For the past couple of weeks I have had a little house guest in the shape of my friend’s dog. The dog is small and delicate, unlike my two, but we have worked on her desire to pretend to be a delicate flower and she has shown her true colours.

I think she has had a very settled time. She likes me despite the fact that I am horrible to her (verbally, of course, and in the most gentle of tones).

I have returned her to my friend who is making excellent strides back towards good health. When I did so, she gave me some small gifts as a thank you which was lovely and, on reflection, appropriate. What was interesting to me was that I didn’t expect it. I didn’t really feel like I’d done anything. Which is actually unusual because I love to be a martyr to the efforts I have to make, and sometimes think I do things because I want people to see me doing them. So the fact that this task just seemed “natural” is intriguing to me. I shall no doubt ponder it.

We discussed the difficulty that can arise when you are a guest in someone’s home, or have a guest yourself. No matter how much you try to tell everyone to “treat the place like your own” there is a power imbalance and everyone is on slightly artificial behaviour. I guess that was probably true with the little dog around too. I will have adjusted things for her, and my dogs will have tolerated her presence. Back to normal tonight…once the fireworks die down.

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