Monday, 6 October 2008

Chapter Ten

So life went on without Bonnie. It took me a long time to accept she was gone. Her favourite place to sleep was always the rug in front of the fireplace, she loved the heat in the winter and in the summer, after pond watching, she would always sleep there. So, I did not like to lie there in the early days but then I realised she had left me in charge. Now I was the head of the animal pack and, as time went by, I was happy to lie in her old place. I think she would have been pleased.

I had so many toys but my favourite was a long narrow one. I knew it was called Big News because Mrs. Boss would tell me to fetch it and I would. I loved the loud squeaky noise that it made. When I wore one out they would buy me another one just the same.

I could tell all my toys apart. Mrs. Boss would frequently line a few up and then tell me to fetch a particular one. I never got it wrong. Even when she changed them all around, it did not fool me. I could tell them all separately and would always get a treat given to me after these games and told how clever I was. As if I did not already know!

For a long time there was just myself and the cats. The only thing I missed was having someone with me in the garden, someone to play with, someone just to walk around with, someone of my own kind.
Two of those glittery times went back, the time of packages and tinsel, the times of Chicken dinners for us animals and I thought life would just go on the same for always.

However, one day Boss went out and came back again carrying a plastic box, I knew this box was always kept for when one of the cats had to visit the vet. As all the cats were in the house with me at the time, I was very surprised. Had Boss bought another cat home? Mrs. Boss was standing in the kitchen putting plates and pots through water when he carried the box through to her. She asked him what he had got there and he said - "a puppy". Mrs. Boss peered into the box and said "that is not a puppy, it is a rat"!

I think she had expected to see a puppy like I once was.
From what I gather, Boss had seen puppies that needed homes and went to have a look. There was only one left, something called "the runt of the litter" and nobody seemed to want him. He was frightened and ran behind a machine that washed clothes and Boss had to help the owner move the machine to get him out. Boss had a heart as big as the world and when he saw this little fellow looking so sad and scared he immediately decided to take him. I heard him explaining all this to Mrs. Boss.

Mrs. Boss sighed and opened the box. She took out this little thing and I must admit it did not look much like a dog, not the dogs I knew from my daily romps in the fields. He was shivering and had soiled himself with fear. I remember how scared I had been when I was taken from my mother and put into "the car". The noise the movement. I felt so sorry for him.

Mrs. Boss immediately filled a bowl with water and proceeded to clean him up. I sat watching with interest as he whimpered and struggled. Then Mrs. Boss wrapped him in a large fluffy thing and rubbed him dry. Then she held him and look straight into his eyes. He responded by giving her face a little lick and I heard her say "yes, we will keep him". She was every bit as kind hearted as boss, maybe even more so. She gave him something to eat and then made a little bed for him.

That is how Jester or Jesse as the humans always called him came into my life. For the first few days he looked very miserable.

I soon taught him what was expected of us dogs, how not to wee in the house, how to play with toys, how to behave on the things they attached to our collars. Of course, Jesse could not go out into the street, he was too young and would have to have the vet stick that sharp thing into him first, but he learned to wear his collar and walk up and down the garden on the lead thing.

He rarely left my side and would lie next to me when I settled down for a rest.

With my help, his confidence grew by the day. Soon we were playing chasing games, I would chase him down the garden and then he would turn around and chase me all the way back. We never tired of it.
Some time before, Boss had bought me a "pull" toy. He would hold one end and I would hold the other end between my teeth and we would have a contest as to who could pull the hardest. When Boss was standing up he always won but it he was sitting in a chair that was a different story. I was so strong I could actually move him and the chair quite a distance! Now, Jesse and I were given this toy to ourselves and we would spent ages pulling each other around the garden.


When the cold weather was over, we were rarely inside, always preferring to be outside playing together and only coming back indoors when we were exhausted. Then Boss would have something to drink and we would curl up together to rest. I was so happy to have Jester as my friend and I looked upon him as my little brother.

The hot days were coming again, those days that never seemed to end and the light left the sky very late. I was looking forward to even greater games especially now that Jester could go to the fields with me and we raced around at such speed. People would laugh to see us, me so big and Jesse so little, chasing each other flat out.

However, things were to change when, one day, Jesse had a terrible accident.

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