My ménage a trois
I’ve been promising to introduce my two road companions so this is that blog. If you have seen the show you will know I have two small dogs who share the travelling life with me, and you may have seen them do some tricks. They are a big part of the overall image of the show, and add a different dimension to the persona of Mr Alexander. The older one, Mimi, is a Bichon Frise and the younger dog, called Blue, a cross Bichon/Llasa. Both female. They aren’t related but are very good friends, and they keep me company in a really positive way. Anyone who knows me personally will know I’ve had some hard times lately and they have been brilliant at keeping me buoyant. It’s partly the responsibility of making sure they are ok, fed, walked and cared for that makes me forget about my own issues. But it is more than that. They do seem to be able to sense my moods and try to fit into them as much as they can. The welcome I receive from them if I’m away from the lorry for a while is such powerful expression of their feelings for me that often it’s all I need to lift my spirits. Of course it is only them expressing their need of me, but it is lovely to feel needed in that way.
Living in a small space with two dogs has meant that I have come to know them very well. Mimi loves eating. It is certainly her favourite passtime and as a result she is slightly overweight. I don’t think it’s too bad but I am always watching what she eats and trying to cut down on the food I give her. The breed is generally stocky and broad though. Bichons have the dwarf gene which is why they are small with wide heads and chests. She seems to like the travelling part of the life and sits up front in the lorry keenly watching the passing vistas. Blue on the other hand doesn’t like the travelling part as much. She always seems a little nervous about travel. As soon as we stop though it completely disappears and she is very keen to be out of the lorry and checking out the new show pitch. I try to make sure they are well brushed and looking their best on show days. Blue loves performing. She loves meeting the audience and will often walk around the audience before and during the show saying hello to different people and sitting with her favourites to watch the show. When it is time to do her turn she is there, really keen to show off and often plays little tricks on me running off and round and round the stage in a frenzy of excitement, showing her love of speed and agility. She’s a little darling. Well they both are of course. Mimi is the pack leader I think though Blue would like to be.
Mimi will perform if she’s in the right mood. She seems to prefer to stay in the lorry during the show but will come out for the curtain call. She had to have an operation on her back right knee a year ago and ever since has not been so keen on standing on her back legs, so I don’t insist on it. She loves checking out what bits of food the audience may have left behind after the show! This is a photo of her doing one of the tricks with an admiring Blue looking on:
And here is Blue doing one of hers. Both photos by my good friend Colin Major:
They both have seem to have taken to the life of being travelling show dogs. I am working on a book about our strange life, told from Mimi’s point of view, and I have found a lovely artist who is thinking about the illustrations. Check him out on www.andrewherridge.co.uk I think the idea of a book about the life of a travelling showman will be great fun to write. And another good way to keep the blues at bay. I will tell you more as time goes by.
January is one of my least favourite months, perhaps only made worse by the fact that my absolute least favourite follows it. The rain and wind are battering the lorry tonight but the fire is roaring and keeping all three of us toasting and comfortable. The other two are stretched out and cuddled up to me on the sofa behind me as I type. Hey maybe it’s not that bad…
All the best from a road near you,