28/04/2011 10:41 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: Puppy Love

We are a family of four again. The house has felt so empty since our cat died last month, and being at home all day, I've really noticed a huge void. It's been odd – I still think I catch glimpses of Milly sidling around the door, or hear her paws on the wooden floors.

But obviously I haven't; poor old Milly (or her ashes at least ) has been living in a box under the piano since her demise, and we have slowly grown to accept she has gone.

And now, a new pet has now come to live at Semi-Detached towers, an adorable little West Highland terrier puppy.
Matilda is eight weeks old and an absolute delight. My son is besotted and is planning all sorts of training once she gets bigger (heavily influenced by a display of dancing dogs he saw at a fête in the summer).

Matilda's presence is going some way to healing the awful feelings of despair losing Milly left us with. William has bonded with her so wonderfully, and is so gentle and loving and protective of her – which given he is terrified of dogs, is amazing to see. And for me, she offers the opportunity of escape. She will afford me more 'me time', and time away that no one can argue about. Long solitary walks twice a day. Weekends ambling by the river, or mooching over the common.

And, if I'm totally honest, I am loving having a new little bundle to 'mummy'.