Pippa, the eleven month, Golden Retriever bitch that I’ve been looking after loves attention. So much so that at any given opportunity she will drop to the ground, usually on my feet so I can’t move away and flop over onto her back, exposing her soft underbelly for a good tickling.

After spending three weeks with George and Pippa, Lucy the elderly tiger-taby cat and Jasper the African Grey parrot I felt we had bonded. I’d received a love bite from Jasper, been drooled on by the dogs and Lucy and I had played football with some scrunched up silver foil on the kitchen lino.

It was a wrench to leave them but I can now eat my porrige in the mornings without having to share it five ways!

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