Let me say it straight away: humans are notoriously flighty. They are often to be found in dark corners with suitcases. They have no sense of pack loyalty; they believe we need only a ‘sitter’ (when that is clearly OUR job). The first sign of their betrayal is whispering, then comes the gesticulating and finally THAT bag. The one with the zippers and wheels; very noisy indeed. Of course, I am prepared by the time it appears. Immediately, I go on patrol and circle this offending object. I force myself to sniff it, then claim it as my own by jumping into it. Pah! Putting it on the bed is no object! Once the human starts selecting items to pack, I do, too. It’s only right that I should have final say over what stays and goes. My favorite keepy-backies are underpants and shoes, though I’ll settle for socks and slippers if all else fails. Once the underpants are firmly in my jaw, I must deactivate them. Socks fall to the same fate. All small, soft items must be rendered useless to the infidel. On a good day, I allow she-whose-time-will-come to assist me (yes, she’s still here…her time WILL come, have no doubt). Two of us and a tug of war in the front yard and it’s ‘farewell frillies fast!’ Shoes are ‘saved’ through concealment. It is a golden rule that only one of each pair should be taken. She-whose-time-will-come never joins in this activity. She cares little for canine ritual, in fact for very little other than her own selfish needs. Altruism and the greater good of the pack fall squarely and solely to me, The Leader. It is hard, but I do what I can. Despite my endeavors, the case is usually full by the time the shoe has been concealed. So, the next move is to jump on the case. If the foolish one has left it open, I roll all over the items within, leaving a clear fur trail. No-one will forget me! If the case is closed, it makes a handy skateboard and the zippers are a poor dog’s chew treat. This last stage of my preparations usually results in the case being placed somewhere ‘safe’. Finally, I dog the steps of the departing one to trip them up – they will not leave (or, at least, not without bruising to the shins). This task complete, I manage my prize-winning sit, open my eyes wide and cry intermittently while mounting breathtaking displays of sickeningly saccharine affection. I shall never be forgotten, I tell you! Never!
Frank, his mark.