Not having seen Pif for several days, I was happy to glimpse his tiny black silhouette this morning. He stood strangely still at a corner of the road, gazing down towards Sophia and me.
I sensed immediately that there was a change in Pif's behavior, for he seemed to hesitate before coming down to meet up with us. But, after a few minutes, he finally dashed down.
I was amused to see that Pif now wears a nice little blue metal badge informing us that he has an electronic chip implanted in his body. For Alison to resort to such technology, I would guess that Pif has probably been doing a few disappearing tricks over the last couple of weeks.
After romping around with Sophia for twenty minutes or so, Pif was happy to gulp down the usual food I offer him whenever he visits us.
As always, he splashed his broad snout around in the bowl of water in front of the house.
Then, he surprised me by calmly trotting off back home, like a wise little dog. This behavior was so unexpected that I wondered, for an instant, whether Pif might not be under the influence of a mysterious high-tech homing device. A more plausible explanation: Maybe Pif has simply attained the canine equivalent of the age of reason.
PS As of this morning (Wednesday 17), I realized that my belief that Pif might have attained an age of wisdom was probably a false alert. The dog arrived here early this morning, as excited as ever, to race around madly with Sophia, well before his mistress left their house on her noisy scooter. And there are no signs yet that he's thinking of trotting back up home. Meanwhile, I've reminded Pif that, once he leaves Gamone and settles in Spain with his mistress, Sophia and I will expect him to send us a postcard from time to time.
I've just spoken with Alison Morin. She tells me they'll be leaving for Spain next Monday. I'm relieved to learn that Pif gets on wonderfully well with other dogs, and that he does in fact calm down and behave himself when he's in a new and unknown environment. In Spain, he'll be living with Alison in a house that is ready to welcome him. As for his electronic chip, Alison tells me that it was actually implanted several months ago, but she had only recently thought of attaching the badge to Pif's collar. Apparently, as of next year, all domestic animals (such as Sophia, Gavroche, Moshé and Mandrin) will need to carry such chips. Maybe I should ask the authorities if they can install one in me, too. Who knows? It might turn out to be useful...