Head Over Heels In Woof Posted on 27 Jan 11:00

My puppy Clementine was six months old this week. Life has been so much richer for our whole family with Clementine in it. The greatest sadness over the last few months is that so many family members and friends have not had the opportunity to meet her, and to see her, play with her, as a puppy.

We do have new friends, and so does Clementine. The familiar faces in the park, nods and waves as you walk down the road, the casual solidarity of other dog owners. They share their stories, experiences and suggestions, and offer support and friendship, and they commiserate and give you the confidence to carry on.

Every day has highs and lows with a puppy: frustration and irritation at disobedience, bewilderment at strange behaviour, sheer unadulterated delight when a new command is mastered. Until it's completely forgotten. 9The amazing experience of connecting emotionally with a different species, and every now and then reflecting on the fact that this is a wild animal living amongst us.

The loving paw on your hand at the end of the day can mean a great deal, especially when you are still replaying those moments in the park when she ran away/jumped up/squished a small dog/generally made a nuisance of herself!

This year, I will also be sending an extra Valentine card to my wife. With love from the dog