"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Alice.


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Alice lived in a very exclusive neighbourhood.

She was a stylish dog walker and specialised in very small dogs.

“Small dogs have very big souls,” said Alice, whenever anyone asked her about her minor obsession.

Her faith in small dogs was justified. One day, while out walking her third set of dogs for the day, she broke a heal and plummeted into the street, right into the path of oncoming traffic. She skinned her knee and banged her elbow, but she did not let go of the leads that were attached to her precious customers.

The situation was dire. Catastrophe loomed [no pun intended].

As Alice lay dazed, scraped and bruised, Queenie the Corgi took charge.

“This ditzy dog walker is going to get herself run over if we don’t act quickly,” she said to the assembled pack. “We have to resist the urge to do what we normally do, and all pull in the same direction. Come on, pull!”

The pack were a bit dim but they sensed the danger in time and with their twenty four tiny little legs they dragged Alice up onto the footpath and out of danger.

Alice told Rufus and Binky to lick Alice’s wounds, because historically they had the cleanest tongues.

Alice sat on the footpath as Rufus and Binky did their wound repairing work and waited till her wits returned.

That night, as she sat on her terrace with a glass of Chardonnay in hand, she reflected on her choice of career. She felt that her decision was vindicated, and she wished that she had not wasted four years at university studying. Dog walking small dogs with big souls was her vocation.

To avoid any further need for her dogs to drag her out of traffic, Alice decided to switch to sensible shoes; the kind that light up when you walk. 

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