Posts Tagged ‘Dog’

The escapist Bently.

August 16, 2021

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At no stage of my life have I so been involved with dogs. We all know that dogs are men’s best friend but I had my doubts with Buddy who really tested my patience. He was a prolific pooper and nothing I did worked, no treats or rewards, kind words or soft patting. He would just insist my place was his toilet. Just to twinge your memory, the photo below is Buddy.  He looks very charming and in a way he was but in my eighties now, I just wasn’t fit enough to follow his trail and clean after him throughout the house, both downstairs and upstairs…and during the night! 


Buddy thinking about where to drop his next poo.

The previous owners came and picked up Buddy and admitted they had the same problem. Still, Buddy greeted his old owners enthusiastically, madly wagging his tail. Curiously, he only moved a few doors up around the corner from a large medical center, now being used as a hub for Covid 19 vaccinations with traffic being directed by two people in Fluro jackets wearing masks and strong boots.

But let’s now talk about my latest dog Bentley. He is a Tibetan-Spaniel terrier with no problems as yet except that he wants to escape all the time. Not much is known about him. He is micro chipped and has a name and number. He was surrendered that day to the Local Shire council dog rescue depot and although recognizable as a dog, his long coat  had lumps of vegetation and burrs and bush stuck to him, it was pitiable. All around his ears, his tail, and  around his body. The coat was matted and beyond a layman’s skill, perhaps a hairdresser or groomer, even then? I decided to take him to the local vet, to get him checked and tidied up.

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The vet thought that Bentley might have been sleeping rough in the bush or underneath railway bridges. His coat had so much dirt stuck to him that it must have been a while since he actually had a caring home. He also came with a warning that he had a habit of escaping and that he could only survive in a secure place, well fenced off and to not underestimate his skill in escaping. ‘He can even climb wire fences’, I was told by the girl who handed me Bentley from the dog pound. I assured her that both my front yard and back garden had secure solid fences over 6ft high.

Little did I know!

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Bentley plotting his next escape.

It might well be that his rough sleeping gave him survival skills usually not found amongst the canines treated and brought up as pets. They are given their food and water unasked or in most cases unearned. I mean, take Buddy, he still had juicy morsels of fillet, salmon (skin on), clean water and nice bedding upstairs next to my bed. And, yet he did poo relentlessly.

Anyway, Bentley might well have been a kind of troubadour or vagabond previously, and honed his skills in avoiding capture, who knows. He is street-wise and knows the world. He did escape the first day, and boy did I chase him. He is also the sweetest and most amusing dog, very clever and so far no toilet inside, except the first day doing a bit of marking here and there including the book case.  Who doesn’t?

I think I have him for good now. Nice name too, Bentley.


Buddy’s toilet travails.

August 5, 2021



There can’t be any doubt, Buddy is a lovely boy terrier and a great companion to whoever will be kind and caring to give him a home that he so deserves. You all know about dear Milo and how he now is in doggy heaven for the believers , or nurturing my Manchurian Pear tree under the blanket of a caring soil in my garden for the non believers. I reckon he is in both.



Buddy entered my life soon after the passing of Milo by way of a network of caring friends who were almost as much upset about Milo’s passing as I was. There were tears al-round, especially amongst my Bradman Cricket café friends. I was given a bunch of glorious yellow tulips and heartfelt commiserations. Most of my friends have dogs or cats, some have both. Perhaps there is a link between the game of cricket and having pets! 

A good friend had noticed an advertisement in a local pet rescue website looking to find a home for a small dog named ‘Buddy’. It included a few photos and a brief description which mentioned his generous caring nature but which also alluded that peeing was a small problem when housed with other dogs. I have no other dogs and thought it would be nice to give him a home. The volunteers of the dog rescue organization and I made an appointment to meet up at Lake Alexandra to see how Buddy would  react going to a new owner. 

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Lake Alexandra Mittagong.

