Me: Do you know what I’ve noticed about you recently?
Nell: No, but I know you’re going to tell me.
Me: You’re developing a soft side.
Nell: What are you talking about?
Me: Snuggling into cushions and resting your head on Harriet.
Nell: Harriet doesn’t mind.
Me: Both puppies love snuggling because they’ve never known anything else. You were always different.
Nell: You mean special.
Me: You’re all special, Nell, but yes, you’re my soul dog. I can’t deny it.
Nell: I should hope not.
Me: You’ve changed. Along with being even more demanding…
Nell: I beg your pardon?
Me: You bark orders at everyone nowadays, even strangers. You should hear yourself.
Nell: I’m simply offering advice.
Me: Anyway, along with offering advice you have started letting your guard down a little more often and enjoying a cuddle. It’s lovely to see.
Nell: Everyone needs a cuddle now and again.
Me: They do. I think it might be part of getting older. I can be a bit prickly and impatient sometimes.
Nell: Tell me about it.
Me: But I appreciate the beauty and the love around me so much more than I used to.
Nell: I know what you mean. Grief plays a role too.
Me: Yes. It’s been a hell of a year. I shall be glad when it’s over.
Nell: Don’t wish the days away.
Me: No, you’re right.
Nell: We need to think positively and look towards a happier future.
Me: Maybe we should try and see moving house as a big adventure instead of a sad farewell?
Nell: Yes. Kev was saying the same thing.
Me: We can do this, can’t we?
Nell: Of course we can. You and me. Always.
Me: Do you want a cuddle?
Nell: Appealing to my soft side?
Me: Yes. Sorry.