A particularly friendly and excitable dog is far and away the most popular member of a North Yorkshire family, according to sources close to the dog and its owners.
Shep, a three-year-old labrador cross thing, is regularly greeted warmly and talked of fondly throughout his home village, while owners Barry and Sophie claim they ‘may as well be bloody invisible’ should they bump into other walkers when out exercising their hound.
“It is a bit odd when nearly everyone we meet knows Shep by name and can seemingly have a lengthy conversation with him, while our existence is barely acknowledged,” moaned Barry in a candid interview.
“Actually, I tell a lie – sometimes they’ll ask Sophie or me if his paw is still sore or if he’s finally destroyed the squeaky toy he got for his birthday.
“And all the while, Shep plays up to it… Cocking his head adorably while they talk with him, rolling over for a tummy tickle… The gallery-playing little git.”
Reporters also managed to get Sophie’s take on the news.
“Well, Barry is a miserable old bastard, but he does have a point. Everyone seems delighted to see Shep while we get a perfunctory ‘Hello’ if we’re lucky.
“We went out walking in full bondage gear to try and steal Shep’s glory one time, but everyone was more interested in congratulating him on carrying around a big stick.”
When asked if he had any words for his fans, Shep looked up from chewing his stick before wagging his tail excitedly and returning to chewing with even more determination, drawing a series of ‘Aaahhhhhs’ from his adoring public.