Bouncing along in a cloud of calling-out , all three of us were utterly joyful once again as we returned this glorious morning to our beautiful beach after several days at the extravaganza which is Crufts. The sun was bright upon the glassy water, the tide-level perfect for our needs, no breeze to speak of: the magic of the Northumberland coastline on a magnificent morning. Great to be back! Our time away was, however, both bustling and thrilling, meeting new friends and old favourites alike on the Eukanuba-pink carpet upon which Barnaby simply cannot get a grip! This year’s Crufts will probably colour my posts for a while. As a small, simple and impressionable spaniel, the pictures in my mind are very vivid but, in my heart, the most abiding warmth was generated by seeing so many representatives of the golden breed to which my Dickens Dogs brothers belong. So, to begin with, if you haven’t already seen The Southern Golden Retriever Display Team in action, treat yourself to their 2014 routine – a joyous reminder of the very special qualities of these delightful beasts: gentle, adoring of their owners, bumbling, always happy to please – or try to. Enjoy!