I am so sorry Sweetheart.
If I had known the distress and restlessness my actions would cause, I would never have gone shopping today on the way back from the lock leaving you to walk home with Daddy.
I had no idea you would be stopping every two paces or so to look for me, or to lag behind in the hope that I would suddenly appear.
It didn’t occur to me that you would stop outside the shower block and look inquiringly at the door or that you would pause every other step going down the gantry waiting for me to catch up.
I didn’t realise you would search the boat for me, and on not finding me there, walk endlessly up and down the pontoon, peering inside other boats where I have been known to visit and you know you too are welcome.
It had not been my intention to be so long, nor did I mean to cause concern to you both insomuch as you felt you had to come look for me.
I am here now, and the excited welcome you gave me matches nothing I have ever experienced. As you lie asleep at my feet, content that the three of us are together as we should be, worry not. We love you, and will not leave you.
People may think I’m mad, but the truth of the matter is Maggie is our baby.
She has feelings, insecurities, concerns and fears just like a child, the only difference is she can only act on them, not say them out loud.
We walked into town this morning as I wanted to catch the Saturday post at midday as it’s my sister’s birthday next week. Hubby was suffering and so Maggie and I walked on ahead, then having posted my letter, waited outside the bakers for him. She was looking for him all the time, and even the offer of a bit of sausage roll from the guy next to me on the bench wouldn’t distract her from her vigil.
Naturally when he caught up, she was all over him, so whilst he was making a fuss, I went in to get our pasty and coffee, then we sat and people watched for about half an hour, sharing our meal and our drinks with her as normal (much to the guy’s amusement, and five times he said he wanted to take her home).
We walked to the end of the High Street, then turned down the alley towards the river and the lock. Our discussion was what to have for our evening meal as our pasty counted as ‘the hot one’. We settled on salad rolls, so it meant getting some salad stuff, which in turn meant a trip to the supermarket.
There is an Express outlet in town, but quite honestly they have never got what I go in for, and it is impossible to buy small portions of anything, so I decided to walk up to one of the main supermarkets. Hubby admitted he wasn’t up to walking much further, so I left them to walk home without me.
Maggie was not happy. She was looking for me all the time, and it took him over half an hour to walk about 1/4 of a mile.
In that time, I’d got to the supermarket, bought what I wanted (plus a couple of other things) and was on my way home.
A lady asked me the way to the supermarket having seen my shopping bag when I was two roads away from the marina.
One road away, I stopped to chat with one of the residents about her garden as we had watched her plant the colourful peonies, wallflowers, pansies and geraniums earlier on.
Actually on the marina, I saw a lady in a mobility scooter who seemed a little lost, so I stopped to ask if she was OK. It turned out she was a friend of the gentleman who’d died earlier this year and whose boat is now moored alongside us.
It was obvious she was feeling a little melancholy, so I stayed with her and we chatted for almost an hour!
When I was walking along our pontoon, Hubby and Maggie were coming towards me, anxious because I’d been gone so long.
Maggie went potty and since then has not let me out of her sight.
I’ve just taken her out for her 4 o’clock wee, and she was forever checking behind her that I was following. Hubby was still on the boat, but then she knew that.
At ten and a half years of age (75 in doggie years or thereabouts) she has never been left overnight with someone else, had someone look after her in our home while we were away, and on only two occasions has she been left with someone during the day.
When I went to NZ, she could hear and see me via Skype, and would curl up at night on my pillow next to Hubby.
If it is he who is absent from the fold, she will be constantly looking for him. A few days ago, our neighbour knocked on the side of the boat as Maggie had gone looking for him and simply trotted aboard theirs!
This picture was taken in 2008
Some may say we’ve made a rod for our own backs in taking her with us everywhere, but she is part of our family unit.
If nothing else, today has brought home to me that we could NEVER leave her in kennels.