Just before I go to Scotland, I feel I should say a few words about the dog's MySpace.
My daughter set it up, posting photos of Jessie wearing a variety of wigs. Soon Jessie was 'friends' with other pets on MySpace, including some frolicsome chiuauas, a dog whose fur had been dyed pink to match its bedroom and a budgie who appears in the guise of figures from history, including Queen Cleopatra and Mona Lisa. Lots of messages appeared on Jessie's MySpace, commenting favourably on her appearance. So far so good.
My daughter's computer slowed noticeably under the strain of downloading the animated sparkly message files left by other pet owners and her interest in the MySpace began to wane.
I stepped in, feeling guilty about the messages, the way you do when your child is small and doesn't say thank you properly at a birthday party. I began to leave messages for the other pets. It's time consuming - on MySpace there is no 'send to all' button (or none that I have found, anyway - if you know differently, pls advise). You have to craft personalised messages on every glittery page that has been set up to honour a family pet. Mostly I just wrote 'woof'. Big mistake - a deluge of messages came back.
Next thing you know, there are bulletins about such and such a dog who is sick or dying and needs your prayers. Composing a message of encouragement, you can't help thinking there is something very odd about some of these people. I mean, they spend their days posting messages on the internet that purport to come from their pets...