"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back to Work

I've got loads to do...and I don't mean laundry! Website updates...final touches to our parish blog so it can go live...writing a novel...taking the two young dogs to the vet later for well-checks.

Here's a nifty shot from the front yard. It's the head of a garden statue--a kneeling mermaid, about 16 inches high.

Beneath the snow, she's naked--except for the scales along her tail--and is surely shivering!

What, you say, no dog pictures?

Well, if you insist....

Sunday afternoon. A typical configuration, Lola keeping clear of the young dogs--one never knows what madness will erupt when that pair are together.

Sofa-cam, during last night's screening of Mira Nair's version of Vanity Fair. Ruth claims my lap. Jewel watches the television intently. She heard a barking dog on the soundtrack. And barked back at it.

Trading spaces: Jewel supplants Ruth, now curled up on her special cushion.

We had a good night and a crazy morning. Much puppy romping, indoors and out. Many lessons in the dynamics of canine relationships.

Lola, who was rather cranky on Day 1, has adjusted admirably to the presence of a new youngster. Jewel can now approach her with more friendliness than fear, and all the respect an impresively large dog with seniority deserves.

Ruth engages with Jewel enthusiastically, chasing and being chased, play-attacking and being attacked. But she's spoilt enough to have some challenges. She's not used to sharing my attentions, or her toys, or space on the sofa that was exclusively hers and mine. For so long, she's been the sweet, submissive little beta dog. Jewel's arrival demonstrates very clearly that Ruth is an Alpha bitch-in-waiting. Lola dominates everyone, but Ruth is determined to dominate Jewel in certain situations.

Jewel is easy-going, submits to their tyranny with amazing grace, and doesn't protest her lowly status. Her bond with the humans gives her confidence and she is wonderfully good-natured.

I left the threesome alone long enough to drive to the Town Offices to pay the dog tax on Jewel and pick up her licence. Returning a short time later, I found that they were all friends still.

Taken a few minutes ago: Jewel stares in the direction of my computer speakers, because she heard barking dogs in a BBC Radio 4 news story. This prompted her to bark as well.

How will she ever cope with The Archers?

The pups are snoozing on the sofa. Peace has encompassed the house. And I'm about to take advantage of it!

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