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Every week Arthur, our agony uncle is here to answer those ‘difficult’ questions that may have been bothering you

Dear Arthur,

I’ve been battling with a problem over the last couple of months that just seems to be getting the better of me. I live in a nice house with my humans and up until recently everything has been fine, we even have a back yard that I can roll around in and use whenever I want. My problem arose when our next door neighbours started to grow their own food and with that came a couple of CHICKENS! Now, I’m a terrier and deep down in my genes something tells me that chickens are for chasing. I try so hard to ignore the calling of my ancestors and rise above the urges but yesterday afternoon it got to the point when I woke up from a snooze and found myself barking and scrabbling at the fence that separates us. So humiliating!  My humans got upset and locked me in the house but I could still hear the chickens clucking and scratching around next door. It’s driving me insane. I can’t help myself, I just want to catch one and bite into its scrawny neck. It wouldn’t take much to dig a hole under the fence but the consequences would be catastrophic. What should I do?

Barney, Surry UK

My Dear Barney,

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At least you have faced up to the fact that you have a problem. Lesser dogs would already have blood on their paws and as you say, be suffering harsh consequences. I run a program here in California for sufferers like yourself called ‘Chickens Anonymous.’ There is a chapter near you and I will contact you privately to put you in touch with them. As we say, just one chicken is a chicken too far because once you’ve caught one a whole back yard full wouldn’t be enough. Fight your urges and talk to someone who can help as soon as you can. You’re not alone.