Sophia is getting along fine with her new friend Fitzroy. The marvelous little Border Collie pup has the privilege of being able to do crash courses in canine behavior—often of a violent nature—with the wise old mistress, who knows every trick of the trade.
Naturally, Sophia often seems to wonder what it is that drives Fitzroy to run around crazily all the time, instead of sitting calmly on his backside and meditating.
Meanwhile, Fitzroy uses his little snout and sharp teeth to pick up, and maybe tear apart, anything he finds, such as this lavender bouquet.
Leaves (in no shortage at Gamone) are interesting light-weight acquisitions.
My ex-neighbor Bob is impressed by the apparent happiness of Fitzroy. As my former rugby-player friend puts it: "Clearly, that dog's not traumatized by his arrival at Gamone!"
As for me, now accustomed to spending long moments of joy in the sunshine, cuddling the woolly pup and stroking his belly, I'm constantly overcome by what I call the Fitzroy stare.
He could be asking me what it's all about, or whether I'm in control of the situation. He might be curious about my background, and my credentials for looking after dogs. He might be saying to himself: "What a splendid male specimen!" (Me, that is, not the dog.) Or rather: "Jeez, what a dumb-looking master!" In fact, Fitzroy's stare is probably no more than a visible indication of his simple desire to exist calmly and confidently, without wondering about anything in particular. Often, as I approach my 70th birthday (the day after tomorrow), I've said to myself that it would have been great to be born a dog. In fact, though, I don't regret anything.