I've just been down South for a few days, on important business.
Some humans think badgers are cute and cuddly. Not so Gail's Dad. To him they are the enemy, ever poised to invade the garden and deface his lovingly nurtured and perfectly manicured lawn.
So when I visit him in his tidy suburban home in Nottingham, the first thing that happens is I go out and conduct a border patrol. I carefully check the garden perimeter, identifying any potential breaches in security that might lead to incursions by the local Mr Brock and his friends and relatives. At the more vulnerable points, there is barbed wire buried under the hedge (I kid you not) so I have to be careful not to investigate too deeply in the wrong spot.
Having validated the integrity of the boundaries, I sweep the rest of the garden, using my prime asset, my nose, for evidence of the enemy, and alert Gail's Dad to signs of recent badger presence by rolling enthusiastically on any ground that smells 'interesting'.
Now as regular readers of this blog will know, I consider myself a gentleman of leisure, not a working dog, and generally expect to be kept in fitting luxury by Gail without undue exertion on my part (especially now that I am a bona fido film star - see Petey's blog). So why make an exception for Gail's Dad? Well first off, he's a very nice man, and even older than me, so deserving of respect.
And then of course there is the small matter of remuneration offered, a reliable supply of proper meaty bones. YUM!