GOODBYE TO DINAH
It was obvious mi dad was not pleased about this move at all.
“You’re never bloody satisfied, wench. Skoal Kar wasn’t good enough for you, now Inngs Farm has gone the same way. I wonder how long it will take you to get sick of this next place.”
“I won’t get sick of the next place!”, sez mi mum. “I slaved mi guts out over the holidays wallpapering this bloody house and just look at it how! The wallpaper hasn’t been on the walls for more than a month and most of it is hanging off the walls. This bloody old farm house is just too damp!”
“Maybe you never put enough paste on the paper, anyway there was now’t wrong with the paper that was already there.”
“It was a bloody mess George, and anyway how would you know how much paste I put on the wallpaper? All you did was to sit on your arse in that old chair and read your bloody newspaper!”
“You should have pasted mi old newspapers on the wall! You might have started a new trend, plus it would have been a damn sight cheaper, wench!”
As me and mi sisters sat there listening, I said to Dinah, “Oh well Dinah, It looks as though we’re all moving again lass.”
“I have some bad news for you Richard.”, sez mi mum. “Dinah won’t be able to go with us to Jubilee Terrace.”
“What do you mean, Dinah can’t go? If Dinah’s not going neither am I!”
“Now look Richard, I’m not going to start arguing with you over Dinah. Jubilee Terrace is a much smaller house than this one, so there wont be any room for her as she’s too big.”
“She can sleep in my bedroom!”, I sez. “You can’t tell me she’s too big to sleep under the bed.”
“She’s not going and that’s final! I’m just about sick of you lot, and you, you’re as bad as your father is. You’re getting more like him every day!”
“Well, he’s mi dad isn’t he? Who else would I be like?”, I sez.
Now she was really mad. She hit the roof!
“Bang!” She gave me a thick ear and I ran upstairs crying.
The mood in the house now was so thick it could be cut with a knife.
“Do we have to move, dad?” Sheila sez.
“Your mother isn’t happy so what the hell is a man supposed to do? I don’t think there’s any bloody thing that will make her happy until she sees mi in mi box!”
As the weeks went by we all slowly got used to the idea. Mi mum calmed down and said to me, “Do you like to see Dinah running around the fields and enjoying herself, Richard?”
“Yes.”, I sez.
“Well, that’s why we can’t take her. It wouldn’t be fair to her. There’s a family who live next to Mrs.Parkers shop who said they would love to have her. They have 2 small children, so she’d be good company for them.”
“What if they beat her?”, I sez.
“They won’t do that lad. They’re really good people.”
“When does she have to go?”
“I’ve arranged for them to pick her up one night this week.”
Well, that was it! There was now’t else I could do but spend as much time with Dinah as I could.
I took Dinah up the back fields with me and we spent our last days together laying in the grass and talking to each other.
“It’s not my fault you can’t come Dinah. Mi mum sez the house is real small and there’s nowhere for you to run around.”
She looked at me with her big browny yellow eyes and said, ‘It’s all right, I understand, don’t worry about me. I will be all right where I’m going.’
Many times in those last few days, as I remembered all the fun times we’d had altogether, tears of loss would run down my face. Each time that happened, Dinah would sit up and lick the tears away, even if she’d just been smelling some cow clap. I remembered all the times I’d been given a good whack on mi bare legs or a thick ear. If it made me cry, I’d go over to the long setee and lay face down with mi head in a pillow. At those times Dinah would be very sad so she’d jump up on the setee and lay full-length down next to me, then she’d put her paw over my neck. As soon as she did this I’d turn over and put my arm over her shoulder and we’d go to sleep together for a couple of hours.
The last few days seemed to fly by and in no time at all Friday night arrived. The neighbours were supposed to pick Dinah up on Wednesday night but they couldn’t make it.
The sound of an old Landrover pulled up outside our front door but tonight no one ran out to see who it was and welcome them. We all knew who it was.
Dinah very dutifully went to the door and gave her customary loud bark.
Mi mum said, “It’s alright Dinah, I know who it is.”
This made Dinahs’ thick cream tail wag. As mi mum opened the door and welcomed the neighbours, myself and mi two sisters sat on the couch with long, sad faces.
The neighbour and his family were very pleasant people. The man and his wife were middle-aged and they had 2 small girls about 5 and 6 years old. Dinah greeted them as they talked to her and petted her head. I’d already put Dinahs’ collar on before they came in, in case she didn’t want to go with them. Me and mi sisters gave Dinah a last good cuddle and I told her to be a good girl. She licked my face and looked quite excited. She seemed to know what was happening and was dealing with it much better than I was. The neighbours didn’t stay very long as they could also feel the unspoken feelings between me and Dinah.
“Come on Dinah, lets go for a ride in the Landrover.”, the neighbours said.
To spare my feelings anymore pain, Dinah wagged her tail and walked towards the doorway. As the neighbours walked towards the doorway I said, “You make sure you look after our Dinah, Mister, and don’t smack her!”
The neighbour looked back then and gave me a very sweet smile.
“Don’t worry Richard, we will. She’ll have a good home with us. I know how much she means to you. Thank you.”, The man turned and walked out and mi mum followed them.
Sitting on the setee with tears in my eyes, I said to myself, ‘Bye Dinah, no one will ever truly know how much you mean to me!’
After Dinah had gone it felt like something inside me had died, so living at Inngs Farm no longer seemed important.