The meeting went well but questions regarding his history and with whom he had spent the last ten years remained a bit vague. Why was such a lovely boy up for adoption? We went home and Buddy and I took to each other with great enthusiasm and mutual respect. I am a great walker and I and Buddy took our first walk soon after we arrived home. He came with own bedding, jackets and toys. So, all to make him confident and to reassure him he came to a caring  home and hearth. After our walk we went home and I allowed Buddy to settle in, gave him a few treats and generally kept the atmosphere as peaceful and calm as possible. I did not notice peeing or pooing but at the same time did not go snooping around for any evidence as I thought that a bit demeaning. Dogs are very perceptive. 

We went to sleep, Buddy downstairs and I upstairs. He seemed calm and content. Next day when I got up I did find a poo but put that down to Buddy settling in and that his toilet routine needed some time to establish. There was also a pee against the bookcase but most of the books at the bottom shelf should have been donated a long time ago and were of minor authors and those leaning towards the political Right and Dutton.


Milo with Angels

I took long walks in the quest for fitness and to observe Buddy’s toilet products, if any, along the way. Nothing was much forthcoming. Never mind though, plenty of time. He ate with gusto and did show gratitude by doing twirlers and tail wagging. He settled next to me on the couch and held his small head on my lap. I was so flattered. However, I found another poo inside minutes after a long late evening walk in howling wind and pneumonia-like temperature. Never mind, I thought again and went to bed. Buddy settled next to me on the floor in his own bedding. He looked happy. Little did I know what was coming next.!

At 2 am, A very strong olfactory wave woke me up and it was no mistaken, it could only be poo.  In a groggy state I ambled out of bed but not before putting on a light. There is nothing worse than stepping bare footed in poo, no matter how friendly or well intentioned the provider of that. Buddy was stretching the limits. I had a horrible night and after waking I phoned the dog rescue person and asked for advice. “Plenty of walking, feeding outside and praise” was supposed to be the answer. I followed it all but all to no avail. As soon as I opened the door after a walk he would do it again. Poor Buddy!  

After four days of poos and pees and looking at Buddy’s age of 10, I felt that in retirement one sometimes has to look truth in the eye and act. I phoned the previous donors of Buddy and told them I had to regretfully return Buddy.

They then admitted it was a problem they too had experienced. It must have belonged to a person who had an indoor doggy toilet, perhaps a box or tray of some kind.



Who knows?

A vase

April 12, 2018


Is this a vase or a work of ceramic art? Perhaps both. Please note that this old table has a white painted top as well. A pity our telephone book wasn’t taken away. It seems to spoil the photo by hiding the rest of this lovely woman’s top part of her body. I do like the composition of the photo though, but don’t ask me why. It’s rather unique.  I doubt there is a similar vase anywhere in the world. We bought it some decades ago while still living in the inner Sydney suburb of Balmain. All I remember is going to a ceramic art exhibition in North Sydney and really like this work. It reminded us of the Italian master Modigliani with its elongated neck and general posture. Look at the Modigliani painting below.

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Amedeo Modigliani found little success during his short life but he would be happy to know he now is famous with his paintings and sculptures selling for millions. We went to an exhibition of some of his work many years ago when we were in Paris.

I am sure that the ceramic artist who made this vase could not but be an ardent admirer of Modigliani. It’s funny how we are all influenced by what our eyes take in. Or, would it be better put, we SHOULD be impressed by the visual world and what a blessing eyesight gives us? It begs the question though; if we are so influenced by what our eyes take in, why allow so much visual ugliness to surround us? The madness of materialism now evident everywhere. Those advertising hoarding first invented in the US and almost immediately and eagerly copied and accepted in Australia. Those endless car sales yards with yawning bonnets and happy happy balloons tied to the rear vision mirrors. Is the making of money so important allowing it to override everything?

It’s not everywhere like that though. There are havens of quiet and solitude if one looks carefully. We have a stretch of pure beauty near our house which we walk almost each day and never tire of it. A lovely walk along a small bubbling creek. There are ducks and old men who talk to each other in hushed calm voices. A parrot might fly overhead or we can find a dog scanning the reeds for hidden water fowl. We don’t have to go far to see beauty and that’s a blessing we should not take for granted.

