My good news story for the day, as so often, involves Canis lupus familiaris or the domestic dog to you, whose virtues I never cease to be amazed at and to promote.

So the story of two greathearts of the dog world, one from today and another of yore, will hopefully cheer all who pass along this country lane of mine.

This one involves another swimmer who leaps selflessly into the briny to fish out. Whizz the Newfoundland and his eleven year old handler,Ellie Bedford who together brave the Bristol Channel to rescue those who might have got into difficulties in the sea. By all accounts (see The Daily Mail here) he is a superb swimmer (both the Canadian seaboard dogs, the Newfie and the Labrador are excellent swimmers: I once saw a black lab swim for over three hours up and down a deep gravel pit and still want for more). I am quite sure that if I found myself in trouble thus, the sight of Whizz bearing down on ready to be grabbed and held onto would be one of the most welcoming sights on Earth.

He follows in the footsteps of one Swansea Jack a black lab who rescued 27 people in the thirties.

Such courage, such heart!

Can your cat do this? No, of course not, they just murder the Robins in your garden.