Sunday, 19 October 2008

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Ahhh... My return to normality after my latest theatrical escapades is a sweet, luxurious sensation of bliss. This evening, my partner and I took a delightful stroll at Abbotstone, where I was happy to pursue some crafty rabbits. So many people have been lately saying that they cannot believe that I will be nine in four months' time. But it is true. I want to have my brand new motto (I only thought of it this weekend) tattooed on my chest: "PUPPY 'TIL I DIE". But my partner won't let me. She says it will make my skin all itchy when the fur starts to grow back. Something in that perhaps.

Pondering the realm of normality, I thought that my blog may care to know what passes for a normal day in Chateau Jasper. And so:-
My day begins just after 8.00am, when my partner rises and staggers sleepily off to bathe and dress. I pull the duvet over my head and snuggle up for a few extra snores. Bliss. All too shortly later, my partner informs me that it is time to get up. I dutifully shrug off the duvet and wriggle towards my partner, who bids me good morning, gives me a hug and asks the first challenging question of the day. This will either be "Who's my good little boy?" or "Who's my brave little soldier?". For goodness' sake. The answer to both of these is, of course, "Jasper." I offer up this reply and am duly lifted off the bed (my partner and I share a very small room and so, to free up more floor space, our bed is very high up) and gently placed on the floor. We step downstairs together and I am released into the garden to empty out all my important wee-mails, accumulated in my outbox during the night. Following this, my partner gives me my breakfast, tells me that I am a good boy and that she loves me very much and, with that, she departs for work.

After this, I am understandably a trifle weary and I retire to one of my chairs for a power-nap. Waking at around 11.30am, I move to the window to summon Maisie (if she has not already appeared). A couple of brief barks is usually enough to raise her and, if not, I pretend to cry until she comes hurrying over. I am then given something to eat to boost my strength and I engage in a game (usually of the fighting kind) with Bob, Maisie's husband. We usually wrestle in the garden; me versus an old broom. I invariably win. If it isthe summer, Maisie may prepare me a cooling salad; if the winter, perhaps a boiled egg. After lunch, Maisie and I take our exercise. We usually walk out for between two to three hours and I take in a variety of entertainments including, but not limited to swimming, racing, playing with my Pack, shopping, hunting, the list goes on...

On returning home, I take a biscuit and settle down for my afternoon nap while Maisie watches a quiz programme on the television. I awaken at half past four to watch a cookery programme and receive my main meal after that. My partner returns from work at around 6.30pm and we greet each other enthusiastically. If Maisie has not fed me my dinner, my partner does so at this point, and she eats her own meal. If my partner is feeling ill, we will take a short nap at this point, rising after 90 minutes or so and, in the summer, will probably venture out to Abbotstone or some similar hunting ground for more interesting activity. A few rounds of Dog's Bottom and, occasionally, sticks are fitted in between the hunting and other pursuits.

Following this, if we are not off to a party, the pub, a theatrical engagement, or some other entertaining frivolity, we may repair to the computer room. I slumber while my partner attends to her emails, networking and other writings and, if time permits, she lifts me into the typing chair to compose my musings in this very forum. After this we wind down with a DVD, television programme or book and perhaps a glass of something light and refreshing before retiring to our chamber. The last act of the day is announced with the phrase "Jasper - toilet and bed." This signals my last chance to upload/download any important pending wee-mails and I always take advantage of the opportunity.

I am lifted into bed and get comfy before my partner is allowed to settle in. On occasion, we may read a book or solve a sudo-ku puzzle together before lights-out but, more often than not, our lamp is extinguished straight away. Then comes the most important part of our day. Immediately prior to drifting into a sleep haunted by visions of traumas, fears and (occasionally) BC, my partner will gently pat me and say "Goodnight Jasper. You are a good boy and I love you very much." I reply "I love you" or some similar-sounding grunt and we drift into the arms of Somnus. Or insomnia, which unhappily sometimes befalls my partner.

I believe that it is terribly important that this last ritual is observed without fail - you will notice that it is repeated when my partner departs for work; indeed, it happens whenever she and I part company for a time. My partner and I both know that the day will inevitably arrive when one of us wakes to greet the morning and the other does not.

We, neither of us, know the day, or the hour, or which of us will be taken first. But we are determined that the remaining partner will never suffer the pang of regret that our final words on this earth were ones of anger or recrimination and we shall know for certain that the last thing we ever said to each other was "I love you".

King George III's last words, on the other paw, were "I think I shall have another of Mr. Bellamy's excellent pork pies." Brace yourself for even more learning now, as I share with you Jasper's Famous People of England - Part 3:

Good night.
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