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It was a sunny afternoon in February and Joey was relaxing in her salon.  The older children were at school and the younger ones in the nursery.  Anna was in the kitchen, producing some of her delicious lemon biscuits.  Joey was reading a new novel, with Bruno lying at her feet.  He had a thoughtful expression on his furry face.  He looked up at Joey, who was engrossed in her book.  Then he quietly got up and padded off into the hall.  Joey didn’t notice him go but she did notice him return a few moments later, carrying his lead in his mouth.  He walked up to her chair and looked up at her, hopefully.


“I’m not planning on a walk today Bruno!” said Joey affectionately.  “You’ve already been out this morning, with Rosa."


Bruno’s face fell rather comically and he dropped the lead at her feet and lay down again.  Joey returned to her book.  A few minutes later Bruno lifted his head suddenly.  He could almost have had a bulb light up over his head.  Getting quickly to his feet, he trotted off once more.  Joey watched him amusedly.  What was he up to now?!


Joey didn’t have long to wait to find out.  Bruno returned promptly.  This time he had a letter in his mouth.  Joey laughed out loud.  “Bruno, you clever dog – you knew I meant to post that today!  Looks like you’ll have your walk after all.”  And Joey got up and went to get her coat and hat.  Bruno smiled to himself.


On the road to the nearest post box Bruno wagged his tail joyfully as he bounded along beside Joey.  Joey smiled down at him.  He’d been right, she thought, a walk was just the thing on this beautiful afternoon.  She saw the post box coming into view at the end of the road.  However, long before they had reached the post box Bruno had jerked them sharply to a halt.  Joey was puzzled.  “Why’ve you stopped here, Bruno?”


Bruno wasn’t saying.  He wasn’t moving either.  He’d stopped outside a gate to a neighbour’s garden and refused to budge.  Joey grew exasperated, but there was nothing for it – Bruno was a very large dog and if he decided he wasn’t moving then he wasn’t moving.  Joey gave up and opened the gate for him.  “But what our neighbours will think about this impromptu visit I don’t know!” she exclaimed.


Bruno however, had no intention of visiting their neighbours – not the human ones anyway!  In the garden was another dog.  She was a beautiful St Bernard dog, nearly as big as Bruno.  “Where on earth did you come from?!” exclaimed Joey, delightedly.  Just then the front door of the house opened.  Mrs Richards, wife of one of the new doctors at the San, came out and saw Joey’s interest in her dog.


“They’re lovely dogs, aren’t they, Mrs Maynard?” she said.  “We saw yours when Daisy and I were out for our walk this morning.”


Joey sighed, “So that’s why he wanted an extra walk today!” she said.


Mrs Richards and Joey looked at the two dogs who had gone up to each other and were staring in to each other’s eyes.



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