Dear Irish Terrier friends,
Had I not succumbed to that hideous pneumonia last winter, I would surely be groaning on about how this January has been unbearably tedious and the fractured femur has been a bigger hindrance and more painful than I could ever have imagined.
The worst thing of all is being ‘cabined and confined’ in the house for so long. The great ‘indoors’ its not for me but with ice on the ground and freezing cold temperatures it makes no sense to be out and about.
I have longed quite simply for fresh air – hanging my head out of the window is no substitute for having the ‘sweet sky’ above my head – that clear magical cone of space that reaches up to the stars.
The leg is improving and seems steadier by the day. There are few twinges still but not a great deal of increased speed and efficiency. Has creeping about become a habit, I wonder?
But the snow drops are peeping and I can wobble round the garden like a cheer leader urging on the daffodils — “Come on girls you can do it! ”
My beloved Libbs and Marybell have been the most touchingly attentive carers. They have amused and entertained, accepting the slower pace waiting on every step as I toil up the stairs. They have welcomed everyone who has kindly called to check on things and soothed away my occasional bouts of desperation.
I do believe that dogs are natural healers. Apart from the ‘feel good factor’ they are such a positive force of nature.
Years ago, I was seriously ill and needed a spell in hospital. I wrote this piece for Miss Bunch and Becky Price (Bunch and Becks) the adored family dogs at the time.
Against all the odds and to the contrary to medical opinion, I recovered miraculously and I swear to this day it was B and B who helped me through.
I loved the way so many of you have mentioned Libbs holding my hand in her mouth on the first night I came home. Who knows why? The general opinion was that she was hanging on to me making sure I would not disappear again. But I felt she was reassuring me – “Don’t worry we are here”.
What never ceases to amaze me is how my ‘wild brown pup’ has turned into this wonderful understanding kind generous angel who is ready even to give up her walk until I assure her she is not needed.
Daisy has come to stay. Derek and Richard are away for 3 weeks. Apart from being great friends, she and Marybell are devoted partners in the demolition of anything that has any potential for swift destruction.
One of the two ‘bear bears’ was caught in the net last night. I left them playing with him quite gently tugging and shaking him I suddenly realised the things had become rather quiet. I looked over the stairs and there was a snow storm of kapok all over the floor and no sign of the girls. They were very contrite and ran for their lives when they saw me coming, escaping into the garden by the side door just in time. Libby was appalled (probably by my bellowing) She did round them up eventually and we were ‘reconciled’ – but only just! They had to watch me sew up the poor chaps head.
The three of them are parading on tiptoe around me as I write with ‘chews’ sticking out of their mouths like (small cigars). Its a slow stalely dance – a sarabande – perhaps which involves nodding and eyeing up one another touching base with me them circling off again in stately mode. I could almost put some music to it. They do make me laugh.
I am sad not to be able to walk them myself. Cat who takes them out twice a week has very kindly squeezed them into an early walk. But there is the whole day ahead, pottering around with me – not a lot of spin I’m afraid – hence the peaks of energetic misrule.
We had a day when the snow came and out walking their met up with large snowman (please not snow person) in the forest. Daisy was terrified and wouldn’t go anywhere near him. She is just a year old now and still prefers things she can recognise.
This is has been a learning curve with new possibilities – friends, forest, ponies, deer and new situations to navigate. She is a dear girl and very clever, confident and affectionate. She moves in with us without missing a beat. I fear there will be tears from us all when she leaves.
Thank you so much for your kind comments – I mean extravagant praise for the calendar. Not one complaint this year.
I really do think it belongs quite uniquely, to us all.
With many greetings
and my love to the dogs,