Little Old Ladies


So we were asked recently by a good friend living in Galway, “How would you like to house-sit for a month while I’m away?”

“Sounds good!” we replied. A chance to get away. Do a bit of writing. Perfect. We’re on.

“Oh, and you’d just need to keep these two little old grey-haired ladies company – Ellie and Dinah. Feed them, take them for walks, oh, and, they’ll need to sleep in your bed at night…”

So Ellie and Dinah are dogs, not aunties. Mel has owned several dogs in her life but I’ve never owned one, let alone slept with one. And I’ll admit I’ve been overheard making disparaging remarks about yipping “toy” dogs. So the idea of two noisy, hairy things keeping me up all night for four weeks was a potential deal-breaker. But I agreed. We committed.

Once committed, an “instruction” sheet arrived, outlining fine details like baths, feeding times, psychological history, plus post-walk towel drying and daily arthritic joint massages…

Oh dear.

But as you can see by the photos, after four weeks, I fell for the old gals, their sad history of abandonment and rescue from shelters, their snuffling and twitching at night, their distinct complex personalities. I became so good at sore leg massages they’d fall asleep, and so efficient at a wash and blow dry I could apply for a salon job.

In short, my innate dog cynicism was broken down by these two little old ladies. I got less writing done than I thought, but now we’re home again I still occasionally wake up expecting to hear them snoring softly…