If George Eding hadn’t been too lazy to shave while he was on holiday, he wouldn’t now have a pink beard.
The American vet, who lives in Diss, still had his beard when he met friends for a game of cards.
As they played the talk got round to the annual charity appeal at the Linden House Veterinary Centre in Mission Road, where he is the clinical director.
Instead of the usual tombola to raise money, Mr Eding wondered if there was a way to cash in on his newly-grown beard.
“My poker buddies said they would make donations but only if they could pick the colour to dye it,” he said.
And so for the rest of August, Mr Eding will keep his beard pink in return for support for Medical Detection Dogs.
“These are dogs that are trained to detect early signs of some cancers by odour on the breath or urine samples,” Mr Eding explained.
“It is not cheap—£10-£15,000 to train a dog. But it is still cheaper than an MRI scanner.”
“Medical alert assistance dogs are trained to help people with conditions like diabetes or narcolepsy. They can tell when the blood sugar count is getting too low.
“In a car they can warn a driver to pull over if they are in danger of an epileptic seizure or a narcolepsy sufferer is about to fall asleep.
“The dogs are very versatile. Others can give warning about allergies in food.”
Mr Eding arrived at the small clinic in Diss after six years in the US navy, as an electronics technician, before achieving a boyhood ambition to become a vet after seeing his pet dog break a leg as it chased a truck.
He had his own vet’s surgery in California for 20 years before moving to East Anglia.
His explanation for leaving America’s Sunshine State is brief and simple: “The love of a good woman.”
Donations can be given to the Linden House surgery, or sent via uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeorgeEding