I don't normally celebrate the quarter-birthdays, but Herbie is 7 and three quarters today. But in dog years, every couple of human months is another year, so it's got to count for something, right? A pound of stewing steak is already on the stove for him.
Yesterday, we had an early night. On the North Yorkshire moors, electricity is a bit of an optional extra at this time of year, and at seven p.m. precisely, we lost ours. I have candles everywhere in case, and this year's main Christmas presents included:
1) A wind-up radio (power-cuts, for use during)
2) A portable camping stove and gas cylinder (ditto)
I just wasn't expecting to have to use them quite so soon! The wind-up radio worked beautifully (except that Radio 4 wanted to tell me about footballers in Africa... could we please have even one radio station with no football on?) An early night, two dogs snuggled up under their blankies, and me reading a book by torchlight while the wind howled outside.
On the subject of dog-parenting, I think it must depend on how old the dog is when he/she arrives - Herbie came to me aged four, with a full career behind him, so I never felt like a mother, more of a guardian to a Distinguished Otherworldly Guest. He had certain expectations, certain ways of doing things, and I adapted to those as much as he adapted to me. Holly arrived as an adolescent hooligan, a week short of her second birthday, and I think of her more as a child - but as she's not that well-behaved, definitely someone else's!