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One winter’s afternoon, Stephen Foster walked into a dog re-homing centre with the intention of picking up a retired greyhound. Instead, he acquired an abandoned lurcher pup. Foster’s knowledge of dogs was so vague that he had to look up ‘lurcher’ in key reference work The Giant Book of the Dog, to find out what sort of animal was coming to join the family. His research counted for little: the new arrival did not conform to any known breed standard, or indeed any standard whatsoever that might be considered dog-normal Walking Ollie is a hilarious – and often heartrending – account of one man’s attempt to turn a psychotic wild animal into something resembling a domestic pet.

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