So what, then, with my wealth of experience of the animal kingdom would I recommend if you don’t want a dog any more? Well not a cat, obviously — despicable animals, the four-legged equivalent of a footballer’s wife: pretty, well groomed and clean but, fundamentally, only after your money.
You want something that loves you, something scary for thieves, something that doesn’t make too much of a mess and something, above all which costs almost nothing to buy and run. Well how about a rat? Rats get a lot of bad press. Sure, they did kill half the world’s population once but it wasn’t their fault. It was the fleas that lived on their backs and it was a long time ago.
Today’s rat can be taught to respond to its name, if you go for a male, it will clean up after itself and it will be very loving. And what’s more, you can use a rat’s back to grow yourself another ear.
Peter’s most treasured pet was a little rat. The only think is they get you very attached and then go and die of old age after two years.