When my mum gave me her dog-walking jacket I realised that Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl was here to stay. Retiring to the country had always been on the cards but making the final decision had taken some time. The moment was bittersweet. No one wants to give up their dog and we knew that my mum would miss the companionship and her soothing nocturnal snores. But Danny and I were so pleased to have Beatyl permanently living with us. She adds a sound dimension to our yapping pack and we love her.
Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl is my mum’s miniature dachshund. She’s on the largest end of miniature. And has very big eyes. These are soft edged, now that she is older. She was called Beatle until we ran out of magnetic letters on the fridge. And Danny’s version ˜Beatyl’ stuck.
She had been boarding on and off with us for the past two years and was reasonably happy on her sojourns. But she obviously adored the individual attention that she got from my mum each time she returned to Cambridge.
Beatyl is now one of four in our house. The senior dog. Less attention than she was accustomed to but a handy cat flap when she needs to take a turn in the garden after lights out. And she enjoys a different sort of status in doggy terms. The One Who Is Fed First.
She’s bought a calm to the cottage. This sunny afternoon I was so pleased to see her stepping into the garden sunshine to lie on the grass and warm her old bones.
She was never keen on walks in her Cambridge days. Always dragging her paws until they turned for home. Then suddenly this dear old dog that could hardly totter down the pavement was pulling my mum back home with astonishing speed. Now she can laze.
Like us she has discovered that life with three Min Pins is light years away from the gentle companionship of any other being – even dachshunds. She sleeps through a lot of our household soap operas but sometimes I discover her watching the dramas with interest. She is patient and it’s only when a Min Pin waves an aggressive paw in her direction that she finally snaps.
Her gentle eyes quickly become huge and clear when the prospect of food is in the offing. She suddenly starts twirling, yelping, hopping and braying. Danny calls this her tea dance. The Min Pins grow goggle eyed and silent. Sometimes they bay along, in a teeny wolfish pack response.
Her food has to be soaked because she is taking care of her teeth. But all dental advice is forgotten when the biscuit is steaming and softening in her bowl. The yelps quickly change to sonorous howls of impatience.
Once I made the mistake of taking a quick shower when the softening process was taking place. The grooves on the bathroom door will have future archaeologists scratching their heads.
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