It's getting more and more difficult to give Biff back. On Saturday evening he sighed when I appeared in sprigged green chiffon and a mist of Jo Wood Usiku, rather than my usual muddy riding boots and outdoor gear, for it was obvious that we weren't going for a walk. Instead, I bundled him into the car with his little bean bag and his possessions stuffed into a plastic bag and drove him back to his owners, as agreed.
Late to pick up a friend for a birthday party, I tried to sneak out while he wasn't looking, but suddenly, he bolted through the door and up the garden path ahead of me. Smooth as a Guerlain lipstick, he jumped up onto two legs and deftly opened the gate with his paws in one easy move. 'He's going with you,' cried David, aghast. And then, while we all looked on open-mouthed, he ran through the gate and went and sat by my car door, waiting to climb in.
I laughed and felt hugely flattered [his owners, who also love him dearly, no doubt felt enormously betrayed.] But as I drove away, I also felt quite sad. The fact is that life is not the same without Biff. The car feels empty without him curled up behind the driver's seat and there is something missing on the battered leather sofa in the evening, without his big black paws stretched out beside me. I think of him a billion times a day - which, if I'm being truthful is way more than I think of The Man, who has been in the UK since January. Martine says it is obvious that I have fallen completely in love with him. And he with me. Oh dear! He is, after all, someone else's dog.