If only every dog were exactly like every other dog, we might fully benefit from our mistakes. All those things we did wrong with our border collie Rosie we vowed to do right with our Labrador Lila. And, largely speaking, we have. It’s the unforeseen challenges that we have failed to meet. (And so many of the expected ones haven’t actually arisen…not that we’re disappointed!)

To be blunt, no one would describe Lila as “delicate”. She never suggests. She simply demands. She lacks subtlety. One manifestation of this personality trait (one very tangible manifestation) was a terribly tattered flyscreen on our front door. Rather than gently whimper or, better yet, stand patiently waiting for the door to open, Lila preferred to knock. Not scratch at the screen, but thrust one heavy outsized paw all the way through.