What I didn’t tell you, was that when Daddy and Mummy were away in the Far East, Director Susie was on Northsound Radio speaking about how Inchmarlo had been awarded grade 6- excellent by the Care Commission. She gave quite a long interview but Northsound concentrated on my role as the Therapy Assistant (Canine) at Inchmarlo. I of course didn’t hear the broadcast because I was on my holidays, but I heard about it later and was very pleased that my role was recognised.
I also told you that some time ago the Care Commission sent a photographer out and I was photographed between two of my favourite residents, Dr Margaret and Mrs Jean. Well imagine my delight when Daddy came home and showed Mummy and me my photograph with my two friends on the very front page of the Care Commission’s magazine- “Care News”. Don’t I look super sitting there with the six stars on my chest and being cuddled by my two friends?
Daddy and I went out to Inchmarlo. When we arrived at Inchmarlo it was a lovely sunny day. Daddy reversed the car so it was right against the grass which was higher than the normal road to make it easier for me to jump out but I wouldn’t do it. So I’m sitting here waiting for Daddy to lift me down and eventually he was so tired of waiting for me that he grabbed my halter and half lifted me on to the grass.
Once inside Inchmarlo House I went through to the Red Drawing Room with Karen who was reading the news out of the Press & Journal to the residents. As soon as she saw me she called me “Oh darling”. I think Daddy hoped it was him she was addressing but it was definitely me so I stayed with them for a period of time and chatted to all the residents.
One of my very favourite residents, Dr Margaret was in her room so Karen took me up and I entertained her for a while. Dr Margaret said to Karen she would be delighted to see me any time again.
Mr Albert had been coming in for respite care over the last three years and had been waiting a long time for a room. He had now come in permanently so we had a very nice chat and we were very pleased to see each other again.
Daddy and I walked up through the main Alpine Garden to see the devastation that had taken place with the snow. I was terribly sad to see many of the branches from the trees had been broken and had in some instances crushed and broke 100 years old rhododendrons and azaleas. I am still squatting like a young lady but in due course trees are going to be very important to me and I was terribly disappointed to see the damage that had taken place.
Daddy and Mummy went away to the Far East on Holiday, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangkok and Singapore. They told me that in the big cities they hardly saw dogs anywhere. They went up through the country to the Cu Chi tunnels where 11000-14000 Vietcong had lived for years underground coming up to fight the Americans then going back down again. It was only out there in the country that they saw a few dogs in the villages. There was nobody like me in the big towns. I wonder how the Chinese, Thai people and Singaporeans manage to live happy lives without somebody like me to keep them company.
When Mummy and Daddy were away I was boarded out with Mandy who occasionally looks after people’s pets. So I was sharing her house with two other dogs called Willow and Molly. Willow is an eight year old Spaniel and Molly is a 2 year old Lhasa Apso.
I had enjoyed myself during my holidays but when Daddy came to collect me I was very happy to get back home. I heard Daddy telling Mummy that I bore down on the other dogs like an avalanche of snow falling off a mountain! I think I frightened them with my enthusiasm to meet them and smell them all over. Little Molly was quite nervous of me but like all small animals she had a very sharp, high-pitched bark that quite frankly got on my nerves. She hardly ever stopped barking!
Each of us had our own food and I would frequently go up and smell and sample their food since it was so different from mine, but I’m not sure they were terribly happy about that.
Daddy asked Mandy whether she would have me back again and there was an element of a pause before she said a somewhat hesitant yes. Apparently, what upset her was that I would bark frequently during the middle of the night, she would have to come downstairs to let me out, and I would do a poo or a pee in the garden, come back inside and do another in the house. I know this was very wrong of me but I was discombobulated (this is a new word I learned, am I not clever?) living in a different establishment, with other dogs in my company! Occasionally Mandy would find me sleeping in Willow’s bed and Willow sleeping in my bed so by and large we got on well. Mandy told Daddy that when visitors came to see her they all said what a handsome young man I was and how they would love to take me home.
I have no idea of how long I was at Mandy’s house because I snoozed quite a number of times during the day but when Daddy came to collect me I was delighted to see him and when he took me home he opened the boot of the car hoping that by now I would be able to jump onto the ground without having to be lifted down. However, I havered. First of all I danced on the bumper, almost coming down on the left hand side, going back in and coming out again on the right hand side, going back in again and so on. Daddy decided to leave the boot open to try and encourage me to climb out and come into the house myself. He went inside and waited and waited and waited. He came out to speak to me again and I still wouldn’t come in so he closed the boot and went away for ten minutes. I sat at the side window, eagerly looking out, silently pleading with him to help me out of the car. Daddy came back out again and I did my usual dance but wouldn’t jump down. What he does not realise, is that the height from the floor of the boot to the ground is one and a half times my own height and that’s a big jump, even for a growing young man like me. Having waited a while he eventually grabbed hold of my harness, half lifted me out of the car and I ran into the house to greet Mummy very excitedly.
Jennifer and Pamela came up to Aberdeen and what a wonderful reunion we had when they came in to see me. I was all over them, jumping up and down and they were tickling my tummy. Since Daddy was tired from having flown in from Singapore overnight Jennifer took me out for a walk a couple of times and I had a really super time with them both.