And we have to remember,” she said, “Martin suffers from a handicap. We have to make allowances.” The handicap to which Mrs. Högfors referred was deafness. Martin was hearing-impaired, and had been so since puppyhood. Ulf had first discovered this when taking Martin, as a young dog, for a walk in the park near his flat. Two troublesome youths, who had been setting off firecrackers, tossed one so that it landed immediately behind Martin. The resulting explosion had no effect on Martin, who sauntered on unperturbed. Ulf had been surprised by this, given the sensitivity of most dogs to fireworks, and had arranged for Martin to be examined by the local vet. Ulf’s suspicions were confirmed: Martin was unable to hear anything, even with the temporary assistance of a special canine hearing aid that the vet inserted in his ear. “There’s not much we can do,” said the vet. “You’re going to have to watch him on the roads. He won’t hear cars, you know.” That was a danger, of course, but Ulf found it possible to avoid the more serious consequences of Martin’s deafness by remembering that for a dog, smell is more than capable of compensating for lack of hearing. So, rather than call Martin for his dinner—as most dog owners would do—he would open a can of dog food and then blow across the open top, wafting the smell off to Martin’s attentive nose. Similarly, when it was time for Martin to be taken for a walk, Ulf would wave his leash about in the air, allowing Martin to catch a whiff of the leather and to come bounding up for the outing. These techniques had worked well enough, but then a chance remark by the vet had led Ulf to adopt a whole new approach to Martin’s handicap. “It’s a pity,” said the vet, “that nobody’s ever thought of teaching dogs to lip-read.