Poor old Oslo who had been slowing down a lot finally took a turn for the worse in November and I had to take the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. Thirteen and a half years of companionship. A very sad month for me as you can imagine, I lived in a bubble of pain and grief and the house was terribly quiet. Even my unsociable cat, UP (pronounce Youpie) was stricken and looked everywhere for Oslo before realizing that I was now her only friend in the world and becoming a bit nicer! I even felt bad about cleaning up, storing dog beds, hoovering up hair... there was less of that of course, I have to say the house was a lot cleaner.
I vowed I would not get another dog. I went off to London at Christmas to stay with Nicholas, and it was all much easier of course. I booked a holiday in India so that I wouldn't think of getting another. I'm off to Kerala for a month at the end of February, to look after my body in a tiny ayurvedic centre in an obsure corner of the region, up in the hills, far from civilisation. It'll be nice to get some sun after the winter we've had.
And then, flipping through the newspaper I came across an ad for dachshund puppies... My first dog was a long haired dachs when I was 13. I had another in le Mée when the children were small. And later a wire haired. This litter was smooth haired. Black and tan. A sensible choice, no hair, no grooming, no mud. Portable. So off I went, and since the breeder offered to take her back for the month I'm in India at no cost, I went and bought one! Ellie, three months.
Well she's very sweet, she's put a lot of life back into the house. The cat is delighted. But what a lot of work! One tends to forget every time just how much work it is. My garden is situated down a steep flight of stairs. I have to traipse out in the dark, with a torch, being careful not to slip on the frozen terrace, to take her to pee every night and impossibly early in the morning. But at the same time it's such fun and she's a quick learner. So there we are, I managed two and a half months without a dog. Not bad eh?