Archie (mournfully) : Our friend bought you a teddy. I am not allowed lovely soft squeaky toys.
Dexter, with rounded eyes: Why?
Archie: Because I shred them within five minutes. But that teddy is so cute. I neeeed one. If I steal it often enough, maybe Mum will give in and get me one, too…
Archie: Yay! Pipsqueak, we have matching teddies, and I’ve got a big one because I’m so tall! Pipsqueak, don’t run in the house or you’ll fall on your fac— Oh. You already did.
A little later:
Dexter: Psst, Arch — you really like the little one, don’t you? That big one is SO COOL. Wanna swap?
Archie: It’s bigger than you are, but you can have a play with it if you want. And, yeah, give me yours and I’ll chew it a bit to make it softer for you. We’ll swap back in five minutes.
A little later still:
Archie: I have a great idea. These teddies have rope in them instead of stuffing, which means we can play tug. That’s a great game. I used to play it with my brothers when I was your age. One, two, three, go!
Archie: Pipsqueak! Leave the tennis ball and pay attention! It’s publication day for Mum’s 89th Mills & Boon. We are meant to be helping her with promo. Showing off her book and asking people to buy it so she can get us more treats…
Sigh. Never mind. Hello, everyone. Sorry, the junior Edit-paw-ial assistant is not quite up to the job today. This here on my leg (which is a very good bookstand — maybe Pipsqueak isn’t tall enough to do this yet) is my mum’s new book.
It’s really cool and has a dog called Truffle in it. You can find out more about the book here and get it at Amazon UK here and Amazon US here. (Mum isn’t sure if you’ll be able to get it in the shops this week because of Covid… and it’s off sale again in 2 weeks, so please use your local bookshop’s online shop!)
Edited by Archie to add: Pipsqueak of the Spotty Paws says he’s too shy to do promo stuff (hmm – the only thing that pup is scared of is missing out). But he has decided to do important EPA duties AKA being at Mum’s feet to make sure she does some work. I think he might be napping on the job, though…
Archie: Pipsqueak, FINALLY! We can go for walkies.
Dexter: What’s walkies?
Archie: Walkies is the Best Thing Ever. You’re too little to go very far so you won’t get to the fields yet, but we can go round the little block. First of all, you have to go out of the front door.
Dexter: What? Hey? Where am I going? Where are you going? Why is there a yellow tie thing on my collar?
Archie: We’re going round the block. The tie thing is a lead. It means we have to stay close to Mum. If it’s safe — at the park or the beach — she lets us off the lead so we can run around.
Dexter: So we just walk.
Archie: Pipsqueak, that’s the point of going out for a walk. We walk! It’s an important Edit-paw-ial Assistant duty. We get all the nice smells, Mum has time to think about the plot of her book, we sometimes get to say hello to other dogs and neighbours, and it’s fun. If Dad comes we walk a bit more slowly. And eventually Mum will take us both out together and we walk side by side…
Dexter: This is cool! I like walkies.
Archie: You wait until proper walkies training starts. You get bits of sausage…
Archie: Pipsqueak, this is your introduction to ballet. Mum loves ballet – she joined the Silver Swans a year ago and she’s missing her class in lockdown. Her teacher does classes on Facebook and she does ballet with a chair instead of a barre. Settle down.
Dexter: Can I join in?
Archie: No. She’ll just fall over you. Sit and watch the show.
Dexter: Show? Does that mean we get cheese, or is that just when Dad watches telly? Yay! My teeth are ready for snacks…
Archie: No snacks — we can’t have crunching during ballet! Listen: the music’s really relaxing. Just copy me; chill out and nap. You’ll get the hang of it, Pipsqueak.
(Some minutes later) Dexter: zzzz.
Dexter, dreaming: hey, Arch, look. I’m a doggy ballerina. I’m practising my turnout in second and my port de bras, just like Mum. You could even call me Sleeping Beauty… (See what I did there?)
Archie: Listen up, Pipsqueak. Tonight’s pasta night. That means Mum browns the minced [ground, for American friends] beef and sets aside a bit for us before she adds the veg for spaghetti Bolognese. Then we get it mixed with our kibble. Best day of the week! We don’t woof at the table, and we sit nicely.
We also have kitchen duties. We sit at her feet and wait for the carrot peelings. We are the Special Carrot Disposal Unit.
Archie, sighing: It seems our Pipsqueak hasn’t quite got the hang of kitchen duties…