Each morning I am awakened with a kiss. I would like to be able to say that it is from my good lady wife, but regretfully that is not the case. She awakens me with an elbow in my side and a mumbled request for a cup of tea. The kiss comes courtesy of Amy. And before you start getting silly ideas, Amy is a seven year old soft-coated wheaten terrier and probably the most adorable dog in the world. She sleeps at the bottom of our bed and she tends to wake up when Isobel aims the tea-demanding elbow in the direction of my slumbering form. My wife is Alpha Dog in our household and Amy sees herself as Beta Dog. She takes it upon herself to reinforce my wife's early morning wake-up call by endless wet kisses and annoyingly wagging tails. After a short period of time you realise that the kisses are just as bad as the sharp elbow to the ribs and so off you go to make tea.
One of my favourite singer-songwriters, the late Jake Thackray, used to have a song about his dog called Ulysses. It contained the following lovely verse :