I know I am in danger of becoming a dog bore, but I am besotted. It used to be that Biff followed me around with a look of complete adoration on his face as I performed boring tasks like doing the washing up. Now increasingly, it is me who follows him around with the same look of adoration as wolfs down his breakfast, plays with my goatskin slippers or steals my clothes, assembling them in a little pile on top of his beanbag.
The Man says I need to be a little stricter with him. The problem is that I find every single thing that he does either disarmingly cute or amusing. On Tuesday we took him to visit Mathilde and walked him along the river. 'He's about to go in,' warned The Man, but instead of stopping him I watched proudly as he swam for the first time, his big black paws propelling him through the water, into the centre of the river. I certainly wasn't going to spoil his fun by dragging him out.
Later we returned to Mathilde's boyfriend's studio - a large trogladyte cave filled with artworks and pots - in the bohemian quartier of Poitiers. There, Biff played indoor football with Mathilde's young son, Gabriel, whom he adores. Somehow, they managed to do this without breaking anything. On the way home we stopped in LeClerc, where The Man bought him a selection of garishly coloured toys. 'The reason why he steals your shoes is that he hasn't got any toys of his own to play with,' he said. All in all, Biff enjoyed an excellent dog day out.
This weekend there is an even bigger adventure in store. Biff is accompanying me to London - I want him to be equally at home in town and country - and so we are driving up to Le Havre to take the ferry to the UK for a couple of weeks. He is used to running wild in the country but as from Sunday Biff will have to integrate himself and make new friends in the more sedate environs of Holland Park.