At one time we had five dogs, four Yorkies and a rescue mixture who went by the name of Heksie (in case you don’t know, there is an Afrikaans children’s book called “Liewe Heksie” which translates into ‘Beloved Little Witch’). Our Heksie was certainly beloved.
Anyway, we are now down to one remaining Yorkie, Jessie. We inherited her along with Poppy from previous owners who treated their dogs with considerable disrespect and certainly no love. When those two Yorkies came into our lives Poppy turned out to be fairly normal while Jessie was erratic in her behaviour. Our vet identified her as my dog. Ever since then she has been my dog.
Several years later, living in a house full of love, at least for the pets, Jessie has settled down and is now a very special member of the family. So special is she that it is quite appropriate to use the phrase ‘Spare the basket, spoil the dog’. This doesn’t mean to say that Jessie never gets into her basket or at least lies on her cushions, but these occasions are principally limited to those rare hours when we leave her unattended in the house. Then she has to languish in the scullery and I can be quite certain that when I open the scullery door and look in I will find some element of her presence which one could do without. No big deal.
So where is Jessie when we are at home? She is either lying on the sofa or on the back of the sofa, taking no notice of whatever Alessandra and I may be doing, usually watching TV and reading at the same time. Otherwise she might be asleep on our bed which means that she is lying between the headboard and my pillows, leaving me in as much discomfort as possible, invariably leading to neck ache.
This might be alright except that during the night Jessie will decide that she needs a drink of water. Being of an age she does not relish jumping from the bed to the floor in the dark. I have to put her down. So she goes for a drink and then usually goes onto her blanket. However, some little time later, maybe one or two hours, there will be a little bark which indicates that Jessie wishes to be picked up and put back on the bed. It has been a long time since I have had a full night’s sleep.
How else might I refer to this somewhat spoiled dog? How about food? A new routine has recently developed. Patrick, who looks after the house and arrives at about 07h00, will summon Jessie for breakfast at about 08h10. Should Jessie still be asleep and not really be interested she might stay in bed till midday. Alternatively (and this is part of the new routine) Jessie will condescend to go downstairs which, by the way, involves my going downstairs to unlock the bedroom door. You might think that Jessie would then be completely ready for her breakfast. No way. She expects to be taken for a walk to the park, to be let off her lead to play with the other dogs. She loves this and won’t eat until she has been treated accordingly.
As for what is in her food, there are the granules appropriately recommended by the vet and carefully selected, plus a treat which usually comprises roast chicken bought from Woolworths specially for Jessie. No one else is allowed to touch it although occasionally either Alessandra or I will sneak a little bit. Thus comprise her two meals of the day, lunch being served at precisely 13h00 at which point Jessie may let off steam if lunch is not ready. What about the evening? “Where is my treat?”, she looks at me. Are you feeding it to me by hand? If not, don’t expect me to eat it.
It is just as well that Jessie is so lovable and I do mean so lovable. She gets away with murder but we wouldn’t be without her.