When people come to the house, my two associates bark. But with mine there is little or no aggression there it’s more of a “hello, why are you not over here talking to us. We are important and you should be paying attention to us”. Once the visitor acknowledges the canine masters in the appropriate manner, stroking or scratching, then peace is restored. We have had Chienne since she was seven weeks old and it is believed that she is my dog. Not a bit of it – she is “Andrew’s Girl” and always has been. When we came back from Adelaide on Monday and came into the house, she made directly for Andrew. It was “Andrew’s here! – Andrew’s here!, Andrew!! Andrew!! – Oh Hello Daddy” at least herself was glad to see me and made us coffee. From the minute we arrived until he went home, Chienne never left his side. Neither John (the oldest son) or I are ever the subject of such adulation. When he did go home, she remembered I was here and came over to me. Of course, I made a fuss of her but at the same time realising that I only come second in my own dog’s affections. In all of this, the little man slept – he’s very good at that. Although, in all fairness, he did lift his head up once or twice. I remember reading somewhere that ” Some of our greatest treasurers we place in museums and art galleries, others we take for walks”
Bit of a shock to the system really. I mean winter wandered off and spring came rushing in with warm sunny weather- great!! Then old man winter decided he was not quite finished with us yet, pushed spring aside and belted us with rain, thunder and blasts of cold wind this last week. Not very friendly.
The Council are going ahead with their beautifying of the approaches and the town centre. They have decided not to plant Eucalyptus Trees but Flame Trees and other “exotic” trees. Exotic means not native to this particular area – but you knew that :0) The Flame Trees are still native Australian trees, just not South Australian. Because of the idiotic insistence of planting eucalyptus trees everywhere, the place was really looking dull and drab – not inviting at all. I’ve nothing against gum trees in context – out in the bush – but I object to them in an urban setting. The Flame trees will add colour and brightness to the place and at least things will be able to grow around them. I look forward to seeing the end results of this new development.
I was only away for four days but it might just as well have been a month. The dogs set up a racket when I drove into the driveway and even before I emptied the car, I was on the floor playing with them. At times I think I sort of felt like General Custer because they did their little dog thing – run around t you in circles. It was so funny – I’m sitting on the floor they are running around me jumping in and out of my legs and every so often they would stop shower me with licks and kisses then circle me again. She who must be obeyed just sat and watched in amazement. It t was ages before they settled down and I was able to empty the car and get my case in. I love my dogs and I enjoy their company – they are my associates really. The good thing is that when I was away this time, my flowers and plants were watered. Normally she forgets to do this and I come home to dead plants, but this time she remembered.
The front of the house is starting to look nice now. During the course of this week I will start to look at the picnic area and see what I can do with that. I have looked an a number of options and it was intended that this would be made into a clothes area so she wouldn’t have to move too far outside to hang the clothes up on a line. And no, we do not have a cloths drier because she does not like them and prefers to hang cloths on a line to dry. We did consider using the area as is, but the crazy paving is just that – crazy – and was really not done all that well. Because she is partially disabled the ground is too uneven for her and I wouldn’t be comfortable having her even try to walk on it. I will replace and make alterations to the borders then decide what I want to do with it. I have bought her two laundry trolleys – one from the door to the dog gate and one from the dog gate to the Hills Hoist clothes
Anyway, that’s me until next year. The next meeting of the Presbytery is not due until 2nd February, so all being well I should not have to be away for a while. This is good – for me – for the dogs – for the plants. The meeting lasted two just over two hours – that’s 900 klms round trip for two and a quarter hours. We have six meetings per year – five in the metropolitan district (I go there) one in the country (they come here). There is only one place that I will not travel too, but five out of six is not a bad record.
I have had both of my dogs for over ten years now. Chienna we bought when she was seven weeks old, Mannie we rescued from the Pound and, according to the Vet. at the time, he was about 18 months to two years. Over the years they have been great associates and I miss them when I have to go away – even just for a couple of days. Thankfully that does not happen too often these days and the last two meetings have been cancelled. When I come home after being away for a couple of days I get out the car and into the house and the dogs are going nuts and even my wife tells me “Go out and see your associates before they go crazy” so I do. Once I have settled the dogs down again I can then talk about the trip and the meetings to my wife . Generally, when I am not working, I take the dogs out twice a day – first thing in the morning , sometimes when it’s still dark, and later in the evening after we have all been fed, wife, me and dogs. The little one – the Maltese – is, I think, starting to show his age. Either that or he is a very good little conman because I have to carry him for a little while until he gets his second wind. He starts off well, but halfway through the walk, he starts to slow down and I have to carry him for a little while. It’s ok – he’s not heavy – Ohhh a song title I believe.. If I am working, it’s only once – in the evening. In the summer when it’s hot I carry a pack with me which contains two bottles of water and a dish – one bottle for me. In the last 34 years I have had five dogs including the present two. The previous dogs were Misty, a West Highland Terrier Cross that we rescued, Buster an Australian Cattle Dog that attacked my son, and Scruffy, a bitsa that was given to me. She was a doll and everyone adored her. Unfortunately I do not have any photographs of Scruffy on line. I must attend to that sometime. I am also Secretary of the local branch of the Royal Flying Doctors Service, fundraising group but , hopefully, that’s about to end soon. I have decided not to stand for re-election but knowing how this group is with no one willing to take a position, I expect I will be secretary again, although I would like to think not.