It is lovely and makes it all worthwhile.

Should ‘Milo’s droppings be picked up?

November 28, 2017


Milo at peace with the world

Many no doubt remember the days when dogs roamed free around suburban circuits and their shopping strips. In our own suburb of Balmain it became very fashionable to have dogs as pets, and there even seemed to be a correlation between the size of the house and the size of the dog. Generally, the smaller the house, the bigger the dog.

There was no law on dog dropping and I remember hopping and skipping trying to avoid huge piles of dog shit on the footpath. People used to scrape their shoes on the concrete kerbs with the more fastidious and gymnastic pedestrians carefully picking the  groves in their shoes with a piece of stick specially taken for just such an occasion.

For a short while, councils introduced painted signs asking dogs to be kerbed. It showed a dog squatting with a nicely formed dropping suspended in mid-air between the dog’s arse and the kerb. Quite a creative bit of a sign really. After a few years a law was passed that all dogs had to be walked on a lead and the days of dogs shitting hither and dither with the resulting littering of footpaths disappeared. Most dog walkers take a plastic bag to take care of any impromptu dog defecating events. You sometimes see  a little plastic bag suspended from the dog’s lead proving the diligence of the dog walker in doing their civic duty and follow the law on dog droppings by picking it up. Some people even bought a special scoop to pick up dropping. It seemed too complicated and I think they have now disappeared. They turn the plastic bag inside out, pick the still warm dropping up  by hand, and turn the bag around to its original form, but now containing the dog’s product.

All this because a few days ago a man ambushed me from behind his garden fence to tell me to pick up Milo’s little turd. “You are not leaving your dog’s shit on the grass verge,” are you, he said? I immediately crouched down and picked up a small brown branch of a wild cherry tree. I answered and said, “I was only too happy to pick Milo’s little shit up but could not find it.” I showed him the little branch and took out my handkerchief. “If I can find it, I will put it in my hanky and in my pocked,” I said.

The man calmed by now. I showed him the branch and still on my knees poked around the grass trying to find Milo’s small and dry little turd. Apparently it was so small it just did not show up.  My eyesight is not he best. The man then relented and said; “no need to put it in your hanky and in your pocket.” “And what is in your hand is just a little cherry branch”. “I am sorry, he apologized.”

Perhaps he felt being a little too severe.

Milo looked up. He did sneak one in somewhere. Should I have looked better and more thoroughly?

What do the readers think of this etiquette of picking up dog shit? Milo’s toilet habits are perfect. He usually goes right underneath some bushes and never on the foot path. Never.

Word drought in The Highlands but spring is knocking. ( seniors)

August 14, 2016

IMG_0918 front garden August 2016

‘It won’t be long now.’ This is a saying that people use when expecting something to come along. It is sometimes used when on the Nr 1 platform waiting for the train to arrive. ‘The train is coming soon’, often spoken aloud by a brave soul to break the silence between waiting travellers, especially when a chill wind is blowing here in The Highlands. Most often, there is a response; ‘Yes, I think it is due in one minute, according to my timetable.’ This answer gladdens the heart, gives hope to the other fellow.

Those snippets of exchanging words to each other is so welcome. There can never be enough words getting exchanged between people, irrespective of waiting for a train or getting served at the Super-Market conveyer-belt. There is nothing more uplifting than getting a few words, after having gone through those endless isles of mind-numbing dairy goods/personal hygiene/ split peas/. There are now endless choices of toilet paper. We are figuring out the mathematical challenges with being confronted by the cost per hundred sheets per roll! No wonder people are becoming silent.

I could be wrong. Is there a shortage of spoken words being exchanged lately? If we feel like a good fill-up for spoken words we need to take Milo (our dog) along. He elicits the words from others so much better than if we walk without him. The word drought in public seems to be getting worse. I am curious if others have noticed this too? Most times, we used to strike it and get to hear words from others. They seem drawn to our Jack Russell more than us. Totally understandable in my own case, but with the welcoming and smiling Helvi, it used to smooth things out so much better.

