Usually, when a dog barks on the TV, my dogs know it’s not really there and they ignore it. If the dogs bark next door, they try to build something approaching the close harmonies of a male voice choir. The point is, they seem to know real life from a recording.

I don’t seek to anthropomorphise my pets. It’s tempting but it’s also ludicrous. Plus, I have a trainee canine behaviourist in the house so I know they don’t feel things the way people do. They don’t experience the world in ways I can really understand and that’s okay.


However, Pumpkin will watch bits of TV. She’ll look at the screen. She seems to know where the sound is coming from and it looks like she’s paying attention. If it’s something scary, she takes herself off to the bedroom, and sleeps on my side of the bed until I change the channel.

Here’s something that’s quite new, though.

I’ve been reading to Poppy for a few months now. She doesn’t seem especially bothered about the subject. I suspect it’s like reading to a baby. It’s the tone of voice that keeps her firmly sitting in my lap. But here’s the thing: if I reach for my book, she leaps into my lap and settles quickly. The pic below is from a time when I didn’t read to her. Obviously, we couldn’t keep going like that.


On Wednesday night, a friend loaned me a book she’s been reading with her book club. I’d gone to give them a reading but it quickly turned into a drinking session with some blather, which suits my style enormously.

The book my own book club is reading won’t be here for a couple more days so I’ve been reading this one from Louise. I’ll pop a review up once I’ve finished it but I can tell you now: Poppy loves this one more than any other so far.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. She loves my stuff most, obviously, but she seems to like my current read enough to sit still for an hour, and she grumbles at the other dogs if they so much as think of barking.

Of course, she’s always been an intellectual. As you can see.