On Saturday, we had a particularly favoured friend to lunch. Sadly, she did not bring her youngest, whom Miss Dog adores — the young Corinthian in question was off playing cricket, or football, or both for all we know — fond though we are of the lad we do not attempt to keep track of his sporting fixtures. Instead, she brought her godmother, a perfectly charming lady who will not see eighty again, which was absolutely fine by us, but not quite so interesting to labradors. However, a slightly oldfashioned menu of quiche Lorraine, new potato salad and green salad, with a carrot and almond cake to follow, definitely had the canine vote, all bar the salad, so there were compensations. BUT. On Sunday, we had another lunch guest, a German arts person we hadn’t met, friend of friend. This delightful young woman emerged from her car, followed, to all our surprise by a ballistic Labrador: a half grown pup of about one. Miss Dog was enchanted. They took one look at each other, bounced on their front feet, ran round in circles, rolled each other over, ran in figure-eights, turned somersaults, and generally, had a lovely time. For hours. Neither is a brainy dog. On the odd occasions when they rollicked inside and played fighty-fighty in the drawing room when we were trying to talk about arts projects, they fell for the old ‘rush to the front door, crying “Look!!!” “What is it?!” — doggies then tumble out in naive search for the object of this excitement and you craftily shut the door behind them. I fear Miss Dog may be lobbying for an apprentice, but to be honest, the experience convinced me that one dog is enough. Even in a house this size, and solidly built, they seemed to crash about like a regiment of Uhlans.