Gosh the gardens and parks are full of leaf drop at the moment and although it’s sad that all this glorious colour is lying smulched all over the ground, there is a touch of hopefulness that next spring isn’t all that far away after all! However, this weather does present problems at home and however carefully you try to keep tabls on the trail of mess coming in, it is impossible to keep it all out. When you take dogs out for their daily constitutional . . . mud and wet stuff seems to materialise before you’ve even got the lead on. If it’s possible to leave the house and return by a dedicated back door near the dog’s day area, this will help contain some of the damage – keeping a stash of newspaper near the door, say in a handy cupboard, is handy so you can instantly whip another couple of sheets down. There are some fantastic carpet runners that are specially designed to catch mucky stuff that comes off dog paws. These are worth their weight in gold. Keeping a cloth and cleaning spray with that pile of newspaper is also a good idea so you can instantl swipe the dripping mess that will surely be making its way over the floor any time soon!