- James Glover
Story 24: The onset of autumn puts DeDe in reflective mood
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
It wasn’t that long ago the headlines in DeDe’s lifestyle magazine were saying ‘Hottest summer since records began with more scorchers to come’. Now the papers were packed with photos of a hurricane in Florida and tips on how to keep warm without putting the heating on.
As she gazed at the photos of palm trees bending double she realised how nothing ever stays the same. She put the magazine down to take her mind off the chaos and snuggled deeper into the sofa cushions. She’d never been a fan of change and now, more than ever, life felt so uncertain.
DeDe needed cheering up, so turned her attention to all the happy things that had happened this year. It had been such a gorgeous summer. Oh, how they’d loved the long hot days visiting their doodle cousins in Norfolk. How she’d enjoyed dashing through the waves on the north Norfolk coast, and how Dante had chased her through the pine forests at Holkham.
The others had also made memories, Harley had been to the very north tip of Scotland and Lily-Poo had been to Greece, where the weather hadn’t been as hot as Camber. Phoebe had stayed at home, preferring her family and friends visited her.
DeDe remembered all the days they’d gone to Camber just as the sun was rising, how fresh the air at been at that time of the morning and how wonderful it had felt to be alive. The endless lazy afternoons spent in the shade under the tree they’d planted for Grandpa when he’d passed over Rainbow Bridge three years ago.
Thinking about Grandpa, DeDe's sadness returned and she remembered when she’d heard The Queen had died. How worried she’d been for Emma the fell pony and Muick and Sandy her last two corgis.
It hadn’t been that long ago they’d been celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. What a wonderful picnic they’d had in Phoebe’s garden, it had been such a happy doodle day.
DeDe hadn’t been sure what a Jubilee was, but any excuse to spend time in Phoebe’s enormous garden was fine by her. She remembered how they’d all worn matching bandanas of red, white and blue and how they’d stood in a row to have their photo taken. There’d been lots of barbecues and picnics throughout the summer, but the Jubilee picnic had certainly been the highlight.
DeDe prefers socialising in small doses, unlike Dante and Harley who love all the noise and tend to get overexcited. She prefers quiet tête-à-têtes with Lily-Poo, you can have such meaningful conversations on a one to one basis. She remembered the time they'd sneaked off for some 'me-time' at the Jubilee picnic.
Once they’d had more than enough to eat at the buffet, Lily-Poo and DeDe found a spot for a natter. As they settled down, Lula came over to join them. Lula isn’t a Doodle, she has short brown and white fur that isn’t curly at all, but because she lives with Phoebe she had to be invited to their Jubilee Party. Lula is wise and has learnt many things during her long life, and they’re always happy to hear her stories.
‘Do you know what a Jubilee is, Lula?’ asked Lily-Poo
‘Oh I certainly do, and this isn’t my first one, I can tell you, I remember ALL the others’ replied Lula.
‘So how often do we have them?’ asked DeDe
‘There’s a Jubilee whenever it’s a good idea to have one’ Lula replied sagely
‘But how do we know when to have one? Asked DeDe.
‘And what are they for?’ chipped in Lily-Poo
Lula didn’t know how to answer to either question, so pretended not hear them.
After an awkard pause Lula whispered ’I’m getting old and I worry nobody will remember me when I’m gone.’
DeDe and Lily-Poo saw a tear trickle down Lula’s nose. It upset them to see her sad on such a happy day. They felt Lula wanted to get something off her chest, so didn’t try to change the subject.
None of them liked the idea of not being remembered after they crossed over Rainbow Bridge. They hoped Dante and the others might think of them from time to time, but there wouldn’t be any doodle monuments like there will be for The Queen.
After a pause that seemed to last longer than was comfortable, Lily-Poo whispered ‘the paw prints we leave in the sand will be washed away, but the love we leave in the hearts of our furless two legs will stay with them for ever’.
There wasn’t anything to say after that; they simply sighed and stared at their paws. Luckily the silence was broken when Harley came bounding towards them.
‘Come and watch me doing my digging’ he said, ‘The lawn in Phoebe’s garden is so well looked after I can dig a ginormous hole in half the time it takes me at Camber’
As they walked towards Harley’s proud achievement they saw Phoebe and Dante peering deep into the ground with their tails pointing to the sky.
‘My bestest ballie fell into your digging, Harley and I can’t reach it’ Dante said anxiously
DeDe and Lily-Poo peeped towards the hole and knew this could be a bit of a ‘situation’. Anything to do with Harley, Dante and a ballie tends to end in over-excitement and far too much barking. This was not the sort of behaviour for a Jubilee picnic, so they made their exit in the direction of the buffet table.
As the Jubilee images drifted away DeDe snuggled even deeper into the sofa. She’d almost drifted off when Lula’s words returned. The idea that nobody would remember them after they crossed Rainbow Bridge played on her mind.
Surely everyone should leave some little memory behind? At the Jubilee picnic she’d heard so much talk of the ‘great legacy’ Her Majesty would leave behind her. If it’s good enough for Her Majesty, she thought, then it must be good enough for us doodles.
By now she was wide awake. She knew her furless two-legs had plenty of ‘sit-photo’s’ of them all in their little black boxes, but they never put them on the wall for everyone to see.
After more tossing and turning the answer came to her, their legacy would be a painting that would go on a wall for everyone to see. She would send a positive thought to all of them saying they should get ready ‘to sit’.
She’d read about artists in her lifestyle magazine and was sure one of them would love to take on the commission. This painting would show how DeDe, Dante, Harley, Lily-Poo and Phoebe had been the best of friends, had lived full lives on the beach at Camber and loved each other so very much.
Now DeDe had the plan clearly in her mind's eye, she did a long stretch and drifted into the best afternoon snooze ever.
Post script: This is the last story in our series and we hope you’ve enjoyed them. We would love our stories and drawings to live on and be a legacy for all Doodles; particularly for Dante, DeDe, Harley, Lily-Poo, Phoebe and all the friends they’ve met along the way.
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