Book · Winter

Dealing with Disappointment

Me: I’m ever so worried about Dave.

Nell: Leave him be. He is Dealing with Disappointment. A valuable life skill.

Me: So, Tony never came?

Nell: No. David waited a long time but we think Tony may have gone on his Easter break.

Me: Poor darling Dave.

Nell: He is very low but he is being brave and Harriet is consoling him.

Me: Bless her.

Nell: Anyway, David has earned extra points for excellent Waiting Skills yesterday and his report card is looking a lot better.

Me: He has a report card?

Nell: Of course. Both he and Harriet have had one since they started training.

Me: Did you tell him Tony will be back next week?

Nell: I did and we agreed that he can meet him at the gate and a little jumping is allowed due to the length of separation.

Me: He still looks very low.

Nell: It’s nothing that some good sea air and a swim won’t solve. As I explained to both David and Harriet, a labrador has to learn many things and Dealing with Disappointment is one of the hardest.

Me: Yes.

Nell: I, myself, am constantly disappointed by you, for instance.

Me: Well, that’s not very nice. I’m sure Kev disappoints you too.

Nell: Maybe, But I can’t think of anything he has done right now.

Me: Typical. I’ve probably got a report card I don’t know about.

Nell: You have.

Me: Seriously? Can I see it?

Nell: You cannot.

Me: That’s not fair.

Nell: Deal with the Disappointment.

Me: Can I get extra points then?

Nell: Enough.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

Book · Winter

The Beast from the East

Me: What were you doing in that photo?

Nell: Waiting for the Beast.

Me: Dave?

Nell: No, not David. Don’t be silly.

Me: You mean the Beast from the East.

Nell: I do.

Me: Bit scary.

Nell: It’s snow and cold winds. That’s all.

Me: What if we run out of supplies?

Nell: Unlikely.

Me: Or the power is cut?

Nell: We have candles and logs for the wood burner.

Me: I will have to cuddle you for warmth, Nell.

Nell: You will not.

Me: How will I survive?

Nell: Actually this is where David will triumph.

Me: Of course! Dave loves cuddles.

Nell: He does.

Me: I’ll just cuddle Dave all day.

Nell: I think you will find yourself in a queue.

Me: Dave loves me.

Nell: Yes, he does but Harriet means everything to David as you well know. Why do you think he confessed to misdemeanours during the trial?

Me: I don’t know.

Nell: He was trying to take the focus off his sister. This is also why he only received a warning.

Me: I see. So Harriet comes first.

Nell: She does. Fortunately there is a lot of David to go round and he gets on her nerves so he will be over to warm you up very soon.

Book · Winter

Labrador Deafness

Me: Nell, I want to talk to you about Labrador deafness.
Nell: Sorry?

Me: About how you sometimes don’t seem to hear me.

Nell: What did you say?

Me: It’s not funny, Nell. Dave has started doing it now too.

Nell: I was only just saying to Harriet that we need to work on our retrieving skills.

Me: I asked you a question and you’ve ignored me.

Nell: Sometimes the ball just floats past us in the sea.

Me: It’s so annoying.

Nell: Yes, it is because you have to swim around to find it.

Me: You heard me then.

Nell: Of course I did.

Me: Why didn’t you hear me before?

Nell: And David just doesn’t get the retrieving thing at all yet.

Me: He waded into the sea quite far when you two girls missed the ball.

Nell: Yes, that’s true. David did well that day.

Me: But when I call him he doesn’t hear me. It’s a selective deafness if you ask me. Don’t you agree?

Nell: Sorry?

Me: You are doing it again, Nell.

Nell: Did you say something?

Me: I give up.

Nell: Anyway, I think the answer to the retrieving problem is more time on the beach.

Me: Whatever.

Nell: We could go now then.

Me: Fine.

Nell: Good, I will tell the others

Me: You heard me well enough then, no sign of deafness.

Nell: Sorry?

Me: I don’t believe it.

Nell: Did you say something?

Me: Let’s just go now.

Nell: Excellent idea. David! Harriet! You heard what she said. Beach time!

Book · Miscellaneous · Winter

Happy New Year

Me: Nell and I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Nell: That’s a great action photo of Harriet and I. You definitely didn’t take it.

Me: No, I didn’t, Nell. Thank you for that. It was Marian.

Nell: Lovely lady. Lovely photos.

Me: I agree.

Nell: So, it’s finally 2018.

Me: Thank goodness. Here is to new beginnings.

Nell: So what are you beginning then?

Me: I’m not sure.

Nell: Beginning to listen to me hopefully.

Me: I always listen to you.

Nell: I mean really listen and not just hear what you want to hear.

Me: You are being very harsh today.

Nell: I’m tired. I had to wait up for you to come home.

Me: You know we always leave you in charge when we go out.

Nell: It was 2am.

Me: We were only at the neighbours.

Nell: You came back smelling of cat.

Me: There was a cat. But I only stroked it once.

Nell: Once is enough. A cat. The puppies are traumatised.

Me: Rubbish.

Nell: If this is how you are going to start 2018 I dread to think what’s next.

Me: Do you know that a donkey used to live in our house?

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: Called Darcy. It used to walk through the kitchen on its way out from the garden. The neighbours told us.

Nell: Sometimes I despair of you. Honestly I really do. Aren’t 5 dogs enough for you without cats and donkeys?

Me: I was only saying.

Nell: I’m going to have a lie down.

Me: Sorry.

Book · Winter

The Devon Way

Me: Have we got everything ordered? It’s nearly Christmas.

Nell; Relax. Let’s walk on the beach and surf a few waves.

Me: We don’t have the time, Nell. Why are you talking like the surfers?

Nell: What can I say? It’s the Devon way.

Me: I suppose it is. Take things slowly and enjoy life.

Nell: Do you fancy a hot chocolate on the beach?

Me: I would love one.

Nell: Yes, and we can go through your list.

Me: Thank you. That’s really helpful.

Nell: It’s the Devon way.

Me: Yes.

Nell: My present needs to be at the top.

Me: I know.

Nell: I asked for a ball.

Me: I know. You keep reminding me.

Nell: It’s the Devon way.

Me: How can that be the Devon way? Reminding people is the opposite of the Devon way.

Nell: It is what it is.

Me: You are so annoying.

Nell: Hot chocolate?

Me: Yes please.

Nell: Want to try the waves?

Me: Not really.

Nell: Walk on the beach then? Feel the wind in our hair?

Me: Yes. I know it’s the Devon way.

Nell: It’s our way now.

Me: Yes. Happy Christmas.

Nell: So, first on the list is a new ball for Nell. Come on don’t dawdle. Get writing.

Me: Sorry.