My alarm wakes me at 8.15 am but I’d opened an eye at seven. The Contessa was feeling sprightly and wanted to play. She drumed on my chest demanding attention (at 56 dog years she should be quietnening down). She was joined by Inca who raced frenetically around the bed (we call this race-tracking). Danny was talking to India in his home office next door and Dr Quito and I just wanted to doze.
Dr Q is a rock. He sleeps beside me, head on the pillow. Sometimes he leaves the heat of the duvet to lie on top and cool down. Our duvet is goose down and can get a bit hot on warmer nights. Meanwhile the Min Pin ladies bicker at the foot of the bed. One-upmanship dictates that the Min Pin who has gone down to the garden for a pee will carefully poise herself to jump on the somnolent Min Pin that has been keeping the bed warm. Our nights are accompanied by intermittent growls and shrieks that are as regular as commercial breaks on the telly. We have learnt to roar without really waking up.
Danny is all for fairness. All dogs are equal. If you bring one dog to bed all dogs must be welcomed.
“But Dr Q is disabled. He doesn’t have a great quality of life. He needs the warmth and comfort.”
“It’s all or nothing. Dr Q doesn’t twig that he’s disabled. If he falls over he pulls himself up and carries on. OK, he needs to be carried upstairs and downstairs. But the other Min Pins don’t realise that it’s because of his weak legs. They think that he’s a Prince with special privileges.”
D is right. It should be all or nothing. Unlike George Orwell's Animal Farm,
“All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” A sentence that has stayed with me since I read it aged fifteen at school. It shocked me then and still rattles me 40 years later as human relationships haven’t changed much since Orwell wrote this brilliant novel.
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