Wednesday, 23 February 2011

In the Name of Art

Larry arrived the next morning to paint Mistress. It was early for him. Even I was hardly out of my basket and still yawning as he wheezed up to the bedroom.

“You look a bit worse for wear,” Larry said to Mistress.

He moved his easel to the left, dragging a gammy leg in a sad attempt at travel. Larry’s shirt was torn. Both Archie and I had decided that he should have got another job years ago. But then, that applied to Mistress, too. There was not a bean to be had in the art world right now. Not unless Mistress could find a hidden masterpiece.

“It’s called the natural look,” Mistress replied. She swept her hair up over her scalp.

From where I watched at the corner of her counterpane, I could see the dark shadows under my mistress’s eyes.

“Tommy bit the Council man yesterday,” she said.

Larry pointed a paint brush in my direction. “He’s a liability, that dog, and ugly to boot! That’s two of us he’s bitten”

I tried to stare him out but without success. Larry was no longer looking at me.

“One day, your pug will disappear like a puff of smoke,” Larry went on.

Mistress rolled off the bed. She threw a dressing gown around her, covering the black bodice that Larry was far too keen on adjusting. Archie called him ‘a hands on painter’.

“The session is over,” Mistress said, her lips tight. “I won’t have my dog criticised by you of all people. He’s the best friend I ever had!”

I gave a bark and felt myself glow with pleasure. My little tail wouldn’t stop wagging. Couldn’t I find a way of getting rid of these undesirable men for ever?

Follow what goes on with this dog.

Monday, 7 February 2011

A Pug's Desserts

After the biting episode, I was confined to the dog house, or what Mistress calls the ‘spares room’. The place where all her unsold pictures end up awaiting collection from artists who have either disappeared, died, or fallen so into debt, they’ve had to bunk off to the country.

Archie put his nose underneath the door and met mine.

“Smells musty,” he said, “and there’s so much dust around, I’ll get one of my allergic reactions.”

Archie sneezed three times to make his point. “Mr Greig limped off after Lesley gave him a large Bells whisky.”

“I don’t care,” I replied. “I hope he can’t walk for a week. Anyway, the good news is that Mr Greig will have forgotten Marek.”

I tapped one of Archie’s front paws and felt better for the contact.

“I didn’t know you had it in you, son,” Archie muttered. “But there may well be trouble later.”

When Mistress let me out of the ‘spares’ room, Archie and I rolled down the stairs together as naughty boys should. The snow had stopped falling. I could tell that the air outside was crisp, a lot crisper than the smell of alcohol seeping from every corner of our sitting room.

Nathan had joined the ladies, and blow me down if Lesley wasn’t opening another bottle of wine. Archie’s eyes rolled in disgust.

“So Tommy bit the Council man, did he?” Nathan chuckled. “Well, I dunno about that …”

He rubbed my left ear and I grinned. I couldn’t help it.

Mistress blew her nose hard. “I had to give Mr Greig a sweetener,” she murmured, “my last tenner out of the Italian vase.”

Nathan had a good scratch around his chin. “Fancy that,” he pondered. “A corrupt Council official. I wonder how many of them are taking bribes.”

Lesley came three inches off the sofa and lay back again. “Pour me a glass, blockhead,” she said to her husband, “and then find out what it says about the Dangerous Dogs Act on the internet. Julia may be in even more trouble than she is already!”