Having looked after the biggest, hairy bear of a dog recently, I was struck by how small the standard poodles seemed in comparison! They gave me an ecstatic welcome when I arrived, something I rarely inspire in people, which is good because all that jumping up at you and slobbering could put me right off a person!

After a few minutes I became aware of a strange smell, an odour of damp undergarments, reminiscent of Great Aunt Maud’s before she went into the `Home!’ It transpired that Kleo had started `forgetting’ herself and was now in the habit of peeing down her back legs. Unfortunately, you can’t teach an old dog (or a young one) to do pelvic floor exercises! Nor should you dress it in rubber knickers or spray its stern with eau de cologne! Not unless you want to get bitten!

Even out in the fresh air I was aware of Kleo’s strong, pong. `You need a bath mate!’ I told her as she lay by the side of my chair whilst I sat in the garden after our walk. I was trying to enjoy a cuppa and a biscuit, dunked and ready to eat, but the unsavoury aroma made me pause. Not in the least bit bothered by her personal hygiene issues, Kleo stared at me blankly and waited for the soggy digestive to fall on the floor!