Loyalty greater than death?

10 10 2013

I’m going to say it anyway.

I’m getting very strong impressions that Katie is here, and not only Katie, but my other dogs before her.

The other night I was feeling this, a strong feeling of needing to let the dog in, but of course I couldn’t, because I know that no dog is there.

Then the “Energy” changed, I realised it wasn’t Katie on the verandah, but Benny…

Katie is in her den (under the dining room table, as usual) and if I type away on my laptop while I’m in bed, I can just about expect to turn and see her there.

Looking at this sensibly, I’d say it was my mind playing tricks on me, since Katie had been here for nine years and was my, and I stress this, my *constant* companion, and for that matter, my assistance dog.

But I’m getting such a strong impression of her that I don’t know what to think, my mind is convinced she is there, and although part of me says she can’t be, I’m being told that she is.

Am I going mad?

I had another impression that my older dog, Laddie was sitting in my bedroom too.

I’m not seeing them or hearing anything, it’s sort of a dream like experience, as if a dream is layered over reality.

What I’m feeling from all of them is that they’re perfectly fine and content, it’s me who wants to let them in and out and who calls to them and is feeling frustrated, but if they are here… then what’s the

You may recall that I used to do a lot of meditation and new age stuff years back, and I remember being told that sometimes we may see our guides, and one evening, I saw this plain little ghost
who did absolutely nothing but sat on the couch for about half
and hour… I think my Dad saw it too.

It wasn’t the least bit frightening, and I examined it by putting my
hands around it, all it looked like was if you put a white shape of
a person into photoshop and reduce the opacity to about 10%…
it had no features at all, it was just a little human shaped bit of
light which just sat there.

And nor are the dogs frightening.

Jette, A new beginning.

7 10 2013

“and If you can’t be, with the one you love, Honey, Love the one you’re with” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

I hope people don’t think I’m a hard arse.

Katie doesn’t even seem cold yet, and I’m getting another dog.

Yes, I’ve been here before, I’ve had a wonderful dog, who has died and it left me shattered.

When Laddie died, it bought my parents and I down, we sulked about it for weeks, Gone was our special boy, Half German Shepherd and Half Collie, The dog who could stand on concrete and bounce a tennis ball and amuse himself, The dog who would (wrongly) be allowed to go to the local park by himself, and return with gifts… a squeaky toy hammer, a babys dummy, a pair of mens red undies, a bag of garbage, an entire tree branch.

Laddie loved us as much as we loved him, and I still love him even today.

Losing that wonderful personality from our lives was gut wrenching.

I can remember my Sister being angry with us, “Oh for Gods sake, It wasn’t the bloody Queen Mother!” No, He was more special than that, He was OUR dog, He was family. But none of us said anything, and if we did, I don’t remember, I only remember the silence and how we felt.

Dad always took him for a walk in the evening, He never had a lead, but we never needed one. Laddie was as sharp as a tack and very well behaved… Well except with the dog across the road who he hated, a fight broke out twice in the park between Buddy and Laddie. I tried to separate the two once and that was a bad mistake, Laddie almost bit right through my hand, He’d bitten first, then understood later.

I remember his guilty look, I remember the blood and the pain, I remember My Dad (A huge, muscular truckie) almost passing out upon seeing all the blood, and Mum left to clean me up.

Mum was always the Nurse.

My hand swelled up like a tennis ball.

It’s what happens when you have a dog, and you just accept it… it was my mistake.

I was never quite sure whose side Laddie was on, I’d sit on Dads side of the table and tell Mum that I was pinching Dads tea, and Laddie sat there growling and showing me all his teeth… But then I’d say “Would you like some, Laddie?” and his face would change from angry to “Yes please!” as he licked his lips, only to resume growling again if Dad came into the kitchen and asked “What’s This?”

Laddie had cancer, and his frame melted away to a skeleton, He was taken to the local vet in the truck that Dad used for work, Laddie had never been in a car before, and although he was dying and in obvious pain, he was really happy.

The vet rang the next day with the worst news, which had been expected.

The Vet suggested that the best thing would be to put Laddie down, and I agreed.

I wanted to see Laddie and asked if they could please hold on and wait till I get there so I could see him one last time.

