brought in a branch from the rose by the back door (aren’t you supposed to give your mum flowers?)
waited until my mum had finished clearing up poo in the garden and washed her hands, then did another one (so did Arch — it was his idea)
yapped a lot
wriggled through the TV cabinet and tried to chew wires
tested my teeth on EVERYTHING
been told NO a lot (apparently that’s connected with the two things above – especially when I waited until Mum had a mouthful of cold coffee before sinking my teeth into her ankle)
been in time-out four times (Arch is right — Mum is the strict parent)
decided that Archie’s right and the hoover is scary
cuddled up to Archie for two seconds before having the puppy crazies and running round again (he told me off this morning, too, and Mum said that’s why she tells me not to pull his tail and I need to be taken down a peg)
played with four different balls, my raggy, my bee and my new teething chew that Dad bought yesterday
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, 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…