Monday, November 29, 2010

I am the 10th dog.

This is a story my stay-at-home human told me.

A long, long time ago, when she was little, she had a 1st dog. She called him Cookie,  after Kookie from 77 Sunset Strip. Back then, she wasn't too good at spelling. Most of you have probably never heard of this show. It's very old.

Cookie had lots of brothers and sisters when he was born. But they all died young. When Cookie was a puppy, he had short shiny black fur. As he grew up, his fur grew longer and wiry. It became black and grey and sandy and brown. His tail became feathery. So he wasn't just a scruffy mutt, he was also a very unusual one.

My stay-at-home human knew he was her dog and no one else's because Cookie only ever listened to her.

Every day after school, my stay-at-home human would rush home, throw her schoolbag down, get on her bicycle and ride far, far away. No one ever tried to kidnap her because these were the old days when people smiled more, were kinder and looked after each other. Cookie always ran after the bicycle. He never wore a leash.

Together, they climbed hills and explored caves. She pretended she was one of The Famous Five and ate funny fruit she'd never seen before. Miraculously, she didn't get sick and die. Her mother and father would have been very angry if they knew, so she never told them. My stay-at-home human was a lot braver then. These days, she won't even let me have a piece of chocolate or a peanut because she's afraid it'll kill me.

Cookie and my stay-at-home human played in deserted rubber plantations, and tempted death some more by following railway tracks. They got wet catching tadpoles and fish in puddles and streams. They got very dirty thinking a sewer was a stream [and she got big boils from it too].

Cookie and my stay-at-home human were Very Best Friends.

My stay-at-home human taught Cookie how to come, sit, lie down, shake hands, beg and stay. Cookie taught himself how to kill snakes and climb fences to get out of the backyard. And Cookie taught my stay-at-home human how to eat fresh grass and dog biscuit-mud pies and smoked pig bones. They shared the bones and Cookie always let my stay-at-home human have first go.

But Cookie was a sickly dog. You remember I told you all his brothers and sisters died young. Cookie was still young too, when he had to make his first Very Important Visit to the town's Dr Dog.

Dr Dog told my stay-at-home human's father that Cookie was sick and would have to be put to sleep. When my stay-at-home human heard this, she started crying and begged Dr Dog to please save Cookie. She cried so much, Dr Dog and her father got worried and said, "Okay, let's take him home and see how it goes."

Over the years, Cookie had to visit Dr Dog many times. But each time, my stay-at-home human cried and cried until he was allowed to come home. She was a real crybaby.

Then, as always happens, my stay-at-home human grew up. She stopped sneaking into Cookie's kennel and smuggling him into her bed. Maybe it was because her nanny found fleas in her clothes and she got a scolding. But it was also because she discovered Donovan, love poems and boys.

When Cookie was about 10, my stay-at-home human got sent away to a boarding school in a bigger town. She was really sad that she had to leave Cookie behind. She cried some more, and she promised him that they would one day soon be together again.

If Cookie was lonely at home without my stay-at-home human, she was never told. At any rate, she was a teenager now and had more important things to think about than a little old dog far, far away.

Months and months went by. One day, her father came to visit. He told her that he'd put Cookie to sleep because he couldn't be saved anymore.

My stay-at-home human got very angry. She started screaming at her father and calling him names for killing her dog. She scolded him for not telling her before he'd done it. She scolded him for having done it. Then she ran away, crying because she suddenly remembered how much she loved Cookie.

She cried for days and nights. She didn't care that all her friends and teachers thought she was mad. She didn't care when her eyes ballooned up and she couldn't see anymore. She kept on crying because she didn't know how to stop.

There was just no other way to say goodbye.

Cookie's been dead more than 35 years now. My stay-at-home human doesn't cry much anymore. She's become a Grumpy Old Woman Who Eats Too Many Passionfruit Tarts. She's had 9 dogs since Cookie. I am her 10th.

But she's never forgotten her 1st Dog. She only has one small black and white picture of him. He's looking up at her and you can only see his bum.

She doesn't know if all her dogs that are gone are now hunting rabbits in heaven, because she's not sure there's such a thing as heaven. But it's alright, she says, they're all still here, in her favourite memories. All she has to do is close her eyes and take a deep breath. Smell that?

