Nicholas Nickleby turns towards the television, his big eyes catching the sparkles on Strictly Come Dancing in a way which immediately commends him as a member of our team. His delicate and perfect form, his bear-like claws, his enthusiastic, dobby-like ears – magnificent from the back – everything about him is surprising, shiny and new. It has taken me a day or two to relax in his presence, so vulnerable, so bouncy, so underfoot he is, but I can now see that life is going on much as before and there is plenty of beach to enjoy as always, room on the sofa and food in the cupboards: there is nothing to fear and I am gradually growing into a new role. Uncle NuNu has come into his own as a gentle giant of outstanding patience; it is to him and on him that Nicholas has turned and battened for canine companionship and warmth. I am a small spaniel with much to learn; I know that as Nicholas grows I will too. Welcome to the Dickens Dogs, little one! You have landed on your feet!