As you all know our two Jack Russells are very much a part of our family life, so much so that they actually insist on writing their own stories from time to time. Bentley, the elder of the two, is nudging 70 in human years; he’s getting a little grey around the muzzle and he’s not quite as fast as he was, but his mind is still as sharp as any young whipper-snapper and he’s proven himself to be quite an aspiring and somewhat amusing author. So how could I say “No” when he pleaded with me to write another short tale?
Funny animals they are. Even mine. They think we don’t understand, but we do.
Take their “special days”, for example. There’s the big one, Turkey Day, when they all wear strange hats and rip paper apart all afternoon, and then there are several other days each year when they make cakes, sing strange songs and rip yet more paper apart. Now I am not complaining; on these days there are normally lots of lovely snacks and tea-time food with plenty of small people throwing stuff on the floor. Great fun, even if nowadays the ‘small people’ tend to be quite a bit bigger and less gets thrown on the floor, but I still find I’m pretty good at quietly and effectively removing a food item from an unsuspecting hand under the table…..I just love the noise it generates….
Now I know we are approaching another festive day, because it happens as the daffodils start to fade and the cherry blossom steals the show, and unless I am severely mistaken that means it is coming up very soon. It’s one of my favourites, Chocolate Day. Although – it has to be said – there aren’t as many leftovers as there used to be when the small humans were so much smaller and far less vigilant. On this day, the man of the house, who I truly dote on, typically hides lots of prettily wrapped chocolate eggs in the garden and then everyone runs around screaming trying to find them.
It is the strangest behaviour I have ever seen; why he doesn’t just hand them out and save everyone the bother I have no idea. You see, he goes to so much effort and wastes so much energy doing something that needn’t be done at all. I told you these humans were strange. When I was younger, there were always plenty of lost eggs that I’d find later, some of them very low to the ground and well within my reach. Sometimes I’d find them much later. I once found one months afterwards! I know it’s an unfortunate state of affairs with the crinkly shiny paper and stuff, but hey, it doesn’t taste quite so bad when it’s all mushed up with the chocolate. As one can imagine, in those days I put aside the madness of the ‘hiding’ part for I rather liked the outcome.
But nowadays Chocolate Day isn’t quite the same – the small humans are now really quite big humans and they find far too many of the eggs, which they then eat without dropping too many scraps. I think perhaps they’re also more intelligent now that they’re older for ‘he who I always obey’ (when it suits me) hides the eggs a lot higher than he used to. Way too high for me and my stunted undercarriage. I spend the whole night beforehand PRAYING for wind – the trick then is to wait under the right branch or bush and hope the egg falls before the children have a chance to find it. It’s a tricky business anticipating where to stand looking quite innocent, but oh, to see that little glinting orb, swaying in the breeze…… it’s like watching carrots being peeled, you know there are good things coming. Perhaps I haven’t mentioned that I love carrots.
What’s even worse is that ‘he’ now videos where he puts the eggs and tends to go back the next day and collects any that haven’t been found. I thought at first he was obviously getting way stingy in his old age, but then I found out that any spares he finds he pockets quickly and then goes intothe summer kitchen and eats them all himself!! If only I could say something I might be able to blackmail him into sharing them. I wonder how much Mum will reward me with for this information…..hmmm. I only wonder because I’ve heard plenty of mutterings that he, like me, is on a diet!
How I hate that word. I’m not even looking forward so much to Chocolate Day this year, mainly because these past few months la régime has been a consuming affair and I am forever hungry. I feel therefore that Chocolate Day is going to be a horribly tantalising day of sorrow. I’ll explain, as I would dearly like some advice from you all.
They no longer feed me what I consider a proper meal anymore; instead everything is carefully measured out before it is given to me in my bowl. I hesitate to call ‘it’ a meal, so pitiful is the apportioned amount now. There’s always much discussion about pounds and kilos and – horror of horrors – the width of my back. The width of my back? What has that got to do with the price of chocolate?? Apparently I’ve become rather barrel-shaped; they always look at me as they say this and then laugh. Should I feel shameful for loving my food? What is a man to do, I ask you? I like eating and what is wrong with that? And horror of horrors, Evie, who is my dear friend, and so fussy that she doesn’t even want to eat half of what she is given, can no longer help my dietary requirements.
I loved her for that, that she always left me something and I could finish off what she left; it was a ‘win win’ for both of us, until ‘they’ got wise to our little ruse. Now they put Evie’s bowl out of my reach too, and to add insult to injury I have to watch as that fat cat, Rory, jumps up incredibly lithely for one so large and helps himself to her leftovers. It would appear he likes dog food as much as he likes cat food. Worse still he can jump onto the counter and I once watched him trample all over a birthday cake. Hmmmph. then they scold me for being so mean and calling him fat, for “He just has a very long winter coat” they say, “underneath all the fur he’s really fit and lean.”
Why can’t they say that about me, can’t they see I have my winter woolies on too? Anyway, as I said, I have a dreadful sinking feeling that this year’s Chocolate day is going to be a sorry affair.
So here is the point of my post – what is a dog to do? I know Mum’s log-in details for Amazon, and I am quite sure I can sneakily order a batch of something yummy without her knowing, but I can’t reach the postbox key to retrieve any deliveries – a reminder of my lifelong burden of being designed with short legs…..sigh
There is however, just one tiny glimpse of hope, now that I am being half-starved to death – I have suddenly found I can jump a good foot higher and incredibly I am a lot faster than I’ve been for a few years. Apparently it’s all down to my new trim waistline and I have supposedly ‘lost 7 pounds’, whatever that means. To be truthful I wasn’t aware I had any money in the first place as I’m always broke. But anyway, I am feeling rather energetic and sprightly and I am hatching a plan, I feel sure there is a way I can reach that key.
And in the meantime I’m practicing my tree-climbing skills (so at the moment they are still pretty non existent but I live in permanent hope).
I’ve also heard people saying ‘Happy Easter’ these past few days, why they have to talk about me all the time I don’t know, and I can’t understand why can’t they speak properly, I’m a happy EATER, not a happy Easter. Anyway I don’t know why they keep saying it, but it seems to always bring forth a smile and a return greeting, so I might as well follow their lead.
I’ve had rather a lot of fun today, having a good moan about them to you. Thank you for listening. HAPPY EATER to you all, too.