I apologise for the fact that you have been long-neglected. WHAT a time we have had! But 'tis largely over now. We have been offered some scant financial compensation for our lengthy troubles. Insufficient, to be sure, and accompanied by a derisory letter (I am sorely tempted to name-and-shame; but I am a discreet fellow). That barked, my partner and I are keen to draw a line under the whole wretched business. Let this, therefore, be the last I bark on the topic.
Firstly - let me thank most sincerely all those who have kept faith with me during my involuntary silence. Lance. Lifewithdogs. Et al. You know who you are. I thank you.
Here, in my current part in the World, we are enjoying the most glorious Spring weather. The sights, sounds, scents - all are sources of delight to me. Witness this image of me, captured just a few days ago (when my partner had cause to look for something in the work-yard, thus affording me the opportunity to enjoy the unseasonable warmth):
|Another gruelling day at the coal-face|
I wish not to become maudlin, but I confess to you that I had not expected to live this long; I am now in my thirteenth year. Indeed - if you cast your mind back, dear reader, to the earliest days of my "Evolution of Jasper" series (to be concluded soon, I promise) - then you will easily comprehend that I did not even expect to survive my puppyhood and adolescence (http://jasper-thedogsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/sunday-16-august-2009.html). Even if I could have foreseen my fortunate longevity I would never have expected to continue in my full possession of every essential faculty. But - for whatever reason - I am blessed. And I am thankful for that.
I continue to hear, to see and - above everything I could ever conceivably have wished for - to be loved.
Alas - though I might wish to wax lyrical further on my personal blessings - I must return to you with a tale of my friend Ewan - workplace doggy chum of limited intelligence, but possessed of a bizarre, delusional, obsession with cheese. Yes. CHEESE. Don't ask me why: I have no (formal) psychiatric qualification.
The very day after my latter post we were blessed in these parts with an incredibly beautiful lunar spectacular. Our own moon, at an incredibly close proximity to our own dear planet, exhibited thus:
The very day after this exquisite and humbling display, I encountered Ewan in the work-yard. He kept running back and forth between the yard and the adjacent wood - returning each time to the former with a stick in his mouth. By the time I decided that I could ignore him no longer, he had accumulated a pile of sticks of varying length. Fizzy (Ewan's basket-mate) merely looked on in resigned bemusement.
"Alright Ewan." I announced. "Tell me then. WHAT are you doing?"
"Bladder." came the muffled reply.
"Oh, honestly, Jazz, are you going deaf?!" yipped my simple chum, "I am building a LADDER! To the MOON!"
"Riiiight." I replied cautiously, "Any particular reason?"
"Oh JAZZ!" grinned Ewan, wagging his daft tail at me, "You ARE silly sometimes! I am building a ladder to the Moon! Because we ALL know what the Moon is made of, don't we?!"
"Errr.. igneous rock...? Basalt...? Magnesium...?"
"No, you muppet, CHEESE!!"
Of course. I had forgotten about Ewan's bizarre delusions regarding cheese (his chief pursuit in life, apart from his lady Fizzy's every physical need).
"So you're building a Stairway to Heaven...?" I asked with a wry smile.
"No, of COURSE not!" grinned Ewan, his tail wagging wildly as he set off in pursuit of another suitably-sized stick for his purpose, "That would be ridiculous! No, I am just building a ladder to the Moon. I might have to get Fizzy to help me with the difficult bits though...."
And, with that, I left him to his task - secure in the knowledge that only a few moments later he would forget about he was doing and wonder what all of those sticks were doing in the work-yard.
Sweet reader - do not be concerned for Ewan. He is happy in his little world, and would only injure himself were he actually to fashion a rudimentary ladder and attempt to climb to the Moon.
Despite all of this lunar lunacy - it IS good to be back!