I admire dogs who look good in the water. The Labrador who launches themselves into the waves to rescue a struggling stick or retrieve a surprisingly expensive dog toy. The spaniel gracefully cresting the surface and rolling over as if in a synchronised swim team.

I also envy their owners, who project the ball into the crashing tide with a careless disregard for canine health and safety regulations. They seem to know that Rover (I always assume they’re called Rover) will more than competently negotiate the moon led watery undulations and return triumphant with stick/ball/toy. Rover shakes themselves with an aesthetically pleasing whirl and is ready to go again.

You will pick up from this that the hound is not of their ilk. The hound likes the water, but only up to knee height (sub editors: please check whether dogs have knees…). Beyond that she stares somewhat forlornly at the disappearing item. She then turns her head accusingly as if to castigate me for daring to propel her very favourite thing into the deep. It is a dispiriting experience for both of us and we trudge on with our heads down hoping no one noticed.

The doggy aquatic love affair can be taken too far though. The Portuguese Water Dog was actually bred to herd fish into fishermen's nets. As someone old enough to remember “One Man and his Dog” on BBC2 I think a coastal episode along these lines would have been well worth a watch, although whistling would have been slightly pointless. My extensive research also uncovered the Irish Water Spaniel who is apparently an excellent hunter of waterfowl – a delicacy at any table back in Elizabethan times I’m sure, although not common at Five Guys.

Compounding her lack of interest in or skill at swimming, the hound also remains constantly confused by the whole salt thing. After a long walk or short chase, she runs into the sea for a refreshing drink, then looks around at me with undisguised disdain as she realises that sodium is present. Somehow this is clearly my fault.

If you have a hound that loves swimming, good for you and I hope you realise how lucky you are. The rest of us have to be satisfied with looking on, although we perhaps save money on towels.