I’ve mentioned Max and Tyler before. Apart from Zeph and Zsa Zsa, they are the two dogs closest to my heart, especially Tyler. They belong to my great mate who will be visiting me in 10 days’ time. Her visit will be like Christmas for me – she’s coming with the items I requested from New York (I’ll keep them a secret until she gets here and then update you). I haven’t seen her since February 2010, although we talk regularly on Skype and email, so I’m really looking forward to seeing her. We plan to eat our way across New Zealand – well, the Canterbury region anyway.

Whilst her visit is exciting news, not so exciting is her news about Max. Apparently, the poor little man has infections in his leg, which has required surgery and may require another round. I’m not entirely sure of the cause of it all but I do know that my mate was shocked when she returned to Oz and saw how his legs and mobility had deteriorated. She is now looking into what can be done for Max and I’m sooooooooooooo hoping he doesn’t need another operation.

She arrived back in Oz early June (after a year working in the Caribbean) and has been enjoying the sunshine. That makes me jealous because here in Oxford it’s been anything but sunny. She sent me a photo of Max and Tyler lounging in the backyard. This is soooooo how I remember them, especially Tyler who always has that “don’t you know I’m Dog Royalty” look on his face. I also see that Tyler has that wretched rubber chicken with him. He used to present it to me with dog slobber all over it and once I found it in my bed when I stayed during the week.

Max (on right) and Tyler, who is quite clearly teasing me with that bloody rubber chicken!