This is an introduction to the worst dog. He was very expensive and is very stupid. This gun shy labrador is in the literal doghouse.

This weekend I went home to Scotland to a glorious weekend of country pursuits and family feuds. We also took the dog. In spite of ardent protest from my siblings, my father insisted that although the dog clearly hates guns, he would enjoy some fresh air. We’re not sure whether he’s scared or excited. All we know is that he is bloody annoying. (the dog not dad)

My sister took the first shift. With every gunshot I heard a piglike squeal and the sound of my sister being wrestled to the ground. Knowing that it was my turn next, I turned to my left to see that they had let the dog off the lead in a bid to calm him down. Seconds later the dog bounded out of the woods at high speed. He launched himself onto my father’s back. He was in charge of a fire arm. This was not going to end well.

When my sister grew tired I was charged with handling the worst dog. Kiwi is built more like a seal on legs than a normal labrador and stood on his back legs he is both taller and stronger than me. I was furious. With every gunshot, he reared back onto his legs and hurled himself onto me, buffeting me into a fence and covering me in slobber (perhaps he too had noted the traces of rave paint on my Barbour - oh the shame).

His attempts to escape grew more violent as he began to simultaneously eat his lead and pin me to the ground. I felt like I was being mauled by a drunk bear. At one point I punched him in the face. 

Once the dog was banished to the car I knew that worse was still to come. I had yet to say hello to Granny. Its less an open secret and more an accepted fact that I am my grandmother’s least favourite grandchild. She checked herself into the Priory the day I was born and relations have been frosty ever since. 

She once sent me a birthday card, in which she had forgotten to write happy birthday but had found time to wax lyrical about my sister’s boyfriend. When prompted about my own boyfriend at the time, she said that she ‘couldn’t put a face to a name.’

When my sister and I pulled up in her driveway on Saturday she was scowling in an upstairs window like 'The Woman in Black.’ We waved. She sent down some staff to tell us to rod off. Apparently she wasn’t ready to see anyone. I’m quite sure she wasn’t ready to see me. 

She then appeared at lunchtime only to ask me 'which one I was’ and proceed to ignore me in favour of questioning the Duke of Montrose’s son on how his AS levels were going. I may be her own flesh and blood but his is certainly bluer.