The dogs that end up living with us really are the best additions to the homestead even if they do wreck the joint and drive us slightly bonkers in the process. The endless love, daft faces and hilarity are priceless. The simple grounding they give us and the ability to not care a jot that we are blithering on, yet again, about something we find of vital importance. They don’t care who we are, what we look like today or what we think about anything, they take us exactly as we are. They love us unconditionally, no strings attached, which, in this day and age, is hugely rare. They make us get out of ourselves and come rain or shine tromp about outside, forcing us to say hi to strangers and finding our smiles whatever the weather. They help us clear our lungs and heads, stretch those bodies and engage with nature whether we want to or not. I will forever be grateful to the mutt who lives with us. She helps keep me sane. She opens me to the world outside in nature and she listens, when no one else will, to my thoughts (that she really doesn’t care about those musings is a moot point).