the whole enterprise. Let’s hope in addition to enjoying a funny and romantic story, readers might appreciate what lovely pets that greyhounds can make and find room in their homes (and hearts) to take one in.