And during those foggy mornings, when he can't go out exploring with his faithful hound, young Emi has been spending his time reading this wonderful book, One dog and his boy, by Eva Ibbotson. It's a great tale of derring do, about one boy's battle with his over-bearing parents to keep a little dog called Fleck.
I find that any book involving a dog goes down well with young Emi. He really identifies with how people feel about their pooches, and any tension that's built around that bond being severed, and the two being separated, is almost more than he can bear to read about. When the suspense gets too great he's got this sneaky habit of reading the last couple of pages to find out whether there's a happy ending or not. We haven't yet come across a dog-inspired tale that doesn't end well, but when we do I've got a feeling that he'll flat-out refuse to continue.
And on those days when everyone else in the house is super busy he'll sit on the sofa and read to Maxi, his very own WonderDog. Maxi, who never has anything more important to do, sits there patiently, listening without ever uttering an unkind, critical word.
Emi struggles a bit in that the written words have a tendency to dance around on the page. He's got a mild form of dyslexia. Through sheer hard-work and many, many hours reading about dogs he's overcome it to the point where his reading age is slightly (only by a matter of a few months) ahead of his biological age. For a normal child (if any such person exists) this would be no great boast, but for a little chap who started off a bit behind the curve it's no mean feat. In fact, allowing my inner sense of drama to express itself again, I could describe it as a little miracle that's been worked by a very special member of our household: ...
... Maxi, the WonderDog, our very own puppy angel.
So here's to life's small victories, and the angels who walk anonymously amongst us,