In a final twist of the tale, it turns out that I was fostering Bruce until his real family came along. Amazing, though, how I went from talking to him over the fence for years, then jelly legs of fear when I first tried to walk him, then taking him for walks with others, then just him and me, then having him trot around after me like a big lamb. I ended up absolutely adoring him, but worrying about the fact I had to leave him for hours in the yard while I worked. Also I will be travelling all through October! Truth is, boxers need a lot of love and attention and I was beginning to wonder how I could manage him. Then I got a call from my Buddhist Centre telling me that the gardener - with a big house, huge garden, and six kids - wanted a dog and, in particular, a boxer! I took it as a sign from the gods and drove my dear lad up to County Cavan. Have to say, I cried all the way back and there have been a few blubberings since. But I rang to check how he was the first night I left him and he was watching television with the kids and being petted continually. I'll be up at the Centre in two weeks and will get all the details from the gardener, but I won't visit this soon in case I upset him. Once he's well settled, I'll drop in like a favourite auntie.