Pets. I love them and have always had them. Dogs, hamsters, mice, goldfish and various breeds of cats have all been my loyal and trustworthy chums through times good and bad.

The only part of being a pet-owner which I really don’t like is the endless clean-up operation which is required in my house. The question of how to remove pet smells is also always on my mind. As soon as I have triumphantly finished the weekly clean, switching the Hoover off upstairs with a cry of ‘Fetch me my G&T!’, I return to the kitchen to find either a soft sweep of cat hair delicately decorating my floor, an upturned food dish with the remains of the meal ground into the carpet, or, better yet, that one of the little darlings has heroically dragged in a (living) present and is now proceeding to bat it around the room.

This is nothing compared with the work involved in looking after dogs. Many years ago my parents were the proud owner of two adorable Andrex puppy Labradors. Adorable, indeed until we started the house training. Without going into grisly detail, it was a good few months until I felt happy eating in the kitchen, which housed the little mess monsters. Dogs are also adept at picking precisely the right moment to roll in dead animals or worse, bringing the dirt and smell into the house. For my family, this often occurred when we were expecting visitors. Mum would go into frantic mode, hoovering every single one of the thousands of white hairs the dogs moulted year round. Only to find that one of them had been sick in the lounge.

I wonder whether there is a better solution to all this cleaning. I suppose the options are either to:

-Ask your teenage children to help (in between sleeping, eating and generally being angry at the world)

-Ask your husband to help (in between sleeping, eating and pretending to do DIY)

-Put the animals outside (slightly cruel after spending the last ten years being cosseted and spoilt inside a nice warm house)

-Leave home

For most people, the first three options are unpractical, the last option desirable but morally wrong. If it is all getting on top of you, perhaps a girly weekend away in a nice, clean and fresh-smelling hotel room will help you to reassess.

Whilst you’re there, take a minute to let the surroundings sink in. Pristine carpets. Sparkling taps. A soft and gentle fragrance of jasmine floating through the air gabapentin 300 mg high. Before you fall asleep in a blissful haze of relaxation, let me recommend something to you.

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