Mum had never seen me do anything like that before, I cried in her arms and she cried too.

At the time I wasn’t well and had to wait for my Dad to come back from work, I wrung my hands waiting for Dad to return, No Mobile phones back in the late 80s, at least not easily available to the likes of us who didn’t have much.

But with only a few hours to go, the vet rang again, to say Laddie had died.

I had missed him, it was awful. I had sent my best friend to the vet and he had died alone, I still feel guilty about that till this day, but there really was no way for me to get there by myself.

Coming home in the car, from anywhere,  and not having that big welcome he’d always give us was hard, and perhaps it was some relief to my parents when I bit the bullet months later, after I started to feel that perhaps we should, really get another dog.

Dad was missing the walks they went on, Mum missed the person she’d share a bit of cake with “If you die, Laddie, We won’t eat any” She’d say.

We received Laddies ashes, I think they were posted, but I’m not sure.

Months passed.

I bought home a newspaper and looked up dogs at the back, in the classifieds.

I found a listing for Alaskan Malamutes, phoned the number and soon I was telling the breeder (Loretta) about Laddie and how much we missed him. and she said, “We have a little one here called Benny”.

So Dad and I set off for Point Cook, not too far from here.

We stood in a little dish at the front door, to kill any parvo virus on our shoes and entered. There were pups everywhere, The poor mum had given birth to fifteen.

We were shown Benny, He was tiny, and fluffy,

He was a long coated Malamute. It’s considered a defect in the breed, as snow and water don’t fall off their coat, instead the coat would get soaked and if it froze, the dog could die.

For a companion, it’s not so bad, but they do need more brushing. Laddie loved being brushed more than anything, but Benny hated it, and so did Katie who was to follow, the two malamutes always told me off when I did it.

Dad loved him right from the start, I wasn’t sure, I still missed Laddie.

Loretta almost made me pick him up saying “He’s your puppy”.

While we were at the house, an Italian man and his teenage daughter turned up, I think Benny was about the last to be sold, but they were all too young to go to homes yet.

Mario, Lorettas husband, ushered Dad into a corner to do business, Dad handed over the cash and the deal was done, Benny was to be the first dog we ever paid for, they’d usually simply turn up, as Laddie had, Mums Boss found him at work.

Mario told us later “I’m Italian myself, and I can see Benny digging a den in Pappas veggie garden and that’d be that” Well as it turned out, Benny did dig a few holes, but they were generally tragic, never deep enough to bury a bone, which would be left with a sprinkle of dirt on the top.

Benny was a brilliant dog, and we loved him.

A month or so passed and we picked up Benny before Christmas, He howled all the way home, in Mums arms.

Unlike Laddie, Benny had rides in the car, Dad hated the idea of a dog in his nice clean Kingsw… oh, Sorry, Fairmont (I hope you got the reference) But Benny was welcome. Mum and I looked at each other, I’m not sure why, but Dad had softened.

So we often went to country markets at Gisbourne, Blackwood and Daylesford, where people always asked us the same questions, What breed is he?, Does he eat a lot?, Does he cope well in summer? Mum and I joked about printing up a sheet with all the answers.

While Laddie would be inside in the winter, curled up near the heater, Benny hated all heat and any trace of sunlight. He would lay on the concrete verandah in winter, or on the cold bathroom tiles, with his back legs stretched out to the back and his pads pointing upwards.

And unlike Laddie, Benny wouldn’t sleep in my room, I have no idea why, It was either my parents room or the bathroom. But he’d come in and sleep near me in the morning after his walk with Dad to get the newspaper, as unlike my parents, I was never an early riser.

Benny had a harness which had been hand made for him, it was made of leather and was lined with sheep skin, and I strongly suspect that the guy who made it, specialised in leather gear, for men, rather than for dogs… in fact it fits me perfectly.

Sometimes Benny would refuse to wear his harness and utter rude howls at us, until Mum spat the dummy and ordered him to “Get your harness on!” though sometimes that didn’t work either.

Then I’d say “Well Mum, I’ll wear this harness” and I’d begin to put it on, Benny would go quiet and give me a look like “Hey, That’s mine!”… then he’d settle and allow me to put it on him instead.

