Most farms have dogs; be they working dog, house dog, guard dog or child’s pet. They are a mate, a companion, a confidant or sometimes even a pseudo child. The sheer excitement of their greeting each morning, where it is hard to tell if the dog is wagging the tail or the other way around, is enough to brighten even the darkest day. Let me introduce our favourite four.
Marvin (aka “Big Dog”) – Australian Blue Heeler and faithful friend who loves to fetch anything that can be thrown, shake your hand, catch water spray from the hose, hang off the side of the ute (sometimes a little too far), and tag along with Josh.
Sarge (aka “Scoob”) – multi-cultural dog who lives up to his nickname and likes to share the swinging seat with Marc; is an important member of the Pest Control Pack (PCP) and the only one who can slap his lips together when he shakes.
Gemma (aka “Gem-Gem” or “Piggy”) – English Staffy who arrived with Roz and is now retired from the position of fearless leader of the PCP, much to her disappointment; who can hoover her food and grunt as well as her old quarry (very un-ladylike!), but has a wonderful personality and great sense of fun.
Chipolata (aka “Chip”, “Chippy”, or “Rodent” to the boys) – miniature Dachshund and self-appointed Chairman of the Canine Board at Mayleigh who can be totally arrogant and disobedient or playful clown and couch companion; is best friend to Emma (unless Jeff is going somewhere) and a very plucky little watch-dog and fanatical mouse hound.
Early morning and late afternoon finds the three larger musketeers either racing at breakneck speed around the house, or playing rough and tumble games on the front lawn, whilst the fourth and smallest of the team prances around the edges (deftly avoiding much larger, feet, bodies and jaws), all the while barking instructions and truly believing he is the circus ringmaster.
Trips in the Ute are a doggy treat; nothing like the wind on your dangling tongue or for blowing your ears back! Gemma quickly, firmly and happily ensconces herself in the spare tyre, Sarge and Marv constantly swap sides (because the view must be better if he’s over there….like grass and fences, you know?) and Chip in the front with the human passengers (of course) and eternally undecided as to whether the view is better from the passenger window or over the dash through the windscreen.
Most days you will find the big dogs on our back porch – Marv behind the gas bottle, Gemma on the folding double seat and Sarge sprawled across the walkway; just in case you should try to go somewhere without them knowing! Where’s Chip? Asleep on his chair near the window where activity can be monitored; if action is detected he will not hesitate to let you know that he needs to be out directing the show.
I hope you have a fury, or four legged, or feathered or finned critter to brighten your day.