"It's Cookie and me sharing a great big smoked pig bone. Yum."

I think that's what you call love.

For the other Georgia and her dog, Kammy.
As some of you may know, Kammy has been suffering from lymphoma for a while. 3 minutes after publishing this post, I received an email that she has taken a turn for the worse and will have to be put to sleep.

If you'd like to say goodbye, please be down at Mort Bay around 8am this Thursday 2nd December.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

At last. A Poison update.

Yesterday evening, we heard from one of the people whose dog had been poisoned, that the culprit has been caught. I had heard rumblings of that a few weeks back, but there've been so many rumours on the ground that I didn't want to post about it. But if anyone would know, it'd be someone who was personally and tragically involved.

I just got off the phone with the local police station where a nice [if hesitant] policeman has confirmed that, yes, someone has been caught and action is being taken.

For obvious reasons, he was unwilling to divulge any more information.

But you know what? I'm happy with that.

Yes Georgia, there is a Santa Claus, and he's come early this year.

Update Tuesday, 8th March 2011   A friend went to the police station to enquire about the outcome of the case.

For the last few months, the local dog community has been under the impression that the culprit had been caught, charged, found guilty, and appropriately penalised [since it was a witness that led to his capture].

No one knew for sure because the authorities [council, SPCA and police] would not tell us the court date and have not been updating us on the proceedings. But we were hopeful.

Unfortunately, it appears the case was thrown out and charges were never laid because "the evidence was too inconclusive".

How can it be that no one bothered to tell us this?

It's a sad day for dogowners and other law-abiding citizens who live in the Balmain peninsula.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ugly dogs.

When Rufus emptied out the Very Nice Dress Shop, the other human and I agreed on one thing. Few dogs could have committed such a social faux pax and not been shouted at or chased away. 

In his 10 and 1/2 years, Rufus has gotten away with murder because he's a goodlooking dog.

Friends sometimes tell me stories about how their dogs get chased away by people in parks, for being too close. These are off-leash areas of dog-friendly parks. Why would anyone who's not comfortable with dogs being close, be in an off-leash area of a dog-friendly park? Well, that's an interesting question, but it's not what I'm writing about today.

Rufus has NEVER had a problem like that. Seriously. NEVER.

He's gone into shops that dogs shouldn't go into. Begged for sausages from picnickers and the catch of the day from fishermen. He's wandered among squealing children. Been bad [if you know what I mean] in front of crowded bus stops and busy cafes. People might be taken aback. But they never scold.

If anything, humans of all sizes and ages are attracted to him like hungry bees to a pot of fat furry honey and will do anything to entice him over for a pat, a cuddle, or a picture. Even in his current deteriorated condition, Rufus makes tired strangers on the street smile, and inspires lots of awww.

Before Rufus's diet became a chip and beer-free zone, the other human often got asked by his single men friends to bring Rufus along to the pub. Why? Because he is THE Chick Magnet Of All Time. I suspect the other human has himself enjoyed this attention many times over the years.

About 2 months ago, writing as Georgia of course, I sent a needy email to that fabulous site DrawtheDog begging for a cartoon that would make her world famous. Just a few days later, they responded that they had indeed selected a picture to draw for the day! With great excitement, I clicked on the link and what did I see?

Out of more than 80 possible stories and 1000 pictures of Georgia, they had picked a picture of her sidekick, looking silly, nose woffling at the camera. I was devastated. On Georgia's behalf of course.

But I shouldn't have been surprised. When we first got Georgia, I thought her the ugliest thing ever [as did many of my friends], and my eyes would gravitate helplessly towards the unpigmented membrane in her left eye.

To compensate, we bought her girly collars. I tied colourful Senhor Bonfim ribbons to them. Added a pretty princess tag. Threaded fresh flowers through the lot. People still thought she was a tough boy, and quite sad-looking too.

A few days ago, I was walking her down Darling Street when a man approached us. "Hey doggie, " he said tentatively, "nice doggie. She's quite old? 5 or 6?" he asked, by way of introduction.

