25 MARCH 2006, Page 53

Q. The most recent dog to arrive uninvited at our

house, a little terrier, happened to behave impeccably, but in the past I have opened the doors to a variety of hounds from hell who have climbed on furniture, left messes and stolen food from the larder. You cannot very well turn people away when they arrive with uninvited dogs, but what would you suggest as a punishment fit for this crime?

E.G., Fosbury, Wilts A. Welcome the dog, then pleasantly regale its owners with the cautionary tale of the guests who turned up at a nearby household with an uninvited naughty dog which wreaked havoc, desecrating carpets and beds. Moments before his guests re-entered their car for the return journey following Sunday luncheon, their host filled a dog’s bowl with a towering heap of leftovers and presided while the dog choked down the full melange. The resultant projectile vomiting and diarrhoea quite spoiled said return journey for the offenders. ‘Of course I wouldn’t do anything like that,’ you can add with a sinister smile.