I’ve never had a dog. As a kid, whenever I asked my parents for one, the answer I inevitably got was, “Are you going to feed it, walk it, wash it, play with it, pick up its poo every single day?”
“Why? Aren’t you going to help?” I asked.
“No, since it’ll be your dog.”
Being an extremely pragmatic child, I wasn’t going to all the trouble of doing everything, even if it was the cutest dog in the world. So my childhood passed without a dog; in fact, without any pets at all, and this state of petlessness was sustained into adulthood.
But things change. I’ve now discovered the joys of dog walking on the beach. The dog is a ‘borrowed’ – very naughty beagle, who rejoices in digging holes and marking territory whenever and wherever she can – but her joy is infectious, even on a dreary, overcast day.