We lost Dad to cancer.

Benny was a comfort to Mum and I, and I was glad to have him with us.

Bennys legs went on him at around ten, his “wrists” were on the ground, and not held up like they should have been, and then his hips went.

One night he was crying in pain, he was actually saying “Oh No, Oh No, Oh No” over and over, it was heart breaking.

The vet was called, and there was nothing to be done for him, I held Benny close and the drug was given in our backyard, Benny was taken away in a body bag, Three of us had to carry him out, We passed by Mums bedroom… She was there crying with our neighbour, I had not expected it, I think she was trying to hide her feelings from me, perhaps because she felt that it might make me feel worse. Mum saw us and I heard her fall apart.

The bag was put into the vets boot, he was clearly upset too, offered some kind words, which I don’t remember.

I watched the car drive all the way up the street, and remember the red tail lights turning left and vanishing, I broke down.

A neighbour came over to offer some comfort.

Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with cancer.

One day the vet returned, He was a tall Indian man dressed in a suit, He handed us the box containing Bennys ashes, He offered us his condolences and sat with us for a while. I thought he was very kind to do that.

I decided that we needed another dog, and this was done fairly quickly too, I didn’t wait.  I consulted the internet, namely the Ozmals group on Yahoo (Yahoo groups were still cool at this time), I knew a breeder who’s girl was about to have pups, and several people were lined up for them… but she had one, just one.

I really wanted a male, so I hung off, I just liked boy dogs, I didn’t think a female would be as good, call me a sexist if you like… Katie was about to change my mind.

Katie had come up too, and unlike the other one, needed a home or would lose her life.

She had been begging food from staff at Pukapunyal Army Base, she would take whatever she could get and sleep in the nearby bush.

Where she had come from, nobody knew, Had she been dumped or had she escaped from a home?… there had been a horrible storm around that time, and fireworks too, she hated both.

The local vet had held her for longer than she should have, She had just put down a male who was apparently aggressive and she didn’t want to do the same to Katie who she thought was lovely and deserved a chance.

She had been driving Katie everywhere, looking for her owners, or looking for new ones, nobody wanted her.

I admit I dallied, Had I known what I know now, I would have taken Katie immediately, but it’s hard to know how a dog will be.

Someone bought Rhondas puppy, and that made the choice easy, I took Katie.

Everything was arranged and Rhonda bought Katie to us, sometimes I think Rhonda told me a fib, but if she did, I don’t mind at all.

We probably didn’t take as much care as we should have,Benny had been old and barely able to walk, but when he was young, he was as powerful as a train, or at least seemed to be.

So Katie bolted up the street and I thought that was it, nobody could catch her. but she saw a neighbour and wanted to say Hello, so thankfully she was retrieved.

Katie and I had some good long walks which I hadn’t been used to as Benny could barely manage the park, just a few doors up, as he got old and his body failed him.

About a month or so later, I had bowel surgery, and it wasn’t long after that that the radiation and chemo began.

I don’t remember much of Katie then, I was barely well enough to do much of anything.

I remember that she used to come into Mums room, and wrap herself behind the curtains, and fall asleep there.

She was a very timid dog though, she would act as if I was about to give her a belting anytime I raised my hand, she grew to understand that I wouldn’t hit her, and began to love me.

She loved her Mum, she’d spend a lot of time licking her… or perhaps she knew something then that wasn’t obvious to us, but was to her… Mum had been losing weight and getting frail.

I remember the day that my PICC line was removed, and that was a huge relief, it was always in the way, I never really had a good shower because of it, and it itched like mad where the sticky patch covered its external bits.

Although I still had the bag, on my body, and that was a nuisance.

As I recovered, Katie and I would go for nice long walks together, and it helped a lot.

Mum had had a few attacks where she almost stopped breathing, and an ambulance was called the second time.

I had found mum on her bedroom floor that morning, whacking the wardrobe with a shoe, hoping to wake me up, Katie was sitting next to her, confused and offering her paw.

The third time it happened, the ambos were too late, and Mum died.

Then it was just Katie, Vicky and I, and somehow, we coped.

Katie and I would generally go on big walks together, We’d walk to Seddon, or to the creek, which has a lovely dog park around it, sometimes I think I was online too much and should’ve been walking with her… but we did go out every day except if it was too hot or wet.

