We live ten minutes from an off lead sports oval where Lila has spent much time with dogs of all shapes and sizes, negotiating the quirks of their wildly ranging personalities.

The two moodles (aka maltipoos) Topsy and Turvy have never once offered to play with Lila (too much brown dog), but she always greets them with exuberance. She loops round and round with delight undaunted by Turvy’s snarl-snap. But Turvy is also a romantic with a fetish when it comes to some of the girls.

And then there’s Alf. A German shepherd-kelpie cross. Built like an elite athlete, he struts across the oval exuding his top dog status. Sometimes he will deign to engage in tug of war with Lila, each grabbing an end of her yellow rubber mallet. But mostly he keeps his eye on the nearby railway. Train spotting is his great passion.

Celtie’s a rescue dog of unknown origins although there’s speculation that she may have some Irish wolfhound mixed with a bit of mastiff. She loves field mice. At least that’s what we believe. We’ve never actually seen them. When she spots one in the long grass woe to the dog who dare stick its snout in her business (Lila learned this the hard way).