It’s Monday and I have no idea what a lovely morning it is going to be. I don’t want to get up, but I’m meeting Treacle, the goofy labradoodle and his human Judy in the park.
As soon as the glowing pink orb is out of the pocket, Treacle is possessed with his Precious. No dog, human, smell or sound can compete with the rubbery appeal of the bouncy ball. He fetches it, carries it, chews it and protects it.
Judy, a personal trainer, throws it left, right and straight. Every now and then she “pretend” throws it, quickly hiding the ball in her pocket with a giant smile. Treacle sniffs around but is not at all worried. He can sense that the ball is somewhere near and that eventually it will just “appear” on the floor in front of him somehow.
The happy go lucky creature that likes to snatch food, snacks and oyster cards from various surfaces in his home makes his way back. Attached to a lead, we follow.
In the warm and exceptionally tidy house just off the main road Judy’s fridge holds a selection of life-advice paper clips and her favourite picture of Treacle and her, taken at the dog fair in the park.
The harry beast gets fed – raw chicken and sweet potatos – followed by an un-organic green treat which he devours on the living-room carpet. We talk, drink tea and look at pictures of the labradoodle as a tiny puppy.
Judy picks up one of his tuggy-toys from his toy box in the corridor and they laugh and play. I can’t tell which one is happier. Although Treacle can drive her crazy sometimes they snuggle up on the couch not as a master and a pet, but as equals. She tells me how he hates it when she twirls his hair and he tells me (with his big soft eyes staring at the weird noises from my camera) how much he likes being stroked on that sofa.
It is time for Judy to call her mother and for Treacle to fall asleep on her lap and dream of lazy foxes, fat squirrels and his Precious.