Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Muffin gets a big surprise     by Mr Muffin

February 2012

A few weeks ago, one Sunday morning (wet, as usual, so we were all hanging around the house, bored) I heard the garden gate open.

We all charged out to see who was calling – and I couldn’t believe my eyes.   It was only Sandy and her new dad!   Well, at first I thought I was dreaming, but then I realised I couldn’t be, as everything was too real.   It was fifteen months since I met her at Sutton-on-Sea Carnival, and thinking about her since (which I do a lot), I wondered if I would recognize her, but I knew her immediately from the photo in my bedroom, and she was just as lovely as I remembered.

Daff made coffee for the groan-ups and found a bag of Christmas treats for us four-leggeds (or, in Faune’s case, three-legged), and we dogs were allowed into the sitting room, something that usually only happens on an evening.   Well, there was only one thing for me to do, and that was grab the settee (my settee, actually) before anyone else got it – groan-ups or dogs – so I could invite Sandy to come and sit with me.

AND SHE DID!    We sat, side by side, eating meaty strips and gravy bones, and I thought I would die with happiness.   She seemed a bit distracted after a while, however, which turned out to be because she wanted to do a wee and apparently didn’t like to ask, which led to her having an accident on the dining room floor.   I felt very embarrassed for her, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all, and Daff mopped it up without saying anything, I suppose because her dad was there.

That was when things started to go wrong.   Having left the sofa, she didn’t particularly want to return, even though I was waiting there for her.   Then that brainless oik, Tom Barnaby, muscled in and suggested she might like to see the garden.   She seemed very taken with that Barnaby bloke, and they trouped off together, even though it was still raining.   I felt it was my duty to go as well in case he led her astray, and, of course, all the other dogs decided to go too, so I got no chance to get her on her own again, and after a few minutes with PC Plod, she had no more time for me.   Well, I wasn’t going to be snubbed by anyone, so I left them all to it and came back to my settee and the fire.   Apparently she’d impressed Tom mightily by doling a large poo on top of a solar lamp, which he said was no mean feat for a girl, even though she is quite a big girl.

Shortly afterwards Auntie Sandra arrived (the auntie I used to call mummy until she rehomed me to John and Daff).   I was pleased to see her, as she usually sits with me and gives me tummy rubs, and this was no exception, there being an empty place beside me that I had specially saved for Sandy.   I think she had come to see how the love of my life and I were getting on after meeting again after all this time; I knew she was very sad to see how PC Plod had taken over and spoiled everything, so she tried to make it up to me with lots of tickles and cuddles.

After more boring old coffees, as it had stopped raining, Daff decided we should all go down to the Patch for a run.   I thought that with more space, there would be a better chance of my getting Sandy on her own as Tom tends to go very giddy when faced with a large area to chase round in.   It’s always good fun at the Patch, this time we decided to have a go at Faune, because she gets all the attention at the moment and it really p’s us off, and anyway a lurcher with three legs is fair game for tormenting.   Unfortunately, we got told off very smartly and threatened with being put back in the cars again, so I turned my attention back to Sandy, and things were just starting to improve for me when Auntie Cath and Uncle Daz and Rheanna and their three greyhounds arrived for a run.  

It was then I realised that Sandy could be a bit of a hussy - unless, of course, she’s just very polite to all-comers (I really hope that’s all it is).   Once the Morgan boys, Vic and Jim-Bob (who hasn’t lived with Auntie Cath and Uncle Daz very long and you will probably recognize better as Jimmy who lived at Fen Bank for quite a while) had introduced themselves, she had no time for anyone else, although PC Plod made quite sure he was still in the frame by tagging along with them.   I asked Flo what she felt about her boys making such an exhibition of themselves, but she just said she was thankful they’d found someone else to hang around with for a while.

Things went downhill rapidly after that.   Vic banged into something (or someone banged into him), and he started to yell (he’s always doing something stupid like that and developing lumps and bumps), then Mr Paddidog had a collision, fell over, burst into floods of tears and (as we found out later) did his back in and cost Daff and John a considerable amount of money at the vet’s.   Down the bottom end of the field, Tom and various others were threatening to make mincemeat out of Faune (I’ve got to give her credit, she can give as good as she gets, though, even though she’s smaller than Discit and short of a front leg), so there was nothing for it but lots of drinks and meaty strips and back into our respective cars.

It wasn’t at all as I had imagined any reunion I might have with Sandy and I really don’t know what I feel now.   Her dad has promised to bring her to see us again; next time I shall be on my guard against distractions by other boys and she might be more used to our set-up so might show me the attention I deserve, but it made me think.    Maybe the girls I know – Smelly Sally, who isn’t smelly now as she has syrup to stop her wetting herself, and is too old and doddery to give me any trouble; Discit, who can still be quite nasty if I go near her bed - but, then I suppose I can be a bit the same myself where beds are concerned; and young Faune, who loves everybody and everything and never says a cross word to anyone (unless they intend to give her a hard time) – are better than those you think might be nice and then let you down.   We will have to see.

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