I discovered a smashing new shampoo at the weekend, one of the nicest I've ever used.

It left my hair in a wonderfully soft and shiny condition, though I wasn't very taken with the smell.

As it was the dog's shampoo that is really not so surprising I suppose.

No, of course I didn't realise it was the dog's shampoo but now, having tried it, I would be tempted to use it again - if it weren't for its peculiar smell.

Eau de Canine, or Hair of the Dog, I shall call it.

I found the shampoo when I was sitting in the bath on Saturday night - as you do when you've had no invites to paint the town red and there's nothing worth watching on the television (Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2? Oh, come on! How desperate do you think I am?).

The bathroom was all good and steamy when I saw a new white plastic bottle sitting among The Mother's toiletries.

I grabbed it and through the mist read the instructions on the back, well, some of the instructions, the ones that said this was an especially gentle shampoo for dry and sensitive skin.

Just the job, I thought, and lathered it into my wet hair.

I didn't like the smell much but it was a nice, creamy texture.

"What have you been doing with the dog's shampoo?" The Mother asked later that evening as I was drying my hair.

I told her the truth and she thrust the shampoo bottle under my nose.

There in small print were the words For Dogs and Cats.

"Why is it in our bathroom then?" I asked and was reminded that on Sunday, as the weather was due to be warm and sunny, the dog was having a long overdue bath.

It had its last bath six months ago, just before The Mother moved in with me.

When I protested about bathing an animal in my bathtub I was overruled, as usual.

In fact, not only was I overruled I was told my help would be required to lift it into the bath.

The deed was done on Sunday morning. Armed with eight old towels and a length of plastic sheeting, we lured the dog into the bathroom.

We then discovered that in the same way a horse can be led to water, but just you try getting it to drink, you can show a dog a bathtub and it will try to escape by throwing itself down the stairs.

After an initial bout of dog wrestling, we had the animal under control - for all of a second.

In that second we grasped it at both ends and heaved it into the bath.

The bath was empty but a towel covered the base so it wouldn't slip on the enamel.

"I bought this shampoo just for you," The Mother whispered in the dog's ear as she lathered its back.

"It cost me £10 a bottle."

What! I thought. No wonder my hair feels good - my usual shampoo costs all of 99p.

On Sunday afternoon I went out with a friend.

"Your hair looks lovely," she said.

Then, being a friend who speaks her mind, added: "But it smells really peculiar.

"You haven't been using the dog's shampoo, have you?" And she laughed.

"Woof, woof," I replied.