And people would stop us and ask questions, the same ones they asked us of Benny.

And in the evening I would feed Katie, which was one thing Mum suspected I’d forget to do.

She used to get doggy meatballs, an egg, and some milk.

Katie was very fond of milk.

And she’d sleep beside me every night, and I would be soothed to sleep by her breathing, and the knowledge that I wasn’t entirely alone.

Katies health declined, and I’m not sure why, She was slowing, but I could cope with that. I’d rather have an old slow dog than no dog at all.

I’m sure I’ve told you the story.

It lead to the night I dreaded most of all, She was crying, like Benny had nine years earlier, and I held my darling girl, and the drug was given, I held her to the end, until there was no life left, and wondered yet again, why I was left in witness and why I couldn’t have gone too.

Katie and I were inseparable,  and now we were forced apart, I didn’t think I could bare it.

She had meant more to me than anything, I adored her, I didn’t think I would, but I couldn’t have asked for anything to be so near perfect, I’ve been heartbroken for weeks, and lost, and wondering who I am without her.

It was always Katie and I, always.

I lost her in the car going to the vet, her eyes kind of went blank, and although she lived for two days after that, I know that she wasn’t the same afterwards.

So I sit here typing away with tears streaming down my face, some have said it’s too early, I am still grieving for Katie but know that I must try again or condemn myself to being lonely.

When I picked up Katies Ashes, The vet there said, that she doesn’t understand waiting, because there are other dogs who need a home, she said, it’s like your best friend dies and thinking that you wouldn’t find a best friend again… I’m not sure if she’s right, but I had been thinking along similar lines.

I know the drill now.

I get a dog, and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get one who will love me, and support me, though at this time I doubt that any would be as good as Katie… but I thought highly of Laddie and Benny too.

And then, on some dark day in the future, they will have to be put down, or simply die in their sleep. I’ll be fearing that if I’m to go  first, who will take my old dog? and who will take care of them as well as I did? I don’t care about myself, to be frank, I hate being alive but fear death, or perhaps, the dying. but I would like to end all the fears I have and be forgotten, as I will be.

Jette needs a home, I need a dog.


Katie and I

24 09 2013

I’m considering everything that was done for Katie.

I rarely left her, and when I did, she was always safe inside the house, and four times she went to a kennel, just for a few days
when I was either on holiday or at hospital.

Katie had good food and fresh water every day, and had a big walk each day, unless I wasn’t well or the weather was too hot or cold, or wet.

The walks helped me recover too, and am grateful to her for that.

She wanted me to buy her a soft bed, she saw them at the local shops and so I got her one.

She took sick at one point and had a big operation, which she recovered from and probably had an extra five years of life as a result.

She hurt her eyes several times, and had an operation on one, and ongoing medication on the other.

Her teeth were bad, mostly because she chewed through a fence to possibly escape from her former owners, and to escape into the neighbours yard because I was there.

Katie was with me, the day I lost Mum.

She went to a friends farm twice, and twice to the beach, she loved that.

Katie loved furries, and adored Marko and Davids suits, and wanted one of Markos paws.

She was always the first person I would consider whenever I made any plans at all, and I would always prefer to stay here with her, than go out anywhere… unless she could go too.

She was my support dog, perhaps not officially, but I couldn’t have done much without her, she was very special.

I think she was the most loyal dog I’ve ever had, if she wasn’t at my side, she was completely depressed… and that’s saying something, because the last two I had, Benny and Laddie were exceptionally loyal too.

Katie was a rescued dog, had I not taken her in, then she may have been put down in 2005, simply because she was unwanted.

But she was wanted, and she wanted me, Her companionship and love was just magic, and I’d be very lucky if I ever had that again.

I will try this last effort to keep her going, because if I don’t, I will forever wonder if it might’ve worked, and I don’t want to be looking back to this time, thinking If only I tried harder, I would have had her a bit longer.

If she survives this, and has a peaceful life here at home, if she can eat and drink, and get up and go outside when she needs to, then I will keep up her medications and continue to look after her, I am proud of her, she is an honoured member of this house, she is my family, and I will give her as much love and comfort as she needs.

