Rufus, a border terrier from Sandown, Isle of Wight, has announced plans to change his pattern of frenzied water-gulping in the morning. This follows the repeated failure to accumulate enough urine to mark both the fifth lamp-post away from his house in St Marks Crescent and have enough in reserve for the park.
'Normally I get 70% of my morning spray needs from my water and the rest from my breakfast,' explained the two-year-old grizzle and tan. 'Unfortunately, my beloved owner, who has been quite stressed lately, has several times forgotten to give me my breakfast until after our morning walk, with potentially disastrous consequences.'
Rufus went on to explain that the traditional view that he is marking his territory is only partially correct. Whilst the pungent, hormone-laden streams of wee that scorch creosote from fences and cause small children to cry do mainly serve this purpose, he also needs to keep some weaker, less nauseating reserves in his tank for purely social reasons - to advertise to his friends that he has been by.
'It's just polite,' he told reporters, in between licking and sniffing frantically at a soggy tree stump in Stevenson Park. 'Look - my Patterdale-Border cross girlfriend Twinkle has left a message that she passed by the park 20 minutes ago and I need to do the same or she'll take the hump and go off with that growly little pillock of a Yorkie from down the road.'
In view of the apparent unreliability of pre-walk kibble suppliers, Rufus will therefore be taking it on himself to increase his water intake from the downstairs toilet by 15% until further notice. This figure has been carefully calibrated to ensure an optimum weight distribution, while leaving enough in the tanks to cock his back leg over the entire neighbourhood.
'I blame myself that it's come to this - I just keep forgetting,' admitted Rufus's owner, hairdresing salon owner Jane Winters, 55. 'And he's such a good little lad, he never complains, do you poppet? Oooh, look at him, he's so like me,' she added, prior to sniffing another woman's genitalia and eating rabbit droppings from off the path.