Thursday 26th May 2011

Today is my Mistress’s nephew’s 18th birthday, which I guess makes him my cousin. Happy birthday cousin. It’s funny for a dog celebrating 18th birthdays and recognising them as the gateway to adulthood in a human. We rarely reach the age of 18 and for us adulthood starts at around 18 months old, when a human child is still heavily dependant for its care on its parents. For a human there is this massive build up and anticipation. There are laws governing the things you can’t do until that age and then there is the sad anticlimax of passing that age and realising it is all downhill from here. To be fair my Mistress said that she wouldn’t want to go back to being 18. For her life was better by the time she reached her twenties.

I’m slightly in the wars. I had a bit of a disagreement with Shadow and she hurt my cheek. I got lots of tender loving care and sympathy, but I’d rather not have had the painful cheek. I’m trying to be brave but you know how it is.

I’m going to give you young puppies just one small piece of advice today. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the closed hand always contains a dog treat. Your humans will condition you. They will give you rewards for being good for so long and then suddenly they will hold their hand as though about to reward you and you will do whatever it was they were asking, only to find that the hand is empty and you’ve been fooled. From here on it is bad news. You will always have that doubt in your mind. You will always be thinking ‘but there might be a treat’ and you will only ever find out after you have complied that all you are going to receive is a pat and to be frank you could get one of those just by looking cute.

Alfie Dog with a little help from Rosemary J Kind