But if she doesn’t respond, then I’ve decided that I will let her go.

Katherine was without a doubt, one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, and I will love her dearly, for the rest of my life.

The Katie FAQ

3 03 2013

Whenever I’m out walking Katie, my Malamute, I’m always asked the same questions, not that I mind re-telling them, though I have often joked about writing a FAQ… Well here it is.

What sort of dog is Katie?

An Alaskan Malamute.


I have heard there’s a difference between the Alaskan Malamute and the other one, what is it? the Husky?

A Siberian Husky is a smaller breed, they’re strong and agile and mainly bred to pull people in the snow. An Alaskan Malamute is larger and stronger, think about Clydesdale Horses in comparison to a Quarter horse. Malamutes are used to pull freight through snow, and people too.

Is it hard to keep her cool in Summer?

It can be, Summers in Melbourne can be very hot, but Katie likes to be inside with me and we have a lovely air conditioner to keep her cool.

Does she eat a lot?

Not really, at least I don’t seem to notice it, a bowl of food in the evening seems to be enough, she has milk and eggs too (sometimes) and a snack in the evening. She will will also lick up whatever the cat (Vicky) leaves behind after her breakfast.

He meals mostly consist of 4legs meatballs which I get from Coles, and if I’m having pasta, Katie will share some of that with me. I might give her canned food now and then, but rarely… she sometimes gets dry food, but I don’t like it and mostly avoid it.

People say dogs should eat dry food, really? Have you ever heard of a wolf going hunting for kibble? and would you eat dry food all the time? I doubt it.

Where did you get her?

Katie had been running free around Puckapunyal military base in Victoria, Australia. She had been picked up by the local vet who loved Katie and tried desperately to find her a good home. She would load Katie into her ute and drive around looking for someone to take her, but nobody would.

I had sadly lost my beautiful dog, Benny, a Malamute too, to Cancer (and didn’t know at the time, but I had it too and would soon be in hospital) and had decided that I absolutely must get another dog.

I had contacted Bennys breeder on via an e-mail list I was on at the time, She had one puppy available, and I was considering buying her, but then the people on the list became aware of Katie.

I wasn’t quite sure of what to do, Buy the puppy or take Katie.

Katie had one day to go before being put down, the vet had kept her a week more than she should have, and the pup had been sold to someone else.

I said I’d have Katie.

Bennys breeder picked Katie up and drove her down to me, where She’s lived since 2005.

Does she get along with cats?

Yes, She lives with Vicky and things are mostly ok between them, though at first it was havoc, Katie wanted to chase Vicky, and Mum and I were forced to feed Vicky on the roof for a few weeks until Mum had enough, and so we began to introduce the pair to each other.

Does Katie bark or make a lot of noise?

No, She rarely barks at all, but will howl for me when I go out, often she’s so quiet that she will bed down somewhere and it will be as though she’s not here… it was the same for Benny.

I bet your carpet is covered with fur.

Yes, and so are all my clothes and every other surface you can name, well, it’s not that bad (though there’s fur on my keyboard as I type). People tend to dump these dogs for that reason in particular, but they make such awesome family members, who cares if there’s a bit of fur here and there? not me.

Does she dig?

Malamutes are known for digging, not just a small hole, but a den… Katie doesn’t dig much, but once I was out in the garden and fell in a hole that went up to my knee!

Is She friendly?

Yes, She loves to meet everyone, especially kids, but I have to watch them carefully. Katie had a disease called pyometra years ago, which made her very sore around her rear end, as such, her tail is off limits to everyone even though she’s all better now, but the kids all want to touch that big fluffy tail, so I try to keep them at the front end.






20 02 2013

I’m writing this as a guide in the hope that it can help someone else, it is not however proper medical advice. There may be a reason that your drugs need to be taken at a particular time.If in any doubt about any of your medicine, contact your medical practitioner.

So there I was, sitting on my couch, typing away, when I looked up and noticed Katie, My beautiful Alaskan Malamute, squinting.

This worried me because she has an unfortunate habit of getting pokes in the eye, and I’m not sure how it happens… but the last time it happened it caused a great deal of worry and a vet bill of over $1500.

