I’ve always said, you know you’ve made it when you can take your dog to work.

Well I wasn’t allowed to take my Skip unfortunately, but was nevertheless chuffed to be asked to present ‘the acts’ at Scotland’s first-ever The Dog Lover Show at the SECC at the weekend.

I love a dog. No-one loves a dog more than me. However, growing up, ‘getting a dog’ was never going to happen, even though my dad was forever, ‘going to see a man about one!’

I was reduced to sneaking other people’s dogs in when mum was out. I hid strays in the coal bunker and fed them with whatever I could pinch. I’d walk many a mile between Carmunnock, East Kilbride and Busby, the neighbour-hood’s dogs at my heels. Unable to pass a cute or unusual dog without finding out its name and pedigree, I became known for having ‘a way with dogs’, I could have been Castlemilk’s answer to Caesar Milan.

There is however, only one thing that gets me barking mad more than a badly-behaved dog, and that’s a schmaltzy, sentimental, irresponsible dog owner. Thankfully neither were present at the show.

There were, Bearded Collie dancing dogs, a Border Collie; herding ducks’ dog, and even a few fellow Gingers, the ‘Fox Red Labradors’ who were super alert.

I was keen to chat to the experts. Sally from the SSPCA told me how committed they are to stop the illegal trade of puppies from puppy farms. It’s great that there is new legislation coming into force to tackle this in October in England; as well as a Responsible Breeding and Ownership of Dogs, Scotland Bill pending.

In the meantime though, a simple bit of advice to follow is to never accept any suggestion that you can’t meet your new puppy with their mum.

With 30 different dog breeders there, another chat I wanted to have was the dog version of, ‘Horses for Courses’. It might seem obvious not to, for example, buy a Bullmastiff Pitbull when sharing a bedsit with your best pal, but what about the go-to pup for cuddles and cuteness; the first of the “designer dogs” the Cockapoo.

The combo of the Cocker Spaniel, a working dog, as brilliant as his cousin the Springer – but more headstrong – bred with the poodle, used for variety acts because of their uber intelligence and ability to do great ‘tricks’, all makes for a dog with a huge need for stimuli.

As affectionate as they are, your granny would be better off with a Newfoundland water dog if she wanted a lapdog to spoil! I can’t tell you how many Cockapoos I’ve seen molly coddled and bored silly – potential owners take note!

I do believe any dog is content to play at follow the leader if said lead doesn’t renege on the job and remains calm, consistent and cheery.

My favourite breed, the Border Collie loves to be set tasks and then told in no uncertain terms how delighted you are when they master them. My first Border Collie was an outstandingly brilliant girl called Flash. During her 16 years she visited prisons, hospitals and was once used for tackling dog phobias.

As your columnist I am hoping my present girl Skip, above, won’t be barred from entering the Evening Times Perfect Pet contest. Isn’t she adorable and she can count to three – genius!

You know you are old when...

You remember trying to make a dog lead out of your brother’s Snake Belt.