‘Paw shake’ ruling: Retriever makes legal history

A Flat Coat Retriever has made history after succeeding in her bid to make paw shakes legally binding.

Pasha Bonham Brown, aged nine, took the unprecedented move after deciding her owners were failing to come through with the treats promised when they accepted her offer of a paw.

She explained: “When I did that, they seemed to think I was merely asking them to tickle me under the arm or to give me a hug and a kiss, and, yes, those were always appreciated.

“But really, when I extended my paw, it was on the understanding that it would be reciprocated with a biscuit, choc drop or some other treat of equal value, and as far as I’m concerned this was not happening nearly enough. I felt I needed to set this relationship on some sort of proper legal grounding.”

The West Lothian Flattie said the final straw was when she was persuaded to “give both paws”, and got nothing in return but love and affection. According to her owners, Mr and Mrs Brown, Pasha’s legal claim came out of the blue.

In a legal landmark ruling, the High Court judge said the acceptance of a paw by a dog owner now means that they are liable for the supply of a tasty treat. Failure to do so could result in civil action and a fine of up to a box of Bonios, or whatever said pet really fancied.

Pasha said that she had considered asking for the ruling to be imposed retrospectively but decided against it.

By Craig Brown – @sloan1874

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