I am heartened to report that all 5 of our Border Terrier puppies are thriving as they have just reached 4 weeks age and we are no longer fearful of losing one to squashing or malnourishment. Unfortunately some cynical readers of this blog have suggested that the only reason I am writing about adorable infant dogs is to pepper my prose with wine references in an underhand attempt to promote our wares. Nothing could be further from the truth so I promise in future to desist from trying to name-check any of the delicious Yapp Brothers’ wines that have been sustaining us during our puppy-enforced house arrest.

The pups have now moved out of the whelping box in our sons’ bedroom and have taken up residence in their new run that we had fun constructing from 2 wooden wine crates and lengths of 2 metre planking. We have been weaning them onto solid food and it is very gratifying (if costly) as they chow down but comes with the seemingly high price that their mum no longer cleans up after them. On the positive side when they are awake they are hugely entertaining and far more amusing than the television. Although incredibly agile and mobile for their tender age they are clumsy and do have a tendency to end up collapsed on their backs waving their legs in the air. They still spend a lot of their time sleeping piled on top of one another and amazingly already leave the confines of their ‘bedroom’ when they need to relieve themselves - which bodes well for house-training. They are curious and cuddly and now have proper dog mannerisms albeit with ridiculously squeaky barks. Their confirmed enemy is a black rubber pig called ‘Oinky Evils’ and they are incredibly adept at upsetting their water bowl. Frankly it’s been a steep learning curve and an exhausting month for the whole family but it has been fascinating and hugely enjoyable too.

We have already registered the puppies with the Kennel Club and had potential buyers visiting and selecting their chosen puppy and it is hard to believe that in just 3 weeks time 4 out of our 5 charges will be going away. Fortunately, we have resolved to keep 1 puppy and 3 others are going to friends so we should be able to monitor their on-going progress but don’t expect me to blog about it – I’m dog tired.