"No," I replied, "she's just 2. Still a baby."

"Really? She looks old." he said, before walking briskly away.

Georgia is the kind of dog that gets chased away from toddlers, shops and picnickers. Even though she's 100% friendlier than Rufus with people, she will never be woo-ed, wow-ed or tolerated, the way Rufus is. She will always be the ugly step-sister.

Personally, I like ugly dogs. I like dogs that look like serial killers. I like dogs whose noses or ears are too big or too small for their heads. I like dogs that look like their mamas might have had an unplanned good time with the neighbourhood casanova. I like dogs that don't look like they've been bred, powdered and puffed to within an inch of their lives.

Most of all, I like my once-ugly dog Georgia Little Pea, who is fast becoming The Undisputed Most Gorgeous Dog In The World. And PLEASE, let's not argue about it because I know it's true.

"But what about that horrible unpigmented eye?" I can hear you protest.

To which I can only reply, glaring at you through my rose-tinted glasses, "WHAT unpigmented eye?"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have I met you lately?

The weather has been iffy and no one knows how to dress for the day anymore. Luckily, Mr Thumper and I only have 1 coat that we wear all the time.

My stay-at-home human says it's La Niña's fault that the weather is so awful. I don't know who La Niña is but I wish she'd go away and leave us alone.

The plants like La Niña a lot though.
@ Callan
Last Saturday, on the way to the beach, we saw rose petals on the ground. Probably someone got married or something serious like that.
I don't know who this dog is but she was following the rose petals too.

This is where I had my historic swim!
I've been learning to swim for more than a year now. I was doing okay. Then Winter came and I forgot all about it and got scared when I had to go back into the water again in Spring.

I don't think I'll ever be a labrador and I hope my humans realise this.
Summer is almost here and everything looks beao.o.o.o.otiful!
This is a rude picture and shouldn't be here. There is a serious lack of p.r.o.p.r.i.e.t.y in my family.

This is my favourite picture. I find it very meaningful.

Here are 2 littlies I met this morning. Nutmeg
We were on our way home when we saw Atlas, Milo and Jack! My out-at-work human was very kind and stopped the car so we could have a game. He did this even knowing he'd be late for work. That's called love.

My out-at-work human may be out of work soon.
I don't know who the brown dog is. Jack isn't in this picture, so here's an old one of him from a few weeks ago.  
I'm afraid it's another picture that shows lack of p.r.o.p.r.i.e.t.y.

It was fun having TWO [2] boys all to myself and I played hard-to-get! Of course, Milo was there too, but she doesn't count because she's too little to have such big boyfriends.


Mr Thumper fell into this pond last week. It's not deep but it's stinky and muddy. My stay-at-home human was not happy and neither was Mr Thumper because he had to have a hose down when he got home.

This is a new friend, Cleo.
She's very spotty, but I don't think she has a bacterial infection like what I had. I think she may have been born this way.

Cleo has especially a lot of spots on her face but, unlike some human whose name I won't mention, she doesn't fuss and cry over them. Cleo depends on her personality to get ahead.

Despite the way it looks, I didn't try to eat Cleo. She put her head in my mouth.

@ Punch
This is Buddy and me having a conversation. Buddy is an old friend.

We hadn't seen each other in a while and there was a lot to talk about. We were very loud. We also had a b.o.i.s.t.e.r.o.u.s game and scared all the other dogs in the park.

The pictures are awful because we were too fast, so we won't show you any. I hope I meet Buddy again soon.
This is Josie. She's new to the neighbourhood.
She's only a baby and is pretty. She was rescued from Death Row 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure what Death Row is but it must be quite bad if she needed rescuing.

@ Birrung
You've met Harley before, but you probably don't recognise him.
That's because he's usually blurry or in the dark. This is not fair. Harley's an old friend and deserves better.  So here's another picture of Harley.
I've never noticed this before, but Harley has goggly eyes.

Here's a dog you've never seen before. Her name is Charlie.
Charlie is part-Irish like me. We used to meet quite a bit when we were both pups. My stay-at-home human has a "...wouldn't it be lovely?" look on her face whenever she sees Charlie. That's because she wishes I had more facial hair and wiry whiskers like her.

