Possibly in an attempt to distance myself from the vile impostor I spent much of my time in the garden of our house. In the absence of other children nearby, Rip, the next door neighbour's German Shepherd became my best friend. He became fiercely protective of me, getting cross whenever my mum told me off. I remember once when the neighbours took me to the beach with him and he wouldn't let me anywhere near the sea, barring my way with his big furry body. Every morning he'd be waiting at the fence for me and I understand that it took months for him to break the habit when we moved away. How sad is that! I missed him too.
What does a toddler do all day with a dog? Well I remember chatting, showing him my unfortunately tattooed doll, playing ball and, as I could read from about the age of two and a half I told him stories. As you do. I came across this book the other day. It is a bit of a mad tale memories and might have been one that Rip enjoyed.