Well, here she is – Pip – a miniature schnauzer who is just eight weeks old. Once she has had her next vaccinations, I will be able to take her with me to see Anthony and other people.
The story behind her name: years before Anthony and I were married, I lived in a little cottage a few kilometres from his farm. I was undertaking my first year of university studies and feeling, I guess, a bit isolated. I was also suffering a severe case of ongoing unrequited love for this beautiful but idiotic older man who, instead of proposing, bought me a miniature dachshund puppy that we called Pip.
That Pip was the most beautiful gift, and the best friend I had ever had until she died many years later.
I was recently reminded (via a photo) of the special bond I had with that first Pip and how her company helped me through doing all of those assignments in that small cottage all alone. I was only in my 20s then and terribly naïve; I couldn’t understand why Anthony didn’t love me back. It is only in retrospect that I realise how taboo it would have been for him, a middle-aged farmer, to contemplate a romance with me.
So, instead, he gave me Pip.
And now we have a new Pip and I am, once again, not alone.