After five weeks of realising that the job was a slippery slope to doom and coming home to cry about it, it was our dog, Milly, who missed out the most.
She'd be the one waiting at the door, tail wagging madly as I'd stagger past, straight into LC's arms to wail. I'd then dust myself off, wipe my face and seek out Sapphire - out with the rabbit or in her room reading - to find out the latest in her bullying saga.
Then I'd cry again; worrying and fretting for my daughter instead of myself.
Milly would hover next to my legs uncertainly, tail still wagging but slower this time; nose nudging me every now and then to reassure me of her presence. "Yes Milly, I'll feed you," I'd sigh tiredly.
That was unfair because food has always been secondary to attention, affection and love. Milly had never been a chore to me and it was wrong of me to treat her that way.
The week before the job started, Sapphire drew this cartoon of Milly which I had framed, planning to take it in to put on my desk.
I never felt comfortable enough to do that, so now it's at home by the front door for every visitor to see.
The real dog is at my feet, eyes glistening and smiling in that unique way that only she has. She's back where she belongs. As am I.