The hound loves her blankets.

She has a collection to rival the most conscientious of philatelists or the hardest working, longest travelled gunzel.

Some are for relaxation, others for warmth, a favoured few join her at night to assist sleeping.

Some are chosen purely for their smell, and yet more remain in her rotation as they, I can only assume, evoke good memories.

Being a hygienic sort of chap, when I first encountered the hound, I occasionally attempted to wash the blankets, reasoning that this would increase her comfort, sense of well-being and positivity.

How wrong I was. Freshly laundered blankets were cast aside from the squad as quickly as a promising but underperforming centre-back on loan from a League One team.

The hound would reject the clean-smelling cloth in favour of a more mephitic material, one that matched her desire for a full-on olfactory experience.

Now we have had a few years together, I have resorted to subterfuge to reduce the number of foul-smelling coverings she insists on using.

I will occasionally ‘lose’ one or two for a few weeks, allowing me time to clean them while she forgets they exist.

She has many qualities, but her encyclopaedic memory is not one of them.

A blanket not in her direct line of sight for more than a few days might as well never have existed at all.

Once laundered and returned, I gently rub some treats into it and, quicker than a commuter seeing a free double seat in the distance, she embraces it prodigally, immediately nuzzling and licking as if it had never been lost.

There are some advantages of course. At least it is her blanket that gets covered in mud, sand, drool, and other far less pleasant substances.

And the middle range trim in my car and lower middle range style on my sofas are, for the time being at least, protected.

But the big question is this. If she loves a rough old blanket, what would she do if presented with a genuine item of quality to recline upon?

Some silk maybe, or cashmere? I could make a guess, but unless I suddenly inherit from a cashmere magnet, I am pretty sure we’ll never find out.