OCTOBER 2005 - JANUARY 2006
Breeze: Birthdays once again! How the years fly by. Kellie's on 4 October and mine on 4 November. As you would expect by now, each of those days began with a bath and general fluffing up over at Capital Grooming. Bit of a drag, really, but a small price to pay for good long birthday walks in Deek's Forest and at the top of Mount Stromlo, where our birthday pictures were taken.
Breeze: Honestly, I sometimes wish cameras had never been invented. On the way over to Deek's Forest to take Kellie's birthday pictures (and maybe chase some rabbits), we were stopped by a Canberra Times photographer, who asked if we would mind having some photographs taken. The following morning we found a photograph of ourselves in the Times under the headline "A Spring in Their Steps". Apparently, we were supposed to symbolize the arrival of Spring or something, though exactly how we did that remains somewhat obscure. Kellie, of course, thrives on media attention; but for my part all this nonsense simply meant a delay in my arrival at Deek's Forest and off-the-leash freedom.
And then, of course, there's the Pack Leader with his accursed Nikon. Instead of being allowed to do something constructive, like chase rabbits or lizards or whatever, Kellie and I are forever being directed to pose here or pose there or pose somewhere else, even on our birthdays. As you can see, he even had me posing on the highest rock on the highest part of Mount Stromlo. (I went up there without oxygen and without a Sherpa guide, I might add, and I didn't even get a treat for my trouble.)
Kellie: But, hey, summer was coming on. Enough of this posing. Enough of this mindless frivolity. Time to head to the Golden Retriever's natural habitat. Move aside, fish. Head for the bullrushes, black swans. Hang up your paddles, kayakers and canoeists. Kellie and Breeze are back in Lake Burley-Griffin, and we're not taking prisoners.
Breeze: Of course, our adventures are not all of the aquatic kind. Another one of our favourite haunts is the Cooleman Nature Trail. This is a really top spot for a long walk because, once you get over on the western side of the Cooleman Ridge, you could be a hundred miles out in the country. The only down side is that, with all the hills and all, the Pack Leader and Alpha Female do a lot of huffing and puffing, but its a complete doddle for super-fit Kellie and I.
Kellie: Hmmmm. Methinks my Mama is digressing at this point because she wants me to forget to mention a certain unfortunate incident involving a canoe that occured in early January, and which resulted in yet another major embarrassment to our Pack Leader.
As you know, my Mum has a bit of a thing about canoes, kayaks, dragon boats and the like. Well, we were all over at the lake having a swim on New Years Day when suddenly a one-man canoe hove into view from behind the bullrushes at the mouth of our inlet. Unfortunately, my Mum caught sight of the intruder well before the Pack Leader, who was thus unable to get her out of the water she before kicked in the twin Johnson outboards and set off in pursuit, barking like a mad thing.
One thing you have to understand about my Mum is that, once she has selected a target, nothing - absolutely nothing - can deter her from driving home her attack. I mean we're talking about levels of concentration and determination the like of which you've never seen. That's why, even when the canoeist had reached a point about half way down to Government House, she still hadn't abandoned the chase.
Kellie: "You're going to be the death of me, you two rascals; you really are," complained the Pack Leader as we drove back to No 86. But my Mum just wagged her tail and slurped his face as if to say that all this was just her way of keeping him alert, focused, and on his toes. And next weekend we were back at the scene of the crime, the Pack Leader practically a nervous wreck as he contemplated what we two Goldens might get up to next.
Kellie and Breeze: Time for another video. Here we are in October at one of our favourite spots on the Molongolo River. So many sticks to fetch, and so little time.