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Newton, a Golden Retriever
The story behind the poem

When Newton arrived as a nine-week-old puppy, the first thing he did was chew a lump of concrete. The crushing strength of concrete is measured in Newtons per square millimetre so that is how he got his name.

In many ways Newton is a true golden retriever, but he has his own perverted version of the retriever instinct; he takes things but doesn't give them back. As a pint-size puppy he could be seen struggling courageously down the stairs with the bath mat which he would then deposit in the garden. Aged nearly nine years old he will still steal one of my shoes and run round with it. Luckily he never chews it though appetite-wise he is basically a dustbin. Always hungry, he will eat absolutely anything.

When small, he would spend much of his time 'humping' people's legs. Now he only performs this action on one of the other dogs (both male), but he still chases his tail. He loves to sleep on our bed, jumping back on in the dead of night when no-one is awake to stop him.

by Damaris West

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