Greetings friends. As you can see, it's been non-stop go, go, go here the past few weeks. On the whole, Pop and I have had a lovely summer (apart from one episode of Wet Eczema and a Jab at the V.E.T.). However, this came to a rather abrupt end yesterday when we found ourselves being weighed in public.
This is not something that I feel should be done to a dog of a certain age. It doesn't matter for Poppy because she's not yet three. But I am seven and us seven year olds prefer to keep the delicate matter of our weight private.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened. We stood in the middle of the V.E.T.s packed waiting room while my weight was read out loud to the receptionist.
Ted is 11.10 kg, Mum said, in a firm voice as if she didn't quite believe it but was forcing herself to by saying it out loud.
The receptionist looked at her screen and then she raised an eloquent eyebrow.
He was 9.86 last time, she said, in what I thought was an unnecessarily loud and accusatory voice.
9.86?!* said Mum, with all the exclamation marks added. I thought he was getting heavy.
Yes, said the receptionist, he's put on a bit, hasn't he?
They both looked down at me. I sucked my tummy in and tried not to breath too much while I smiled, nervously.
It got worse when Mum read out Poppy's new weight and the receptionist informed her she'd lost a few pounds. I risked a quick glance around the waiting room while they were distracted and was relieved to see the other occupants were an arthritic lab who was so ancient he was bound to have a hearing problem and therefore hopefully had not heard my weight being discussed, a dog wearing a cone of shame which covered his ears, more or less, and funnelled sounds strangely so he probably hadn't heard either with any luck, and a chubby spaniel who was in no position to judge. There were also a couple of cats in baskets, but I discounted them because cats, as we all know, are hardly more than squirrels with different shaped tails, and we all know how silly (and rude) squirrels are.
We got back in the car and I was very much afraid the word diet would be mentioned, but Mum just drove to the woods where we had a nice scamper about while she stopped to talk to some National Trust volunteers she'd never met before in her whole life about Dormice and some rare Roesel's Bush Crickets she'd found in the wood. When you live with our mother, you get used to this sort of thing because it happens fairly often and I've found it's best on the whole not to worry too much about it.
I thought I'd got away with the whole weight conversation, but should have known it would resurface when Dad got home. He is running back from work at the moment because he's training for another marathon, so he was sweaty when he arrived and Poppy likes to lick him when he's like that, so she did a fairly good job of distracting Mum for a while with ewws and ugh, Poppy, that's disgustings. But then the dreaded words were uttered: Ted's put on over a kilo.
Has he? said dad, grinning. Oh well Teddy, it's a pity I'm not a butcher, eh? And he ruffled my head.
Pop and I exchanged puzzled glances.
The long run home in the heat after a full day at work must have affected him, Poppy whispered from the corner of her mouth.
Mum must've noticed our confusion because she grinned and explained that Fitter than a Butcher's Dog is a human expression (which tells you all you need to know about humans in one handy sentence, I think).
Yes (said Dad, still grinning), you're a lean, mean fighting machine, aren't you, Ted? And he ruffled my head again. This was kind of him, and it made me feel better until I heard Poppy sniggering into her paw a moment later. This was not only unnecessary but made me doubt the sincerity of the compliment. I glared at her and she hastily turned the snigger into a paw-chew instead.
The upshot is, I am not required to go on a diet because the extra kilo is due to muscle! It has come from all the running I've been doing on top of my walks! Result! (mum says exactly the same thing has happened with a favourite dress of hers that no longer fits. Definitely from extra muscle from running and not chocolate choux bun consumption).
We went out last night for a run with mum, and I ran really fast just to underline the point that no reduction of food is needed or would in fact be remotely beneficial, only I had to stop half way round to do a poo, which slowed down our overall time and made Mum grumpy because she's trying to beat her Park Run PB, and also because a man shook his head at us as we resumed our run because the poo was left in situ, mum having no bags to scoop it up with. She went back to collect it later with Poppy, in case you were worried.
So that's more or less it from here. All dietary concerns have vanished and my extra weight is in fact, something to be proud of!
We have a Very Busy Weekend ahead with a house full of people. All three of Pop and my human children are home because it's our Grandparent's Golden Wedding and they're all off to a party in a marquee in the vicarage garden next door to the church. The garden has a yew tree in it that's over 2000 years old and Jane Austen's niece once drew it (whoever she is).
Mum is having a last-minute panic because her heels will sink into the grass and the dress she was going to wear is very cream and floaty long and rain is forecast tomorrow and she thinks it'll get a) wet and b) grass-stained, and she's not sure what to wear instead. I keep telling her it would be much more sensible just to grow fur and get it trimmed once in a while but she doesn't listen.
After the party we've got two nieces staying the night with us until they all go off for a pub lunch. I shall be spending most of the time underneath the table until they have gone, while Poppy will doubtless be zooming about the house, jumping on every available lap and licking everyone to death. The only good thing about this mass-invasion of my home is that Mum has bought loads of cheese to feed everyone with and has already promised me some. Let's just hope no-one mentions the words cholesterol and Cheese in the same sentence. Think of me, please.
I'll leave you with a classic example of the difference between me and Poppy.
Photo 1: Clear infringement of sofa-related rules with an Illegal Sofa Occupation taking place in BROAD DAYLIGHT.
Photo 2: Totally legal dog-bed-occupation:
I ask you!
All the best,