Florrie is in great form. About three months again she was unable to get out of bed and I thought her time was up but the vet changed her heart pills to Fortekor from VetMed and also put her on Frusemide as well. Initially there was a bit of coughing but she has gone from strength to strength although is quite happy to sleep if we are not up to much. I went to a 50th birthday party on Friday night and left Florrie in the car as there were just too many people there. Needless to say madam had other thoughts and barked solidly until I brought her in at midnight! She has developed a snore which almost equals mine.

She will be 14 this year and is finding it a little hard to jump up onto the bed so I got a stool which is about a metre by a metre to make it easier for her to get up. However Florrie has now decided that at our age that we should have separate beds and the stool has become her bed. She pops up for a chat when we go to bed and then retires to her stool. I bought a child’s duvet for it which she loves.

I must tell you a story which happened before my accident. We were out on Inish Bofin, an island off the west coast of Connemara . I was walking her along the road one afternoon in the east village where we stay. Picture a row of 20 to 30 cottages fronting out onto a natural horseshoe harbour when she suddenly disappeared. I thought she had slipped in between one of the cottages but I searched high and low which much calling and whistling and no sign of her. In the end decided to start at one end of the village and work my way back knocking on doors asking people to keep an eye out for her. When I got to roughly where she disappeared I knocked on a door which was opened by a holiday maker. Behind her sitting in an armchair was Florrie. It turned out the lady had opened the front door to flick a cigarette butt out the door and Florrie had shot in and jumped into an armchair! Anyway surrounding Florrie were half a dozen kids and a few more mothers all tempting Florrie with everything from cocktail sausages to cream scones. Panic over but knowing my dog only too well now came the job of getting her out of there. In my sweetest voice I tried to coax her out but Florrie had other ideas – sensible dog that she is, and looked at me as if to say ‘Dad, you can come and collect me in an hour or so when I’ve had my fill. To cut a long story short Madam had to be rather unceremoniously dragged out by her collar which was highly embarrassing. I can only wonder what the people had to say about how cruel an owner I was after the door shut. Meanwhile I led an Irish Terrier home which looked more like a hyena after a buffalo kill with a very extended stomach.
It’s a sunny day here and Florrie is stretched out on the balcony in the sun outside the office no doubt dreaming of holiday makers and cocktail sausages!

Dear Dermot,

Thank you so much for your email. We love your letters and will put it up on the letters page.

Getting on the right side of friends when you’ve done a disappearing trick has happened twice to me. Once with Princess Beega, who disappeared on Hampstead Heath behind a crocodile of school children, and was found an hour later taking tea with a very concerned lady who lived on the edge of The Heath. This was ten years ago and I still hear regularly from her. Her letters are full of greetings to ‘her lovely Irish Terrier’. Hattie, one from a previous generation of family dogs, disappeared from the Salt Marshes in Lymington and was found sitting by someone’s fire eating buttered toast and completely terrorising their old Labradors who were hiding behind the front door.

We can’t believe we’ve never met Florrie but we all love her anyway.

Many greetings, love to Florrie,

Lucy and Jane



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