This is a quick, but very true story. It’s the night my black retriever called me.
The nearest pub to where I used to live in Suffolk was called The Dog, in the village of Grundisburgh. On New Year’s Eve night, 2002, we’d had a small party at home, I’d had a few (probably many) drinks, and by 1am I was ready to crash – but I suddenly realised my dog, Barnaby, had gone out and not come back in. I went out, staggered around the garden and down the lane, calling out and slurring his name, cursing him, but I finally thought, sod it, he’ll return, the little bastard, he’s got a name tag and telephone number on his collar, I’m too pissed, I’m going to bed. So I did. I was comatose when the phone rang and startled me about 40 minutes later. The conversation went precisely as follows:
‘Yeah? Hello?’ I grunted.
‘It’s the dog,’ came a male voice from the other end of the line.
‘Yeah – your dog – ’
‘I know you’re my dog! And you’re talking! That’s amazing! It’s a miracle! Where the hell are you?’
‘No, it’s the dog – ’
‘Barnaby? It’s a miracle! Where are you?’
‘It’s The Dog pub. We’ve got your dog here. He’s been at the bins at the back of the kitchen … ’