It will come as a surprise to almost no-one that I think all dogs - and my dogs in particular - are special. Dogs have a unique ability to bring joy and love to just about every situation. Rumple is a champion at this and today he put in a gold medal performance. Today I spent quite a bit of time in the Prince Charles Hospital Palliative Care Unit at the bedside of an old family friend. Mum and I visited twice and on the second trip I took Rumple. There were many things about the experience that made me feel that Palliative Care units still have a way to go to create the best environment for people in their final days and for those who care about them. Having said that, the relaxation of rules to allow dogs into the rooms is a great step forward. Of course not every dog should be there (I left the crazy Lady Winkle at home for a reason) but a quiet, well behaved dog is a huge asset. Later, I was reminded of another advantage of having a canine companion by your side. On the way home we stopped at the Night Owl where a bloke was practicing his performance skills onthe footpath. Normally I don't talk to men in the street but in a very public place and in the company of a fur friend it seems harmless. He let me take his photo and I promised to send him a copy, a promise I will break unless I can remember his name. Let's just say that perhaps today I have more reason than usual for being a bit forgetful and awesome though he may be Rumple is proving to be of no use in this one.