It has been a sad week as Alice, our black cavapoo, our constant companion for eleven years, has had to be put to sleep. The office and the house are quiet as she made sure you knew if anyone was coming down the lane – dogs, horses, walkers, cars, lorries – and also thought the hoover was a dangerous object.

As far as Alice was concerned Chas was the top dog and everywhere he went she followed and was partial to his socks. Alpaca toenails were also a favourite. This year we sheared 96 alpacas and all would have had their toenails trimmed making a possible 768 nails for her to hoover up.

I don’t think I have ever met a glum dog. Alice was cheerily optimistic, chasing pheasants and rabbits day after day and never catching them

We really miss her.