GREETINGS FROM THE TOBY HOUSEHOLD!
WEDNESDAY 21st MARCH 2012
Human Rights Day. The 'Boss' and I are home alone. Unfortunately dogs don't recognise these opportunities to 'sleep late'. The Boss feeds them and returns, wary-eyed to bed and hands me a cup of tea. Toby crawls up next to me on the bed while I check my laptop.
Later: A gorgeous autumn day. Perfect weather. The Boss and I migrate to the garden to lie on the lounger chairs under the shady tree and read our novels Toby is confused, so he vacillates between barking at phantoms around the perimeter of our property and monitoring feathered 'enemies' in the the branches above our heads. It's too much noise for me. I fetch a lead and tether him to my foot. He settles beside me and closes his eyes content in the knowledge that I have it all under control.
5pm: Dogs are already moaning for their supper. The Boss feeds them. He's such a push-over and spends the next hour opening and shutting the sliding door for Aunt Tam to come in...go out...come in...go out... Doggie doorman!
6.30pm: We give up and put on our walking shoes. Dogs recognise this and dart up and down the passage in triumph. I'm not sure its a good idea because it's getting dark nowadays. Besides the park closes at 7pm.
On arrival we discover only one other car. "Siberian Huskies" is etched on the trailer. mmm... Toby likes Huskies, so all should be good. In addition, the Boss will be managing Toby while I keep an eye on Tammy and Toffee. He's too strong for me.
Leads off. Dogs fly like the wind. Even Toffee's feet are a-blur. It's beautiful walking at this time of day. Birds are twittering their last news of the day and settling in the trees. I notice the group of Huskies congregated under the big tree in the middle of the park. It's getting darker.
We follow our circular walk and two of the Huskies fall in beside us - a beautiful cream and brown dream, and a black and white one. To keep the peace, I pick up Toffee. The rest of the pack run along happily. All is content. We turn towards the gate and another Husky falls into step alongside us. Tammy announces her pleasure to the world. One solitary bark amongst 7 silent dogs.
Back at the gate we realise that the owners are old acquaintances. We load the dogs and then chat with them in the street for another half hour. It's dark already, but its a small world and there's lots of news. "You should try Toby with sledding," she suggests. I'm not so sure.
Back at home the dogs settle into their evening routine - at our feet. Toby now looks so much like Max. He acts like him too and I can't remember the difference. We both settle on the floor while I stroke his silky fur and fondle his soft ears. Goofball! He loves his feet massaged and I edge my fingers between his paw-pads. Hands hold paws as we greet the night.
What would life be without dogs?