A moment that changed me: I went to a party – and spent all evening with the host’s puppy

After that fateful night, I bought McNulty, a King Charles spaniel who has been my constant companion for 13 years

I am a ridiculously early person. If possible, I tend to be at least 30 minutes early for everything. These days, this is an excuse to get some extra reading time; it used to be an opportunity for a glass of wine to settle my nerves when jumping into a party.

On the night in question, I was almost an hour early and could not locate an open pub. I was in a part of east London that I had never visited, and I didn’t even know the host of the party, Charlie. I only knew the guy who had invited me, and he wasn’t likely to arrive for another hour or two.

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