I bloody love dogs. In fact for the first 19 years of my life, you would have been hard pressed to see me more than a few feet away from one. However that changed the night I handed over the still warm and lifeless body of our little lurcher to the vet, after she gasping her final breaths on our living room carpet. After that, I said goodbye to our canine chums, deciding that the heartbreak was just too much.

Then in 2008, Andrew began seeing a woman called Lisa. Lisa was an animator who worked for the lovely Cosgrove Hall but more than that, Lisa owned a dog called Bob. One day Lisa and Andrew asked me to look after Bob for a couple of hours and I agreed. By this point Bob was already suffering from cancer and had lost a leg. However by the time Lisa and Andy had returned, I’d bought him a toy and stocked up on dog treats. I looked after him a couple more times before he passed away and I was reminded that a home is just better with a dog in it.

After a suitable period of mourning Lisa and Andrew adopted a lurcher called Hunter. The first time I met Hunter was when I opened my front door to a gangly, jumpy, chewy whirlwind. He burst into my living room and nearly knocked me to floor before diving head first into my kitchen flip-top bin (something he still does when he visits). Of course by now he was no longer called Hunter but went by the much nicer name of Dill.

So I was doggy ga-ga again and Dill quickly became the face of The Gentleman’s Review podcast. Let me be clear though. Dill is Lisa and Andrew’s hound, not mine. I say this because I tend to tweet lots of photos of him when he comes to visit and people often think that he’s my pooch. In fact he’s become so linked with me in the minds of my family that he featured on my 40th birthday cake.

So even though I love ‘em, the strange thing is, I don’t actually own a dog.

As an addition, I’d like to say how sad I am to hear about the loss of Floyd the lurcher who’s Twitter updates always made me happy, though I think he may have had help. On the same day my friend Becky lost her lovely lurcher Flossy who was a three and a half legged wonder of the world. Rest in piece my furry chums.

Even though this blog has its fair share of sadness, I would still like to encourage those of you who are looking for a new hound to consider adopting one from your local rescue charity. However, if like me, you work all day and live in rented accommodation. You can always donate some money to keep the lights on and the bellies, of humanity’s best friend, full.

“The strange thing is I don’t actually own a dog.”

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