SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2003
Kellie & Breeze: Bit of a drag, really. Just as we were psyching ourselves up for some major adventures in previously unexplored parts of Canberra, the Pack Leader had to nip into hospital for a couple of quick operations. Nothing serious, mind - just a bit of routine maintenance. But, minor servicing or no, the unfortunate fact is that the consequential enforced convalescence period kind of cramped our style for a month or so. Limited-duration walks, no running, no swimming, no jumping up on him unexpectedly and sending him staggering backwards. In short, not much fun at all. Heck, he even called in the Pooch-Mobile lady to give us our baths, a matter that he had previously insisted on attending to himself (clad in wetsuit and breathing through a snorkel, he always says).
Breeze: Fortunately, the Pack Leader was fully recovered by the time my daughter's third birthday rolled around on 4th October. In fact, he was feeling so fit, and it was such a beautiful day, that we decided to eschew the traditional birthday visit to Capital Grooming for the traditional birthday fluffing up. Instead, we headed over to the ol' Molongolo River for a bit of a splash and giggle. If you ask me, that's a far more agreeable way to spend our time than being fussed over at the beauty shop. I mean, it's not that I object to being fussed over; it's just that swimming is in my blood, and thus the aqua will always have top priority so far as I am concerned. (In fact, the Pack Leader is convinced that I have gills lurking somewhere under my golden fur.)
Anyway, here's a picture of that rascally daughter of mine enjoying herself near the white water on the morning of her third birthday.
Kellie: And here we both are refusing to come out of the water when called by the Pack Leader. I tell you, when my Mum and I hit the briny it takes considerable effort on the part of the Pack Leader to persuade us to vacate the drink and start the journey back to No 86. "You two are the only fish I know," he says, "with fur instead of scales. I've known white pointer sharks and humpback whales that are less at home in the water than you two."
Breeze: With most of the burned pine trees cut down, the authorities finally allowed we Canberra citizens back into the (former) Stromlo Forest. Yep, everything that you see in this picture used to be forest before the bushfires of January 18. It's just not the same as it was, of course, but, hey, it's still the open air and wide open spaces, and thus a great place for a walk on a sunny day.
Kellie: My Mum's ninth birthday occurred on 5th November, so it was off to Capital Grooming preparatory to some birthday pictures being taken down by Lake Burley-Griffin.
Now, my Mum gets very excited when she knows she is near the water and was barking like crazy as the family Mazda pulled into a parking spot right on the lake next to the yacht club. In fact, she was so excited that she broke right out of the Pack Leader's grasp when he opened the back door, bounding off the back seat with explosive force and racing like a fast-moving freight train right into the water. Entering right into the spirit of things, I slipped effortlessly past the Pack Leader while he was still looking like a stunned mullet, trying to grasp what had just happened. In a trice I was in the lake with my Mum, both of us swimming around and barking like mad things.
"One hundred and sixty dollars I paid to get you two fluffed up for the birthday pictures," sobbed the Pack Leader, "One hundred and sixty dollars right down the drain." The Alpha Female tried to console him, but to no avail. In the end he decided to just walk us round the southern part of the lake until we had dried out and then take his fool pictures.
So here's my Mum on her ninth birthday, after her unscheduled, though thoroughly enjoyable, dip in the lake.
Breeze: And here's the both of us, on the same afternoon, watching the yachts on Lake Burley-Griffin. (We're both on the leash because of the close proximity of black swans and the occasional kayaker. You know how we feel about those things, don't you? I mean, you know how we feel.)
Kellie: And here's another birthday picture of my Mum. This was taken when we returned home to No 86, by which time the Pack Leader had almost forgiven us for our lakeside transgressions. Almost. Well, actually, he was still pretty teed off, but a few wags, slurps and soulful looks got us back into his good books. What can I say; the Golden charm never fails.
Kellie: All this "contemplative" bizzo is OK in its place, but, heck, we two Goldens are creatures of action. Action, I say. So it's hardly surprising that November saw us back in the Molongolo, up to our floppies in the wet stuff.
My Mum found herself hot on the trail of a couple of Lizards on this occasion. A really dedicated lizard huntress is my Mum. You should see her when she goes after those things. I mean, the level of concentration and single-mindedness has to be seen to be believed. She is utterly fixated on the chase, to the exclusion of every other consideration. Honestly, it just doesn't pay to be a lizard when my Mum is on the case.
Kellie: To finish up, here's a little video of my Mum and I enjoying ourselves in the Molongolo River in mid October. It's not as nice at this spot as it was before the terrible bushfires, by the water's just as wet thank heavens.