I am not a huge fan of round-robin letters, and every Christmas, the late Simon Hoggart, of the Guardian, would poke fun at them and those who penned them.

However, the other day, into my in-box, came an email from a couple looking for a home for a three year-old (female) Lakeland terrier.

I happened to be passing my local vet and popped in to ask about Lakeland terriers. They are, said my vet, quite wonderful. In fact, his mother, who lives in Stoke on Trent has one.

I called the ‘phone number and soon afterwards found myself driving along the M4 towards the little village where they all lived. I was quickly told that the Lakeland, called Topsy, was taken in earlier in the year as her owner had died and her current home already included two Jack Russells.

Alas, I was to learn, they were all bitches and never got on too well. In fact, when I arrived, all the dogs had been separated – each in a different bedroom of the house.

Then Topsy was running around the kitchen and the garden. Did I want to take her now? She quickly leapt into the car, and off I went to a pet shop to make sure I had the necessary supplies. I took her to the yard where I keep my horse – there she also met the other dogs, had a bath and soon afterwards was in my kitchen scoffing up her dinner. She seemed happy.

She even travels up and down to London with me. There she is bold and barks at the taxi drivers who pass her by, as if to say “Can I hop in too…..?”

She is quietly confident and isn’t aggressive or neurotic. Occasionally, I will send photographs via email to the previous owners so that they can see how happy and well-settled Topsy is. She is friendly towards my neighbours and their children too, but like all terriers, she barks from time to time.

When the Christmas card from her previous owners arrived saying how happy they were she had found a new home and that they didn’t have to deal with three fighting bitches, I felt quite relieved.

However, I thought to myself, I only have one bitch on my hands, and she’s adorable and a pure delight.

Topsy on a chair Topsy on a chair Topsy makes friends with Tyga Helme Topsy makes friends with Tyga Helme Topsy's been shopping Topsy's been shopping

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