Television presenter, journalist, podcaster, author and sportswoman Louise Minchin shares her family home near Chester with husband, David, and their labradors, Ruby and Waffle.

Ruby (five) and Waffle (10) are like sisters. They don’t always get on…

Mia, our elder daughter wanted a dog when she was about three. I said you can have a dog when you’re 11 thinking she’d forget. She never forgot. When she was 11, we moved to Cheshire and she was still nagging...

Waffle is the daughter of my sister-in-law’s dog Biscuit. I’d known Biscuit for years, and she was a lovely, really good-natured, golden labrador.

The girls absolutely chose Waffle, who we first met when she was two-week-old. She's absolutely sweet and very affectionate.

We got Ruby as a companion for our younger daughter Scarlett. But actually, when she arrived, I was having a difficult time at work and Ruby has a very calming influence on people, even though she’s not calm herself.

Ruby came to work once, it was chaos... She jumped on the BBC Breakfast sofa, she was all over the place.

Ruby was the most spoilt puppy in the world. She came from a farm in North Wales and I think the breeder slept in the same room as the dog and the puppies. She was one of four or five in the litter and she was so well-fed, like a round pudding.

They’re both small but with quite different builds, Ruby is a Drakeshead labrador. They’re both pedigree but Ruby is slightly bigger.

I grew up with springer spaniels, which are a whole different ball game. David had labradors growing up. We wanted a dog that would be quite robust.

Ruby is an extrovert; Waffle is an introvert. Waffle is quite a nervous dog actually but very affectionate. Ruby is this kind of crazy, boisterous, bouncy, optimistic character in our life. She’s very independent and she’ll only give you affection when she feels like it, and then it’s massive amounts of affection.

Waffle is more emotional, and she’ll do exactly as you say. If Ruby doesn’t want to go for a walk, she’ll just stand there looking at me. I’m like, dogs want walks, surely Ruby? The centre of Ruby’s life is the kitchen, her whole world is around snacks.

Waffle is much more discerning about people. My mum, my dad, my mother-in-law and even Mia have taken Waffle for a walk and she’ll suddenly look around and think, oh my gosh, Louise and David aren’t here, and she’ll run home, she’s so loyal to me and David. Ruby doesn’t care. Ruby would go off with the burglar.

Great British Life: Louise Minchin with her dogs, Waffle and RubyLouise Minchin with her dogs, Waffle and Ruby

Ruby loves whoever has the food. She will sit under my feet when I’m cooking just in case anything drops. If you’re trying to do anything else with her and there’s food around, she just can’t concentrate.

They both steal clothes. Ruby likes socks and Waffle likes shoes. If I can’t find my shoe it’s invariably in Waffle’s bed.

Waffle likes to sleep with an item of mine or David’s clothing. It could be a shoe, jumper, scarf or his reading glasses.

They’ve been to Chester twice. They’re not city dogs, and not used to pavements. They’re very good in the pub though and sit under the table basically waiting for something to drop.

When I’m running and training, I’ll go come on girls, we can do this and Waffle talks back to me. She makes these strange noises when she’s got something in her mouth, which sounds like she’s having a conversation and I’ll go Waffle, are you all right? And she’ll go, oah.

Ruby’s a very large lap dog. While I’m writing she’ll jump up behind me and sit on the chair with her head on my shoulder.

It’s the second child syndrome. We were much stricter with Waffle and she will never go on the sofa if we’re in the room. Ruby’s bed is the sofa…

Waffle's favourite place is at the top of the stairs even though she’s not really allowed upstairs. She likes to roll over and you can tickle her tummy.

When we’re eating Ruby has her muzzle on my knee. She used to woof but now she sits there very quietly. When I finish, I give her something like a piece of broccoli.

Waffle is obsessed with swimming. She’s an absolute lunatic and swims in the river near us any time of the year. Ruby’s a bit of a princess, doesn’t like walking in the rain and getting her paws wet. They love the beach and Waffle will spend hours digging for rocks underneath the sand.

When she was very young Ruby took a bit chunk out of the middle of the sofa...

I’m probably more like Ruby, a bit more boisterous than Waffle.

I go running a lot on my own and there’s no way they’d let anything happen to me. They’re protective of me and so loyal. They’re watchful, which I appreciate.

Embarrassing things they’ve done: Ruby ran around somebody else’s tennis court with a pair of knickers in her mouth and would not be caught and Waffle ate a whole cheese

I would probably have a labrador again because of their affection and loyalty.

I know they're only dogs but they're such an important part of our home and what makes it home. My daughters are at university now and without the dogs around it would be a very quiet place and they're just great company, they really are.

Plans for July

Louise's book Fearless Adventures with Extraordinary Women is out now. A celebration of the intrepid, brave and trailblazing women who are breaking down barriers, smashing records and challenging stereotypes. Published by Bloomsbury Sport. Also available Audiobook read by Louise, and eBook