I’ve never had so much attention in my life! Oh, I could most definitely get used to this. Rose is even letting me sleep on her bed, and though she doesn’t have any of those silly notions about being the pack leader and not letting me go through doors first and all that nonsense she has her limits and that used to be a no go area. I didn’t really mind. I had a nice comfy basket in her bedroom. But that’s not the point! 

     I’ve never been one of those dogs who howls and creates if I’m left alone for a while. Gives me quite a chance to get my nose into a few things with interesting smells though I’m careful never to harm anything. I always have food and water and the radio for company though sometimes it drives me mad and I wish I could master the art of switching it off. I’d been working on it. Still, I prefer to have Rose around. We have double the number of walks and we’ve even been to the beach which means a half hour ride in Rose’s car (I don’t like car journeys much, but it’s worth it) which is normally only something that happens on what Rose calls the weekend. 

     I heard Rose telling Anita next door that she’d been made redundant. She seemed very down in the mouth about it even though whatever it means she gets to spend more time with me so I was a bit miffed, I can tell you. Still, she gave me a big hug and said, “But it has its compensations, doesn’t it, Bingo?” and I wagged my tail and licked her hand. I like Anita. She always calls me a handsome fellow even though I’m what some unkind folk term a mongrel and my legs always seem too short for my body (there’s some dachshund in there somewhere) and I’m mottled with some spots (definite Dalmatian ancestry). I had a home before I came to live with Rose. Well, I don’t even want to call it a home – I was a Christmas present they got tired of before February! Anyway, back to Anita. She keeps a cat, which is beyond my comprehension, but Ebony (he’s a black cat) have come to some kind of understanding, and don’t scrap on the odd occasions when we meet. Maybe if there was any way we could learn each others’ languages we might even be friends. I can understand a fair bit of human, but cat is beyond me. 

     Some cats are horribly stand-offish, even with their humans, and I will give it Ebony that he seems fond enough of Anita in his way, but I still can’t imagine him being made up about being allowed to sleep on her bed, and as for the beach, well, the poor love might get his paws mucky. The amount of time he spends washing them is positively unhealthy!

     Enough musing on the strange ways of cats. I think I’ll give Rose that “Another Walkies, please!” look I’ve perfected. Cocking my head on one side helps, too. If I’m really desperate I might bring her my lead and she’ll tell me how clever I am. Humans can be very easily pleased at times! 

     Mission accomplished!  Even though it was only the park and not the beach, but I’ll settle for it. Mind you, it took the gilt of the gingerbread (as I’ve heard Rose say) that we had to run into Della. I know she’s a nice person and means well, but she always expects me to roll over on my belly which sends her into squeals of ecstasy. I find that just a tad demeaning, and I don’t only mean for me!

     There was a plus, though – we also met Bert, a really nice old chap who always has treats to spare, and his poodle Pansy. Rose calls Pansy my Lady Friend and doesn’t seem to quite grasp that we don’t necessarily work like that and (best not to dwell on this) thanks to the vet (and I like our vet, Mr Wilkinson, he always warms his hands!) there can be no cute little Bingo and Pansy pups with poodle added into the mix. Still, she’s good for a natter and at least Bert hasn’t had her cut into one of those ridiculous travesties some poodle owners do, all bare flesh and frills. While Bert and Rose had THEIR natter we played “fetch” with that new ball Rose has got me that makes a tinkling noise. “I get worried about Bert sometimes,” Pansy confessed, “I think he’s healthy enough – I know he went to see the human vet last month and he doesn’t seem to have found anything wrong. But it’s as if his get up and go has got up and gone. Good job he has me to get him out of the house, and even then sometimes I think he doesn’t want to. But I give him the look.” Being, as I have hinted, pretty talented in that area myself, I understood. 

     Rose told me she had to go out this afternoon and would be gone for an hour or so, and she was really sorry, but she couldn’t take me. Well, I looked suitably ill-used, but wasn’t going to make a display of myself. I just hoped she wouldn’t put the radio on, at least not on that programme with the guy with the smarmy voice who takes requests for music that make me want to put my paws over my ears. Some folk, and some very clever folk, reckon dogs have no conception of music. Well, let me tell you, that isn’t quite true. Oh, we may not make a song and dance (pun unintended!) about it, but remember how sensitive our hearing is. Not as sensitive as our noses, of course – we have you beat on both of those. But some of those humans make a whiny noise no self-respecting dog would ever utter. 

     I curled up on the couch and had a little doze with a very nice dream about a long beach with the juiciest bones buried in the sand, though I was awake before Rose got back and made sure I greeted her in full soulful mode. 

     Not much has happened for the past couple of days, though as long as that not much includes walks and food and lots of love it’s fine by me. Rose is on edge, though, and tells me things that I don’t quite understand – just what is an interview? I asked Pansy – it’s true what they say about poodles being clever – and she said she thought it was another word for people talking to each other, but one they didn’t use very often. Well, I thanked her politely but it wasn’t that much help. “I think Bert had them when he worked at the bank,” she said, after further thought. 

     That got me worried. My knowledge of such matters is somewhat vague and I’m not sorry it’s the kind of thing we don’t have to worry about. But I do know that when she said “bank” she didn’t mean the “river bank” – which is one of my favourite walks, but as there seem to be masses of sodden mud there even when it’s not rained for weeks, I don’t get taken there that often. A bank is also something to do with “money”, and I know that’s something humans fret about. And Rose has been fretting a lot lately, even when she’s making out she’s full of the joys of spring. We might not know some things you do, but we know a lot you definitely don’t. There are some (and even some cats I believe!) who can even tell if humans are ill just by walking on their belly or the like. Well, I’m not that clever by a long straw. 

     Sometimes I just don’t know if I’m coming or going! I was left in the house alone all day again today and though I thought for a brief second that Rose had deserted me, I knew that was stupid and she would never do such a thing. I also noticed before she went out that she was wearing different clothes – not her jeans or tracksuit pants and a sweater and a woolly hat, but – those other clothes, the smart ones, and the shoes with the heels that make me wonder at times if humans are quite sane.

     Was I the teeniest bit worried despite my protestations? Anyway I had no reason to be. She came back home and gave me a big hug even in her smart clothes and said that she loved her new job but it was still marvellous to come home. And she changed into her other clothes and drove me out to the beach, and that was a treat I wasn’t expecting, I can tell you. I was even more surprised to run into Pansy having an unexpected late afternoon walk on the beach and told her what had happened. She made it plain she understood (we don’t actually nod our heads, for all some of our humans think we do, but there’s a look in the eyes that’s the equivalent) what I was talking about. Since Bert had retired (it was a new word to me, but I got the gist of what it meant) especially after his wife Glynis went to human heaven (and oh how I hope that business about the Rainbow Bridge and us being reunited is true) he had been miserable and listless and though she did her best, she couldn’t always raise his spirits.

     I think I understand now, or as much as I ever will, given humans’ strange ways. It seems like humans, or quite a lot of them, actually enjoy going to work. It doesn’t mean they don’t love us, and if we love them, we just have to accept that. And yes, like I said, it does have certain advantages, having the house to myself for a while.

     Oh, and I think I might have misjudged humans, or at least Rose. I positively wore my brain out sending her messages saying “Rose, I’m fine about you going to work again, or at any rate I can live with it and I know it matters to you, and I’m not going to go into decline. But PLEASE do something about that radio!”

     Today she left it tuned to Radio 4 – positively civilised!

March 25, 2020 07:59

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