|Buddy and the boys.|
As much as the boys and I would all love one of our own, it would really prohibit the number of Foreign Language Students who'd still wish to come and stay and seeing as they're a decent source of income and part of our lives for now, it's something we have to accept.
In this particular instance, one of them had been stealing from me and was shortly to be leaving us, so I didn't give a stuff about whether or not he likes pets. In fact, I really hoped he didn't, but this wasn't the point.
We love Buddy, Buddy loves us and we were all very excited he was coming for five nights.
Generally speaking he's a very well behaved dog, but he refuses to 'sit' for me. He'll do it for my eldest, but then he's the one with the biscuits, whereas I'm the one with the poo bags.
It makes people stare disapprovingly in the street, while I bark instructions he completely ignores, but that's nothing new. My kids do the same.
And at night, he can't decide which of us he wants to sleep with, so he likes to share himself around and drive me mad. We're like a proper family.
The first time he ever stayed over, he was locked in the kitchen and made his upset known, so ended up with me after less than half an hour - which was fine until he started farting. After that, I stuck him on the landing between us all, but he was a bit too big for his basket and after checking up on us countless times, he finally took himself down to the sofa, arguably the most comfortable spot in the house, but where he wouldn't normally be allowed.
On this occasion, I put a blanket on there for him. He'd stay with the kids while they went to sleep, then come and keep me company downstairs, which was wonderful. Although he didn't like it once when I closed my bedroom door to lessen doggy disturbance, so learned to plonk himself down on the floor in there before bedtime. He knew I wouldn't have the heart to kick him out.
He had his very own Christmas dinner and helped himself to the turkey accidentally left on the side to cool, despite it being covered with heavy bowls. This meant the ham that was supposed to join it in a pie was served with something else, but we didn't mind. He lived like a lord.
What he gave us back was better. If he hadn't taken us for a walk every day, for example, we might have missed some spectacular sights.
We hope it's not too long before he comes for another little holiday!