He's ten years old today: my sweet solitary blue. I know when I post in here I seem to write mostly about Cholmondeley, but I have a special, quiet place in my heart for Robinson. He really is the sweetest dog I've owned. He reminds me of a solemn little boy; if he were, he'd be a Christopher Robin type with tousled hair and gumboots, always off jumping in mud puddles and bringing home frogs in jam jars. He's not openly affectionate, or at least not as much as Chums, sparing with his licks and even with the wags of his tails. But because of this, you feel that he's sincere with his gestures of affection: he means it, and is not just conning you for biscuits as Cholmondeley will. When I bend over to give him a fresh bowl of water, he always lifts his nose to touch my face lightly, as if to say "thank you."
He can be as pushy as the next beardie, holding me to my daily routine of walks and expeditions to the garden. But if he ever gets shut outside by accident, he will just curl up, getting progressively more and more miserable, convinced that I no longer love him. He can be wicked; beardies are supposed to be escape artists, but Cholmondeley can be trusted outside on his own because he will never wander off. Not so Robinson - when in the garden he has to be watched, as he will jump the fence if he finds the opportunity and go off on an adventure on his own. On the other hand, he has never, in ten years, even thought about biting anyone, or even shown his teeth. The most he will do, when being coerced into a crate or put behind a barrier against his will, is a rather more forceful "HUFF" than usual.
Because of his quiet, undemonstrative nature, it's easy to think that he doesn't have strong feelings, My mum used to say that Robs didn't really interest himself in her at all, that he lived for my return home from work each day. Yet, it was he who more obviously grieved when she died. When I had to put them in kennels for the first time, after she died, Robinson wouldn't speak to me for days after I brought them home - he was so devastated first by her loss, then by my seeming abandonment. As a puppy, he chose me; the breeder had several candidates for "Robinson," but every time I went to visit the litter of puppies, if I sat down on the ground, I'd look down, and there would be the one who became "my" Robinson curled up by my side. Sometimes I think he would have preferred to be a working dog, that he dreams of real sheep and open spaces. But then I look down and see him curled by my side, and feel his soft nose nuzzling my hand, and I know he's right where he's meant to be.