Now that I am a seasoned dog owner, albeit a year - they tried to persuade me to take on a rather beautiful Weimeraner named Rufus. I nearly caved. I convinced myself that the two of them would ensure a calming influence, they could curl up together in a picture book kind of way. I agreed to go home and consider it but when I also considered that I could end up homeless, with four children, a large Bitch and a Donkey - I decided that my heart strings have got me in trouble before and this was the month of hard nosed common sense.
So if anyone else wants a beautiful, kind dog called Rufus, you can have him - content in the knowledge that someone, somewhere will be very jealous.
The last year as taught me a lot about dog ownership. You meet all sorts of people that previously ignored you. In doing so you embark on quite ludicrous conversations that after a while seem quite normal. It pays to remember that there is nothing normal about saying 'Yous a silly doggle woggle' in a high pitched voice. Nor is it normal to tell your dog to say 'Goodbye' after it has played with another mutt. Both these I now do and both are probably enough to guarantee that I die a borne again spinster.
The other thing that I have learned is that humans are not superior to animals, or at least I am not. If I were, I would not assume that barbed wire is meant for them and not me - blithely hurling myself between the runs of the stuff and becoming firmly tangled up by the hair, then the scarf and finally the crutch of my trousers. It was not a good look. The fact that it was dark was a double edged sword. Thankfully nobody could see me but the dark prevented the vision that I needed to release myself. 20 minutes later I looked like a wild woman from a Lynx advert, only a lot older and my jeans were considerably draughtier.
My final tip is on dog leads. Wrapping it around your neck in a noose like fashion is a good way to prevent loss. However, it is prudent to remember the noose part of it. If, like me, you suffer from the amnesia commonly associated with multiple and frequent childbirth - do not keep it around your neck and then attach a very large boisterous gun dog to the other end. It hurts and can kill you.
I, for one - was pleased that it failed to kill me, but now when I tell people that 'It' has left, you can see the look of surprise, the glance at my neck and then the offers of help come flooding in. I should be fine for baby sitters for the next couple of months.