Biff has adapted quite well to his temporary new life in London. I was worried that the cross channel ferry trip might prove traumatic but at the end of the five and a half hour crossing from Le Havre I found him sitting in the driver's seat, looking as cool as a cucumber.
He seemed a little disorientated (he wasn’t the only one) when, after a fifteen hour journey, we arrived at my old flat but perked up considerably when I took him for a run in the local park the following day, where with his usual exuberance he bounded up to every dog in sight eager to make their acquaintance.
As he followed a man with a schnauzer half way across Hyde Park, I followed in their wake, wondering about the code of etiquette for the urban dog and its owner. Should I call him back, I wondered? Or was the other owner as happy as I was that his dog was getting a workout with Biff in boisterous pursuit?
Then, when the owner of a giant poodle in a designer tracksuit and full maquillage declared ‘my goodness, your dog is friendly’ I wondered if he was being too friendly by sniffing out every four legged creature that came into our orbit, including a pair of viszlas, several pugs, lots of standard schnauzers - the dog of the moment if West London parks are anything to go by - and a fluffy white labradoodle.
But I probably shouldn’t worry. Dog owners are a genial and friendly bunch. And apart from an incident on Kensington High Street where a large greyhound grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, Biff appears to be having an excellent time. This morning we met up with some friends for a walk on Hampstead Heath. As Biff gambolled along with his newfound friends, Wolfie (an Irish terrier) and Lollie (a chubby but cute Kerry Blue) he looked like he was in the equivalent of dog heaven.