We always used to joke around in the space station by telling each other about the space chimp. The Russians sent a chimp into space- you may have heard- and it managed to do just fine. So whenever any of us had problems with a task, we’d just say something like ‘if a chimp could do it…’
It was funny at least the first few times! I still chuckle whenever I hear about it, although to this day I don’t really know what happened to the chimp. Maybe it founded a moon colony. Peggy was the only one who never laughed, because she’d left her beloved poodle back in Melbourne, with dog walkers on an endless duty to make sure she was looked after. I’m not big on dogs myself, but I gained a sort of appreciation for how people can be fond of them. Whenever Peggy had the chance to call down to Earth, she’d always pass up the chance to talk to any of her family, since she was too concerned about her poodle. Not once did I hear the poodle talking back to her, but the dog walkers were always on reassuring her about the same things, over and over. Yes, she’s getting enough water. Her coat just had a trim, she’s just had a bath, she’d been a bit down today, maybe she misses her mistress, all that. I think they were just making up after a while, maybe after the novelty of talking to an astronaut faded and they were just having the same conversation over and over with a concerned owner.
And there were no secrets on the space station! We could hear all her conversations, and Peggy didn’t care. As long as smoochums was doing well, she didn’t care. One of the dog walkers brought the dog to base once we got back, and I’d never seen Peggy that happy. Maybe dogs really are worth it, for all the joy they bring. Perhaps I should get one? At least I can rest assured I wouldn’t have to look around Melbourne for a dog walking service. I’ll just call Peggy- she knows them all.