Now that I was almost six months old, the Pack Leader decided that it was time that I became a tad more adventurous in my exploration of the outside world. So it was up to Cooleman Ridge, from which I could look down south to the Brindabellas and the high country. From that vantage point it seemed to me that the outside world was much bigger than I had at first supposed.

Yep, the view was fine on that lovely autumn day. But, frankly, I was much more intested in learning how to clamber over the many and various rocks up on the ridge. At the risk of appearing immodest, I must say that I got to be very good at this particular exercise in agility, so much so that I heard the Pack Leader say to the Alpha Female that I seemed to more mountain goat than Golden Retriever.

Bonding. That's what it's all about. I mean, the Alpha Female and I had had our differences, what with her refusing to allow me inside The Big White Kennel after my back lawn mining activities, etc., etc., but when we were strolling together along a quiet country lane up on the ridge, all that aggravation was completely forgotten. And as for the Pack Leader, well, what can I say. We were just completely inseparable by this stage. (Mind you, he wasn't terrribly pleased when I raced up that hill like a homesick angel while he laboured upwards miles behind me, puffing and wheezing like an old steam train.)

I also started to explore the big pine forests during this period, often accompanied by my great friend Oskar the German Shepherd. Oskar is owned by the Pack Leader's daughter and son-in-law (Samantha and Tom). He's a real old sweetie is Oskar, and we get along really well together.

And here is the official mid-2001 portrait of Buffalo Rustic Kellie, otherwise known as the Terror of No 86 and She Who Must Be Obeyed, hem, hem. (Actually, the Alpha Female called me a few other things from time to time, but that's neither here nor there.)