A while ago, the young daughter of some friends of mine lost Gerald the giraffe while out on a shopping trip. The little girl was inconsolable and you might think that such a loss would only encourage her to take a lot more care of her belongings in future, certainly the more precious ones. Her doting parents though were less brutal and felt that it was important to find the little long necked rascal but having been unable to do so, replaced him. Their two year old was delighted of course to see the return of Gerald but even she was a tad suspicious given that he looked quite a bit different and didn't have as many legs. It is quite an accomplishment to pass off an emu as a giraffe but amazingly my friends appear to have got away with it!
When it comes to man's best friend though it is a completely different matter. It's not that they wouldn't notice such things generally speaking; it seems that they simply don't care. I have holiday cottages in Portreath, or in fact just down the road if we are being pedantic and when someone Goggles "dog friendly holiday cottages Cornwall" the chances are, they will see my website and if I have availability will come and visit Rayle Farm together with Betty, Muffin, Pippin or Fenton (well OK, he's not been here yet, despite regular sightings of munchak deer!).
Nearly all of these furry friends will bring some toys with them and to see them playing with their owners, you would think that they wouldn't part with that deflated football or chewed up plaster bone for love nor money. Not so - when it is time to leave, clearly wishing to travel only with carry on and have nothing stowed in the hold, they leap into the back of the car and they are off, leaving a number of toys discarded on the lawns and beside the hedgerows.
Almost poignant I know, were it not for the fact that Marli, the resident Australian cattle dog just can't wait for change over day to go and see how his toy collection is to be supplemented. This week it was a tennis ball that has seen better days, a weird blue spiky thing that had lost its squeak and an odd Peperami themed toy that looks like you are supposed to swing your dog around your head with it once he or she is clamped on. Marli can think again if he expects me to become involved with such shenanigans! A great believer in finders’ keepers is Marli but I just know that I can and will be able to dispose of the less desirable specimens in his toy collection when his back is turned and he won't bat an eyelid.
So what's the moral of this story? I'm not terribly sure really but I do know that when you come to visit Marli and me at Rayle Farm, your children will make sure that they take their toys home with them. Your dogs though, maybe not. Therefore, may I ask you that when you visit us, you impress upon all in your party that belonging, especially those that once contained a squeak should remain about one's person at all times, readily available for an impromptu game or a good chew. Inevitably, this will disappoint Marli but I would rather he concentrated more on the root vegetables that he has taken a liking to - it makes his breath smell just that little bit nicer and it will be one less thing to potentially trip me over in the kitchen!