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My miniature Dachshund is in her month of the moon. She’s swollen and sore and refuses to get up in the morning. I’ve seen my dear Labrador pawing at her back in a clumsy attempt at massage. She’s mad for cheese and the cat is annoying her more than ever.

I feel sorry for her, but she is the size of Toblerone. I’m not getting her spade as I worry she won’t make it through the operation. Although she yaps and wees on rugs and generally drives me mad, she’s spunky and I love her. I see a bit of myself in her. I had a hysterectomy and have never felt fully woman since. I don’t want to do that to her.

Anyway, I was walking her on the beacon, when a furry dog appeared from nowhere and started doings things to her that I wouldn’t allow on a first date, or even a second. She didn’t seem to mind. I picked her up and explained no one would buy the cow if it gave away the milk for free. ‘At least get his name first’ I said, while the owner of the fruity dog tried and failed to get it on the lead.

‘He’s had a sniff of her now’ the owner said to me, in disgust ‘He’ll be sex mad all day.’ I laughed, but he wasn’t joking so I decided not to mention the dog being a typical male. I just shook the humping hound off my leg and walked on.

Not two days later, whilst out in the same spot, my dog was accosted by the furry-fiend again. I swooped her up quickly and tucked her under my arm. The dog, who we’ll call Marlow, jumped up and poked a hole through my Bat Man leggings with his long claws. Instead of an apology, a woman (I assume the wife) came over to me tut-tutting.

I’d had my Weetabix that morning and the lemon-yellow sun was shining. I was in good cheer, so smiled and said, ‘I think your dog likes me.’ Instead of laughing she sighed and said, ‘It’s not you he likes is it? It’s her.’ I thought that was a bit rude. I can be quite likeable, but before I could tell her as much, she added ‘Is it in season?’

I felt like saying no. That ‘it’ wasn’t in season, just to annoy her, but she was annoyed enough so I said ‘Yes, it’s her special time of the moon’ and the woman said, ‘She should not be walked in a public place when she’s in season.’

The angry feminist in me rose from her slumber and opened a beady eye. ‘I’m sorry? Are you saying that my dog should be punished for having her period? That she should be banished to her basket while she bleeds, while your dog gets to romp about as he likes? It takes two to tango. Why should your dog get to horse about, off-lead, while mine has to stay at home wearing a scarlet letter? I put it to you, good Sir, that your dog needs to done.’

‘Your dog needs to be done!’ she spat back, still trying to remove her debauched-dog from my leggings. They had ‘Pow’ and ‘Kablam’ written on them which I thought appropriate.

‘Poo. Look at the size of her, you clown. It could kill her.’ Yes, I called her a clown, and a ‘good Sir’, but I didn’t stoop to swearing. She did. She told me to Foxtrot Off and dragged the ‘Off’ bit out for ages. I told her that her dog was a sex pest. I may also have wondered aloud as to where it learned the behaviour, before my friend dragged me off.

Dog owners are a funny breed. I put myself in this camp. We bring animals into our homes, treat them like giant babies and defend them to the death. We stop to talk to strangers whilst carrying plump black bags of their faeces (Bags of poo that we comment on; ‘Oh dear, I knew I shouldn’t have given you that omelette poppet’) and talk in high-pitched voices to their dogs.

This is considered normal. Imagine if we did these things without owning a dog. We’d be locked up. But get a dog, and anything is acceptable.

I ask my Labrador, multiple times a day, if he’s a good boy. I don’t know why I do this. He can’t answer. I also ask him if he’d like a sausage, or a walk. I tell him he’s got a waggily tail. I sing ‘How much is that doggy in the window’ then ask my Dauschund where the cats and rats and bats are. I send her out into the garden to look for them. Perhaps I’m the one who should be on a lead.