It seems the problem might lie elsewhere. Often, people look serious when approaching. However, if they allow themselves to change their thought-train away from paying gas bills on line or texting and coping with obstinate or nasty relationships, and allow themselves to focus their sight downwards away from their gadget holding hand, and spot our Milo, an involuntary smile often escapes. Not only that, but many will actually stop, say a few words and pat him. That is the magic of the Jack Russell. We are still in touch. Are spoken words to adults getting less though?

I get the feeling that many are so mute now because their puckered up faces are so often close to their IPhone. I too have become a bit drawn to this gadget and at times open the IPhone without even being aware of it. Helvi gives me warning every time I slip into that. Certainly on trains we now rarely see passengers looking around or in conversation. Most stare seriously on what is in their hands.

I know, I speak and show my age now. It is all old hat. ‘Get real, Opa. This is our world now. Move over rover!’ The grandchildren have no trouble with it. They tell me that ‘Social Media’ is what is being practised. One hopes that this new form of mute media is not going to impact on relationships. I notice that so much modern TV drama is very intertwined with noise and deafeningly loud threatening thundering gun-fire type music, substituting drama where there might be none… It makes us tense and restless in expecting something, but it rarely comes or satisfies.

The words are just drowned out now.

51alYWDUUGL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_oosterman treats

Dog Ethics in Bowral

September 26, 2010

Bowral is really rocking. Tulip Time. Bus loads from Sydney. All rather senior looking and retirement at its best. Lives still being lived without fanfare or trumpets, like us and them and senior discounts. They file out with names such as Brian and Shirly stuck on their shirts and blouses, hunt out tulips and eat sausage rolls. Some have Dim Sims with  chili sauce  getting soaked up in the paper tissue as they walk and chew from the corners of their mouths.  The men are wearing stout corduroy with women in casual slacks and pastel coloured blouses or cardigans just in case a chill might roll down from the The Gib. It pays to be careful. The Gib is short for Mount  Gibraltar which is a hill overlooking Bowral. Mind you, the real Mount Gibraltar could  easily have people named Brians and Shirleys walking around as well. They now walk worldwide.

We, feeling quite smug must look like  locals because a group of tourists asks us for a nice place to have some nice lunch. “Somewhere ‘nice’ they all say”. Do we also now look as if knowing ‘nice’ is something we have finally arrived at?

 “What a lovely dog you have”, Milo looks up, expecting a pat. He knows the score by now. It’s not like the farm anymore, but is has its compensations. We gave the group two choices and continued on with Milo on a leash which is clicked on a kind of brace that dogs now seem to wear. As we pass a throng of people and just in front of a kitchen shop, Milo to my horror squats down and does an impromptu shit while still walking. An amazingly large one for such a little dog. Actually, one large and two little ones, all in a row with people doing an impromptu tango around them. I heard someone say ‘ohh nooo’.

I hope this isn’t what I think he has just done flashed through my mind. Where is Helvi?  Helvi briskly walked on. I had no plastic bag and not much dignity either.

We now entered the crux of this matter. With no plastic bag but with full posession of two hands; what would anyone have done? No way could I risk exposing any failure in good standing amongst the Bowral citizenry nor the good name of Milo, carefully nurtured by so many walks. Within a split second I stooped down and with one majestic scoop  collected the lot with my nude hand, while Milo looked on rather quizzically, the look that the Jack Russell is so known for.

I caught up with Helvi and explained I hand a handful of still warm shit. “Put it there,” she sternly pointed at a metal bin. I shook it off into the bin but also realizing that Helvi knew what had transpired.  ‘Don’t put your arm on me’, and wash your hands at Woolies upstairs. It was a long walk zig zagging along a ramp up to Woolies. One man looked strangely at me while I washed my brown hand inside the Men’s.

Now, I know it wouldn’t have been very gallant to have a woman pick up shit, but sometimes I feel, blokes are expected to do a little too much. At least she could have stayed with me and given me some encouragement. A kind of moral support or an urging on.

Milo is fine.