As Oakely, the exquisite chocolate-brown labrador pup, inches ever-closer to my slipper-clad feet, I find myself moving my chair back from my desk to ensure he is comfortable. Then I reach down and we have a wee conversation. I stroke him some, rearrange his chin so it's on his beanbag instead of my foot and then I move the chair back to the desk again.
I've always been a pushover when it comes to a good dog. I'm the boss but I'm not opposed to contact and conversation while working. Occasionally he licks the bare part of my foot and it's okay, I'll survive.
It's been 10 or 11 years since I last had a dog in my house. After a lifetime of labradors, beginning at age 9. Wandering the world dogless has been kind of strange. They are true companions and there's nothing like a dog when it comes to beaches and rivers, and long lonely walks. To working at whichever desk or table I've had during those days out here in the world.
Somehow, when a dog is involved, it's okay to talk outloud as you write. Someone is listening. And as I have written this, my right foot has become all snuggled and warm, as Oakley has sprawled himself over it ... using just one quarter of his beautiful beanbag.
So this is a first shot, taken when Oakley was more interested in being next to me than stepping back to a more appropriate distance for my 70-200mm lens.
Oh, I should truth-tell. Jessie organised this. She agred to dog-sit for 24 hours. Last night she had him up in her room but this morning I have him while she is on the morning school-run. I'm very happy about this. She knows it. Not having a dog has been one of the more difficult things about living in places not my own.
Thank you, Jessie.