The closing stages of the summer found me wandering around many areas of Canberra, including Commonwealth Park and along the shores of Lake Burley-Griffin. One part of the latter is a good spot to just sit down and listen to the Carillon, which was a gift from the British government to the people of Australia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Capital.

The only thing that can occasionally make these excursions a little tiresome is when the Pack Leader takes his camera thingummy with him and insists that I waste valuable sniffing-around time posing for him. Well, if he makes life difficult for me, I can make life difficult for him.

"That's perfect, Kellie. Almost got it. Just hold it a little longer."

"Hold it. Hold it ..."

"Oh now cut that out!"

In May, we were contacted by Scott England and his wife Kate, who told us that they were the proud owners of two Goldens from my birthplace up in the Southern Highlands (Buffalo Kennels) and suggested that we meet up some time. Well, they didn't have to ask us twice, let me tell you that. Always pleased to see Goldens from my old stamping grounds.

So it was over to their place for afternoon tea and a Golden reunion. In the shot at left, that's the youngster (Angus) at the rear and Dayna, who was eight years of age at the time, at the front. I quickly learned that Angus was the placid one and Dayna was the unbelievably energetic and dominant one. (In fact, I seem to recall Scott saying that she was the "top dog" at Buffalo before she was retired to Scott's and Kate's care.) Whatever the case, we all got along tremendously well together.

One thing that surprised me was that neither Angus nor Dayna had ever been in the water! Can you believe that? Well, I took it upon myself to set that to rights. When we went for our first swim together, the opposite of what we expected occurred. Angus, the quiet and placid one, took to swimming as if he had been doing it all his life. Dayna, on the other hand, despite being very athletic and brim full of self-confidence, just couldn't seem to get the hang of it.

So it was left to Angus and I to perform the obligatory stick fetching duties while Dayna raced around on the shore chasing imaginary kangaroos. (Actually, I did the fetching, with Angus supporting me in the convoy escort role.)

Later on, Dayna and Angus stayed at my place for a few days while Scott and Kate took a break in Sydney. Here we all are trying to persuade Samantha to give us our treats.

In August, the Pack Leader decided to buy himself a birthday present in the form of a fancy new digital SLR camera, plus three lenses and assorted doodads. "It's high time I got some real action shots of you Kellie," he said, "And I'm going to need an SLR if I'm ever going to do that." "Uh oh," I thought to myself, "This has got to be really bad news for me."

And so it was. Previously, all this photographic nonsense generally involved little more than me sitting motionless and trying to look attractive. But now I was expected to race around at warp speed while the Pack Leader fired away at me at six frames per second! I mean, there's gotta be something in the Geneva Convention about this.

Ah, well. The truth of it is that I never saw a thrown tennis ball that didn't need chasing, and the Pack Leader was well aware of my weakness in that regard. So it all worked out reasonably well for both of us I suppose.

No page is complete, of course, without the obligatory solo swimming shots. So here they are for August.

And just a couple of random shots to finish up with. The first shows me strapped into the family Mazda, having just completed a long walk over at Mountbatten Park. And the second shows me charming the socks off the Alpha Female. I have to do that because the Alpha Female is the pack disciplinarian and is forever making up rules that the Pack Leader and I are supposed to observe. The Pack Leader has never figured out how to bypass those rules without invoking some sort of penalty. But I just turn on the ol' Golden charm as a circumventory measure. Works every time.