Creativity: Striking terror into terriers

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DOG LOVERS turn away. Our request for unusual uses for a Yorkshire terrier has clearly demonstrated that, among our correspondents at least, creativity transcends love or even pity.

Rupert Lee made the best use of the Yorkshireness of the beast: 'A Yorkshire terrier may be rendered quiescent by feeding it on Yorkshire pudding, washed down with Yorkshire bitter. In this state it may be used as an item of headgear on Ilkley Moor'.

His was not the only terrier used as a hat (or a toupee), although use as a duster, or in a revolving wheel to generate electricity proved the most popular suggestions. Jack Muirhead suggested spraying his Yorkie with polish before tickling him on a table, or dusting him with slug powder before a romp through the dahlias.

With a cord at each end, he recommends using the dog as a pull-through for field guns, or for descaling pipes and drains. 'Remember to give them a good pat and say encouraging words like 'good boy' when they have done a good job', he advises.

Rhodri Edwards recycled the wire coat-hanger from a few weeks back to turn the dog into a floor mop, while Lindsay Warden thought a lavatory brush a more appropriate use. Her alternative suggestion, as a guard dog for Group 4, wins the prize for topicality.

Andrew Middleton, who describes himself as a dog lover, points out that they can effectively deter burglars who 'collapse laughing at the dog while you phone the police'.

In a similar vein, he believes that a Yorkshire terrier can provide a psychological boost for cats lacking in confidence, as in: 'That's a dog?'

Other ideas include getting it to bite your chin to simulate a beard (Aaron Vallance), using their hairs as dental floss (Linda Browning), or recording their yaps under the title 'Yorkie Barks' as a security device for lorry drivers.

The most cruel suggestion, however, comes from B O'Byrne: 'Shave its fur off and knit a winter coat for your other dog.' Or even your cat.

In response to criticism for picking an item as blatantly useless as a Yorkshire terrier, we have selected something of omni-usefulness this time. All unusual suggestions for use of a safety pin should be sent to: Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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