So Gail came back from the cinema with her friends Yvonne and Neil (that's Jake Flat-Coated Retriever's parents) and they opened a bottle of wine. I cuddled up on the sofa and eavesdropped:
"Well I think I was right in suspecting that that film would only appeal to someone who's lived with dogs."
"No really, they did seem just to concentrate on all the most unpleasant aspects of dog ownership."
"And wasn't Tulip's owner Joe horrid and selfish? I think his obsession with 'marrying' his Alsatian said more about his own personal frustrations perhaps."
"Well it's the only film I've seen showing a dog scooting across the carpet, followed by a graphic account of treatment for anal gland problems. You have to be impressed with that."
"I couldn't help but smile at the bit where he's carefully describing how Tulip's posture is different for a 'properly evacuating' pee and a 'marking' pee."
"Yes I never realised that there was a difference for bitches too."
"You know, I thought of Hamish so many times. The way the dog barked when the sister went into the owner's private room. Remember how Hamish used to do just that when anyone but me sat on this sofa? Bertie doesn't seem to mind, so far at least. Then there was the problem with attacking the vet, just like with Hamish, we had to resort to a muzzle. Oh and Hamish was never too successful with the lady dogs either."
"Now when was that film set? The 1950's? Clearly before the invention of poo bags. When did people start using poo bags by the way? I remember when I was a child you were supposed to train the dog to 'go' in the gutter."
"And what about that scene where Tulip has diarrhoea in the bedroom of the friend's house? And Joe tries to mop it up with the newspaper."
"What do you think is worse to clear up? Diarrhoea or sick?"
"Oh diarrhoea, definitely. Do have another glass of wine."
"No I think vomit. Oh, thanks, just a small one then."
"But wasn't it sad when Tulip had the puppies and they were all given away to just anybody."
"Well I'd kind of lost interest by then. Did it really hold your attention all the way through Gail?"
"Well it did, kind of. It was a fascinated horror at times, admittedly. And maybe I identified with the 'single person and dog' relationship theme. Although I won't exactly be recommending the film to too many other friends."
"I did at least think the art work was beautiful."
"Yes. And I loved the music."
"Me too. Oh well, it's getting late. We better go back across the road and check that Jakey's OK."
"Well goodnight then. Thanks for coming along. Perhaps you should choose the film next time! Wake up Bertie! Time for your pre-bedtime trot round the block."