I had my second birthday on 4 October and, in accordance with long-standing tradition going back all of twelve months, it was off to Capital Grooming for the full beauty treatment. Naturally, I got some other birthday presents, but little did I know that in about a two week's time I was to get the very best birthday a Golden Retriever could ever wish for.

Another long-standing birthday tradition is to have my picture taken immediately I arrive home in the traditional seriously fluffed-up condition. That's what you see here. (Incidentally, do you see that little gear lever thingummy in the bottom picture? Well, that's some sort of sacred object so far as I can tell. I found that out the hard way one day when I became a little bored while sitting in the silly-car and decided to have a chew on it. Bad move, as it turned out. Really bad move.)

More birthday pictures. These were taken in the parliamentary triangle in Canberra, where the Pack Leader gave me strict orders to be on my very best behaviour. (This is what is known in the literature as a futile gesture).

The building behind me here is the High Court. Shortly after this picture was taken, the Pack Leader decided that he wanted a shot of me sitting beside the High Court fountain. (Fountain? Water? Golden Retriever? Hello?)

Well, you guessed it, immediately the Pack Leader took the leash off and bade me sit, I jumped right into the fountain. I had such a great time splashing around and blowing bubbles, etc., that I refused to get out for absolutely ages.

"Smart move, Pack Leader," said the Alpha Female, as the said Pack Leader seriously considered just walking off and disowning me.

"Well, this really is fun isn't it?" said the Alpha Female to the Pack Leader as we drove home in the silly-car. "You driving along on a sunny day in your favourite toy and me sitting here with a wet Golden Retriever in my lap. Oh, what joy." (Just between you and me, I think she was being a tiny bit sarcastic.)