And so now my partner's mother tells me that I am elderly. What is WRONG with the ladies in this household? Could it be that they are jealous of my Peter Pan-like retention of my pupish charms and vitality? I have my suspicions. Happily, on this occasion my partner was quick to defend me. She castigated her mother for her abuse of me and obtained the concession that I "have plenty of good years left".
I suppose I did bring this particular attack upon myself. Maisie had been away for around ten days and I was seriously beginning to miss the specially cooked and blended suppers with which she has taken to providing me, while my partner is finding things a little difficult financially. I was feeling particularly aggrieved at the temporary loss of my fine dinners when, on the evening in question, my partner placed the contents of my usual "Gourmet Hi-Life" sachet in my bowl and set it down on my food-mat. I just stared at it.
"But this... this... this is dog food!" I spluttered.
"Your point being...?" responded my partner, unamused. I was rendered barkless. Completely without sympathy, my partner just muttered "Eat it, Jasper."
I had a full-on strop, refusing to eat my meal and stubbornly resisting any attempts by my partner to take me out for some exercise.
After the afore-mentioned "elderly" dialogue, I submitted to my partner's demands that I get into our Little Green Corsa and be taken to Abbotstone. I quite enjoyed it. Upon my return, I ate some chives from my partner's mother's miniature herb garden, as well as a few of her nasturtiums, to punish her for her insolent accusations. I found that this sparked my appetite, so I gobbled up my dinner while no-one was watching. Absolutely delicious.
Quite apart from all this, there have been troubling happenings at my partner's workplace. I accompanied my partner to work on Friday and arrived to find Ewan (nitwit dog, not cherubic nephew) looking utterly miserable. As Ewan's usual state is 'so relentlessly chirpy you want to batter him' (even when he is asleep), I was concerned.
"Are you alright, mate?" I asked. Ewan let out a doleful howl.
"Oh, Jasper, no." he whimpered, "I have to go to the vet. I have got a lump." I expressed my sincere sympathy and Ewan nodded. "I think I'm going to the vets tonight. I'm really scared." and he howled again. Although it may seem callous of me, long-time readers of this blog may be aware that even basic things like breathing and going to the toilet present Ewan with something of a challenge. I therefore wondered if Ewan's "lump" was going to turn out to be a toe, or his nose. Upon closer questioning, however, Ewan's problem appeared to be genuine. His fear was certainly very real.
"It will be OK Ewan." I said comfortingly, "I've had two operations and everything was fine. You just have a little injection and go to sleep, and then you wake up and it's all better. It will all be alright." He nodded, but didn't look convinced.
"I'm still scared though." he whimpered "The lump is quite big and horrible stuff keeps coming out of it."
"Blood?" I questioned, rather doubtingly. I could not smell blood or broken flesh on him.
"No." he replied, quivering a bit, "It's yukky hot, yellowy-green stuff."
"Pus." I said, "It probably means you've got a little infection somewhere."
"Really?" said Ewan, sounding hopeful for the first time.
"I'd still get it checked out though." I surreptitiously eyed his 'below-tail' area. "Ewan, can you remember ever having an operation before? If you can remember, you'll know that it will all be OK." Ewan frowned and shook his head.
"No-oo." he said, after some thought.
"Are you sure, Ewan? Not a little operation when you were younger? I think you have probably had the same operation that I had when I was a young man..." Ewan looked completely lost. "You know, " I prompted, "A little operation downstairs...?"
"Oh no," said Ewan, brightly, "No. There are no stairs at my vets, it's all on one floor."
This would normally be the point when I would walk away, for fear of doing Ewan actual harm. However, he was in genuine terror about his lump, so I remained to try and soothe him. I think I succeeded, for after a few minutes Ewan said "Can I have a cuddle Jasper?"
Here was a new one.
I gritted my teeth and said that he could, and Ewan flung himself against my flank, whining pitifully. I stayed still, after a short while realising that he had fallen asleep. I dutifully remained, until I got pins and needles in my shoulder and it went all numb, and then I gently freed myself and scuttled away. I will see how Ewan gets on at the vets. If it does turn out to be something serious, I may recommend to him Mr. Matthews - a very gifted surgeon and my own personal physician.
My partner is developing a new game, for readers of my blog to play online. It is based upon my sleeping arrangements and is provisionally titled "Where Is Jasper?" I am interested to see what the game involves, although it does smack slightly of disrespect, so I may not allow it to be uploaded.