Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Muffin gains a new companion     by Mr Muffin

June 2011

You will recall that almost a year ago I invited Sandy to share my home and my bed, only to be told by John that we were overcrowded already and there was no room for another dog.   Well, you’re not going to believe it, but in spite of breaking my heart, John and Daff have allowed another in, so now we are six, and this latest interloper is a bloke!

It wasn’t unexpected, cos Daff explained to us that this guy – called Barnaby - was only coming for a week while his Fen Bank kennel was being renovated, and I thought, I suppose we can put up with anything for a week.   But when he arrived, he was so full of himself that I took an instant dislike to him.

For a start, he looks very much like Bluebell the Terrible, only bigger, and I reckoned he might take his cue from her and pick on me all the time. The best form of defence being attack, I got my bit in first by having a little grumble at him, but this only resulted in his muzzle being removed from him and put on me.   Me – I ask you! I was made to wear the wretched thing for a whole half day, and this entirely prevented me from cleaning up any fallen morsels from the kitchen floor, so I shut up. And it was only for a week, after all.

I can’t believe John and Daff are so gullible.   I kept hearing remarks like, “Hasn’t he settled well, considering he’s never lived in a home before?” and “Hasn’t he got a sunny nature; he’s such a happy chap!”, and my Wagg Worker would rise in my gullet.   Yuk!

The first morning he was here, he’d obviously forgotten he was in a home, cos he started his dawn chorus at five-thirty.   Mr Paddy said, I know that tune, and set up a descant, and this magnum opus went on for ages, until we all shouted at them and it stopped for an hour, when he tuned up again.   In some respects it wasn’t a bad thing, cos it got the grown-ups out of bed and we got our breakfasts earlier.

It was about this time that John and Daff discovered that Mr B was was probably the worst thief they had ever met (not counting the late lamented Mr Carlton, whose thieving was somewhat justified, apparently, cos he’d been living rough for about four months before he moved in chez John and Daff).    I had a secret smile to myself, as I could have told them he was no angel, but they’d been completely taken in by his cheerful demeanour.

He started on loaves of bread (wholemeal, sliced, wrapped), but by the middle of the week he had worked his way illegally through half a pound of maple-cured bacon, a kilo of best pork medallions, four slices of toast, a chicken carcass and a bowl of mixed strawberries and raspberries (home grown, too) and cream.   By the Thursday we had the tidiest kitchen in the village.   Not one of us would have dared to do the same, but all we heard was, poor chap, he’s not used to domestic life and –unbelievably – he’s so happy here, he’ll hate it when he goes back to his kennel.   Oh, yuk, yuk, YUK!

It was quite obvious by this time that he was never going to leave, whatever sins he committed. Admittedly, there are good things about having him here, like he’s a boy, which evens out the boy-girl numbers in our household (unless you count Gordon the Cat, that is, who’s a great mate of mine, but lives a totally separate life based on the garage); and when we go down the Patch, he doesn’t show off the fact that he’s raced, unlike the rest of us who don’t believe in work if you can get away without it, and hangs back when we charge through the wood (or it may be that he’s a wuss, and is afraid of hurting himself by bumping into the trees).   Anyway, it looks as though I’m going to have to grit my teeth and bear it.

One thing he doesn’t know, though, is that I’m insisting he goes with me to the next blood-letting session.   That should wipe the smile off his face.

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