I’m afraid to say that I feel utterly compelled to put paw to paper once again; I heard someone saying I was old the other day. Old? Me? It wasn’t Roddy or Susan or any of the children, but a neighbour, and it really ruffled my neck hairs (which are admittedly very long and looking rather shaggy at the moment). I’m not old, I’m in my prime!
It’s that time of year again; the doors are often open and it’s warm enough to lie outside where I can gently snore in the sun, one eye half-open in case I might miss something; much better than running around chasing shadows like a demented puppy on wheels which is what my little French friend seems to do half the time. Evie has her routine though, and I have mine and we rub along just fine these days.
Take the mornings for instance. We both have breakfast whilst the children have theirs. Afterwards I then like to take myself quietly off into the sitting room where I’ll hop on the sofa and have another gentle lie-in for an hour or two whilst everyone gets themselves sorted out. Evie always joins Susan on the school-run, which confuses me as why would any dog with half a brain actually WANT to go in a car? Thank you very much but I’m very happy having a little extra slumber-time.
Apart from the lovely, wonderful spring-in-the-air feeling, everyone seems to be obsessed with numbers at the moment, which takes me back to what I was saying earlier. It is somewhat concerning that the family have started talking about me. Apparently I’m something called ‘middle-aged’. They sit round the table, do some strange calculation with numbers and then decide I’m about 60 – in human years, I hasten to add – which officially makes me the oldest member of the family living here! I’m not too sure what that really says about me and I’m not sure whether I should worry.
Of course, they still ‘support’ me. All the basic dog/human relationship stuff; food, water, treats, clean bed and so on, but they have started muttering some very strange things. For one thing, apparently if I was a human I wouldn’t be lying in the sun at my age because I’d be worrying about wrinkles and the damage it does to my skin? That’s what Susan always says, anyway; I never see her lying in the sun, she always scurries for the shade when it gets hot and Dad always makes some joke about something called Botox, which sounds very much like a worming treatment to me but sends Susan into a paroxysm of annoyance. But, come to think of it, she never seems to sit still at all, which I truly don’t understand. She’s a bit like Evie in that respect; small, always on the go and doing stuff that just seems to get in the way of a good snooze.
I like to lie in the sun for at least half of the day; I love to feel the warmth on my body and that feeling of utter luxury knowing that there is just nothing to do. Of course, I like being active too, but not too much – an hour a day is just perfect, not including the many miles I cover under the table looking for food that they drop. What’s with that, I ask myself – do they have holes in their mouths? I love my walks, naturally, and I run ahead of the family and even break into a gallop now and again and have what they all call affectionately a “loopy attack”; it’s fun to stretch my legs and pretend I’m chasing a sausage or something. There’s no point in expending too much energy though, I can’t see the sense in that.
The other thing with Mum and Dad that seems to crop up a lot when they mention my name is DIET. Apparently I’m rather chubby, and then they mention that word ‘age’ again, they often add an expression about something called ‘middle-aged spread’! I even overheard someone saying I looked like “a barrel on pins” and they all roared with laughter; what’s more it was someone in our family who said it, but I just didn’t quite catch who; I’m not too sure who to be annoyed with and I certainly didn’t find it in the least bit funny.
And now the other neighbours have got a puppy, something else that has become centre of attention. I say ‘IT’, for I rather feel like calling ‘it’ IT. The animal (it’s a strange variety with long legs and floppy ears and big round moist eyes) comes to our house rather frequently, even when they have dinner with us, and when we go there for supper I now have to take second place as they’re all over it like a herd of rabbits on a bed of free lettuce. Of course IT’s French so they talk to IT in French and then I can’t understand a blinking word anyone is saying. Thank goodness Evie is almost bilingual now. I’m going to have to have a word with Hetty and Gigi and get them to teach IT at least some English words. But in truth I can’t complain too much because I do still get to go over to their house for dinner whereas Evie went once and has never been taken back again. Worst still, when she did go she actually had to be taken home in disgrace; she chased the cat, it was really rather funny and I admit I had a smirk on my face. I’ve never seen a cat move so fast in my life, she leapt straight over the island unit in the kitchen and then flew up the stairs, Evie in hot pursuit with a little paws making such a racket on the tiled floor. Apparently the cat was ‘in kitten’ or something, and wasn’t really as fat as I thought she was. It sounds like a good excuse, I think I’ll try that next time they mutter something about me being chubby again. Can I even be ‘in kitten’? Has to be worth a try, surely?
Actually there are quite a few things that I am better at than Evie; for one when we go for a walk, they always praise me because I walk so nicely on the lead. I never pull and I trot along to heel like the perfect companion; of course, that’s down to my old life as a champion show-dog. Evie, though, tugs and tows like a mad cow and no one wants to lead her!
Everyone is trying to train Evie at the moment; they are teaching her to sit, teaching her to stay, teaching her to come and she gets endless treats every time she does something well; the very best part of all of this though is that I get given a treat too! And I don’t even have to do anything; perhaps there is some justice in this world after all!
The past few days there’s been someone I’ve never met before working at the house, he’s doing some tiling in the guest bathroom and Evie has taken a complete dislike to him; I have no idea why. With the warm weather the doors are open as I said and every time he steps outside for some fresh air, Evie sets off in a cacophonic barking frenzy, her hackles all upright and she gets herself in such a state. The tiler just laughed; I heard Roddy chatting to him when he first arrived and he explained that Evie was French; the tiler, who is also French of course, just laughed. He spoke to Evie in French, so I have no idea what the problem is as obviously she understood him quite happily, but she still insists on disturbing my peace everytime she sees him. Roddy explained that I was different and that I was really an Australian surfer who preferred to just lie in the sun and ‘wax my board’ – whatever that means. He always says that about me, but I’ve still no idea really what he’s talking about; I left Australia when I was just 6 months old and I don’t remember anything about my life there except that it was gloriously hot and they had a lot more sausages than they do here; but everyone always seems to make a big deal out of the fact that I’m from Sydney and a real Australian, so I guess it must mean something of some significance.
Anyway, that’s my little moan over for the day, I do love chatting with you and thank you for listening. The sun has just come back out and all this writing and thinking has left me feeling quite exhausted, so I think I’ll just go outside and have a little snooze – au revoir et à bientôt! You see, I am learning some French!!!