I have a new imaginary pet dog. (Some of you may remember my other imaginary pet dog, Honey. She’s still around too.) My new dog is a beagle named Harriet Vane, after the heroine of the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels by Dorothy Sayers. Like Harriet Vane in the books, my Harriet is inquisitive and smart and has a beautiful deep voice when she barks.
This dog is very real to me. I know just what part of the bed she sleeps on, and what her favorite toy is, and I have already taught her a trick. (When I say “Harriet, it’s LORD PETER!” she runs away a little distance. Because Harriet is always fleeing Lord Peter’s advances in the books.) When I am feeling especially fond of her, which is most of the time, I call her Hairball.
I have already convinced Gene that we should re-do our plan for the yard, eliminating the fire pit circle and instead making that area into a little wildflower meadow where Harriet Vane can do her needful business in privacy. After all, how often are we going to use a fire pit? Whereas Harriet Vane will need that meadow every day. I know I convinced Gene because he fell asleep during the discussion, which in marriage traditionally signals defeat.
Harriet Vane and I have already been to a dog park together (we go three days a week and she runs until she falls over, because Harriet Vane needs to stay in good shape to catch murderers), and she has already befriended her crazy Aunt Molly. Right now she is lying next to me chewing on a bone bigger than her head. It’s very cute.
This is not my Harriet Vane. But I kind of wish it was.