I have no idea what I’d been doing on the evening that The Avengers was on television, but I’d never seen it. In the Honor Blackman days I’d been in bed by the time it was on and later I did see the Mrs Peel series, but only the first episodes had been shown – I’ve looked it up and they started in October 1965. Anyway, not having ever heard of Diana Rigg I didn’t take any notice and neither, apparently, did anyone else, and my mother lost her temper at having been ignored. Really, it was a most peculiar holiday.
Susie was black all over with some white spots. Her previous owner believed that she was Labrador with a touch of Dalmation, but I’ve no idea if that was true. As I said, she and I became inseparable and we used to go out for hours at a time. My mother was rather over-protective of me and I had rarely been allowed to wander off on my own before (my sister was allowed much more freedom, but I was always thought of as the baby of the family and treated as such) but Susie was thought of as totally reliable and quite able to look after me.
Susie was quite thin when she came to us. None of our dogs had ever been greedy, but Susie was never confident that there would ever be enough to eat at the next meal, so she might as well take advantage of every eating opportunity that came about. This is typical of black Labs of course – in her later years when I’d left home and she didn’t get so much exercise, she became very overweight, nearly box-shaped, although it never seemed to affect her health and she lived to 16.
But this is going way ahead. She had a lovely personality and my mother hankered after some puppies in the house again, and the next thing was that a litter of eight pups was born to Susie. Simon was the father of course. They were named Muldoon, Tutankhamun, Rameses, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Xavia, Yolande and Zena. A couple of themes going on there, it seems. Homes were found for five of the puppies (my mother always regretted giving away Zena) but we kept three of them. So the next three chapters will be given to Muldoon, Neffi and Cleo.