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She shut the garden gate with a clank, and looked up the garden path to the big sitting room window. Sure enough, within a few seconds, a face appeared. Bouncy ears, caramel brown and white fur, and a wet nose. He barked, and bounced. She knew he’d recognised her.

As she walked up the path, he bounced up and down in the window, and his tail started to wag.

By the time she came around the corner of the house to the back door, he was in the kitchen waiting. When she opened the door, that’s when the wagging really started. It began in his tail, like any other wag, but it didn’t stop there. He wagged his entire body, paws dancing across the lino, wiggling from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. She dropped her bag by the door and, not caring about the fact that both shades of his fur would show up horrifically on her black woollen coat, knelt down to put her arms around him, rubbing his chest with one hand and his side with the other.

A big doggy grin on his face, he leaned into her and enjoyed the attention.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note:  Jip was my dad’s dog, really – but he came home on my birthday so I always felt like he was partly mine. He was as daft as a brush, adorable, beautiful, cuddly and excitable- but also an old chap. He went to the vets on Monday, and my dad sent me a text this afternoon to tell me he wasn’t coming back. Rest in peace, Jippydog.)