MARCH - AUGUST 2009
Reid Park, over near the Australian War Memorial, is the ideal place for a bit of spingtime Sunday morning tennis ball chasing, this being an essential skill which all Golden Retrievers are required to master at an early age. I might just mention, in all modesty, that I mastered this particular art when I was barely out of puppyhood. My Pack Leader says I'm just a natural at this sort of thing. It's a gift, really. So, people, listen and learn.
My good friends Dayna and Angus came to stay with me in late March while their owners (Scott and Kate) nipped up to Sydney for a break. We have a really good time together, we three, and it's really great to have other Goldens to accompany me on my daily walks.
Dayna, alas, is terrified of thunder and seems compelled to find a really confined space in which to hide when she hears the distant rumblings. Angus, on the other hand, is, like me, totally unperturbed by stormy weather. He's so laid back you wouldn't believe it. I mean, he's so laid back that sometimes you can hardly detect a pulse.
In the pictures below, I'm the one with the darker golden coat. I'll leave you to figure out which of the other two is Angus and which is Dayna. Pretty obvious really.
Early May saw me initiate a major earth-moving project underneath some shrubs in the backyard. I'm not too sure where the compulsion came from. I mean, it had been over eight years since I sank my last mine shaft on the back lawn.
Needless to say, my Pack Leader was not exactly entranced by this development, but was kind enough to allow me to continue as long as I confined my digging to that one particular spot. He needn't have worried, though, because my re-discovered urge to dig soon faded away again. Not too sure why. I think what happened was that, after expending all that considerable physical effort, I looked down into the hole and asked myself just exactly what utilitarian function it was intended to serve. Since no persuasive answer sprang to mind, I just wandered off to my mat on the back porch and had a quiet snooze - an activity which, as you may be aware, requires absolutely no physical effort whatsoever.
Other mid-year activities included baby-sitting Saybo the Long-Haired German Shepherd. Being a big, boofy, helpless male, he needs a lot of looking after. And, let me tell you, I tolerate no nonsense from him. Rule him with an iron paw, I do.
One of my favourite walking routes is the Cooleman Nature Trail. My Pack Leader and Alpha Female like it up there too, although it's fair to say that they always dread the prospect of me finding yet another mud-puddle to wallow in. Well, tough luck humans is what I say. Wallowing in mud-puddles is in my blood. I mean, it's what I do for heaven's sake.
And, anyway, the mud dries off fairly quickly as I proceed on my peripatetic way.
Another favourite walking area (and a source of yet more glorious mud-puddles I might add) is Deeke's Forest. You may recall that this was the forest completely burned down during the 2003 bushfires, so it all looked rather grim for a few years. However, by now, it's all covered again in pine trees, most of which have reached a height of three metres or so. It's just the perfect spot for the Alpha Female and I to go for a stroll on those chilly, but beautifully crip and clear, mid-winter days.
And now for a little video featuring moi. If you are the sort of person who likes to watch a Golden Retriever fetching sticks from a lake and chewing them to bits on-shore, over and over again, endlessly and without respite, then this is for you.