Series Name
Season Six, Episode {{{number}}}
Ben kissing the dog
Air date 21st April 2006
Written by Tom Leopold
Directed by Dewi Humphreys
Episode Guide
An Embarrassment of Susans
The Art of Being Susan
And Other Animals is the sixth episode of Series Six.


With Nick still away, Michael joining the Army, and Janey getting her stuff out of the attic, Susan is feeling deserted. Even Ben and Alfie don’t seem to be a comfort. However, a stray dog offers a little comfort but unfortunately it becomes man’s best friend however, perhaps it shouldn’t have chosen Ben as that man. Meanwhile, Michael attempts to hide his entire platoon in the attic, Ben attempts to get a priceless teddy bear back from the charity shop after donating it by accident and somebody is about to have a spout of bad luck and amazingly it isn’t Ben. Also, somebody’s looking for Michael, and all his comrades.


It's busy in the Harper household, where Janey is deciding which of her possessions to take to her flat, and Michael is preparing for his Cadet Officer Training weekend. But Susan knows this isn't going to last, and is in fact going to be spending a lonely weekend at home without her children.

Even Abi will be away, as she's going to be spending the night at Rogers... for a Lord of the Rings sleepover. It is while they discuss Roger that Susan begins to question his sexuality. Could Roger be gay?

Later, Ben attempts to console Susan - who is feeling deserted by her family - with scintillating conversation. It is during this uncomfortable silence that a docile but apparently stray dog wanders into the lounge from the street. The dog is friendly and cute and Ben takes an instant dislike to it.

Susan completely fails to report the stray to the police, and it finds a new friend in Alfie. Alfie claims to have a talent for "dog whispering" and says that the dog has taken a particular shine to Ben. In return, Ben accuses the dog of stealing his pizza.

But the pizza isn't the only thing that goes missing - the supply of beer in the fridge is mysteriously depleted and Mr Tibbs, the precious teddy that once belonged to Janey, also vanishes.

None of the disappearances turn out to be dog-related, however: in fact Ben took Mr Tibbs to a charity shop along with Janey's unwanted belongings. And it is while Janey clears out her room that she finds the culprit responsible for the missing food: Michael and his Cadet Unit are, in fact, hiding in the attic (it's a lot nicer than a ditch, after all).

At Roger's, Abi has sifted through his DVD collection looking for tell-tale indicators of homosexuality and jumps to the wrong conclusion after coming across a few of the 'gay favourite' stereotypes. Roger isn't happy when he finds out, and vows to kiss her later in the evening. When the time comes, they agree to kiss on the count of three - but there is some confusion as to the exact timing.

Ben returns, frustrated, from the charity shop where he had to buy back Mr Tibbs for a large sum of money. Alone with the dog and jealous of its new basket, he tries to frame the hound by squirting lemon juice on the floor, scratching the furniture with a fork and putting one of Susan's favourite slippers into the blender. Susan returns home in time to see the blender at work.

The Cadet Staff Sergeant arrives at the Harper's and it looks like the game is up for Michael. But when Mikey appears silently on the stairs with his Unit, Susan distracts the Staff Sargent with a copy of the Radio Times, allowing Michael to evacuate his troops to safety. Apparently Michael dangerously overused his initiative: he was only supposed to hide for six hours, not eighteen...

It looks like things have turned out badly for the dog. After eating the head of Mr Tibbs and being sent to the vets, the Harpers appear to be mourning his loss. But don't worry - he's just being sent back to his rightful owners.