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Growing Golden Gracefully - Living Between the Lines
It begins when I try to jump into the boot of the Boss man’s car. “Ooh, she won’t make it, she’s getting old!” they chorus as I place front paws on the boot floor and try in vain to haul my back-end upward. However much I scrabble, I cannot make it. Well, I don’t know about getting old, I think the boot is just too high. “She used to get in with ease,” they say, sadly, as I sink to the ground, out of breath from effort and not inclined to repeat the undignified performance. Charlie Brown has leapt up and out again several times at this point. “Easy, see?” he gushes. I ignore him. The Boss man surveys the problem, boot too high, dog too old, he thinks, (I beg to differ, but I can see it all in his eyes). In an attempt to lift me bodily into the boot, he almost pulls a muscle and I slide back to the ground. Now, why am I attempting such a feat? You may well ask. The thing is, the Boss and the family are going away for a few days and it appears, Charlie and I are to go with them. Bags and baggage are loaded, throws and food dishes and leads and biscuits have been packed. All that remains, it would seem, is to get me, a rather large and overweight (ok I admit it, I like biscuits) and aging Golden Retriever, into the boot. (It pains me to describe myself thus). Where has the Boss gone? She was watching a moment ago but now she has vanished. I decide they are aborting the entire trip and expect them to unload and settle back into the house at any moment. After all, it’s a nice enough house, why would anyone want to leave it? “Try this!” The Boss has brought out a low footstool that Charlie likes to sit on if it is left by a window. The stool is placed below the boot. I see their plan now. “Come on Floss,” they implore. It has to be done I suppose; still smarting from the indignities of my last attempt to board, I summon up all my strength and try to look nonchalant as I step up onto the stool and then into the boot, to a round of applause which startles me, so that I almost jump out again. We set off. It is not the most comfortable of journeys; bags fall on me, Charlie is squashed into a corner by my enormous bulk and I find myself trying to see through the gap in the seats and being accused of breathing all over the Lisa person who is sitting in the rear seat. Where else can I breathe? After two and a half hours, I am pleased to get out of there! Getting down is easier than getting up and we have arrived at a delightful country cottage in the Cotswolds, it seems, where there is a garden in which to roam and fields of mud to wallow in…no? Well, we all see things in our own way – don’t fuss, it’ll come off in the wash. As they unload the car, I can’t help but notice the absence of the stool…have they thought about how I will get back into that contraption? The week progresses with log fires, long walks (always on a lead) and some quality time to just ‘be’. One morning, it is clear that we are going to depart. The car is packed, though the boot appears to be jammed full of cases and bags – so, where am I supposed to go? I am a little concerned to say the least and Charlie is no less troubled. I needn’t have worried. The Lisa person has declared a low tolerance level for my doggy-breath and, to my utter delight, Charlie and I are shepherded towards the rear seats of the car, into which I climb with ease. When we go away for Christmas, no one even thinks of putting me in the boot. Charlie and I take turns for prime position. A precedence has been set. I don’t mind being ‘old’. Result! Love, Flossie X