We have Vita back for company.
Over the last three weeks she has been too engrossed to spend time with us. Much enamoured of Guccio (he who, like last summer, stays with us while his master dances tango near the Pyrenees) she has spent her days bringing him presents (shoes, pieces of wood, chewed plastic bottles, Mr Bear, windfalls), licking his ears, dancing round him in the shade of the apple trees while he lies back and gently grumps at her and, in the evenings, taking him out to night markets where humans sit at long tables in the dusk eating badly barbequed meat and chips (slipping the occasional dog-sized morsel), drinking rough wine and shouting to each other and passing friends across indifferent music played too loudly through tinny speakers.
He and his master left yesterday, first thing. No shared pleasure of prepared meals. No tango music floating around the swimming pool. No decision to be made on where we go tonight.
She races ahead of me as we set off down the garden. But no, they're not there. The cottage is empty and quiet.
Guccio last summer