Reader, looking back on my posts, I find that mentions of a certain black and white pup have become very regular, and indeed for those who don't know him, perhaps quite tiresome. The thing is, Reader, a few months ago, I went through a pretty dark phase. It was the sort of thing we all go through, at one point or another in our lives, but for me it was of obsessive importance, because you see, it was my life. I turned into the sort of person I never wanted to become: self pitying. So when Panda came along, and wriggled his way into my heart, I finally had someone other than myself to think about and it was providential. However, I don't think I managed to get rid of my demons, I simply succeeded in transferring them, to him.
In him, they take a far more vicious form. Indeed, quite often, he seems almost possessed. Why just last night, I pleasantly anticipated spending the evening reading a book, lingering over dinner, chatting up a few friends. Instead, I rescued a cushion and yelled at Panda, mourned my chewed up headphones and yelled at Panda, chased him around the house and stubbed my toe, wiped up muddy paw prints and yelled at him some more, nearly turned deaf by his barking at imaginary noises and when I finally collapsed, exhausted on the bed, watched him chew a giant hole in the bedspread, too defeated to protest.
He can be absolutely angelic for hours on end. Right now for example, he's curled up beside me looking impossibly virtuous, but I know that in another couple of hours the whole cycle will start again. People, the internet, trainers, all tell me this is a phase, that it will soon pass. But I'm having a deepening conviction that I'm grown too old for this.