An extract from the Journal of a Dachshund (as dictated to Amanda)

This is tinged with sadness.  The Bling Thing (better nickname than the Sour Kraut) remains very much head of her kingdom, but an important part of her kingdom is no longer here.  I transcribed (!) Bling’s thoughts as part of a cheery letter to her Lord & Master when he was dreadfully ill.  He sent a message to say he hoped I’d do a Bling Book and he’d sign the first copy. Neither the book nor the signing happened.

Undoubtedly, I am the ruler of all I survey.  I am beautifully bred and beautiful to look at.  Far superior, in fact, to all I encountered on arrival at my new Schloss.

I did not, of course, chose to be exiled.  But it turned out to be a splendid location in which to create my new kingdom. My arrival was a example of serendipity (my ghost-like writer tells me that “serendipity” roughly equates to looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s daughter…I imagine she means looking for a needle in a haystack and finding George Clooney).

Of course, Bling is a unnecessarily informal diminutive of my correct title: Her Most Precious Highness The Princess Liebling.  But I do respond to being called Bling, when and if it suits (particularly when I break my fast in the morning and at the hour of The Supper).  However, I dislike my second lady-in-waiting referring to me as the Sour Kraut.  (She says it’s a term of endearment…)

Being rather more sophisticated – and of far greater nobility – than those met in the early days of exile from my first  home (and  also being infinitely smaller than great gallumphing Labradors who had previously run riot, apparently ruling the roost), I soon realised that the way to stamp my mark on all around me was to unleash my inherent superiority.  Essentially, and this is a top tip for those who wish to get on in the world, bossiness is the key: one will not become anything by shivering pathetically in a Dog Bed.

My new Court needed instruction about having such an exalted personage at its head.  With no Dachshund Lord Chamberlain to guide me, I drew strength from my personal motto – carpe diamante – and set about instructing ladies-in-waiting, equerries and other flunkeys in how my life, and that of my Kingdom, should be run.  This strategy proved a triumph!  It goes to show that being pint-sized is no hindrance to wielding authority.

As an example, I exhibited a desire to sit on a sofa: the senior lady-in-waiting, of whom I am terribly fond but I do wonder about her knowledge of princessly protocol, told me – yes, told me – that DOGS DO NOT SIT THERE.  I am not a dog: I am a Dachshund.  I fixed a look upon this person, peering upwards in an imperious way.  Then I ignored her.  The comment has never been made again: the sofa is now one of several thrones that I have – quite rightly – appropriated in my schloss and elsewhere.  Indeed, the knee of the senior lady-in-waiting has become an agreeable staging post before curling up on the sofa in question.

There were problems about Upstairs – a place which apparently carries an Exclusion Zone for Dogs. This stricture is ridiculous, especially pour moi, and I cannot imagine who at the Court of Bling might have fabricated such wishful thinking.  There are nights when the comfort of a double bed is called for.  My Court does not understand this, and there have been battles royal about where my nocturnal State Apartments are situated.  I might have a gilded basket downstairs into which, snakelike, I curl, but planting myself comfortably between sheets with my head on a pillow, having galloped up the stairs, is much more to my taste.

So much more to tell…

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