Iam pretty glad I don’t have to travel in America any time soon. Not that I wouldn’t want to, it’s just my dogs may have put me on an international terrorism watchlist.

Anyone who has a dog with droopy ears – spaniel, basset hound, that sort of look – will probably know about the joys of ear cleaning. It’s not a great job and the longer it’s left, the funkier the ears get and the more likely they are to become infected.

Many dogs which come through rescue arrive with disgusting ears, including one of my own. When I adopted her eight years ago, both her ears were disgusting and the usual ear cleaners just weren’t getting to the root of the problem.

An American friend told me about an ear treatment you make yourself and, if you use it properly, it is pretty amazing at controlling ear gunk.

The problem I came up against, was buying the ingredients. I walked into a pharmacy with my shopping list and to say they looked at me funny would be an understatement.

Apparently, gentian violet went out with my granny and there was no way on earth they were going to sell me the main chemical.

I went from pharmacy to chemist, and got the same reply. No sale. Eventually, someone explained it was a banned substance – but they wouldn’t tell me why.

Where do you look when the high street lets you down? eBay. So, although no-one would sell me that chemical face-to-face, in full view of CCTV, buying online was a doddle. Or so I thought.

Thanks to my American buddy, another ingredient arrived in the post and I was off – or rather the black goo from my dog’s ears was off.

A little while later, I set about restocking the ingredients and moaned to my US friends about the problems I had buying them. All sorts of advice came bac,k depending on which state they lived in, until finally the explanation came.

“Ah”, said Ellen, “you want to be a bit careful with that. My husband was born outside the USA and ever since I bought that chemical, he has been banned from using internal flights.”

It would seem the best way to clean your dog’s ears is to use a chemical which happens to be handy for bomb-making.

Which also explains why, every time I buy it, my credit card has a stop put on it and I have to phone the bank to admit the purchase was mine.

So, I wish to publicly state I am in no way associated with any terrorist organisation and have no intention of blowing anything up, in any country.

But I can’t speak for my dogs.

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