How we came to be the parent (and step-parent) of a collie lurcher cross is a long story that would require me to reveal aspects of my boyfriend's personal life that are nobody's business; this is my blog after all, not his. Suffice to say, he and his dog Brodie have been reunited after three years, during which time she was living with his ex girlfriend. After a lot of heartbreak on both sides, she unexpectedly came to live with us three days before Christmas.

We were warned that this Brodie was not quite the one Mike had known all those years ago and we were prepared for the worst. We half expected a werewolf of a dog who might have to be kept permanently separated from the cats but we decided we had to give it a go.

What a wonderful surprise when she settled right in. Other dogs make her anxious, which manifests as a lot of noise, but not aggression - she just acts like she's mental to scare the other dog away. She caught on pretty quick that we were giving her a biscuit every time she walked past another dog quietly and after only two weeks, she was running about with my parents' three spaniels, happy as Larry.

She loves people. We take her down to the pub and she spends the whole time lying on her back having her tummy rubbed by strangers. She can give a high five and is the fastest dog I've ever seen. She doesn't even have to be chasing anything, she just loves running for the sake of running. I was bitten in the face by a dog as a teenager and it didn't put me off dogs, but has made me nervous around them. I sit with Brodie on the kitchen floor and she only puts her face on mine to try and lick me into submission. She's really helped me get over my fear.

We can't imagine not having her now. She's a great little dog, even if she does look like a sheep.

Lauren Aitchison