So Human Grandad is staying in a new home. I am told it is a 'care home' Well I am pleased to report that as far as I can tell, the care is really splendid.
For dogs anyway.
You should have seen the admiring glances I drew as I paraded down the corridor with Gail and HGY when I first went to visit. It was a hot day and we sniffed out HGD basking in the courtyard. No soon as I'd licked his hand in greeting than a nice lady rushed out with a pink plastic bowl of water, specially for me. I am often a bit cautious about drinking from strange bowls, and I am not (says Gail) an especially thirsty dog anyway, so I decided not to partake of the proffered beverage, being more interested in watching a ginger cat I'd seen stalking in the nearby shrubs. Within a minute, a different lady rushed out with a bigger container full of water, saying she quite understood I wouldn't want to drink from the cat's bowl. This one did look more inviting so I decided to humour her and take a few sips.
Later we took HGD back into the sitting room, where the other residents didn't look very animated. At least not until I walked in, when at least three hands reached out to give me a pat, and several craggy faces broke into smiles. Now I'm not always keen on random people touching me on the head, but with Gail's encouragement, I allowed them all to stroke my ears, and didn't bounce too much. It seemed the right thing to do.
We said goodbye to HGD and Gail took me for a long walk. Oh yes I had a fine old time exploring ancient tracks through woods and across fields in the East Nottinghamshire countryside.
So all in all, a most satisfactory day, from my perspective.
But, well, you know how us pups can sense certain things? As I sat on the sofa besides Gail later in the evening, I could tell she wasn't quite so happy with the new state of affairs. "Bertie", she said eventually, "you just have to remember it's not all about you".