Lark’s Diary VI

I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to write my diary. It’s because I have discovered the bestest thing ever! Children! We have had children visiting and although I didn’t know if I would like them, I think they are brilliant and I would like to see more. First we had the Norwegian children, Ask and Liv and they played and played with me. Then we had Caitlyn and Aiden who were taller and talked to me in English. Now we have just said goodbye to Patrick and Isla who were a little bit smaller than Caitlyn and Aiden but taller than Ask and Liv. I’m not sure if it means they are different breeds of children or if they are just older but they all chased me and ran around and I even got extra treats and helped them finish their meals so I think officially that children are the best thing ever.

Mum took me and Archie to see Dr Bum. He is a man who looks after animals and Mum says he usually starts with putting a thermometer up our bottoms and that’s why he’s called Dr Bum. He looked me over and checked my teeth and said I was a good girl. He looked at Archie, too, and said he was in very good condition but he didn’t use his thermometer which I am glad about. I am not sure what a thermometer is but I don’t want anything put up my bottom. I’m sure Mum wouldn’t let him.

We did have a horrible day when Mum went to hospital. Jan, the cleaner, was looking after us and I didn’t like Mum going out without me so I cried and sang the song of my people. Jan thought I would be happy if I sat in the conservatory with Archie because he was sleeping and not crying so she put me in there while she got on with the cleaning. I thought it would be better if I could see the big gate to see if Mum was coming home yet so I tore the blinds off so I could see out easily. When Jan came back, she said she thought she would have a heart attack, although she didn’t, and she phoned Mum to tell her about the blinds. Then she put me in my crate because she had to leave and by the time Mum came home, I had bent the bars on my crate and pushed the tray out of the bottom. I don’t like it when Mum goes out but she says she can’t always take me with her. I don’t know why. I’d be good, even in a hospital but Mum says they won’t let me in. I could go and cheer up the people seeing the doctor. I don’t know if their doctors are also called Dr Bum but seeing a little dog like me would cheer anyone up, surely.

We also went on a long journey to a place called Chester to see Ruth and Philip. I hadn’t met them before but Archie knows them and likes them. It was a long drive and when we got there, Mark gave us a sausage each. Archie ate his in two bites but I was clever and buried mine in the garden so next time we go there will be a sausage tree! I like burying things in the garden because then I can go and dig them up again only sometimes I can’t remember where I buried them. Real bones are the best thing to bury. Bonio go a big soggy.

We have had lots of visitors lately and Peter brought his dog, Ludo, with him. I didn’t like Ludo. I think he was coming to take my Mum away so I shouted at him a lot and tried to nip him on the bottom. Archie said it wasn’t the way to behave with a guest and put my head in his mouth but I wasn’t keen on Ludo at all. Until he was just about to leave and then I started to think he was OK. Maybe he’ll come back and I’ll like him next time. Archie is a bit of a tell-tale, though. It has been raining a lot and I really don’t like going to the toilet in the rain. I don’t know why Mum takes me out on my lead so we can stand in the rain for 10 minutes when I can just do a quick wee as soon as we get back in the dry. Archie was on his sofa in the conservatory and I had to have a poo so I did one quickly and he barked at me and told me off. Mum heard and came in and said “Oh, Lark!” which she says quite often these days. I think I’m back in the dog house again.

MPs surgery

As you know, I live a wild and exciting life here in suburban West London. Are we truly in the suburbs? At 7 miles from the very central point of London, I suppose so although on a good day, one might walk into the centre. Anyway, I am invited to a conference called  Britain Against Cancer, as though there were a pro cancer rally we might go and protest at. I also think this is a bunfight I might invite some of my chums to and several of them accept. The venue is the Central Westminster Hall, just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. I arrive and start a perambulation of the exhibition, watching for my nemesis. I grill each exhibitor about their use of patient and public in their work and receive fairly satisfactory responses from each although some people are clearly slightly alarmed by my questioning. I am joined by 2 lovely friends, Ms de Roeck and Ms Marsden as a rather damp young man is showing me how I can find out how good my hospital is according to patients.

After a while, we take our seats and have chatted for so long, the only seats left are on a table at the front of the auditorium. We duly sit and listen to John Baron MP tell us how well the cross-party group has done. We have a speech from Andy Burnham MP and then, towards the end, Jeremy Hunt MP honours us with his presence. I cannot like the man who seems over-caffeinated and slightly manic in his attempts to smile and speak at the same time. It is an interesting day but does not inspire confidence in that there is no further money for cancer services and the Government still seems to be hell bent on dismantling the NHS without admitting it. During the speeches I sneak some shots of our political speakers and luckily am not thrown out for doing so although I have a bit of a record in that department. I also cunningly take a photo of the inside of my bag, so anxious am I not to be discovered this time.

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I did have a very wobbly photo of Andy Burnham but decided using it may look as though I were overawed in his presence which was decidedly not the case. We forget to take any selfies although I have to say we all looked indisputably gorgeous on the day.

Mid-week brings surgery for Dog. He has had a small growth in his mouth for a while and, despite anti-inflammatory medication from Dr Bum, it has not gone away so the only option is to remove it before it forces his teeth in wayward directions. I am concerned about how he will take to surgery. Having been abandoned at a young age, he is understandingly cagey about losing us and so tends to be a little anxious. He is not fond of Dr Bum at the best of times and I am really not sure how he will fare being left there alone. They are an accommodating lot at Dr Bum’s surgery and agree we can take him in 2 hours after the rest of the animals so he will not be there long before his operation. When we go to collect him, Dr Bum says Dog might be a bit sleepy and he certainly needs encouraging into the car. Once home, Dog stands in the middle of the sitting room, staring glassily into space. After a while, he descends into the sphinx-like posture he adopts when not really relaxed. In total overkill, I give him my sheepskin coat to lie on in front of the fire. Did I mention we no longer have offspring at home? He sits, sphinx-like for some time just staring into space until I scoop up his back legs and arrange them tidily to the side before taking his front half and laying him down on the floor. He makes no protest at all but continues to enjoy all the benefits of large amounts of anaesthetic and pain killers.

The following day, Dog is subdued but manages to eat a Bonio which Mr Mason gives him without thinking. He chomps it down without a thought to his tender mouth – Dog, not Mr Mason. Mr Mason may enjoy his food but draws the line at Bonio. Dog will no longer allow me to rearrange his back legs so we know he is very much on the mend. When Dog is taken back for his once-over, he is pronounced fit and discharged. We are several hundred pounds lighter and hoping the insurance company will cough up. What’s the betting there will shortly be an insurance company rant on the blog?