“I know what dead people look like. I worked for a summer at our local hospital. I told my mother that I was gaining experience for my future career as a writer. I’m not sure if she believed me, but she let me go. To be honest, my goal was spending money, boys and parties; and I succeeded on all fronts. Along the way, there were several dead bodies.
A dead body is a dead body, but some dead bodies cause more problems than others.”
“Sir William met me at the front door and I’m not sure how he knew I had arrived, but I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. He suggested that I might want to freshen up before tea and I wasn’t sure if he was alluding to my appearance or just being polite.
He should try belting through the countryside in an open top Lagonda and see how fresh he looks.”
Rufus arrived early (when does that ever happen at this time of the year?). The delivery guy failed to catch the attention of my dogs so I had to go to the post office to retrieve them. Dropped off a complimentary copy to my illustrator on my way home. She was at work and a customer wanted to know what all the fuss was about. My illustrator was very happy. I’m a little bit out of it at the moment. Just waiting for it to pass. It’s a shame because this moment is special — when a box of books arrives. Nothing is getting through the fog, but there is always tomorrow. These last few months have been full on. Four books published in almost as many months. I’m a bit tired, but also pleased to have achieved so much this year. Thank you to anyone reading this if you have been supportive during the year, it is always appreciated and very much needed.
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Chopper is as white as I’m black.
He’s the white dog of the family.
No one knows how it happened, and we don’t hold it against him, we are dogs after all, we don’t judge you on the colour of your fur.
If you contribute to the pack we don’t care how big, small, skinny or fat you are. Do your job, stay out of trouble and the pack will accept you.
There were many rumours and some of them were ‘off the wall, bat shit crazy’, but the most logical explanation came in the form of a large Samoid named Killer.
Killer was one of those dogs who don’t know when to shut up, and who spend all their time trying to show other dogs how tough they are. It gets very old very quickly. Most of us tried to avoid him and his owner kept him locked behind a large wooden fence. Wooden fences a fine, as far as they go, but they get old and the posts rot and the fence begins to sag. Killer had a sense that his fence was on the way out and he worked on it ever day for many weeks. He was a big bloke and just by leaning on the fence he managed to get it to move just a bit each day. Eventually the inevitable happened and Killer squeezed through the gap he had so diligently created and proceed to rampage through our small community. It is said that he mated with every female he could find before his owner caught up with him, and one of the unfortunate females was Chopper’s grandmother.
So now, with each new litter, there is at least one white pup mixed in with all the black ones.
I have a soft spot for Chopper.
He gets lonely and he does not get to visit with my mistress and I very often. When he comes to stay I show him around all the sights. He particularly likes visiting the butcher shop, but that can require a bit of stealth on my part because the butcher hates dogs. I don’t know why and I don’t particularly care either, but I do know that he can be dangerous. The Pomeranian that lives across from the park still walks with a limp, and all he did was wee on the corner of the butcher shop.
Chopper’s favourite thing is sitting on chairs.
I must say that he sits very well and there is even a photograph of him sitting on a chair. His mistress has a large version placed prominently on her piano; I’ve seen it. Chopper showed it to me the last time we went there for a visit. His mistress also carries a very small version of it in her wallet. She used to have a photo of her children in her wallet, but she took it out. Apparently they never call her and she is fed up.
“Just one bloody phone call a week. That’s all I ask. Is that too much, I ask you?” She wasn’t talking to me but if she had been I would have agreed with her.
If my mum was still alive I would visit her every day.
We should always remember where we came from.
Apart from sitting on chairs, Chopper is also very good at carrying stuff. Not big stuff obviously, but small important things. He regularly carries his mistress’s handbag. The bag is nearly as big as he is, but as long as he keeps his head up he can manage it, at least from the car to the front door. His mistress loves him for it and he is very proud to be able to help her. It is very difficult to understand what he is saying with a mouth full of handbag, but it usually doesn’t matter much because Chopper is not a great conversationalist. He mostly likes to talk about things he has seen on television. Strange things like people dancing and singing. It all seems a bit unnatural to me, but Chopper loves it.
The best thing about Chopper is that he takes one day at a time.
I’ve never heard him worrying about tomorrow.
He lives in the moment.
What more could you want from a friend?
They’re pesky wee creatures.
Every day, at about this time, I walk down to the beach. My mistress, the one who writes books, has a house not far from the shore. She likes to come down here when the weather is warm. “No bloody telephone, and no one dropping in unannounced. Absolute heaven.” I don’t much care where we stay as long as I can protect her. She doesn’t need protecting at this hour of the day. She is in her little shed writing mystery stories. She’s reasonably safe in there, so I have a bit of time where I can come down to the shore and take in all the aromas.
The seagulls can be a bit of a nuisance, but it’s this damn crab that really gets up my nose. It should be frightened of me, but no matter what I do it does not seem to care. It bit me on the nose the first time I encountered it. I keep my distance since then. I run at it and bark at it, but it just stands there waving its legs in the air. I get the feeling that it would be quite tasty, but how the hell do you get hold of it.
I’ve wasted enough time worrying about that crab. There are other spots that need checking, and then it will be time to go and check on my mistress. She has her tea in the middle of the morning, and if I am close by and particularly well-behaved, I usually get one of those human biscuits, so I don’t want this annoying crab to make me late for biscuits.