by Paul Raworth Bennett

The cutest little Yorkie, Jenny, lived just down the street and when Bingo (my elderly Bichon/Miniature Poodle cross) and I walked past her digs, I’d often spot her through the shrubbery.

A tough little number, Jenny took her guard dog responsibilities very seriously. Sometimes she’d be up on her hind legs – all three terrifying pounds of her – leaning into her taut leash, her beady coal-coloured eyes locked upon us, her sharp bark barely restrained by a low, rumbling growl.

But most of the time it was more pleasant. Jenny would emerge from the bushes and waddle on over and then, burbling softly as her three-inch tail flicked from side to side, she’d engage Bingo in the obligatory circle-sniff dance.

Often she’d let me pick her up. Wriggling in my embrace, she’d paint my cheek with dime-sized kisses. But after a few seconds she’d get restless, squirming out of my arms as I carefully lowered her to the ground.

Once when Jenny greeted us she’d been clipped, shampooed, coiffed and festooned with little pink ribbons. Clearly, she’d just been to the doggie spa. Pausing briefly, I imagined her perched under a tiny beehive hair dryer, stretching out her little legs and admiring her freshly-clipped nails while breathlessly trading gossip with a parlour full of other little canines.

Last week, for four days in a row, Jenny wasn’t there. Enquiring of a neighbour, I learned that she’d moved away and was now likely guarding her new home.

Jenny will always own a little piece of my heart.


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