Oh, the irony! Recently we received the passport for our puppy. He has had his rabies jab and is ready to go. The question is ‘when’? Although we don’t know how the regulations will have changed after Brexit, you only need to look at the cover of Zeph’s passport to work out that it won’t be valid.

It seems unbelievable that it is now over a year since we last set foot in our French house.

Our house backs on to the Canal du Midi and I have long dreamt of opening the back gate, walking along the towpath, into Castelnaudary, with a dog by my side. We would go to my favourite café and sit on the terrace with a strong coffee or cold beer, depending on the time and weather.

Castelnaudary: Canal du Midi port

Here in the UK, we have just come out of Lockdown 2 and are now living with the latest tier system. I have found this second lockdown more challenging than the first but I can’t really articulate why. Dogs have no trouble with lockdowns, loving the extra attention and walks!

On the fourth of December, Zeph will be seven months old. How did that happen? He will be an ‘adolescent’ dog. According to the Blue Cross, ‘ your puppy is now a ‘teenager’. Just like their human equivalents, dog teenagers vary hugely – some may temporarily go off the rails, some may become a little more anxious than usual and some may remain steady and easy going throughout.’

Up till now, Zeph has been making good progress and we are able to let him off the lead where it is safe to do so. He is starting his Intermediate Training Classes this weekend and it will be interesting to see what he learns.

November has been a groundhog month with two dog walks a day but not much else happening. This gives me a golden opportunity to share some of Zeph’s best (?!) moments.

Border Collies are working dogs and it is said that they will go ‘self employed’ if they are not suitably occupied. Zeph decided that he might like to try his paw at gardening. In the photos below, he is ‘helping’ to prepare the pots for winter.

Zeph has become a nosey dog, as he is now able to spy on the neighbours. Perhaps he is thinking about running the Neighbourhood Watch! He also looks very tall/long in this photo and is evidence of how much he has grown.

You may remember Zeph’s impersonation of a horse It’s a dog life… – Fancying France

He’s now added rhino to his repertoire!

The weather lately has not been conducive to dog walking – extremely wet and muddy! Zeph loves water. Here he is practising his ‘doggie paddle!’

This final picture shows when I love Zeph the most – when he’s asleep. Not true, of course!