She was annoying at first. Flighty, flirtatious, forward, always wanting to provoke me. I knew that she was attracted to me – handsome beast that I am. But hey, I am the one who always takes the lead. That’s my role. That’s what I’m bred to do. Not her.
The old girl occasionally coaxes me into the car for a trip to visit her brother and sister-in-law at the seaside idyll of Somers. Tedious journey that it is, with the old girl cranking up Midnight Oil and singing along, the destination proves salubrious. Bracing sea air and a dip in the briny provide a good reward.
Unfortunately ‘she’ is there – Evie. She arrived at this residence a couple of years ago, much to my disgust. Before her there was the matron – Jasmine. Stately and aloof. She reigned when I was a rambunctious pup. It made no difference when she snapped at me, I just kept coming back for more. Now l know that she was just trying to teach me some manners, albeit from the comfort of her daybed.
But Evie was something else. Pretty? Yes. Lively? Yes. Pain the derriere? Dogdamn right!
Last week I accompanied the old girl on the appallingly long trip to Lakes Entrance. Again I had to endure the torture of listening to the old girl sing. The sultry strains of Amy Winehouse were slaughtered by a rasping wail, the owner of which struggled to negotiate the delicate semitones and nuances of jazz. But it only served to enhance my anticipation for the rewards which would include unlimited access to my neighbours’ children’s food, and of course numerous walks and swims.
But I was aghast. When we arrived l saw that ‘she’ was joining us.
The intimacy of shared discoveries on the early morning walks with my old girl would be marred by ‘her’ exuberant hustling. When we ventured out for our carefree beach strolls, I would be besieged.
Luckily she was tied up a lot during the day and I could escape, but when the opportunity arose she was persistent. Kissy kissy here, bodily contact there. It didn’t stop.
I was disgusted. I demand respect. I’m a proper boy, an elder, an exemplary beast. It was exhausting. It was exhilarating.
And then we left.
Back to Pakenham with its enclosed yards and structured routines. No access to untended food. And no Evie.
The yard looked lonely. I could dogdamned well sit where I wanted without being jumped. But in the end -I miss her.