STOP PRESS: Since writing much of what follows below, Gisèle has been seriously - almost dangerously - ill with Colitis. After six different courses of medication from the vet she is, just this evening, beginning to recover. I do not propose to enter into details - they are grossly unpleasant and Gizmo is a very discreet young lady. Suffice it to say that the past few days have been excessively traumatic and it has taken the combined efforts of the vet, my partner, myself AND Betty (for, yes, nothing could have been more touching than the lengths to which proud Betty went in order to assist her little friend. And this INCLUDES washing Gisèle's bottom and keeping my partner company whilst carpets were repeatedly scrubbed).
Did you hear about the Olympic gymnast who walked into a bar?
He lost six points and the chance of a medal...
Hehehe - we are still very much enjoying the Olympics here in England. The way it has captured the best of our national spirit is wonderful to see and, at time of writing, Team GB have won 21 Gold Medals, 13 Silver Medals and 12 Bronze Medals - all fantastic achievements. But what particularly irks me sometimes are cases in which an athlete who has won a Silver or Bronze makes a statement along the lines of "well, obviously I'm disappointed..." This annoys me intensely. Yes, you may have won "only" a Bronze - but you are still the third best in the entire World!!
It has been a fortnight (though it seems much longer) since Gisèle had her accident and she continues, albeit slowly, to mend. She took her first walk yesterday evening and managed extremely well. Alas, however, she is unable to sufficiently lift her tail in order to avoid soiling her fur when defecating, so my partner has obtained some moist baby-wipes to assist with cleansing purposes. Giz is also reluctant to return to the vehicle after her exercise (this is a new development, we are unsure as to why it might be the case - I thought that, perhaps, she and Betty had "had words" but they remain good friends so it is a mystery) and this rather sours the walks somewhat. Last evening, my partner, Betty and I had to pursue Gizmo for some 45 minutes before employing strategic manoeuvres in order to catch her and fix the lead to her collar and, this evening, my partner had to get cross with the little terrier.
Any irritation was soon dispelled, however, as it is still early days for little Gizmo - and she had been damaged very seriously indeed. When my partner returned with the reluctant Giz to the vets on Monday, she did not have the same fortune as previously, and had to lift Gisèle onto the very table onto which she had last lifted me. As ghastly as you may imagine this experience to be, the visit was not improved when the x-rays of the unfortunate Jack Russell were displayed to my partner. On seeing them my partner was stunned into silence and she wondered, along with the new young (male and quite handsome - but let us not go there) vet, how Gisèle was achieving her recovery.
These are, obviously, not the actual x-rays, but are a true reproduction:
|Normal dog skeleton|
|Close-up of normal rump section.|
|Close-up of Gisèle's current rump section|
See what I mean? That HAS to hurt.
Elizabeth continues to be excessively gentle and nurturing. It is a joy to behold. I'm not sure that Gisèle, by herself, would have been brave enough to enjoy a walk so soon after her accident were it not for dear Betty, watching over her and guarding her every step. But it is not merely when out and about that Betty maintains her vigilance over her tiny friend. Oh no.
For Betty has been tailing Gizmo throughout the house and garden, ensuring her safety in all things. If Giz chooses to nap in the bathroom, Betty will follow and make sure that there is no water, on which Gizmo might slip, in on the floor and that no bags or boxes stand close to Gizmo's chosen resting spot, in case the little dog rolls over in her sleep and knocks her rump. In the garden, similar trip hazards or other obstacles have been moved aside by the newly-safety-conscious Betty. Within the bedchamber, none of Betty's effort is spared in procuring the best pillows and section of duvet for her belovèd best friend - she has even been sighted warming Gizmo's favourite teddy-bear prior to placing it next to where Giz is sleeping. But Betty herself announced that her greatest triumph in securing Gisèle's comfort has taken place in the kitchen. She proudly conducted us, followed closely by Gizmo herself, into the kitchen yesterday evening and stood, beaming, awaiting our fawning praise.
