It's a thorny issue isn't it? How to avoid being defined by one's worst moments. (I think Bill Clinton has faced the same problem).
You know, I was SO well behaved for so much of the time on my trip down to Nottingham to stay with Gail's Mum and Dad. Impeccably well behaved, you might say.
There were no 'accidents' leaving marks on the carpet. At least not from me. (A certain person did drop a glass of red wine but that's another story).
Neither did my teeth leave any marks on the shins of my dearest human grandparents. Or on their hands or wrists.
I settled down happily at night in my cosy corner of the utility room, never making a noise or fuss. Of course it helped that I was given my first ever proper bone.
Even though I quickly spotted a hole in the hedge, I never once tried to escape from the garden into the neighbours. (The garden is too nice for that).
There was no hint of car sickness, despite the fact that we drove over a thousand miles.
The white Nottingham lace table cloth remained jam free.......
I performed all my puppy school lessons and Granny was impressed. She's a great believer in education.
So what ever could have gone wrong, I hear you ask?
Well, you know what it's like when someone invades your personal space? I mean, don't tell me, you humans, that you haven't stood in a queue at an airport and spotted some blimp-shaped traveller just in front of you and prayed that you won't be sat next to them?
I had always thought that the rear of Gail's Mini was my domain and mine alone. But then, last Friday, Gail decided we all would go on an outing to Newstead Abbey
(ancestral home of poet Lord Byron). It's only a twenty minute drive. So I would travel in the back as usual, and all three humans could fit in the front surely? They're thin, not blimp-like, after all. And these new Minis are much bigger than the originals.
Well. Just imagine my horror when human Granny, despite her arthritic limbs, bent herself into the rear of the car and sat down beside me (I was in my crate). I can tell you, I voiced my disapproval of the arrangement VERY loudly. And yes I can keep going at full volume for twenty minutes, no problem.
Is there something about sound reverberating in a confined space? Human Grandad was sat in front of me in the passenger seat and I guess my mouth was only a few inches from his ear. When we arrived at the Newstead car park he was all dizzy and confused. Gail led me away from him and gave me a right old ticking off.
Luckily, Human Grandad recovered enough for a walk round the Abbey gardens. Just in case he should be starting to doubt the benefits of canine companionship, I took him over to see Lord Byron's monument to his beloved dog, a Newfoundland called Boatswain. On the monument is inscribed Byron's famous epitaph:
NEAR this spot
Are deposited the Remains
Who possessed Beauty
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the memory of
"Boatswain", a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
And died at Newstead Abbey
Nov. 18, 1808.
But do you know, I don't think, that particular afternoon, that Gail's Dad was quite in agreement with Byron.
What do think will be remembered of my first trip to Nottingham?
Do you think I came out smelling of roses?