After a decade of city living, your correspondent (a country mouse by birth and inclination) has just about got the hang of things. I don’t now flinch every time a bus roars past me and would no sooner strike up a conversation with a stranger on the Tube than I would strip off in the middle of the carriage. But one aspect continues to niggle: lacking outdoor space of my own, I can’t, in all conscience, get a dog.

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So I’ve joined BorrowMyDoggy.com, which matches time-poor owners with people who want to volunteer for walking duties. Would-be walkers upload a photo, then scroll through pictures of pets nearby and ‘favourite’ the ones that catch their eye. Owners can then get in touch if they’re interested. For a flat-bound dog-lover like me, it seemed the answer to my prayers. Should I opt for a sprightly West Highland terrier? Or a lurcher who loves having his ears ruffled?

In the end, I favourited dozens. But, so far, nobody has taken me up on my offer of walks on Clapham Common. The whole thing feels a bit like online dating. Was it something I said? Perhaps I picked the wrong photo? I daren’t renew my advances- I wouldn’t want anyone to feel hounded.

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