I’m spending an awful lot of time in our local park these days. When I’m not running after Frank, apologising to people on his behalf, or picking up his steaming *hit (apart from once when I pretended to – it was in the long grass and really runny – don’t judge me), I find myself chatting to other park goers. And after a lengthy research period of approximately 4 weeks, I feel well-informed enough to make some sweeping generalisations about ‘park types’, specifically dog owner park types. So here goes.

1.The Sensibles. My first group are the kind of people you’d feel comfortable leaving your 6-month old baby with to go and retrieve a forgotten debit card  – a car journey away – to pay for a new set of tyres. (I am forever indebted to the kind folk at Kwikfit for their childcare abilites).  Their dogs (the Sensibles, not the men at Kwikfit) have  predictably ‘doggy’ names: Sooty, Taffy, Flint, Sandy and are easily identifiable breeds: Spaniels, Labs, Collies.

2.The Comedians. These guys are usually young couples, or blokes. And they’re not your usual boring dog owners, oh no, they have a sense of humour…. So there’s Arnie the Dachshund, Clay the Boxer and my personal favourite, Daniel the Spaniel.

3.Humanisers. These are dogs that could double as pretend mates, if ever you felt the need to brag about your social circle. Someone: so who’s coming to your party then? you: well, loads of people… Ted, Sophie, Hannah, Frank, Derek, Sid and Hector (admittedly, you’d have to be pretty posh to pull Hector off) . This group tends to polarise opinion, as some people have a problem in calling your dog what you could feasibly call your child (well I say people, I’m actually referring to  one friend, who wants a whippet called RENOIR, so I’m not sure she’s any authority on this)

4.Losers of senses. Or just losers for short. These people have just clearly lost their mind when it comes to their dog. This could be a temporary lobotomy when they chose its name – resulting in Giggles, Fuzzy Bear and Binkey. Or it could be  a momentary lapse in concentration at Pets at Home, which ends up in the purchase of a doggy tank top. What makes this group so special is that this loss of control is temporary, they are decent guys and what’s happened to them since owning a dog is a lesson in life for us all. Bad things happen to good people; we’ve all got the propensity to be losers.