Doggy December - Day 26 - The Better Day
Christmas is over for another year which means Milly doesn't have to wear her little Santa hat and hear us laugh and make her sit still for a photo.
She'll resemble a furry orange keg as she gets fed the ham, roast chicken and pork scraps from lunch for her formal dinner time as well as the tidbits given to her by everyone else as they pass by, ruffle her ears and feed her their leftovers.
The boundary of Skipper's hutch will be carefully inspected for any carelessly flung butt bullets and - if she doesn't see me watching - they might touch noses and she'll give him a tiny lick that he stands quite calmly to receive.
Birds that are used to owning the back garden get a fright when a keg-like Jorgi rushes out of her kennel, telling them to get lost, and Grandpa's work boots are sniffed. Not chewed or ruined thank goodness, but sniffed intently. Many adventures involving fish caught and missed, wood working, power-walking and camping are to be found in the numerous odours that waft up her wet nostrils.
If Grandma is hanging out a load of washing - holly-patterned table cloths, tea towels and napkins - Milly will accompany her to the line. Sniffing the old wicker basket and freshly moist fabrics is worth the trip. Plus Grandma prefers to wear thongs, so there's ten relatively still toes to lick as well.
We'll walk over to the beach and if it's warm enough, the humans will wade in to the calm, clear waters for a swim. Milly will have a long, deep think about it and maybe wander in, uncertainly, and let the water touch the bottom of her stomach. Or if there's something fragrant and dead in the dried seaweed behind our towels, she'll ignore us and have a good long roll in there instead.
The best bit is when we return and we sit together under the verandah, hearing the chimes chingle in the seabreeze. Me sipping a green tea, Milly lying on her back getting her tummy rubbed. She gazes up at me with such love and trust in her eyes that mine fill up with tears.
This is the best day.