Must like dogs

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I know we should never judge people on first impressions, but one thing that automatically sets off alarm bells for me is people who say they don’t like dogs, writes reporter Kirsty Beaton.

I was at a friend’s birthday party recently when my phone lit up with a message - revealing my Westie Jack in a typical reclining pose on the sofa.

“Is that yours? And you let him on the coach? I couldn’t live with a dog - just don’t trust them,” said another friend of the birthday girl.

And with that, I decided this man was an idiot.

How can anyone not like dogs?

One incident that to me demonstrated just how good natured our four legged friends are was when I ventured out one cold morning on a FH assignment to meet Mickey - a dog rescued by Staffordshire Rescue Scotland.

He had been terribly abused by his previous owners, starved, used as a punch bag and his health was still suffering when I met him, weeks after being taken from his evil owners and placed with the charity.

They were looking for a new home for Mickey, and things were not looking good as thanks to his abusive past he would need repeated treatments from the vet.

With his horrible background, you’d think he would be a terror but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He is a happy wee boy, desperate for human interaction, and apart from the physical scars, you would never tell he’d been abused.

Things worked out well for Mickey and he got a loving home but there are thousands of others out there not so lucky. Shameless plug for the charity - but if you are thinking of getting a dog, check out

This week... I’m preparing for Beatles overload during a weekend away to Liverpool