May I say that I did not have a hangover yesterday morning. In fact, I slept like a log until 8 am which, for me, is a rarity. I do not sleep well normally, so maybe the prescription for sleeplessness is a girls' night of gossip, good food, and lots and lots of wine.
So - I felt able to face the arctic conditions in my house, a week on from the boiler breakdown. I have never been so cold in my life - after a while, one's body goes into underdrive, a state of suspended animation. Luckily all is now well, and the warmth is creeping through the thick walls of the house, and the dogs and I are unfurling slowly, savouring the welcome warmth.
My bullish mood was broken, however, when I read my morning paper. There was the most heartrending story about a young soldier and his sniffer dog serving in Afghanistan. The soldier was killed on Tuesday, and his dog died later the same day from shock, aged only 22 months, seemingly from a broken heart.
I sat with tears streaming down my face, salty, angry, and hot, plopping down on to the newspaper. I felt absolutely desolate - and sobbed oncontrollably. I knew how symbiotic that relationship must have been between that young lad and his dog, together facing terrible danger each day, the dog devoted and loyal, his master far from home and forging a wonderful partnership with his dog. Last night the television news showed a film of these two working together, the film specially made to show the wonderful example of the trust and loyalty between them. The newscaster finished the story saying that the soldier and dog would be repatriated together, in death as in life.
This story reinforced my sentiments expressed by me two days ago, about one's love for one's dogs. There is something so very special about the relationship between master and dog. The papers are full every day of tragedy and difficult conditions in Afghanistan, and a story like this brings home how lucky we are to have these young lads giving their all for their country, and how wonderful that this young soldier had the companionship and loyalty of this very special dog.
6 hours ago