I own a spaniel named Archie. He is nearly two years old and I am head-over-heels in love with him. As he well knows.
So I was pretty pleased to read that Kate Middleton now owns Lupo the cocker spaniel puppy. Hurrah! More royal distinction for the humble spaniel, which has long been overlooked in favour of the decidedly less regal-looking corgi.
On Friday Lupo had his first walk in Kensington Gardens.
Somehow - and don't ask me how - Archie managed to wangle a quick chat with Lupo during this walk (Arch has always been a very clever boy). I have no idea how. Or why. But below is what happened...
ARCHIE: Lupo! Nice to meet you at last. You've been in the papers quite a bit recently, haven't you?
LUPO: Yes. It's really quite remarkable considering I'm a dog. And not a, well, er - I mean, I haven't really done anything, you know? So the attention is a bit embarrassing...
ARCHIE: What do you mean?
LUPO: Well - how can I put this? I was basically just born. Four months ago. I mean, give a chap a chance, eh? I just feel this extraordinary amount of pressure. It's awfully difficult reading about oneself on the Daily Mail website. Some of the reader comments are just mortifying.
ARCHIE: I can quite imagine. Can you do any tricks yet?
LUPO: They're pretty insistent on trying to get me to stand if someone enters the room. Which I do anyway, as I'm a dog. They're also quite keen to get me to jump through hoops...
ARCHIE: Oh, I can do that too!
LUPO: No, I mean hoops, literally. Five hoops in the shape of the Olympics logo. In-out-in-out-in. Very tiring stuff.
ARCHIE: Oh, right. But you've had a lucky break, haven't you, landing this gig? Most dogs would give their whiskers to be a royal pet...
LUPO: I was originally approached to be a new pet on Blue Peter. I was on the verge of signing on the dotted line until the royal job came up. This is a far better alternative.
ARCHIE: So what's the grub like? All I get is Bakers Meaty Chunks and the odd toast crust.
LUPO: I can't complain. But as I'm a working cocker, there's talk of me only being able to eat things that I catch. Which isn't very fair. I've already drawn up a seven-point plan as to why this simply won't work. I've addressed the envelope. If they try and make this official, I'll send it to the Kennel Club. I have no qualms.
ARCHIE: Have you met the Queen's corgis yet?
LUPO: What do you think?
LUPO: Yes. Only for the briefest of moments.
ARCHIE: What were they like? I imagine them to be really cliquey.
LUPO: Difficult to say really. There were quite a few of them. There's only one of me. Very yappy dogs. Got a lot to say.
ARCHIE: What were they talking about?
LUPO: The weather, mainly. Then one of them started going on and on about some chap called Charlie Sheen. Apparently he drinks something called Tiger Blood, and then this particular corgi started saying something menacing about wanting to try spaniel blood. So I, er, left them to it.
LUPO: Yes. They were a bit excitable, to say the least.
ARCHIE: Finally - what's it like living with a princess?
LUPO: Annoying beyond words. Don't get me wrong, I love the old gel to bits - but there's never a moment's peace. There are always paparazzi from various dog magazines trying to take snaps of me when I potter out to the garden to do my business.
ARCHIE: That must get annoying...
LUPO: Not as annoying as the 'puppy love' puns that some of the tabloids have been bandy-ing around. I don't even like The Osmonds.
ARCHIE: Controversial! Thanks for your time, Lupo. Give Catherine a lick from me.
So there you have it.