I had TWO walks yesterday! Two!! AND I was naughty on both of them! Hehehe... I haven't felt so much like my old self for months!
Honestly - for an ageing Staffordshire Bull Terrier with mischief on his mind, I cannot recommend this tumour business highly enough. One can get away with all sorts of disobedience. Alas, however, there are inevitably drawbacks - and I don't mean the discomfort and premature-mortality.
I refer, of course, to my tiny-brained chum Ewan. You may recall that, on 7 July, I had informed him of my cancer. I suppose I ought to have anticipated trouble...
Ewan, Fizzy and their partner had been away from the office for a few days and returned on Friday. I was snoozing on the floor behind my partner's chair when I heard their vehicle pull into the yard. Yawning widely, I sat up, ready to greet my friends when they pattered into the office. All of a sudden - and without warning -
"DO YOU WANT TO SIT DOWN?!" bellowed Ewan into my ear, the dog having crept up behind me undetected.
"Aiyeeeeeee!!!" I screamed, as I shot about two feet into the air. "What the - Ewan!! - What was that for?!?"
Ewan looked aggrieved.
"FIZZY SAID - " he shouted.
"I'm not deaf, Ewan," I grunted. "You don't have to shout."
"Oh. Right. Brilliant. Yes. Fizzy said that I have to look after you and make sure you are all right because you are not very well."
"Well, that's very kind of you both." I replied, with a watery smile. "But I'm fine. Honestly. Don't you worry yourself."
"I's a good boy." grinned Ewan, nodding.
"You are." I agreed. "You are a very good kind boy. Off you trot and go and tell Fizzy."
Shaking my head, I watched Ewan padding away happily in quest of his basket-mate. Once he'd gone, I stretched, flopped over, and got back on with the business of my morning nap. Inevitably, my peace was not long-lasting. I was deep in the middle of a very pleasant dream involving my pretty next-door neighbour Rosie the Westie, when:
"DO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE TOILET?!?"
"Aiyeeeeeee!!! Ewan!! In the name of - Will you STOP doing that?!"
"Yes - but DO you?"
"Do I what?"
"Need to go to the toilet?!"
"I'm fine for the toilet just now, thanks Ewan."
"Okay. Bye!" And off he scampered. I could cheerfully have throttled him. I tried to go back to sleep and my dream, but all I saw in my mind's eye was the hideous image of Ewan, standing upright on his hind-legs, dressed in a nurse's uniform. Terrifying.
Abandoning all hope of sleep, therefore, and it being almost lunch-time, I ambled out into the yard for my daily potter down the bridleway. At which point Ewan, clearly on the watch, almost flew - like a racing greyhound in peak condition - across the yard from the other door towards me. He almost knocked me sideways as he skidded to a halt and collided with my flank. "Wait!" he panted, "You can't go out by yourself! Not in your condition!" He proceeded to half push, half support me along towards the bridleway entrance. "I will look after you Jazz!" declared Ewan earnestly. "I will support you as you walk and I can shake the drops for you when you pee - "
Right. That was the last straw. Never mind the Big C - this was a terminal dose of Ewan and I could endure it no longer.
As ever, Ewan himself was not to blame for his simple nature and willingness to assist. To chide him would be to deeply hurt and distress him. Plus, his love and concern for me were most touching. No; I knew exactly where to take my views. Whilst sidestepping to avoid being completely felled by Ewan as he was charging towards me it had not escaped my notice that Fizzy had retreated behind the skip in the yard, cackling to herself at Ewan's unlooked-for ministrations. I hated to employ such a dirty tactic - but needs must in such circumstances.
"Ewan..." I barked quietly.
"Yes Jazz?" responded my good-hearted friend.
"Thank you VERY much for being SO kind to me. You are a very good friend indeed."
"Really Jazz?!" gasped Ewan, his tail wagging madly.
"Yep. The best friend in the whole world."
"Wow!" he grinned - looking like the happiest dog in the whole of existence.
"But, you know, I really AM all right. You can play with me and talk to me like normal and it will be okay. I promise." As Ewan nodded and stopped trying to hold me up, I leaned towards his ear. "But, just between me and you, Fizzy has been barking to me just lately..."
"Oh?" whispered Ewan confidentially.
"Yes. She says she doesn't feel very well at all. And she said how much she wished she had a VERY good nurse to look after her ALL of the time..."
"For definitely certain. Do you know a good dog who might be up to the job...?"
Ewan immediately took the hint. Standing up straight, he puffed out his chest.
"Yes, Jazz!" he announced. "I am the dog for the job!"
"Excellent fellow!" I grinned, winking at him. "But don't forget; It's our little secret! Shhh!!"
"Shhhhhh!" repeated Ewan, covering me in spittle. Then, he fled at full-pelt back to the yard where, through a gap in the bushes, I could see Fizzy emerging from behind the skip, still giggling. For many months I shall treasure the look upon her face as Ewan galloped towards her, frantically barking "FIZZY! FIZZ! FIZZY!! DO YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN?!"
"No, Ew, no! Not me!" she spluttered, but in vain.
"DO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE TOILET?!"
Chuckling to myself, I trotted off down the bridleway for a nice, peaceful walk - all to myself.
My evening at home was scarcely less-troubling, alas. In exploring my borders, I was brutally attacked by a rose-bush. It bashed me with its spiny talons and I was forced to flee. As my partner pulled the thorns from my soft, trembling, flesh I ordered her to destroy the miscreant plant. Watching her activities later, I thought she was obeying me - but it turned out that she was just having a general pruning session. I will have to take steps to deal with the evil shrub myself. 'Tis often said that there is no peace for the wicked. They made no mention of the torments suffered by one as truly perfect as me.
To return, briefly, to the former topic of Ewan and Fizzy - my partner thought that it would be nice to have a sweet picture of the three of us together. We decided to comply without protest and Fizzy eventually succeeded (after 20 minutes) to persuade and cajole Ewan into sitting still for the pose. Alas, my partner made the fatal mistake of saying at the last moment "Now, everyone look at the camera!", which proved an instruction too far for Ewan: