LOVE it or hate it, social media and, in particular Facebook, play a massive part in everyday life. Being a bit of a technophobe, it did take me a little while to join the social media family, but I am now completely hooked and not just on Facebook either.

I have even ventured into the world of Instagram and Twitter, and now this column has its very own Paws for Thought Facebook page too.

I must say, one of the things that I like most about Facebook is the fact that it now, knows me so well and therefore keeps me supplied with posts that I find both interesting and entertaining.

As you can imagine, many of these posts feature our four-legged friends, which usually make me smile, but just recently I was saddened to see my news feed flooded with photographs, all carrying the same caption #collars off for Rocco.

Sadly, I discovered that Rocco was a much-loved, five-month-old Border terrier puppy who had been left alone in the kitchen while his owners went to work, just as he had been many times before. Unfortunately on this occasion, when his owners returned, it appeared that the little dog had tried to jump up onto a work surface and his collar had caught on a cupboard handle.

Rocco’s owners were understandably heartbroken, but nevertheless they made the brave decision to make his story public and so help raise awareness and highlight the dangers of leaving unattended dogs at home, while wearing a collar.

In a show of support, Border terrier owners from many parts of the country have posted photographs on social media showing their own dogs with collars removed, using the #collars off for Rocco caption and a Just Giving page has also been created in Rocco’s name, with all funds raised going to Border Terrier welfare.

Up until a few months ago, all three of my dogs wore comfortable, well-fitting collars with name tags attached, at all times; but Rocco’s story really struck a chord with me as just a few months ago, my own Cavalier boy, Brigadier, almost found himself in a similar situation.

On the floor, in one corner of our kitchen, next to the cupboard where we keep the dog food, the cold water stop-tap is positioned.

Now I have lived in this house for more than 30 years, keeping a fair number of dogs during that time and the stop-tap has always been in the same place.

On this particular day, however, I was away and had a house sitter staying, to whom I will be forever indebted. She was the one to find my nine-year-old, home-bred boy with his collar looped around the tap, effectively strangling himself.

How or why this had happened we will never know. Was he on the hunt for a biscuit that may or may not have been dropped earlier? Or was he chasing a spider perhaps? Brig does have a fascination with spiders, but suffice to say that thankfully, due to the diligence and quick thinking of Kerry my house sitter, tragedy was averted and from that moment onwards, none of my dogs have ever, or will ever, wear a collar in the house again.

Hence, I felt that it was only right that we do our bit and acknowledge the campaign in Rocco’s memory, highlighting the dangers of dogs wearing collars in the house, especially when home alone.