Australia might be an appalling, isolated, conservative, racist, self-important, smug, backwater of a place, but it was my home. And I loved it.
Me? A conscience? Pshaw. Two walks a day, two feeds a day. I was, as they say in Dog vernacular, giggling my boofy head off. Call me selfish, I don't care. In fact, call me anything except late for dinner.
On the other hand, happiness came at somewhat of a price.
And here it is:
The white thing on the bed yapping down at me was the bane of my life.
The truth is, I upset her cozy little domestic apple cart. The detail of which requires a small rewind in time.
I had a predecessor, another Old English called Finbar. He died. Cancer. Five years old. He arrived in the house - her house, her domain - at the age of about one and a half. He bowled in the front door, all hair and legs, paws the size of an elephant's feet, and ten times her size. She retreated to the safety of some stairs - and crapped herself. Literally. She hates the story being told.
So I'll tell it again.
She retreated to the safety of some stairs and crapped herself.
Thus she had about three and a half years of Finbar. Then he died. She breathed a sigh of relief, "My house - my domain - is mine again." I suspect foul play. She's that sort of creature. How hard would it have been to slip a radioactive isotope into his chow?
So, one radioactive isotope later, she was flying solo again. She had four years of domestic bliss. Fawned over. A lapdog. Until I arrived. Now bear in mind that Finbar was about one and a half when he lobbed, hence pretty much fully grown. Did I mention that she retreated to the safety of some stairs and crapped herself?
Here's me arriving:
Look at her sizing me up. Can't you hear the little weasel brain ticking over? "Mmmm. Something I can stuff my pyjamas in."
Little did she know, of course, and I wasn't about to tell her, that from cute little furry things do oversized buffoons grow. Which she was soon to learn:
Can't you hear the little weasel brain ticking over? "My God, my pyjamas are still inside that thing!"