Thanks everyone. Just got a bit fed up of being the statue and never seeming to get my day as the pigeon, and worried about Max. He's a rescue, and has given us so much more back than he ever took. Our house is a forever home, we do what we can to understand our dogs, and understand that some things can be difficult for them. Bracken was terrified of belts, we think that one of her previous owners had beaten her with one. If I ever found out who it was, I don't think I could be responsible for my actions.
Gilly, if you've had more back than you paid in, then I think you've been one of the lucky ones, the charges go up and up each year the dog gets older, and as Max is at least 10 now (we got him in 2003 as an adolescent dog), the excess would be mad, that is if anyone would insure him.
Bev - I don't think the apprentices are chosen for their intelligence, the program makers know what they're doing and 12 really bright sparks wouldn't make good TV, whereas 12 assholes spouting the guff they do, does. Apparently. I don't really watch 'reality' TV, I think life's too short to watch that. Give me a good Midsomer Body Count, or NCIS, or a Foyle, Morse, Frost or Endeavour and I'm happy. I do admit to having a soft spot for Most Haunted, that used to have me roaring with laughter every time Yvette Fielding started shrieking, got possessed or Derek Acorah started going on about 'suberreaneans' living in the Tube in prehistoric times. Derek, you berk, the tube was built in 18-something or other, it wasn't there in prehistoric times. Still makes my husband laugh if I suddenly shout subterreneans at him at random times. I think thats as close to reality TV as I've ever got.