Monday, June 10, 2013

An encounter in The Far North.

Dear Georgia, 

We're finally almost at the end of our road trip! Just 4 more sleeps to go before we're all back together again in our own comfy beds. I can't wait.
We were at the top of New Zealand a few days ago. Did you see me waving to you from across the Tasman?

It's been an interesting experience, looking for a new home for us. I think we may have found a few towns you'll like, and a couple you definitely won't.
We even found an extraordinary house, just a few roads away from where we are now! I know you won't believe me but it comes with a big waterfall, a deep pool and stream, and a forest with walking tracks! 
We visited it twice in 2 days and came very close to taking that leap of faith that Cushion always talks about. What fun it would be to walk on your own bush tracks! sleep on a hammock slung between 2 trees in your own forest! and bathe in your own waterfall!

Okay, maybe that last bit won't be so much fun for you.

But if we bought that house, Georgia, you wouldn't be able to walk in that forest because it's a special protected area, and we wouldn't be allowed to have more than 2 dogs at a time. "There are some new subdivisions here where you're not allowed to have dogs or cats at all," Mr Real Estate Agent said, trying to make us feel better. Imagine that.

Yesterday, we saw a dog running around in town. It almost got knocked down crossing the street. Luckily, it was Sunday and there wasn't too much traffic about. There was no one with the dog so we knew it was a runaway or stray. We called the SPCA but it was their day off and we got a message to call another number. We called that number but no one picked up. Someone gave us the number of a friend who worked with the SPCA but she turned out to be from an SPCA in another town, and she told us to call Council. An old man who'd seen the dog told us Council would put the dog down in a week if they picked it up. "I've picked up a few dogs from the highway myself," he said. "People drive them far enough so they won't know how to get home, take off their collars and dump them." A waitress from the bar where we were having lunch, told us she'd seen the dog many times and it belonged to someone, even though it was skinny and had no collar. 

We were in a fix, Georgia, and had no idea what to do. So we packed up some chips and meat from our lunch and drove around looking for the dog. It took a while but we finally saw it! It was a new mama. She was scared, ready to run in an instant, hungry for the food in my hand. She got close enough to touch, but we had nothing to catch her with.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, an old woman came up to us waving her walking stick and shouting, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU CAN'T FEED DOGS AND CATS HERE! THIS IS COUNCIL PROPERTY. GET OFF! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? A FEW DAYS? A DAY? YOU'VE GOT NO RIGHT TO BE HERE! GET THAT DOG AWAY!" 

We were standing in a public space, on a nature strip by the side of a main road, and were stunned by her tirade. Her daughter came and took her away. "My mother's not well," she said.

No kidding.

Across the road, at a petrol station, we saw a man with 2 dogs in his car. A dog lover! He'll have a leash, we thought! So Cushion went to ask if we could borrow it. But the man just told us, "A Council ranger will catch the dog," got into his car, and drove off. 

We were disappointed. Sad really. There was nothing more to do, so we drove off ourselves. The last we saw of the dog, it had already crossed the road and was trotting away. 

Back at the farm where we're staying, I went to complain to Gloria, Ariel, Roxanne, Noriko, Jamie, Carly...


and WeeWee.
"So what are you saying? You met one loony old lady and an unhelpful man and suddenly you don't like this place anymore?"
 "There are loonies and unhelpful people everywhere. You know that, right?"

Kicky, Kleksie and Fluffy came running when they saw us.
But I don't think they were interested in hearing about our encounter either.
"Did you bring food?" 

"How about a good scratch? I find a good scratch makes all my troubles go away."
It looks like we won't be buying the house with the waterfall after all, Georgia. Not today, anyway. We have a lot to think about. 

Please thank Mr O for his lovely email and photo. Did I sense a note of desperation when he mentioned your healthy appetite? I hope you're not bullying the poor man into feeding you more than you should eat. 
We'll see you on Friday, girl! Till then, be good. 

Much love, your confused and, quite frankly, exhausted humans X

P.S. Why do you always have a coat on? Are you getting fat?