Enough is enough. I have endured too long a separation from my blog. Do not seek to blame me, however, dear reader. The blog and I were forced to part when I contracted a severe case of conjunctivitis. I was very poorly, with sore eyes and a fever and my partner and Maisie have been most diligent in bathing my eyes and putting in drops thrice daily. The only light note in this melancholy tune was the leaflet that came with my drops from the vet. It exhorted me not to drive, operate heavy machinery or wear contact lenses when using the drops. So, obviously, the keys to my forklift truck had to be put out of my reach... For goodness' sake.
Happily, I am now almost recovered. My partner, however, has been excessively troubled of late. I am not going into details, as I do not want to depress you, dear reader. I have been an oasis of calm and reliability throughout and she has delighted in my support. I had almost - almost - got out of having to explain myself online following my naughty episode. Less happily, Maisie did me up a salad for my tea last night containing, among other things, hard-boiled egg and cold steamed broccoli.
It kicked in about fifteen minutes after my partner and I had retired to bed. She was too tired to get up again and open the window. Let me just say that she was not happy and leave it at that. Then, this evening, one of our online friends was encouraging my partner to make me repeat my tale of wickedness and what she said was enough to turn my partner's thoughts. I mention no names - but, Angie, you have much to be ashamed of.
Right then - and let me make this clear - this is the first and positively, irrevocably, last time that my partner is allowed anywhere near writing in my blog. And I'm not allowed to delete what she writes, because she's going to check it before I post it. Read without prejudice:
After a delightful evening's stroll on Abbotstone, I took a brief lie down to enjoy a light snack. After a moment my partner appeared, somewhat inexplicably distressed, and asked me to escort her back to the car. I dutifully complied. All was well.
Jasper's Partner's Version
After a delightful evening's stroll on Abbotstone, Jasper disappeared off after a rabbit in the usual place (close to the warren). I know that, if he has not reappeared after a few minutes, it's ok to walk back to the car because he will either catch up with me in a bit or cut through the woods and wait for me by the car. This is ALWAYS what happens and I have no fear of him straying or getting lost - he often journeys back to the car by himself if he has had enough on Dartmoor (or elsewhere) and waits quietly and patiently for me next to our vehicle.
On approaching the Abbotstone car park, I could see that he was neither waiting for me there nor coming up the path behind me. I waited for ten minutes, but there was no sign of him. I then started to walk back down towards the rabbit warren (approximately three-quarters of a mile away). No sign of him. Back to the car I walked; again, no sign of Jasper en route or at the car. So I wait in the car park for twenty minutes. Still no dog.
It is now beginning to get dark, and Abbotstone is a fairly isolated spot. I walk again from the car park to the warren, calling and whistling for Jasper, and starting to feel uneasy. No sign of mutt anywhere - so back to the car I go.
I now feel distinctly sick. I have been hollering for my normally well-behaved little Jasper for some time now, with no response. This has never happened before, to this extent. I am now scared and in tears - remember that Jasper has now been missing for nearly forty minutes. On the way back from my third walk to the warren, desperately worried, near-hysterical and almost hoarse from calling Jasper's name, I see a white shape lying on the ground a short distance away. "JASPER! Is that you?!" I cry. No response - not even a movement. "JASPER! Are you alright, sweetie?!!" Nothing. The shape lies motionless, but I have stared enough to know that this can only be Jasper.
At this point, I believe him to be dead or dying. There has been no sign of life whatsoever from the prostrate body. He has either been shot by a poacher, hit his head on something or had a heart attack. I had to get to him, but was terrified of what I would find, and dreading the confirmation of my worst fears.
To reach my beloved Jasper I must negotiate a barbed-wire fence, which I hasten to do, cutting my knee and tearing my favourite comfy jumper in my desperation to reach him. All the while, I am sobbing out loud "Jasper! Are you OK!? JASPER!!??!"
I reach him.
He is pretending to be unaware of my cries. Feigning deafness. Because he has a little prize of a deer-leg, which he is happily gnawing. The look on his face tells me clearer than any words could do that he has deliberately ignored me so that he can have the maximum possible time with his meaty bone. He looks pleased with himself and only just deigns to look a bit guilty. He knows what he has done.
I can just summon the energy to glare at him and say "Car. Now." He does not protest.
To Jasper's credit, I will say that he knew straight away that his actions were terribly wrong and that he caused a great deal of distress. He will probably not admit it, but he was extremely sorry for his deeds. I have forgiven him, but I did send him to bed early that night, to think about what he had done.
She's gone now. She and Dolores went to see the Sex and the City film the other night (which they very much enjoyed), so now my partner is watching the whole series through on DVD. I don't mind it actually, and it keeps her out of my fur.
I meant to put in Day Three of my Holiday Diary with this entry, but my partner took too much time to put down her version of events and I have an urgent need to go into my garden and download some wee-mails, so that must wait for another time.
Do not judge me too harshly, my friend. I was a very naughty boy, but my sweet partner has forgiven me.
And that deer-leg was mighty tasty, heh heh heh.....