Mamampira might sound a rather strange name, but of course Mpira is the name of our beloved Jack Russell/collie cross. He is named for the bouncy piece of rubber that he has resembled since he was a puppy.
He greets us - whether we have been away five minutes, five hours or five days - with a succession of vertical bounces and ecstatic squeaks and squeals of pleasure. Just like a small furry rubber ball.
He has several passions. The one which is amusing us at the moment is his longing for nuts.
We make our own muesli, putting roasted cashew nuts in it. Occasionally a hot nut slips off the plate onto the floor. Mpira, who has been on the starting blocks since he first heard the rustle of nut packet, dives for the nut with the energy and passion of a forward scoring a try for England.
The nut is VERY hot. It is immediately spat out onto the floor and left to cool. Cooling is assisted by frantic pawing at the floor around the nut - since Mpira now knows that the nut is DEFINITELY too hot to touch. He paws it an average of ten times before he dares touch it with his mouth.
He crunches it up, somewhat slowly. Then sits back and looks at us accusingly. And waits for the next one.