Mike was educated at Harrow, which was a bit like Hogwarts, and Oxford, which was a bit like Brideshead. But he settled in London’s unfashionable suburb, Palmers Green, and became a Maths teacher in comprehensives. He then sold computers, and wrote musicals. Then he married. But he did not calm down. With his wife Cate, they busked all over town. When their beautiful son Rafi was born, they got a beautiful puppy, Izzie, to make up the foursome. Mike took to walking Izzie on Hampstead Heath, where he noted how clever and sociable all the dogs were, just like Izzie. There formed in Mike’s mind a belief that in the old mansion above the Heath lived an old Duke of Hampstead with his 6 rescue dogs, plus Grizelda his niece, with her 4 cats. Thus began this series about dogs, crocodiles, racehorses, a mole and a Spanish rat, all involved in animal rights and politics.