Those who pay the Piper are made to follow his tune

It really is amazing how quickly the world, at least in one’s personal sphere, can be turned upside down and inside out. Less than two weeks ago Piper came to visit us and, different facets of his character seem to appear almost daily. Compared to his physical stature, 15 kilograms of energy – his personality is absolutely enormous, lets imagine it in weight – 1500 kg as a minimum!


It seems quite strange, to me at least, that a creature always so eager to please can at times prove even more stubborn than the proverbial mule! Piper knows his own mind, and, he’ll always jump at the least opportunity to turn our will into a mirror of his own desire. He has eyes that could melt the hardest of hearts and a mischievousness that entertains substantially more than it irritates. By now you may have guessed that I love him.


Alongside the love, there is a modicum of anxiety at the way he frets when my OH goes out of the house and, I start to wonder how he’ll react when she goes away for a couple of days. At least his little whine at the door as she departs, sans Piper of course, now dissipates rather quickly as he manages to attract my full attention. The settling down period also involves his desire to run upstairs, bound up on the bed and placing paws on the headboard as he looks out of the window for any sign of his mistresses person. The next step often involves placing his paws on my knees whilst I tickle and stroke him under his chin and the top of his chest.  Of course, he’s always on the lookout for treats having the appetite of a Desperate Dan (with his cow pies) and, proffers a downhearted look of dismay if a food treat is not forthcoming.


At present, I have a cast-iron resolve not to yield to his (innocent) greed; but he still loves me, I think. His bouts of apparently boundless energy are balanced with more than an equivalent amount of relaxation and sleep; admittedly I have little record of what occurs when his master and mistress are upstairs asleep. He quickly started to recognize my nocturnal routine, as I put on the outside light whilst he bounds, or slowly meanders, following a multitude of scents, around the garden.


My beloved, Helen, invariably heads off to the land of nod a little while before me, but once I start to switch off TV or radio and the aquarium light, he settles himself on the sofa, having first made a little nest out its sundry throws, but is sometimes distracted as he grabs and growlingly shakes a soft toy. Even then, as I move towards the door of the sitting room he casts a doleful glance my way before I switch off the light and wish him “good night”.


As well as the sofa, which he often shares with ma belle during the day, he occasionally has a penchant for my armchair, and thereby hangs a tale / tail! On Monday my beloved went out for an early evening meal, with her friend Hilary, at a time shortly before Piper’s feed time. As my beloved went out Piper seemed quite sleepily settled on their shared sofa. At that point I went through to the kitchen to prepare his evening feed, knowing he would dash through as soon as the food sounded into the bowl.


As he entered the kitchen he appeared to have a shamed look on his face, tail curled beneath him. This seemed most unusual as he’s usually so eager to ‘wolf’ down his food. Now I have to explain that I have a table beside my armchair, on which I keep and use, my laptop; on this table my beloved had left some buttered bread and a package containing Shropshire Blue cheese. As I moved back to the armchair I began to understand Piper’s signs of guilt, when I saw the cheese, now partially unwrapped, on the seat cushion of the armchair, the dairy product itself displayed some give-away canine (no, not human canine teeth) toothmarks. In a matter of a minute, the drowsy canine had moved across the room from sofa to armchair and found the proximity of,  cheese bearing, computer table to his olfactory organ overwhelming!


The day that the boy arrived, chez nous, Beth brought him (amongst other delights) a synthetic chewing bone with a tasty filling. During the following days it has been buried in gravel adjacent to the house, in previously compressed ground near to the summerhouse  and, in ground behind the large shed, In that bone he’d met his match; long lasting chews or Bonio biscuits are devoured almost as swiftly as they’re presented to him, but that bone really took a gnawing between the intermittent relocations.


Today, when Helen went out to the local shops, Piper came through to join me in the front room, before jumping on the sofa in the sitting room. Next thing, I noticed him bouncing upstairs, quite obviously to his lookout point to check on his mistresses whereabouts! When I heard a burst of growling woofs, emanating from the bedroom, I went upstairs to check on what was going on.


Piper was on the bed with his nose, snuffling away, underneath my pillow. Having told the boy to calm down, I lifted the pillow only to find the soil laden bone, and a generous selection of paw spread soil paintings on the undersheet.


No doubt about it, a complete change of bed-linen was called for and the “buried treasure” has found its way into a waste disposal bin. There’s maybe more I could tell you but I’m beginning to tire; so I bid my readers a fond adieu.

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