Never again. I am not going to do it. They weave their way into your home and your heart. You trip over them, they steal the cake off the table and dribble in terror on your knees when it thunders. They take irrational dislikes to shiny floors and they cost an absolute fortune at the vets.
So I am going to lead a dog free life. I shall get into my car and drive off to exotic places like Norfolk and Sussex without having to make elaborate arrangements for the care of the ancient hound. I don't need to walk in the rain and snow and howling gales and blazing hot sun twice a day.
I don't need to hear the patter of claws on the tiled floor of the kitchen. I don't need to have the damp nose of a long furry muzzle thrust under my hand that's holding a cup of coffee, just because the owner of the nose wants to be stroked. I don't need to have the warmth of a dog leaning on me and making room on the couch just so that I can sit next to it and become a pillow for it's head.
I certainly don't need to have those big eyes watching as I eat the last few crumbs of a piece of toast, or indeed just watching me in case I look as though a walk might be in the offing. And I don't need to be always looking out for the paws that are just in the right place to trip me up.
Most of all I really don't think I need the silent companionship that is just there when I am sad and need comforting.
So I will stop looking at elderly greyhounds that need a home and trying to decide which of them might be my next beloved companion to join the ghosts of all my previous beloved companions.
Who do I think I am kidding? This is all lies. I expect I will last a month at the outside and then another one will be lying on the floor at my feet ready for me to fall over it...