We have this dog called Paris. I know what you´re going to say! What a dumb name for a dog! Who would even think of calling a dog Paris? Well, let me clear this up straight away. That naming business had nothing to do with us. 

If you think about it, naming a dog after a city is not a particularly helpful thing to do. Consider this as one example of the kind of confusion this could lead to: you hear somebody talk about “Paris in the summer”. Most people might reasonably conjure up images of walking down the Champs-Elysées or sipping coffee on some boulevard terrace. But not me! I would immediately picture a great lump of a dog prostrate in the shade snoring and farting her way through another oppressively hot day while the cicadas drown the air in screeches. 

Her unfortunate name was bestowed on her by her previous owner. About a year ago he got in touch to ask if we could take care of his dog for a while. I agreed. We met in the car park of the McDonalds just outside of Marbella. There was an exchange of paperwork, a handshake, and that was that. It was supposed to have been a temporary arrangement but, for reasons too convoluted to follow here, it turned out to be a permanent arrangement. Without ceremony she leapt into the boot of my car and soon she was on her way to a new life in the campo.

I don´t know if dogs are things that are supposed to bring you luck but there were early signs that Paris might be a kind of lucky dog in some sense. The journey back to our place was the last time she saw the inside of a car and, to be honest, I was not really prepared to transport her. I had no dog box, or whatever you call it, and half way home she jumped up out of the boot and sat next to me in the front passenger seat. She just sat there staring ahead as if she was trying to figure out where the hell we were going. 

Then came trouble. In the distance I could see the Guardia Civil driving towards me and I realised that the dog, in plain view, was not restrained properly. They were bound to see her. And then, at that precise moment and, for the only time in the whole journey, she stepped down into the front passenger footwell and curled up for about thirty seconds which was just time enough for the cops to approach fully and then vanish in my rearview mirror.

There is not a lot about Paris that I don´t like apart from her dumb name which, like I say, is neither her fault nor mine. Sure, she has her faults but they are shared with other members of her species: she has no table manners, she sheds hair everywher and she rolls in, and sometimes even eats, disgusting things. Her most notable characteristic is her tendency to leap up and down when she figures that a walk is on the cards. At one moment her eyes are at knee level and then a split second later she is looking you square in the eyes and she effortlessly oscilates between these two positions as though her rear legs had been replaced with industrial strength springs. 

One of the things I like about dogs is that they take you for long walks. This morning Paris brought me to a field of slumbering sheep who were joined by cattle egrets that accompany them for most of the day. The egrets looked pretty dozy too and were probably not long out of their night time roost. The egrets just stood there waiting for the action to kick in but it was a Sunday morning and the sheep were lying in. It was early when we passed and the sun was low and illuminating the sides of the animals furthest from us. They were all, sheep and egrets, outlined in glowing white. 

Those sheep are producing lambs now and several are only days old. We looked in on the sheep again later, on the return leg of our walk. The sun was now higher in the sky and the birds and sheep had lost their glowing edges. One ewe was a new mum with the umbilical cord still attached and a lamb unsteady at her feet.

Paris and I walk by this field every day. We will keep an eye on the lambs now as they grow.