I’ve been helping my mum Tracy to hear different sounds around her house nearly all my life, so I’ve got very used to her and my Auntie Marilyn’s little ways. Although they have a lovely house, they seem to like travelling around the country for hours at a time in a bumpy, rattly old van. I don’t mind though because we end up in all sorts of interesting places, where I get to have lots of cuddles, and vast opportunities to eat the kind of things my mum never thinks of giving me. In March, we went to one of my favourite places that we go to every year. Apart from those boring times when Mummy and Auntie spend ages making strange noises in front of everyone, this place is full of treats, including walks to the sea every morning and afternoon. I love it and this time I nearly achieved my ambition to dig to Australia.

When we arrived home on Friday afternoon, I was tired after all the giving out, providing so many people with cuddle opportunities, but I was looking forward to more adventures to come. Imagine my surprise when the next morning my mum didn’t even get out of bed, apart from rushing at speed into the little room and slamming the door on me when I tried to follow her. She seemed to love that room that day, and on two occasions fell down just outside in her hurry to get in. I was worried as she was acting most strangely, but even more worried that she seemed to have forgotten that I needed breakfast and a walk. In between rushing to the little room and falling down, she lay like a corpse in her bed not even moving when I shoved my wet nose into her face to try to make her remember my needs. Well amazingly, even though Mummy forgot, Auntie gave me breakfast. I was so happy as Auntie isn’t so strict as Mum about my portion sizes.

By now I was giving up hope that I’d ever get a walk, but suddenly the doorbell rang, and I did my usual barking-dance-and-offering-of-a-toy routine. A great friend of mine stood there and I was so happy to see her. I couldn’t help jumping up and shouting in her face about how naughty Mummy was being by lying in bed all day. I think Pauline understood because she put me on the lead straight away and off we went for a lovely walk.

That day marked the beginning of a very strange period of my life. Mummy seemed to spend days just lying around. Although she stopped rushing to the little room and falling down after 3 days, she still wasn’t doing anything! And now Auntie was acting just the same. Both of them were just lying around. They weren’t even cooking anything interesting for me to come and beg for a treat! It was boring!

Days went by and Mummy still wasn’t taking me for walks. My beloved friend Pauline took me every other morning, but then a really strange thing happened. On the in-between days, Mummy would put my special bag full of treats in the porch instead of over her shoulder. When the doorbell rang and I started my barking-dance-and-offering-of-a-toy routine, she did something really odd. She put me in the porch and then shut the front door, leaving me alone! I was so upset! Then the porch door opened, and a girl stood there who I’d never seen before. She expected me to go happily off with her for a walk! Well if you say so it didn’t take much persuasion, and she did give me a lovely walk. But that doesn’t alter the fact that I was most put out and felt my mum had abandoned me to someone I didn’t know. What’s even worse, is when we got back home, this girl just put me in the porch together with my bag, then closed the porch door behind her and left me there! Oh yes, she did ring the bell before she left, but how would Mum know that when I wasn’t inside to tell her?

And so, the days went by! Eventually Mummy did start taking me out again, but walking so slowly, and I can’t understand why Mummy and Auntie have stopped going everywhere in their bumpy rattly van and standing in front of people making noises. They’ve been sitting around at home for ages! And seem to spend all their time staring at the noisy box. They’re even talking to it now too! I’m beginning to wonder if I need to apply for carer’s allowance soon.

I must admit, I do enjoy having them around more, as they used to go off to something called church and leave me for hours! So, there are lots of perks to this new way of being, but a little excitement and variety wouldn’t go amiss at times.
Well, it’s a dog’s life for sure…