When our Penny joined the family she came with a set of rules.
Unfortunately her linguistic skills are somewhat limited, being a dog and not a human, so it was up to us to discover these rules by trial and error.
The first thing we learned is that rules are sacrosanct and may only be broken in the direst of circumstances.
- The Master’s chair is sacred territory and must not be sat upon. His chair in Herself’s room is okay and may be occupied but only when he’s not using it. All other chairs/couches/beds belong to Penny with the exception of Herself’s bed.
- Laps are out of bounds.
- The front seat of the car is firmly out of bounds and must never be entered. The back seat is fine however.
- If not in the front garden, never leave the car until a lead is clipped to the collar or harness. Just wait patiently until Master firmly clips the lead and then jump out of the car.
- Never enter a door. Naturally this rule doesn’t apply to The Manor. All other doors are forbidden with the one exception of the coffee shop where it’s safe to step just inside the door to receive a donation of cold chicken. As soon as the said chicken is consumed, leave immediately.
- At the coffee shop, if the Master leaves for any reason, even if he steps out of the gate or into the shop, just wait patiently. He’ll be back.
- Scrounging for food is fine but it must be done silently and without any cute little tricks. Just stand silently and stare at the proposed donor with big sad eyes. Herself always falls for this one. Equally, if the food dish is empty, just lie down beside it and silently look pathetic. Master will fall for this every time so just lie there until he fills the dish.
- When Master is asleep he must be left alone. Bursting for a pee or a poo does not constitute an excuse. If his eyes are closed he must not be disturbed.
I have had a string of disturbed nights recently so last night I was catching up and was sound asleep by morning. I was woken somewhat unceremoniously by a very cold wet nose being poked in my face. I opened my eyes and there was Penny standing over me. As soon as she saw I was awake she jumped off the bed.
Now the more astute of you will have noticed Penny had broken one of her golden rules. Something was wrong. Sure enough I quickly found that Herself was in trouble and hadn’t been able to alert me. I don’t know how Penny knew but she did, and knew exactly what to do.
That dog never ceases to amaze me.