He has sniffed my suitcase and given me The Look. He has been in this situation before.
I know he is wondering where we are off to this time although what he should be thinking is where is “she” off to this time. Munch has stayed in a few hotel rooms with me so he is probably wondering whether he should lay stretched out across the top of the bed or the bottom? My lack of space does not concern him and may even irritate him as he watches displeased when I try and lay in even a quarter of the bed. I know he is salivating over the thoughts of casually dropped food from passer byes and waiting staff that always appear to end up in front of him as he dutifully clears up for them. The areas around the hotel that need to be marked with his scent will add value to the surrounding area as King Munch makes his royal duties around the new place as he entertains the onlookers. This is what Munch thinks of as he sees the suitcase being packed. This time however, it is sans chien paraphernalia.
I have sat him down to tell him that unfortunately he cannot come with us this time as I am off to play Bowls for the VI Welsh Team in Scotland and there would be nobody there to look after him whilst I am playing. The look that I have had back is the “Yeah right, as if you would leave me behind, I am far too important” look. Promising not to get too attached to my white cane in the five days I am away has fallen on hostile ears. I have promised to bring him back some Scottish goodies for him, but he merely turns his head in protest and gives me the cold shoulder. It may seem like I am the cruellest dog maid of all time, but I have ensured that he will be pampered in his usual divaesque ways without fail yet nothing seems to make his tail wag as I plead for his forgiveness.
On the other end of the scale, my three children who still live at home cannot wait to see the back of me so that they can have some peace and quiet. My 15, 17- and 21-year olds are looking forward to a nag free few days, doing what they want when they want and not being subjected to my cooking. Regular phone calls home will probably annoy them more than comfort them, but it will be lovely to hear their voices. Munch on the other hand may get quite emotional hearing the voice on the other end of the phone. Just to clarify, he may not react much to my voice, but I know he will go crazy to hear the voice of his favourite dog walker who is coming with me who happens to also be my coach.
There is a strict timetable in place for King Munch’s care when we are away. The children have him for part of the day and then he is going to my parent’s house where he knows that they are putty in his paws. On arrival, he is greeted with love, fuss and treats that he really shouldn’t be having but does because apparently “His gorgeous eyes are asking for some and it would be cruel to say no”. He will then be off for his many walks and explorations with my dedicated father who loves him. He will swim in rivers, chase sticks and sniff until his heart is content (Munch not my father) and will amble home at his own pace for food. He will them lay on the feet of my loving mother upon his return and get fussed into the land of nod.
He will not miss his harness wearing duties for five days and will appreciate the well-deserve break that he will have. He will not miss the early mornings that he has to get up for work as he can have many a nice lie- in with the sleepy teenagers of the house. I however will miss everything about him and the kids for the whole five days as it is the longest I have ever been away from them. I only expect a cold shoulder from Munch when I return but I think it will be hardest to thaw out. If I write my next blog post in a weeks-time with frost bitten fingers, please excuse me. I am hoping a bit of haggis on our return will warm his heart a little and allow me back into his good books, wish me well with that…….