Samantha David is a freelance journalist and writes for various publications including BBC Online, the Sunday Times, the FT, Living France, everything France, and France Magazine

Samantha David, writer

Telling Tales - articles by Samantha David


Dolly moves Home 

      At the first sight of the removal firm's packing boxes, Dolly's ears went back and worried little creases appeared under the Incredible Fringe.  She tilted her head on one side and took to following me everywhere. 

      Somewhere in her memory she knew what was going on, but she couldn't quite put a name to it.  Whatever it was though, she had a suspicion that it boded no good to small fluffy dogs and her valiant little heart sank into her muddy little paws.

      Two days later, still not knowing exactly what was in the wind but by this time extremely disquieted, she took industrial action.  No, not hunger-strike - are you mad?  She just systematically removed everything from the T-chests and hid all my lists under the sofa.

      The battle was on.  List retrieval became the number one task, and shopping for dog-bribes number two because, in spite of her best intentions, Dolly is still nuts about sausages.

      “Waf-woof-wig, Muma?”

       Yes, Dolly, good idea! 

      So I would chop up a bit of dried sausage, hare upstairs with her at my heels, throw the bait under the bed, race downstairs, retrieve a list from behind the sofa, dash into the kitchen, pack something vital and quickly slam a scarf over the T-chest before she came back downstairs and caught me packing.

      Finally the great day dawned and the lorry arrived - to be greeted by total silence.  Where was Dolly?  Why wasn't she barking at the removal men?  I couldn't bear it.  There was no chance of moving without Dolly.  There was no point in even starting to load the van.  No Dolly - no deal.  Everyone scattered in all directions.  The Great Dog Search was on.

      Well, this isn't a shaggy dog story and you already know that we found her.  So I'll put you out of suspense.  She was inside a roll of stair-carpet.  Not stuck, you understand.  Terrifically pleased with herself, in fact.  She wasn't lost at all.  At the last minute, her brain had finally kicked into gear.  Sh had packed herself.

      “What you doing, Dolly-Woll?”


      “You coming out now?”


      “Sausages, Dolly!”

      Zing.  She was out.  But only long enough to bolt a sausage and then she was have gone back into the carpet if we hadn't caught her and put her on the front seat of the car with the map so she could sort out a route.  After that it was plain-sailing.  We loaded up, locked up and hit the road.  Dolly did her back-seat driving all the way, paws on my shoulders, leaning into the corners and trampling all over the map until we arrived at the new house.

      Informed that this was her new home, she trotted in as pleased as punch, clearly under the impression that she had organised all this herself.  Then, having supervised placement of all the essentials (sausages in the fridge, bone-biccies on the top shelf, sofa beside the fire) she suffered a confidence crisis.  She'd moved herself in, but what about us?

      Panic-stricken, she started racing round in circles and only calmed down when we showed her our beds.

      “Phew!”she said, heaving a sigh of relief.  “That's all right then.”

      But just to make sure, she's been sleeping on our bed ever since. Because Dolly doesn't care where she lives. 

      As long as it's with us. 



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