My precious ruby, Megan, has made it to her 11th birthday today, in spite of several setbacks. I’m pleased to say that at the moment she is well, happy and enjoying her day with her three pals and I thought I'd like to share such an important milestone with you all. She is the first of my Cavaliers to live longer than 10 years.

Megan arrived at our house on Easter Monday 1999 – the same day as a young French friend, a grand-daughter of the family I first got to know when I was a student in France in the 1960s!! It was Caroline who chose her green collar and lead, and we have stuck to green ever since as it suits her so well.

At first we called her Nutmeg, because of her beautiful colour, but that soon got shortened to Meg. She was 5 months old, but in spite of this young age, we were already her 5th home!!! She was bred in Warwickshire, then sold to somebody in Gloucestershire, then sold on again with a view to showing. However, that didn’t work out, so she was advertised in our local paper. I answered the ad, but she had already gone and I was very disappointed, as you can all imagine.

To my great joy, a couple of months later she was back again – the new owner had taken a full time job and, thank goodness, had the good sense to return her. This time I just wasn’t to be denied – she was definitely “meant” for me, so came to live with us as a companion for our then 8-year old Black and Tan, Louie.

Unfortunately her first twelve months did not run smoothly. Within 4 weeks of her arrival I found myself suddenly hospitalised for surgery and a course of chemotherapy. I was absolutely determined that Megan wouldn’t go to home number 6. Thankfully I had a marvellous and supportive husband and in-laws and several good “doggy” friends, who got us through a very sticky time.

Since that difficult start, Megan has had an enormously varied life, travelling frequently with us to see family in Devon and staying with many kind friends when we have had to go abroad. She takes everything in her stride and is the wisest, calmest, waggiest pal anyone could wish to have.

Even though she is totally deaf and was first diagnosed with SM and hydrocephalus in 2006, she seems quite stable on her medication regime, enjoys regular short walks and eats for England.

Long may it be so, my lovely, lovely girl – you could not be more special to us.