I am a two year old Labrador called Mulligan. A strange name you may think unless you play golf then you will know it’s a golfing term for being allowed to play your shot again without penalty. It could have been worse – my family could have named me Birdie, Eagle, Albatross or at even Bogey!! I live with another Labrador called Bella who is kind and gentle. She is 10 years old and she taught me how to find golf balls.
I grew up on the course at Brancaster and so golf is definitely my favourite hobby. My experiences there gave me a good education as I had to sit whilst they played their shot, walk to heel, and meet and greet other friendly dogs as we went around. I soon realised that not all golf balls landed where they were intended and they were often on the beach or in the marsh. I have a very good nose and soon found one or two missing balls which resulted in a treat. Well no Labrador needs to be told twice where food is concerned and so I have become quite the entrepreneur!
This summer I have collected about 20 balls per round and my record is 34. My Dad gives them to the pro shop which sells them and give the proceeds to charity. It took a while to perfect this skill as I was too enthusiastic at first and my talents were not always appreciated by other golfers as I “saved” a ball from falling down a small hole on a nicely mown green! I now wait to be asked to “fetch it” unless I am allowed to roam around.
I didn’t have the easiest start in life as I was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia from 6 months old. With gentle exercise and slowly building up my strength, I have been able to lead a normal life. Phew! The only thing my Mum doesn’t allow me to do is rag around with mates and jump in and out of cars. This would only inflame my joints and cause me pain.
We love to walk on Barrow Common at Brancaster and have several mates we meet up with for a social gathering. Sometimes a couple of Jack Russells come for a sleepover, Alice and Florence. This is marvellous because we then go for wonderful walks at Courtyard Farm, Ringstead. In fact I think living in Norfolk is the best place for any dog to spend their life. We have great beaches, coastal paths, lovely woods and commons to enjoy ourselves. It keeps our owners fit anyway!!!