I should explain about my dog hints – you are acute, you lot, one brief mention in the comments … anyway, it was that trip down south at the end of September that really did it. I kept on meeting lovely dogs and it hit me harder every time that, two years after Tilly died, I miss my dogs desperately. For quite some time, I missed Tilly and Chester so much that getting another felt like replacing them: ie impossible, and it wasn’t a practical proposition either, for several reasons. But now, I’ve got to have one. But my terms and conditions still have to apply, so I have to exercise some judgement, not that easy for your impetuous Z. The main points to consider are:- 1) Grandchildren. It must be good with children. 2) Chickens. It must not kill or even chase chickens, once I’ve kindly explained once and shouted once that they’re out of bounds. 3) Boundaries. It must, in time, learn not to go out on the road or across the fields, even though there are no fences.
Back in early December, I did get so far as to go to look on the vets’ noticeboard and I wrote down someone’s name and phone number too, but I didn’t actually ring. It’s hard to explain why, but I think it was because the notice was already a week old and I thought the dogs, two 7-year-old golden retriever sisters in urgent need of rehoming, would have been snapped up. I funked it, in short, because I was afraid of being disappointed. I’m not good with disappointment, I never have been. There have been times when I’ve preferred realistic pessimism to the risk of disappointment, but that has been during periods of entirely understandable low spirits.
Anyway, it won’t be long before I have another go. But I’m quite relaxed about it, though really rather keen.