Nell: So now you are posting photos of other dogs?

Me: They are your cousins, Nell. Naughty Nigel, Cousin Boo and Seamus.

Nell: They seem awfully tired.

Me: Yes. They had just had their tea.

Nell: Plain biscuit I expect. We are spoilt having Poppy and Malcolm, of course. You should have taken them some scones. Poor animals. Living so far from the sea and not a scone in sight.

Me: I am hoping they will visit us soon and you can get scones everywhere.

Nell: Not Poppy’s. Naughty Nigel didn’t sleep on your bed, did he?

Me: No. He and Seamus were with Charlotte so I had Cousin Boo.

Nell: Not on your bed?

Me: Yes. For a while. He’s a very courteous black Labrador.

Nell: What is that supposed to mean?

Me: He fitted himself around me. Not like you lot. I have to push Dave with both hands to get him to move. Harriet just rests her head on me and stays there whatever and Poppy lies sideways.

Nell: And what about me?

Me: You leave in a huff if I touch you.

Nell: I need space. Incidentally, while you are away we are all sharing the bed with Kev. All of us, apart from Mutley, who likes his own bed, of course, and Charlie, who needs quiet. Sharing. With no arguments at all.

Me: I can’t see Malcolm doing that, or The Cat. As for Gladys and Timothy.

Nell: You know what I mean. Anyway, Malcolm prefers the kitchen. Gladys sleeps in my handbag and Timothy is on an artist’s retreat in Tuscany. That turkey has blossomed since he came to us.

Me: I bet The Cat doesn’t share the bed.

Nell: Of course not. The Cat resides at the Big House. It never surfaces until at least 10am and only then in its silk pyjamas for a couple of espressos. It can’t start the day without caffeine. You know that.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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