The Black Beast

anigarden 020

I did the housework. I restored all the cushions to their proper places. Ani, however, rearranged them. She disapproves of neatness I think. This, as readers of Notes from a Small Dog will know, is no regimented dog. She has a mind of her own and rules the household… well, me… with a pair of big brown eyes and a tennis ball.

waddesdon 056It has been said, by one who has been subjected to those big brown eyes, that she is my need for mischief and anarchy externalised. This may be true. And I love her for it. Certainly she is not the world’s most obedient animal. She knows what to do… but whether or not she chooses to is a different matter. If she has other ideas, I don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of getting her to do anything.

waddesdon 029Except when she really has to… and then she knows.

At present she is curled up at my feet. Snoring. She will inevitably wake again shortly to patrol the perimeter before bed, checking for intruders such as the ginger tom next door. She has done her duty tonight, attacked the feather duster and done her bit for the preservation of my waistline by eating half my dinner. But for now she is quiet and peaceful.

waddesdon 012It is difficult for anyone else to get a true picture of this beautiful creature, as she invariably pretends to be a lunatic if we have visitors… and does it very convincingly, I might add. She gets excited as we get them so seldom. Then the tennis balls come out as a means to focus all their attention where it needs to be…firmly on her. This happens also when the phone rings. This too is an opportunity for attention focussing… this time mine. I cannot blame my friends for thinking she is the mad dog I call her. She just is…

stats 40019Yet for all her madness she is the most joyous and loving creature you could meet. She may not stay still often long enough for a cuddle, but she will give you the Disney grin (and a tennis ball) and radiate laughter. She is a healer in her own right, reading a mood and giving unreservedly all she is to the moment… your moment… sharing it with you in bouncing glee or quiet empathy. She knows.

stats 4004Ani bounces and bounds, a furry whirlwind… except with fragile creatures like babies, even the baby sparrows she directs me to when they fall from the nest. Then she is incredibly gentle. Or with my son… she knows which hand works best and only takes the ball to his left. Or me, when like tonight, I need a little comforting. Then she sleeps on my feet and I look down at the small black angel, feel her warmth and see her looking up at me, wagging her tail because I smiled.

an 002


““I’ve just worked out the game of ‘fetch’.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes really, the Ball of Power is… Love. And no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. It just keeps coming back to you.”

The Ball of Power flies through the air. Quick as lightning Anu leaps skyward, catches it in his jaws, lands with a thud and proudly trots back to me to again lay it at my feet.

“You’re a clever Bird-Dog, Anu, aren’t you boy?””
Giants Dance: Rhyme and Reason, Stuart France & Sue Vincent

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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14 Responses to The Black Beast

  1. words4jp says:

    My Pee is the same way. She is headstrong. She knows what she is supposed to do but does it on her terms. I try to be strong, and not get sucker punched by her cuteness, but I do each time. Darn it. She has trained me well!


  2. socialbridge says:

    Sue, this reduced me to tears, blubbering tears as I have so much faith in the bond between dog and owner ~ not sure who owns who! It was the part about ’empathy’ that got me. My precious 13-year-old King Charles, Sophie, who I had to have put down in January was empathy personified.
    I have now acquired a spaniel pup and yesterday he gave me one of those looks that shows he is learning to read me better than I can read myself. It was an empathy I had missed so much since Soph died but my playful jet black Stan has dug his way into that hole in my heart and is making me smile again. How impossible life would be without a dog.


  3. alienorajt says:

    Oh, this is so lovely and touching, Sue; I felt really weepy after reading it. I know exactly what you mean. They are so precious and beautiful and their souls are ‘clean’ and bright and so trusting. Love personified. Ani is a radiant soul. xxx


  4. fransiweinstein says:

    She does have the cutest face. Irresistible.


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