September 7th, 1997

Now We Are Four

Funny is back to town. Who's Funny? No, it's not my virtual Tamagotchi which Hanna has bought me to keep me entertained and quiet while she skips her uni lessons and does something more interesting. Besides Funny is not an "it" but a "she" and she's a dog, too. Some people (those who might say I'm a Shetland sheepdog) call her a flat-coated retriever. I'm not at all sure whether they should be trusted or not though.

Funny shares my flat with Hanna and me and Lea who's apparently owned by Funny or something like that. I know Hanna thinks she owns me and the same with Lea and Funny. But that only shows how stupid human beings are. The most comfortable way to master somebody is so that he doesn't ever notice he's being mastered, and that's what we dogs do very cleverly. Every dog knows how things are in the real world, not in this virtual one which humans believe they rule.

Anyway, Funny spent a pleasant summer in the countryside just like me. Now she's come to share my tragedy of being a victim of urbanisation (and possibly also civilisation because without universities I wouldn't be stuck here) which of course is rather comforting. That's almost the only thing we have in common though and we aren't exactly friends. We're not enemies either but rather neighbours who don't mind each other too much.

I suppose I'm not much of a social dog. I like living in my own worlds and don't pay attention to what happens around me unless it's got something to do with food of course. Luckily I'm smaller than Funny as it gives me certain privileges. My kitchen is just big enough for two people and one little dog to cook at the same time. So if Hanna and Lea are in the kitchen there is no room for Funny but for me there is. If you think this is stupid and insignificant, your lack of empathy is remarkable. If I'm forced to eat only twice a day and even that when Her Majesty wants to feed me, I should at least have the right to be in my kitchen whenever I feel like that.

It's true Funny sometimes misuses her bigger size. Unfortunately also our dining-table is rather small: only one big dog or two small ones can lie under it at a time. And what is even sadder, both Funny and me find this particular space very appealing when somebody is eating since humans usually are careless enough to drop part of their foods. That then is available for early birds only - and if Funny is one I have no chances to get her out of the way.

Besides of cooking and eating Funny had better not exist when Hanna or Lea comes home. Unfortunately shared attention is only half of the attention and Hanna usually completely forgets it's me who owns her and not at all Funny. On the other hand, Funny brought along Lea who also comes home sometimes so maybe we're even. In any case three is better than one if you like shepherding which we shepherds usually do.

As I said, I don't have much against Funny. She's a funny dog... some of her habits are pretty curious. If she's happy it's not enough to wag her big tail. No, she desperately wants to carry something around. I don't mind it too much as long as that something isn't me or anything I own. Sometimes she does err and picks up my dear Viivi instead of dirty stockings, the newspaper or her own toys. To my relief also Lea and Hanna think there is something wrong with this and hurry to save Viivi's soul as I'm too much a gentledog to start arguing with Funny.

Another strange habit Funny has is her love for long walks. When she had just moved in with Lea, Hanna wanted to train me to be a walking dog too so we used to walk all together pretty often. Pure madness I do say... a walk of an hour was a short one! Luckily Hanna decided in time that I'm too old to ever become an active dog and nowadays she lets me rest in peace most of the time. Funny of course goes on as always before and there's no talk of her being fat though she likes food at least as much as I do. Hmph.

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