That's silly. I'm A Lady and ladies don't have facial hair and whiskers.
Charlie and me share a stick. Please notice that I have my legs crossed as A Lady should. That's Barney watching. Barney is A Gentleman and knows better than to interrupt 2 Ladies who are busy doing something.

Here's a picture of Poppy hiding under her human's skirt.

She's SUCH a *g.i.r.r.r.l*
Poppy didn't like me calling her names and took me down.

Some of my friends have no sense of h.u.m.o.u.r.
My stay-at-home human thinks Poppy has the cutest nose ever and it always makes her smile to look at it.
I think if SHE had a nose like Poppy's, she'd probably be wearing a paperbag and booking herself in for some serious r.h.i.n.o.p.l.a.s.t.y. But I could just be jealous.

This is a picture of Kody and me trying to eat Delle.
Delle was not at all c.o-o.p.e.r.a.t.i.v.e and would not play dead, so I tried to grab her leg.
Delle's human played dirty and pinned me down instead.
I could have taken him easy, but I didn't because I like him. Even though he called me rō tund′, which is something I will NEVER, EVER forget.
I hope Delle's human has his tetanus shots up-to-date.

@ Ewenton
This is Larry who came to kiss me after my fight with Sammy.
Look, it's Kody! He HATES cameras. Even though he's not doing anything even vaguely interesting here, we have to put this in the blog because it's a rare picture.

@ Elkington
A few days ago, I made another new friend, George.
I really enjoyed our game!
Here, you see me cleverly using my bodyweight to gain an advantage. Unfortunately, despite looking like a sweet family dog, George was no pushover.

I've not written much about going to school lately. Don't worry, I've not dropped out. I intend to be at least as well-educated as Delle, Kody and Poppy.

By some [lucky] coincidence, it's been raining every school day. Last Sunday, it was VERY hot. Only a few of us dedicated dogs turned up for class but it was too hot to learn anything so we just went home.

However, some GOOD NEWS! I've managed to persuade my out-at-work human to teach me how to drive!
My stay-at-home human is not at all pleased but we don't care. I think it's very useful to know how to drive, even more useful than learning how to swim. I'm very excited. You can see how I'm being good and listening to everything my out-at-work human is telling me.

My stay-at-home human hopes Ms Jarolim doesn't see this picture because I told her I'm now riding safely behind a barrier right at the back of the car [which I was until 2 weeks ago].

This is my favourite lesson when I'm at school. It's called Begging For A Treat.
Delle, Poppy, Henry and me. Kody's too fancy to beg.
We are all very good at it.

*I wonder who I'll meet next time!*


Oh no!

P.S. My stay-at-home human insists I apologise in case I've been too rude to my friends in this post. Oh, and to total strangers too. I think she feels bad because she realises it may be g.e.n.e.t.i.c. and therefore all her fault that I'm so disagreeable and opinionated. Now that I'm becoming A Lady, maybe I'll be more polite soon. Until then xox

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Things I Am Learning #6

September 2009, Callala
This is a very big swimming pool, don't you think? I'm not sure I like it. Can we go home now?
Where are we going? I'd like to go home now please.
If huff you huff wanted something huff that could swim, puff-pant-puff why didn't you just puff get puff-huff a goldfish?!!^+^!

Boxing Day 2009, Elkington
And that's for hogging the Christmas pudding, Mr Thumper!
Sorry I can't go in there and save you but I can't swim. No point both of us drowning, right?

 January 2010, Mort Bay
Why is this water so cold? Why is it so scary? Why is it so wet? 

 March 2010, Mort Bay


May 2010, Bondi
Are you sure it's okay to go in? It looks quite rough. It's not that I don't trust you, but where are those famous Bondi lifeguards we're always seeing on telly?

winter break phew.


October 2010, Illoura
Oh help! Scotty! Help!!! Where's the sand? Why can't I feel it? Molly! Stop fishing please! Can't you see I'm drowning here? HELP!
Hey! When did YOU learn to swim, Tara?

Last weekend, Callan

"I can't look. Did she drown? Did she? Can I have her bed?"
Oh FUNNY Mr Thumper!