What to do? Whirling round to face a pair of solemn brown eyes regarding me from a mop of unruly white hair, I tried not to feel stupid and failed miserably.
Alfred appeared to be considering me with an increasing sense of amusement as his eyes darted from me to the door and back again.
'Don't look at me like that' I pleaded as he stood, practically dancing on all fours as he watched me try in vain to unlock the front door - from the inside.
Alfred is a Standard Poodle, he's the epitome of dignity and has of course never encountered a situation quite like this before. Well Alfred, that makes two of us!
For a long moment I stood staring at the door as if it would miraculously open of it's own accord, when that didn't happen I stood back and pondered a bit more, vainly hoping for a flash of inspiration.
The conservatory door to the garden was open so there was nothing for it but to clamber onto a chair, over the top of the stable door from the kitchen and drop down the other side.
Alfred of course was following my every move, there was clearly nothing more exciting than a human doing something funny and I suppose from his point of view I had been pretty entertaining thus far and he clearly wanted to see what I had in mind for Act 2.
Once in the garden, with my troubles clearly behind me I strode to the back gate, only to find - and yes, got it in one - it was locked.
A sudden bark stopped me in my tracks as I remembered Alfred, who was no doubt by now crossing his legs having spent the morning inside so I retraced my steps and peered over the top of the door to meet his quizzical gaze as I contemplated how to get him over the door and into the garden. Obviously having spent too long on that current train of thought for Alfred's comfort I watched as he walked determinedly over to the kitchen counter and peed deliberately against it.
Paper towels and disinfectant later I was once again at the back gate and it was then that my luck changed - the postman - one bunch of keys handed over and a minute later the front door was open and repossession mine.
Of course, had lady luck been on my side it would have gone without a hitch and as I caught a glimpse of my once clean jeans and tee-shirt and a couple of broken fingernails I once again contemplated my life as it was - or perhaps I should say, how it was going to be - and it was wonderful!!