The arrival of a parcel from France caused great excitement in the Biddiss household. A group of fascinated hounds gathered round, hoping against hope that the contents would be smelly, garlicky and sausage like.

Alas all canine hopes were dashed as Jane produced what turned out to be the prize for the most creative answer to the Animalcouriers May quiz: a T shirt and postcard bearing the immortal words ‘chien lunatique’.

‘’Could have told you that already, in any language you wanted,’’ Officer Oswald was heard to mutter in a huff as he and Amber, his Collie sister, returned to the serious business of biting the living daylights out of their latest toy.

There then ensued a great debate as to who would wear the T shirt for the Animalcouriers photoshoot. The main problem being that there was just one T shirt but trois chiens lunatiques plus deux totally off the wall humans.

It was unanimously decided that Amber the little red collie (aka Mental Mini) was the most qualified. Despite close competition, she is in fact totally loopy. She is affectionately known to her Mum & Dad as ‘the cough lozenge of the dog world’ — because she is ‘menthol’.

She never stops, all day, every day. Like the Duracell bunny, when all other dogs stop, Mental Mini is still running around and playing with her toys.

At two years old she is at last sleeping through the night. Until quite recently she would often be up in the night playing with toys by herself, while all others were asleep in their beds — poor little mite!

When the Biddiss tribe go walking, Mental Mini covers at least ten times the distance, jumping, leaping, running and cavorting. She absolutely loves every single second of her life. It’s impossible to be sad when she is around as her incredible joie de vivreis so contagious and so humbling.

Mini out walking (or should that be, out leaping?) — just about sums up her 'chien lunatique' approach to life

Looking spiffy for her photoshoot