A South London family today waved goodbye to its loyal family pet as he embarked on a round-the-world trip to broaden his horizons and find spiritual contentment. Shandy, a three-year-old golden-and-white terrier whose travelling opportunities have so far been limited to the local park and streets within a two-mile radius of home, this morning hung up his lead, threw a couple of tins of Winalot Prime and a well-pawed copy of the Ruff Guide to the World in a knapsack, and was last seen joining the A20 at Lewisham in pursuit of his ambition to work in a Chinese orphanage.
‘I’ve been in the loyal pet business all my life,’ Shandy told reporters before setting off. ‘It’s all I’ve known for three years, though it feels more like 21. It can get a bit monotonous; chasing sticks and sniffing other dogs’ arses just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I know my old man used to say that the grass is always greener until you wee on it every day, but I’d still like to find out for myself, you know?’
Although Shandy insists that his trip is about ‘personal growth and giving something back’, his owners, Mr and Mrs Lucas, note that he suddenly contracted the travel bug at about the same time that Princess, a playful daschund bitch next door, produced a litter of puppies with a distinct golden lustre to their coats. ‘We’ve seen a change in Shandy, for sure’ said Mrs Lucas, ‘and though he calls it ‘ennui’, I call it letting your hair go ungroomed, sitting around all day licking your testicles and not even bothering to go outside to shit.’
The early signs were that Shandy was making concessions to his principled approach to his gap year. Despite promising to find employment on his travels and immerse himself in new cultures, by late afternoon on the first day he had already made two reverse-charge calls to the Lucases asking for money, and Mr Lucas’s credit card company had reported a suspicious transaction at a tattoo parlour and a hefty bill for room service and ‘extras’ at a mixed 5-star kennels just outside Sidcup.
However, Shandy did finally make it to Asia, and was last reported to be delighted to have found a restaurant in South Korea that had a picture of a dog on the outside. He said he was just going in to ‘check out the scene’.