NICK AND GEORGENick owns a gloriously red-coloured StaffordShire Bull terrier who was born in the South of France on 16th June, 2012.

Says Nick: “ George was a gift from a friend who was a breeder. Before him I owned two equally wonderful Staffys – a red bitch called Pippa and a piebald called Rocco. Sadly Rocco died at the age of six from an incurable blood disease, and Pippa lived to the age of 15 (she was actually my first Staffy, I bought her eight years before Rocco in 1996).”

Devastated by the loss of Rocco in the prime of his life, Nick devoted himself to Pippa. When she passed away in old age, he waited 18 months before considering getting another dog.

Said Nick: “I was sort of always looking but you just know when the time is right. When Rocco was ill I met a Staffy breeder, Natalia, in the South of France who was so supportive and used to come to the vet hospital every day. It was she who kept me up to speed with potential new dogs and said she would tell me when she had the right dog. I wanted a big male with a big male head, a handsome beast.”

“In 2012 Natalia took me to see a litter of puppies who were about five or six weeks old. George was there – a beautiful, crinkly-faced, handsome little boy with big paws. I went to see him a few times before I brought him home as I couldn’t bring him home until he was four months old – as he needed a rabies jab. “

After getting to know him for a few days, Nick and George set off on the long drive back to England. The journey rattled along until the engine of Nick’s Range Rover blew up on the autoroute

“I called the recovery service, who towed us back to Valence . It was here I got a first inkling of George’s strong independent character. As we got out of the lorry, we saw a security guard with a huge guard dog. “ Attendez le Beauceron” he called out . Just as I moved to pull George away, this little determined pup, firmly splayed his four paws and growled angrily at the dog. It was so funny.I literally scooped him up and jumped back into the safety of the lorry cab,.

Yet equally he was so affectionate – he slept next to me as we stopped at hotels, curled up at my feet in restaurants, and weathered the change of three hire cars to get us home without any distress or concern.”

Since then, Nick and George have been more or less inseparable. They go almost everywhere together – save for the time he is in court.

“As many dog owners will know, you can really have an intuitive relationship with your pet. I talk to George all the time – if I say after a walk ‘do you want a shower’, he’ll go and lie by the bathroom door. He nudges me at 1pm for his biscuit or supper at 6pm. He even sulks if I say I can’t take him to the office because I have important meetings. Not fair really, since he is so helpful when I prepare cases. Just having him curled at my feet as I work, or going for long walks with him, really helps clear my mind as I concentrate on complex legal arguments. In fact I’m not embarrassed to say we are completely co-dependent. Truthfully, it’s what I love most about him .”