My friend across the sea...

This is Aluana, my only female companionship in South Africa.
A 70-year-old Italian spitfire of a woman.

These are Aluana's five "geriatric dogs."

This is Jemima, the oldest of the crew.
Jemima wears a purple jacket that says "No Tension. I am on Pension."
And yes, that is steak on that plate.
For the dogs, of course.

Jemima is 17 years old and was originally owned by one of Aluana's employees, who was very mean to Jemima.
Aluana offered to watch her at some point and never gave her back.
That was 15 years ago.
She is Aluana's baby.
This is the regal Mister Dobbs.
The story goes that she found him, at a kennel, curled up asleep on top of his deceased cage-mate.
Aluana said this showed that Dobbs had a wonderful personality and spirit.
She took him home on the spot.

This is Piccolino.
He snarls a lot and I'm told he's the meanest of the group.
However, I stole his seat one day in Aluana's car so he was forced to sit on my lap.
Tough guy licked my hand all the way to the park.
He was a gift to Aluana from her employees when he was so small he could fit in her palm.
She refused him and refused him but somehow, all these years later, she still has him.
Funny the way that works.

This is Diana (pronounced DEE AH NAH).
She was given to Aluana by an acquaintance that could no longer care for her.
If you ever happen to get in a car with Diana, beware.
She will bark ALL the way to your destination, piercingly loud, excited barks.
She is the biggest of the group.

And this is Saba.
A badly mistreated dog with a heart of gold.
Rescued by Aluana from a shelter.
She puts her ears back a lot, but she's very, very sweet.
These dogs absolutely ADORE Aluana.
On walks, if they get ahead, they turn back often to check on her.

When she leaves without them, they stand in a row and watch her go as she waves and toots the horn.

She says "This car? For my dogs."
Remember. No tension. She's on pension.

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