I meanwhile was in Cannock.
Dave’s motorhome repair shop is situated in vast buildings which were once the stock buildings of a farm. The farmer still works the surrounding arable fields as well as some managing some store cattle, a shooting range and farm shop. It is all sited hard by the motorway system, which does make it a little noisy; but one soon gets used to, and switches off from the incessant drone of traffic; and the view from Thebus’ front window – out over a fishing lake to the fields and copse beyond is really very pleasant.
There is a small network of tracks and footpaths leading off from the old abandoned farmhouse, some of which are accessible to the scooter; and all are safe from any traffic so it is fine for exercising Phoebe. Also there is a resident Beagle – Charlie. Whom Phoebe loves, and who, in return tolerates Phoebe. Well most of the time anyway.
They first met when she was only a few months old, and, though already bigger than Charlie, she was gangly and unsure of her footing – and also her place in canine society. Charlie pretty soon explained all of that to her and they got along just fine.
Of course when we returned this time Phoebe, at rising two years old is massively bigger than Charlie, but still wanted to play by the rules established back 2015 – which I have to say resulted in a very, very cross Charlie. But of course the crosser he got about everything the more Phoebe thought it a very good game; charging around and keeping just out of reach of his very cross teeth.
Also Charlie has the typical Beagle attitude to food of any description: which is, if I can smell it its mine and I am going to eat it. It didn’t take long for Phoebe to work this out, and endless tease him by discovering his hidden bones, buried long ago in odd places. Then, having searched them out, running around in front of him showing him it was she who was now in possession of his lost treasures thus encouraging him to run after her. She, thinking it was a great game, and Charlie taking it all very seriously.
If he could catch up with her he bit her legs – being the only part of her he could reasonably reach: and worked out that if he could get her to stop running he could position himself squarely beneath her belly and from there bite at her elbows with impunity. Turning round every time she did, and keeping her elbows at a suitable biting position.
I have to say Phoebe thought it was great, and as long as it didn’t go on for too long, I am pretty sure Charlie thought it was okay too. If he had enough he retreated to one of his many hiding places in the vast workshops, out of reach of Phoebe who normally couldn’t find him anyway. So all in all she was having a great time.
But my operation was drawing closer and I had arranged to her to stay over with Jack from Sally’s office, with whom she had stayed on the times I had to go to hospital, or gone on holiday. She loved it there – I only had to say ‘You are going to stay with Jack’ and she would be at the door looking for him, and I think he and his family loved her too. Jack has an older and a younger brother – so with three teenage boys to play with plus two Welsh Border Collies she was in her element – though she did come back a little on the rough side, and took a bit of retraining before she would calm down. Still at her age a little rough and tumble is good for them, and it’s something I can’t offer.
So she was delivered to Jack, and I arranged to spend the weekend prior to my operation with my brother Mike and his family, then Mike would drive me down to the hospital at Cheltenham where my hysterectomy was to be performed.