My son is currently based in Edinburgh though his house is in Southampton. His vey generous employer flies him home at weekends, though he is beginning to love Scotland, and he rarely comes home to the South these days, preferring to climb, hike, run, ski and box in the stunning Scottish countryside.

The thing is, he would really, really love to have a dog, but his current working life does not allow him to be a dog-daddy (he is likely to be deployed overseas in the next months). He toyed with the idea of finding a girlfriend who has a dog but we cautioned him against that – break-ups are so much more complicated if fur-kids are involved!!!! You could rationalise that to break free from a partner is a good/necessary thing, but waggy tails and lovelorn eyes …. uh uh.

These are my kids with various dogs.

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Then in summer, we came across a very good scheme indeed (though I am sure, as with most things in life, there are negatives if you look for them). The local dog rescue home in Southampton near where my son lives runs a short-term fostering programme.

After being thoroughly vetted, you can take a pet home for the weekend, the week or the month.  Of course, the main aim is for you to fall in love with your foster-doggie, but the plus side for the staff is that it frees them that little bit more to care for other doggies, and also it saves the shelter dog food costs.  The foster-doggies also get a lot of love and attention ❤