Gisèle and my partner have returned from their holiday where, I am pleased to report, they had a thoroughly lovely time. I am even more pleased to find that Giz followed my suggestion of keeping a "holiday diary", with which she will be entertaining the reader over the course of the next few blog entries. I further understand that my partner has captured some photographs to accompany the diary, which have yet to be downloaded. I've no doubt that the all will soon be barked.
Alas, however, the holiday had something of an inauspicious start, as one may judge from the previous entry on this blog, and my partner and Gisèle had to start out a day later than planned. Initially, my partner was to blame for the delay. She overslept and was unable to locate some key items needed for her holiday (she never DID find them, necessitating an aggravating additional shopping trip). Ultimately it was Gisèle whose uncharacteristically truculent behaviour confirmed the setting-back of the departure (not, I note with interest, something Gisèle confessed to in her latter post).
The little terrier was already somewhat over-excited at the prospect of an holiday with her Mistress (only her second holiday of all time) and the fact that this was the first considerable journey of note to be made in The Gizmobile (which, I'm happy to bark, acquitted its little green self impeccably), when the time came for her to decide which of her toys she would like to take to Devon. Sweet 'Sèle began gathering up all of her current favourites and putting them next to my partner's suitcase and her own basket. When my partner saw what 'Sèle was about, she told Giz that she was allowed to bring a maximum of two toys. This was for reasons, most probably, of space and the lesser likelihood of a favourite toy being lost or forgotten at the end of the holiday. Gisèle did not accept this limitation lightly. She whined, wheedled and pleaded for permission to take more, but my partner was not to be swayed.
"Three...?" whimpered 'Sèle plaintively, wagging her tail optimistically.
"Two." declared my partner, shaking her head.
"But I need three!"
"No you don't! It's just possible that you MIGHT need one and I'm letting you take two!"
"I want to have THREE!"
"Well, you have to choose two."
"Two and another one?"
"One big one and two little ones...?!"
"That's still three! Choose two, or I shall choose for you."
At this, Gisèle became frustrated and in combination with her over-excitement she suffered a rare loss of temper. She jumped into the open suitcase and began kicking out my partner's clothing, growling and snorting and, when chided for her antics, let fly with a selection of angry barks and obscene insults directed at my partner. (I have no idea where Giz picked up some of the choicer phrases, although I sensed the influence of Betty in one or two of the more exotic examples). My poor, tired, partner was not impressed and the potty-mouthed terrier was sent upstairs immediately to calm down and reconsider her actions.
The malevolent influence thus removed from the scene, packing was completed, although the hour was now long-passed if my partner had wanted to arrive at the holiday destination in daylight. A remorseful telephone call was placed to my partner's parents, who were already in situ, and it was agreed that a departure the following morning would be better for all concerned.
My partner climbed the stairs to inform the recalcitrant Giz of the situation and to seek to clear the air with her diminutive furry friend. At her approach, Gisèle sat rigidly on the bed, guilt visible in her eyes, which were carefully averted from my partner's and her expression firmly blank. As soon as my partner opened her mouth to speak, Giz barked loudly and clearly (still not looking at my partner):
"I am sorry. Gisèle-Stephanie is not here at the moment. Please leave a message after the bark and she will get back to you as soon as possible."
"Gis-" began my partner, only for the tiny terrier to interrupt with a hiss:
"Noooo! I hasn't barked yet! You can't leave a message for me until AFTER the bark!!"
My partner was thus silenced. She patiently looked mutely at Gisèle, who seemed to be counting down seconds in her little head, each second marked by an almost imperceptible nod... after six such nods - "WOOOOF..." Giz intoned.
Bemused silence followed, after a few moments of which 'Sèle leaned towards my partner and loudly whispered "You can leave your message now."
My partner had been fighting an urge to smile. The battle thus lost, she said loudly and clearly in Gisèle's direction:
"Gizzles, this is Mummy. I know you are sorry for being cross and rude and you didn't mean the things that you said. I forgive you and want to let you know that, when you feel ready to come downstairs again, your supper is there for you, in your food-bowl. We aren't going on holiday now until tomorrow morning, so you can have your meal and then choose which two of your toys we are going to pack. Then we'll have bedtime story and sleep and leave early tomorrow morning. You may come down when you are ready. Thank you. Bye."
At this, my partner patted 'Sèle softly on her furry, tufty, head and withdrew downstairs. After a couple of minutes, Giz padded meekly downstairs. She was warmly greeted by my partner, who enquired as to whether the "message" had been received. It apparently had.
Following her meal, Gisèle trotted up to my partner and nestled firmly against her for an apologetic and conciliatory cuddle. This duly performed, two toys were selected and carefully packed in the suitcase: the highly-favoured 'Bunny' and Gisèle's ball and 'ball-throwing claw' (a plastic springy device which aids the throwing of a tennis-ball for those like my partner - a girl - who throw like... well... a girl... See here:
In the event, only Bunny ever left the car on our holiday - 'Sèle enjoyed Dartmoor SO much that the false charms of chasing a ball were deemed irrelevant.
Full holiday details to follow, beginning next time... Stay tuned!