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naughty boy: holland park kill

April 12, 2009

‘Mum, why is that dog carrying a dead bird?’

Aagagh. It’s Good Friday and I’m standing in a West London park in the rain (why does it always rain on Good Friday?) Fortunately, neither the small child or his mother have witnessed the preceding moments, whereby, in a flurry of white feathers and thrashing, Biff stalked and swiftly killed a pigeon.

This brings his killing rosta to one pet bunny, one hen and a pigeon. I fear that a grey squirrel will soon be added to the list, as rather gamboling gaily with the other dogs in the park and indulging in a bit of friendly sniffing as he used to do, Biff has taken to stalking squirrels and now spends a lot of time sitting watchfully under trees.

Fortunately, because of the rain, there aren't many people around to witness his latest kill. But then he sets off on a victory parade around the children’s playground, pigeon in his mouth, bottom swaying as it always does when he is pleased with himself.

I stand lamely on the sidelines shouting ‘Naughty! Naughty boy!,’ while glancing nervously around for the community plod who pursues dog owners with a religious zeal. Biff’s victory circuit with the dead bird must surely constitute a breach of park regulations?

After persuading my furry-faced killer to drop the bird, we make a fast exit from the park. Biff can just about get away with this sort of thing in rural France - where many people are killing all manner of things - but his wild, country bumpkin ways do not translate well in London parks. Not for the first time I wonder what the Dog Whisperer would do?

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