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It's a Dog's Life: Teddy & the Dragon

Teddy has been musing on the origins of national credentials and that the truth of the matter could be quite different to any literal interpretation, as his human translator Helen Stockton explains

This month has a special day honouring the Patron Saint of England, St George. Now whilst we all recognise the cross of St George as our national flag, one of three that make up the Union Jack, we’ve been sniffing about and have unearthed the fact that St George wasn’t even English, he was born in Turkey. Whilst this might be surprising, we forgive him. After all, me and the apprentice, Bear, might be Border Terriers, but we were born in Sussex, not in Northumberland. And not every Scottie comes from Scotland. They might have an iconic place on the shortbread biscuit tin, but they are just as likely to come from Hastings as the Highlands so we need to be a bit pragmatic about national affiliations.

We also discovered that St George probably wasn’t even a knight, more likely an officer in the Roman army, but again, this isn't really his fault. Over the years, he might have been glamourised up a bit, but that is something that can also happen to dog breeds. Have Rough Collies ever recovered from the standards of heroism imposed on them by 'Lassie'? And I bet somewhere there is a lazy Border Collie who doesn’t want to be outside in all weathers rounding up sheep. Us Border Terriers are supposed to be good vermin hunters; not me. I was once in a car park when two large rats scuttled out from under a bush right next to me. I just ignored them. I’m a live and let live kind of fur, what can I tell you!

Apparently, St George's dragon slaying credentials are a bit dodgy too, with the suggestion that the dragon might have been added at a later date. It could even be that dragon slaying is just symbolic of the on-going tussle between good and evil. Now I don’t know much about dragons, although I do have ‘Her Indoors' to contend with, but I do know about good and not so virtuous. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I try my best to be a good boy, whilst the apprentice, Bear, is just interested in having fun. When she does something she’s clearly not supposed to do, which usually involves chewing an artefact which isn’t strictly speaking hers, I stand as far away from the crime scene as possible, just to make it clear it has nothing to do with me. I don’t want my brand contaminated!

So, if St George isn't all he’s cracked up to be that’s fine with us; being a saint must be a tall order. And as we know, in the real world, there’s reputation and then there’s the truth, often with a chasm in between!

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