Well, a week has passed since my partner and I returned to our own home. And yet STILL the building-works are ongoing. In general, I consider myself to be a patient man, but these works are enough to try the patience of the most placid of dogs. Ewan, my marshmallow-brained canine friend, even. I have only ever seen him mildly irritated on a single occasion - and I've known him for well over three years now - but even he would have been reduced to enraged, frenzied swearing at the wretched business. Last Friday brought the discovery of yet ANOTHER leak in our bathroom pipes, decorators in the house with us on Saturday, and the frustrating discovery that the plumber had forgotten to re-install my partner's clothes washing-machine (it's a bit like a television, but with endless repeats).
In the meantime, the bathroom in Eddie's house has been completed, Archie the Jack-Russell's bathroom likewise, and work has commenced on Rosie's house next-door. WE have a decorated kitchen, a partially-decorated bathroom, dust-covers and boxes everywhere, and no curtains or flooring in either room. Grrrowl. My partner is part-way through a strongly-worded letter of complaint to the Housing Association. I am only letting her write it a portion at a time, as it makes us both very angry and I fear for her blood-pressure.
Let me return now to the happier topic of my friend Ewan. You may recall the last time his name came up between us. It was with the horrific realisation that, despite medical and scientific precautions, pea-brained Ewan may have succeeded in impregnating his long-term, belovèd basket-mate, Fizzy the pretty black Labrador. After a holiday of some duration, Ewan and Fizzy returned to the workplace. I concealed myself in the rear office, wanting to scope out the situation before I blundered and put my paw in it with Fizzy.
I watched as Ewan, his tail wagging wildly, settled himself beside his partner's desk and began to wash his paws. Fizzy trotted to her favourite spot on the opposite side of the room and gently laid herself down with a sigh. I peered closely at her. There was no discernible swelling of her belly or growth to her milk-dispensers. No sign, in fact, of pregnancy whatsoever. I wondered if I dared to feel relief. I thought that -
"Jasper." said a voice, suddenly, from behind me.
"Aiiieeeee!" I screamed, startled, almost jumping clean out of my own mouth.
"Bl**dy h*ll, Ewan!" I gasped crossly, turning around and trying to regain my breath. "Don't do that!!!" For a tall dog, Ewan had an incredibly soft tread.
"Sorry!" grinned Ewan, wagging his big daft tail. "What are we watching?"
"Fizzy and Ewan." I muttered absent-mindedly. I was still struggling to get back my composure.
"Oh. Right. Brilliant. Yes." nodded Ewan, squeezing up next to me and staring at Fizzy. After a few minutes of further study, it was clear that the lady was not "with-pup". I sighed, heavily - mentally closing the door on that particular traumatic episode. Ewan, however, continued his vigil, scanning the other office while occasionally shaking his head, sniffing the air and muttering to himself. I watched him until I could bear it no longer.
"Ewan, what ARE you doing?!" I asked.
"Well," explained Ewan, with a careful lick of his nose, "I can see Fizzy there - but I've looked and looked and I can't see Ewan anywhere."
"Are you being serious?"
Ewan turned and looked again.
"No." he announced, finally, "He's definitely not there. Shall we look outside?"
"Um... no, Ewan, it's alright. Let's not worry, eh?"
"Oh. Alright. Never mind, Jazz. I expect he'll turn up soon."
The boy never ceases to astound me. Just when I think I've heard the stupidest thing a canine could conceivably utter, Ewan plumbs yet further depths... It doesn't mean I love him any the less for it though. I wouldn't swap him for any other chum in the World.
I am hoping that, the next time I write a journal entry, my house might be once again complete. But I shall not be holding my breath...