The rains have gone – it was endless – days and days of rain. Boggy land, mud, wet dogs: rain and a doggy pension don’t go together. But now, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the Mediterranean an even deeper blue – a perfect south of France winter day. The dog towels and blankets are washed and the floors have been cleaned. All is well with the world except there is a hurricane at Pension Milou and his name is Flannel.
Let it be known: I don’t take puppies, especially boisterous male puppies and especially Weimaraners. So what is Flannel doing here? When his owner called, recommended by another client, I said NO in large letters. Yes, I know Weimaraners are beautiful and anyone who has seen William Wegman’s amazing photographs http://www.wegmanworld.com can’t fail to be blown away but, you see, I had a girl Weimaraner at Christmas: beautiful Syrah, very high energy, so it didn’t take much working out that a 5 month old male wouldn’t exactly add to a peaceful life around here. Flannel was too young, the breed too energetic - been there, done that, got the puppy tee shirt – give me the oldies, give me the well-behaved dogs.
A day or so later, Flannel’s owner, such a nice lady and so persuasive, called again and asked if I’d reconsider. She’d seen the website – she knew this place would be perfect for Flannel.
So he’s here. Someone send me back to school and teach me to say NO and mean it! He’s beautiful of course: velvet coat, divine eyes, when he stands on his hind legs he’s almost human but he has a few small faults. He eats plants, stones, fabric, furniture. He thinks the house is a racetrack. He pees in the house from time to time. He wakes me in the night - every night - to go out and we walk around the garden at 4 a.m. Gosh, it’s fun running a dog hotel.
My best friend, Candy, sends ‘calme chi’ by email. ‘Chi master says every experience is a blessing. Celebrate the learning.’ ‘Positive energy,’ she says. ‘Maybe you should sit down with Flannel and try to figure out how his energy is working – that way you’ll learn how to work with him. The chi way would not be to try to overpower the situation but to go with it.’
Right then. Note to self: keep bucket of disinfectant ready. Look up furniture catalogues to replace chewed items. No pruning needed in the garden for six months – dog has done it for me. Throw out alarm clock - got a live one: grey velvet with beautiful green eyes – programmed to go off when I’m in my deepest dream-filled sleep.
So, we plod on. I’m getting used to the chaos. Flannel is learning. One more week to go before I get a full night’s sleep again. And will I take him again? When I look at the chaos around here or look in the mirror at my face, wrecked even more than usual by lack of sleep – of course I won’t. When I look into those beautiful Weimaraner eyes, yes of course I will.
And so? Watch this space…