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I have been getting updates on The Pig’s increasingly poor behaviour as and when an incident presents itself.

The Mom will admonish the dog and then cackle gleefully at the hilarity provided. She’ll tell you she longs for well-behaved children and pets but she would be lying. Because those sorts of children and pets are not terribly interesting.

Honestly, I can hear the grin on her face when she calls, out of the blue, with the latest update.

‘Oh, you’ll never guess’, she’ll whisper as though she was Deep Throat. ‘The Pig’s out done herself.’

I don’t even need to participate in this conversation. In fact, it’s not so much a conversation as it’s a dramatic monologue that she’s been rehearsing since she found out. The time difference gives her plenty of time to whittle the story down around the edges and bring up anything that she thinks I might miss.

‘No,’ she’ll squeal with delight. ‘She opened the big refrigerator!’

Much laugher ensues.

‘Can you believe it?’

Well, actually, it does seem unusual, but then… due to that fact, rather apt with our lot.

‘L’il Sis had to get the poor thing a crate. Then she ate that!’

This is slightly more unusual as generally speaking The Pig sticks to eating things that are universally recognised as food sources, as opposed to Elvis who will eat anything that stays put long enough.

I do believe The Mom’s interest in things that will eat anything if left to their own devices long enough (and by that I mean more than five minutes) stems from our childhoods.

Crazy D and I would sometimes take ill and have to stay home from school when we were young. It was a different time and as we grew up without doors being locked, The Mom would go out and run her errands leaving us at home under the supervision of the dog who at that time was a German shepherd. Bigger than us, stronger than us and, so The Mom thought, able to keep us from ourselves.

Sadly, we’ve always been a bit too clever for our own good. Crazy D and I would clamber up on the counter tops, in search of The Big Prize, which was The Mom’s chocolate stash. Sometimes we’d find it, other times we’d have to make due with the dark chocolate baker’s chocolate, which wasn’t sugary but still contraband.

L’il Sis as a child ate dirt, Crazy D and I ate dog biscuits and pretty much anything else we could get our hands on. Never anything that was served to us, of course, because where would the fun be in that?

Each time I come home for a visit, I’ll find new bits and bobs around the house. These are described as decorations, new embellishments for a house not in need of further embellishment.

But I think that The Mom is deliberately obfuscating the truth in these matters. Those sea shells in the upstairs bathroom aren’t there for decoration, their sole purpose is fodder for entertainment. She puts them at dog-level and then waits. We’ll be chatting away in the kitchen and after a few minutes someone will notice that one or two of the dogs hasn’t been seen or heard from. Alarm bells will go off and people will sprint around the house trying to find out which of the idiot hounds is currently destroying Grandma’s house.

Elvis will be found, in the bathroom, trying (with hardly any teeth) to eat the seashell. He will be chided and scolded and The Mom will be found in the background, doubled over with laughter.

The Mom often maintains that the three of us children have yet to grow up. I do believe the same could be said for her, particularly regarding the pleasure she takes in seeing what the dogs will do next.