The baby practice begins now.

I can remember desperately wanting a dog from the age of four. My godparents had a whippet named Penny that I adored and when I wasn't at their house, I would clip one of Penny's old leads on to a little rolling suitcase and pull it around the house behind me. I basically invented the Trunkie way before whoever actually invented it did.

It was when I was six or seven that I began writing 'puppy' multiple times on my mums shopping list, and set about learning as much as I could about dogs. I still have a vast and mostly useless bank of information on various dog breeds and their history (which you're free to test me on any time ;).

My quest for a dog even went as far as me making up a very detailed powerpoint presentation in an attempt to persuade my un-dog loving parents to buy me a pooch but alas, it never happened. The answer was always "when you're older and have your own house, you can have as many dogs as you like".

Well, I got older and had my own house but never seemed to be in a position to get a pup of my own. As much as I wanted a companion, I would never have gotten a dog for selfish reasons when I knew I didn't have the time to devote to it's wellbeing.

Anyway, I'll get to the point of this post... After all those years of living vicariously through the lives of other dog owners, at the age of twenty seven, my life and the stars have aligned to make this wish of mine possible. I finally have a fur baby to call my own.

I decided to name her Zora (after the writer Zora Neale Hurston) because as soon as I met her and looked into her deep brown eyes, I knew she had a story to tell. She's an old soul for sure and just a sweet and tender little thing. The best part of all this (other than being a puppy mum) is that my step dad actually bought her for me as a gift to make up for all of the years he said 'no dog' and both him and my mum came with me to pick her up from the breeder - just the way I'd always imagined it would be. I truly feel like this moment has come full circle.

I'm calling Zora my 'practice baby' as I've been living pretty much footloose and fancy free so I need to get used to having another life depending on me before venturing into human motherhood. Although I know that will be in a different league, this pup has definitely been keeping me on my toes for the past few days - I guess it's time to kiss my lie-ins goodbye for a long while!

Oh and in case any other dog lovers are wondering (I know I would be) - Zora is a show type Cocker Spaniel and she's 8 weeks old in all these photos.