I was by now rapidly heading towards the end of the second year of my life. The general conscensus amongst my humans was that I might have been fully grown physically, but I was still very puppy-ish in my behaviour. But what of it? I mean, who want's to turn into a conservative old fuddy-duddy this early in their lives. Live life to the max, I always say.

In June, I decided to launched my assault on Mt Arawang, the highest hill in my particular neck of the woods. So here I am on the highest rock on the highest peak: Kellie, Queen of the Mountains.

The final stages of the climb were the toughest for my humans, though of course not for me. For me, this whole ascent was a bit of a doddle, really. That said, I did take a short break before making the final assault on the rocks at the summit. This was just so that the Pack Leader and Alpha Female could catch their breaths, you understand.

Just one problem: How the devil do I get down from here without a parachute?

During the descent, we encountered some of the local fauna. Although they were quite friendly, there was no way the Alpha Female was going to let me off the leash - especially as a couple of the females were carrying little Joeys in their pouches. (These are Eastern Grey kangaroos, incidentally. Can you spot the two in the picture on the right?)

And, yes, I did keep up my swimming training, with the ever-present stick still very much in evidence.

In August, I met up again with big hunk of a male Malamute named Mystaya. I hadn't seen Mystaya since puppy pre-school and, boy, had he grown! He was taking part in some sled dog races over in Deeke's Forest, and had invited me to wander over to see him in action. He now had a little sister named Tekarra - a real little sweetie if ever there was one.

That's Mystaya (howling) in the centre. On the left, little Tekarra is, ummm, making my acquaintance. The Pack Leader's son-in-law (Tom, far left) and daughter (Sam, far right) seemed to think all this was a great joke.

And what can I say about the behaviour of those big macho males? Honestly, for once in my life I wasn't entirely sure that I really wanted to be the centre of attention anymore.

But male malamutes I can tolerate, for all their macho swagger. What I simply cannot tolerate, at any price, are black swans. I mean, I really, really hate those things. It all started one day over at the north-east end of Lake Ginninderra.

Picture 1: So here I am, minding my own business, having a bit of a paddle in the shallows at the edge of the lake. I'm not disturbing anybody, I'm not challenging anybody, and I'm not looking for trouble.

Picture 2: Then, all of a sudden, this arrogant black swan starts paddling towards me as if to suggest that it owned the lake and that I'd better get out of the water pronto if I knew what was good for me. Shortly after this picture was taken it spread out its wings and started hissing and beating the water. Apparently, this was supposed to scare the wits out of me, which of course it didn't.

Picture 3: Well, all this was like a red rag to a bull as far as I was concerned. Obviously, this thing needed to be taught a lesson it would never forget. So I chased it way out to the middle of the lake, barking madly, with it turning on me occasionally to go into its threatening posture. And each time it did that I just got madder and madder and more determined to see this thing off.

Picture 4: Eventually, the feathered fiend got smart, realized that it was on the losing team, and took off for more hospitable climes. The score at this point was fur: one, feathers: nil. Hah!

The thing of it is that I didn't start this little fracas. The feathered fiend started it, but I finished it. So let's be clear about this: No arrogant feathered creature that thinks it owns the whole lake is ever going to get the better of Kellie Bricknell. It's just not going to happen. Never. Nuff said.

All that remained for me to do was to collect the Pack Leader and Alpha Female (who were by this stage shaking like gibbering wrecks) and proceed on my peripatetic way. "You're going to be the death of me Kellie, you really are." said the Pack Leader.