Regular readers will remember that last year we very sadly lost our beloved Allotment Dog, rather suddenly. Well: we’ve had a dog-shaped hole in our family ever since, so a few weeks ago we decided to put that right. Meet Allotment Dog Junior.

He’s taking his gardening responsibilities very seriously so far: he’s been planting peas (or rather, rearranging their planting after I’d already planted them, but then he is a bit of a perfectionist about these things).

He’s also a whizz at digging planting holes, although he tends to fall into them as his legs are rather short, and has already done some pond gardening, possibly unintentionally as I think he was taking rather too close an interest in the goldfish at the time and suddenly found himself with his head in the waterlily pot. Since I had to fish him out I’m not sure that particular branch of gardening will be a favourite.

I’m afraid I can’t agree with Nigel and sundry anti-dog gardeners (apart from the bit about dog owners not clearing up after themselves): I love having a dog in the garden again. I have a constant companion on my rounds and a faithful shadow to share my triumphs and disasters with (he even looks interested, and what’s more he won’t tell anyone else). And, no matter what I do, he likes me. Now you can’t say that of a cat.