I couldn't actually notice anything different about the room or its furnishings, but it did not escape me that Gizmo's smile had become rather fixed, though the sweet girl's manner remained unalterably polite.
"See?!" barked Betty, happily, "I even ate Gizzle's dinner for her, to save her from hurting her belly when she was digesting her food!!"
Ah. Now I understood. I looked at Gisèle, who seemed almost straining with the effort to appear outwardly grateful.
"Oh, I see..." I murmured. "Yes, indeed. Well - that was, er, ummm, yes.... VERY, uh, kind - of you Betty."
Betty nodded confidently. I glanced at Gizmo, with a wink and a sympathetic smile. The merest glance between my partner and I instantly determined a way forward. "Elizabeth, my dear, would you be kind enough to accompany me into the garden?" I enquired, adopting one of my most charming smiles, "I failed to profit from your advice previously and feel I would benefit enormously from a further explanation of the safety arrangements which you have made for Gisèle without-doors."
Betty looked doubtfully down at Gizmo.
"Er - I know she is safe within." I hastily continued, "If you would favour me with your company...?"
With that, Betty trotted out into the garden with me and began to go over once again the finer points of the relocation of our tomato plants.
Whilst I occupied Betty outside my partner hastily prepared another chicken and rice dinner for Gizmo, and joined us on the patio so that Giz could eat her meal in peace.
Another disaster happily averted - and we all continue in peaceful harmony. I was careful to look away, so as to shield my smile, when I later heard Gizmo thanking Betty most earnestly for her kind efforts, whilst assuring her that the dinner prepared for her by my partner was easily digestible.
If only ALL such paths were so easily smoothed-over. For, just the other evening, the long arm of the law finally caught up with we four fugitives from justice.
We were in the New Teal Megane, all behaving ourselves properly, Betty 'riding shotgun', with Gisèle and I sitting in the back, when my partner noticed in her rear-view mirror that we were being followed by a Police Officer on a motorbike. On exiting the first of two adjacent roundabouts it became clear, from his flashing blue lights and obvious gesticulations, that he wished us to pull-over. After negotiating the second roundabout, my partner steered the car into a handy lay-by. Muttering to us about "not making trouble", she wound down her window and waited in a state of some agitation and muttering profanities under her breath. I was similarly mystified - what COULD we have done wrong?!
We sat in uneasy silence as the Policeman dismounted his motorcycle and marched purposefully towards us.
"Hello sir!" my partner greeted him brightly, with her prettiest smile and the subtlest hint of her majestic cleavage (shameless, perhaps, but one must flaunt one's physical gifts to the utmost. In this, I have taught her well). "Is everything all right?"
The scowling Rozzer wasted no time in coming straight to the point.
"Is that child wearing a seatbelt?!" he barked, angrily, at my still-beaming partner. Her winning smile faltered in her confusion.
"THAT CHILD!" he snapped, irritably. "In your front passenger seat! Is it WEARING a SEATBELT?!"
At this point, Elizabeth turned to look at the officer. Dear reader, it was all I could do not to laugh aloud as I witnessed the Policeman's stunned reaction.
"Errooohhh!" he yelped, as he hastily backed away, almost tripping over his own feet in his shock. "It's a DOG!"
"Yes." said my partner, aware that she was now going to be late for work and an important meeting.
"A dog!" repeated the Policeman. "Not a child! But from the back it looked-"
"Yes." said my partner again. "She's got my eyes and her father's tail. We're very proud."
The unfortunate Rozzer gaped in open-mouthed embarrassment. Gisèle was not aiding the situation by lying across the back seat of the car, helplessly giggling.
"Erm," spluttered the Officer, trying to recover a semblance of his lost credibility. "I'd better let you get on your way, madam... I am sorry to have troubled you..."
"That's OK. Thank you." replied my partner, though much of this civil reply was lost on the Policeman's hastily retreating rear as he stumbled back to his motorbike and sped off in pursuit of other, legitimate, miscreants.
We gave him a second's grace before all four of us exploded in merciless laughter, which continued all the way to the office.