As I write, Frank has just undergone an operation on his left hind knee to fix a luxating patella. This is a procedure to correct a knee cap which doesn't sit within a groove, as you would find in a healthy dog, and dislocates left and right, causing him to hop about as he's walking.
So there you are, a baker's half dozen of perfect little Cocker Spaniel puppies filling your heart right up, making you wish you lived on a sprawling farm, with endless pots of cash and no real responsibilities, when it suddenly dawns on you that you've got to find homes for them all.
Having just had Frank neutered, and all our other dogs in the past, it made me wonder about the arguments for and against.
Living in the Hertfordshire countryside, as we have done now for almost 10 years, we are spoilt by the most stunning landscape all around us. It definitely makes me more mindful of the seasons, and gives a feeling of intense connectivity.
October, with its shortening days and cooler weather, is the month we have to think about altering our daily walking routine to respect the wildlife with which we co-exist in our local area of Ashridge.