As I lay in bed, not enjoying the fact that Paul is up following yet another 5.30am wake up call from Sherlock, I wondered what happened to the life I had pre-dog.
Bracing myself for another day in the office with my new fur covered assistant, I could hear Paul downstairs urging Sherlock to let go of his foot for the sixth time in as many minutes.
Soon after, it was just me... and him.
Sherlock greeted me in his usual way, tail wagging furiously with a mouth full of as many stuffed toys as he could possibly fit in, all the while making a muffled woofy sound. It was clear he was excited, by his suddenly apparent boy-bits making an unwelcome and frankly all too frequent appearance.
...Just a little off putting over breakfast.
The two off us head off to work - myself wondering how many emails and answer phone messages will be waiting for me, Sherlock wondering how long it will take him to annoy me enough, that I finally give in and give him his pigs ear.
Never did I think that my life would rely so heavily on various bits of dead animal skidding around my feet.
I unlock the office door and crunch my way over what can only be described as a forest floor. Through the carpet of mud, leaves and bits of tree still covering the floor from yesterdays antics - Sherlock does his usual and heads straight for the shelf where I keep the office dustpan and brush - not that it even resembles that anymore; the brush has half the bristles it used to and the dustpan is bent and full of holes...
As I fire up the computer and flick the kettle on for the first of my caffeine hits, my eyes fill with the dust and mud particles that are catapulted in to the air as Sherlock throws both himself and the dustpan around the floor.
Oh... It's going to be one of those days is it?
I fling open the patio doors and Sherlock heads straight outdoors to see what dangerous things he can dig up and eat. But on the plus side, at least that keeps him occupied while I try to do the best job I can of sweeping the floor with the half eaten dustpan and brush.
Within minutes, he presents me with a piece of barbed wire, which is not only dangerous for him as I try to remove it from his mouth, but also for my poor hands.
After a long and tedious wrestling match, he finally lets go and his mouth is thankfully fine - unlike my poor hand, which now has three small but painful puncture wounds from the barbed wire.
I wonder how on earth he finds these things in an area I have gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure it is a safe place for a delinquent puppy to burn off some of that relentless energy...
The mind boggles.
Then the phone rings. A customer.
It's always a challenge to concentrate on what someone is saying on the phone whilst trying to sound suitably proficient, all the time I have a 25kg Labrador dangling from my shoelaces. I suppose I just have to be thankful he is not humping my leg - though I am in no doubt that this will be the next phase of puppy ownership I have to look forward to.
The only way to prize him off my shoelace is to point my leg, complete with dog hanging from shoe, out of the patio door and then pull my leg back in slowly as I shut the door on my lace. Then I just pull continuously for several minutes until he finally bores. This seems to work quite well and I am becoming quite the pro at this nifty manoeuvre.
Sherlock tilts his head sideways and looks at me with those butter wouldn't melt eyes through the glass. For some strange reason I find myself opening the door and inviting him back inside. So now with both legs on my desk, one on either side of my keyboard, I begin answering the first of the twenty-eight emails I have to get through. I wonder, at what point did it become necessary in my job description to become a contortionist...?
Still, I am grateful that the person I am emailing can't see me at this moment - or what I ate for breakfast.
One email responded to - twenty-seven to go...
Somehow I find my mind wandering. I wonder why new puppy owners aren't entitled to maternity leave. After all, all human babies do is sleep and eat. They can't even move. Puppy's spend their first months unwittingly trying to kill themselves and driving their owners to drink! Maternity leave should be mandatory for puppy owners!
Sherlock settles down on his bed and finally I am able to put my legs on the floor instead of wrapped around my ears. I'm comfortable and all is calm... for now.
The phone rings again.
Now, I'm honestly not sure which is worse; trying to have a sensible conversation on the phone with dog hanging from shoe? Or trying to have a sensible conversation on the phone with head hanging out of window, whilst trying desperately to escape the eye-watering smell that Sherlock has just released in to my office.
He snores peacefully away while I am gagging into my sleeve...
Eventually, he awakes and decides that I am now a giant chew toy. At this point no part of me is safe. Apparently I am raising a crocodile, not a puppy. Finally I give in and shove a pigs ear in to his mouth. Off he trots with a satisfied look on his face.
I look at the clock... 9.37am. Joy.
Only five and a half hours of this to go before I finally get to go home and kick off my shoes, remembering of course that I have only seconds to pick them up and hang them on the puppy proof high level shoe rack before they get eaten.
Then I will make my self a nice cup of tea and sit on my once red sofa - which is now covered in rust coloured fur. I will bury my feet in to my once cream carpet, which is now a colour I can't even describe and I will spend some time trying to remember when I didn't smell of dog, my clothes weren't covered in paw prints and my socks weren't covered in dog slobber.
Overwhelmed by it all, I wonder again what happened to my life pre dog... But then I look in to those beautiful puppy eyes...
...Do I really care?
Then I nuzzle up to his soft furry cheek and he seems to sense that now would not be the best time to chew my ear...
...What a good boy he is :0)