THE hound loves the beach.

This is a surprise; I’ve never seen her build a sandcastle, and although she can swim, she feels it's beneath her and so doesn’t.

She has no interest in buckets or spades and doesn’t enjoy sunbathing.

She can’t get to grips with a deckchair and is no fan of boats, becoming easily confused at the movement of the floor beneath her.

All in all, you’d have thought that the beach was no place for her.

This matters as we are temporarily domiciled on the south coast.

While lovely, there are drawbacks – the Somerset County Gazette is not available for example and parking is so difficult it makes Taunton look like an open plan free to use NCP.

But we are just a short stone’s throw from the sandy beach.

So the hound is happy. I think it might be the smells, of which there are many, or perhaps the feeling of the sand under her paws.

She enjoys walking along the high tide line; the point at which the tide has turned and in so doing deposited driftwood, seaweed, and other oceanic detritus in a meandering line, like a watery yellow brick road.

She will walk gracefully along this as if the sand on either side is recently expelled lava.

We are rarely alone. Our early morning walk is accompanied by other canines on the beach, all chasing sticks or running into the water.

The hound works the beach in the same way a PR consultant works a room, saying hello to many but listening to few.

The dog owners, pre-coffee and usually still semi-comatose, tend to ignore each other, simply nodding or calling to their own beasts to leave the others alone. There is rarely a lead in sight.

Her love for the beach is evangelical and she is on a mission.

She is determined that we should all enjoy the beach all day every day.

So, on every visit she collects as much sand as she can, storing it in her fur, collar, lead, mouth, and especially paws, and then carefully spreading it around the hall on our return.

We might not have a sandcastle in the lounge yet, but I fear it is simply a matter of time.