"HOW muchis thatdoggy in the window, the one with the wagg-er-ly tail.. ?"
This song is what passed for hardcore pop in 1953, when it reached the top of the charts, sung by Lita Roza, the first British woman to have a number one hit in the UK.
Fast forward 50 years and it's not just the music that's changed: These days the song is more likely to end 'the one with the studded collar, bites and scars, who never wags his tail because he's so miserable'.
I'm sure you, like me, are really worried and upset that so many of these wonderful, intelligent creatures are being treated so cruelly.
As a child, I always longed for a dog but, living in flats I had to be content with occasionally looking after my granddad's dog when he went on holiday, a gentle bruiser of a Staffordshire bull terrier called Battle.
He wasn't as fierce as his name, but was prone to humping any passing bitch - 'just playing' my parents said as they drenched him with water.
Now staffs are regularly used as fighting dogs, or as an alternative to carrying a knife (chillingly called weapon dogs), and people keep fierce, totally unsuitable dogs as family pets. It is rarely the dog's fault when babies and children are mauled
Dogs can be such patient, brave, obedient creatures. Last week at Crufts, they endured manic brushing and tail tweaking torture; recently a dog received a medal for services in Afghanistan.
We take for granted the cleverness of canines: herding sheep, carrying out rescues, sniffing out drugs, being the eyes and ears of disabled people.
In 1992, I joined a police raid in Hayes on people thought to still have unregistered dogs after the deadline in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. It caused uproar when the article appeared in the Gazette, as owners said we were tarring them all with the same dog brush.
I was duly sent by my editor to meet a family pet - a pitbull called Spike, a lovely animal who continued to delight his family until he died in 2006.
But I am certainly backing the government curb on dangerous dogs; it should protect not only us but also the owners, who are twisting these intelligent, loyal companions into devil dogs.