It's that time of year again, when the sand and salt blasts your hands and legs, and the cold cracks your skin, and you notice that the local chemist shops all have huge displays of intensive moisturisers and industrial-looking tubs of slather.
Naturally, at such a time, the wisest thing you can do is decide to foster a slightly gawky and somewhat unruly (only through lack of training, not through any personality defect) labrador who your resident dogs have taken a dislike to, and who is still at that stage in his rescue process where he runs after every human he sees, no matter how far away they are, because they might be his owners. This means he always has to be on the lead, except when there's absolutely nobody around. And this means going down the beach at 7 am, when there's nobody around. It also means that he has to be lead-walked separately from the others, because they don't like him touching them. So, the number of daily walks has been bumped from a total of three to a total of seven.
A pain, right?
But his big nogginy head is soooo lovely and heavy when he plonks it on your lap and lets out that big dog sigh that just seems so contented. It almost makes up for my red raw hands and wet, sandy clothes.
If only we had a bigger house...