I post on a number of motorcycle forums as Black Dog. The genesis of this name was many years ago, when I was asked to provide a nickname for a website and my black Labrador was the first thing that came to mind. I was mildly amused by the notion of his being my alter ego all over the interwebs. Or my being his, I'm not sure. Cultural references to the Led Zeppelin song, the Daily Telegraph column and Churchill's famous episodes of depression are tangential, but acknowledged.
He has always been over-excitable, headstrong and self-centred, but he has also been extremely friendly and sociable. When he was younger, he was massively strong and a bit of a handful, but now he is old he is more docile. His eyes are getting cataracts, he seems to be going deaf (genuine deafness, not Labrador Selective Deafness), and he is becoming lame with arthritis. But he still loves people.
We are in the middle of having a new kitchen fitted. Today, a young Romanian lad has been doing some preliminary painting before the chippies come. He carefully painted the kitchen door frame, after we removed the child's stairgate that has always allowed us to keep the dog either in, or out of, the kitchen. So, without the stairgate, we barricaded the door opening with two heavy chairs to prevent the ingress of Labrador into the newly-painted area.
Late in the afternoon, with the paint fresh and wet, the electrician and the plumber arrived to plan the next stage of the installation. And they were talking in the kitchen. The Black Dog decided that these good people had not yet been greeted properly, so he barged his way through the chairs, scraping his side on the door frame on his way through.
Anybody want to buy a dog? One careful owner?