I checked her eye and noticed that it was blue, I’d known it had been blue for a while, I’d fobbed it off as just being a cataract which it is… except now the outer part of the eye, the cornea was also blue and the white of her eye was red, this wasn’t right.

Katie and I went to our local vet, who suspected the eye had been damaged by glaucoma, but then she also said there didn’t seem to be any pain. She didn’t have the right equipment to check and sent us off to an eye specialist.

Now for all of you who didn’t know that there were eye doctors for dogs, may be surprised to know that they do exist, I didn’t up till that point… The one I was sent to the first time Katie hurt her eye specialised in dogs, horses and native Australian animals.

There are specialists in other areas too, those who work with bones or cancer.

This time I was sent to a different eye specialist, I probably would have preferred the one I went to first as all our records were already on computer, however you can be waiting days or weeks for a specialist, and this one had time to see me the next day.

Another thing to understand is that Animal Eye Vets travel from vet to vet, they may not always be in your area, so that’s another, sometimes awkward, problem.

So I grabbed the opportunity.

After examination, I was told that Katie had poked her eye (again) and there was a very small ulcer there… but the blue cornea was a result of inflammation. The goal was to heal the ulcer and the cornea.

I was told that both can probably be healed with drugs, rather than an operation.

At that moment I breathed a big sigh of relief for Katie, and another, for my pocket, Though I’m sure everyone knows Katie comes first, I’d gladly pay to keep her in good shape, She’s my constant companion and I love her dearly.

I was to be given four drugs and an eye drop, everything was explained carefully and I received papers on what needed to be done.

However, I had never had so many pills to handle before, I was worried that I might get quite confused and would need a plan… I also realised that others may find themselves in a similar position, but may not know how to manage it… but after some thought, this is what I came up with.

This should work for anyone, but again, if in any doubt, check with your vet or your doctor. Your vet or doctor may have already told you to take a specific medication at a specific time, that wasn’t the case with me.

Firstly, let me introduce the medication I was given and what they’re for:

Macrolone 20mg (Cortisone) – Pill – 1 per day for 7 days, then half per day.

Doxycycline (Antibiotic) – Pill – 1 1/2 Twice a day.

Niacinimide (Vitamin B) – Pill – 2 pills, 3 times a day.

Tacrolimus – Eye drops – 3 times a day.

As you can imagine, this looks fairly complex, and I wasn’t sure how to plan it out, I started to think about iphone apps and things which could remind me, but then I realised that it was a lot simpler than it first appeared.

Firstly, which medication is to be used most often?

The Niacinimide and the Eye drops, ok, so that means there are going to be three times during the day when medicine will be given, even if the medicine changes in those times.

Next, As I am Katies carer, she can’t take the pills herself, when am I available?

I sleep odd hours, this is mostly due to problems I was left with after surgery, but am definitely available between the hours of midday and midnight.

And finally I needed three evenly spaced times in which to give her the medicine.

I settled on Midday, 6pm and Midnight… Sensible?

One more thing, to simplify things even further, I gave the drugs a “nickname”Cortisone (Blue), Antibiotic (Green), Vitamin B (White) and Drops.

So this is how it works:

Midday – Blue, Green, White and Drops.

6pm – White and Drops

Midnight – Green, White and Drops.


At the moment her eye is looking slightly better, but she really hasn’t been on the medicine for much more than a few days so far.



An essay on what I did on my holidays *sigh*

6 03 2012

The first day on the return to School was always the same.

The Teacher would say “Write me an essay about what you did on your holidays” and then there’d be a collective sigh from the class.

Years later, when I found out that I actually liked writing, I began to understand that the reason kids hate writing about their holidays is because they don’t enjoy writing, particularly if spelling isn’t easy… but also because most of us think our holidays were “boring”.

Emily thinks she didn’t do anything interesting, despite the fact that She spent a weekend with her Gran who is a well known pianist and very funny… She thinks of Jim, who spent two weeks in Italy… Despite the fact that Jim thought that swimming and sitting on the beach at his grandfathers home was “boring”, and He thinks of Kate, Who got to spend two weeks at home, with her friends, watching videos… despite the fact that Kate was actually bored out of her wits because it rained for two weeks and she didn’t get to go anywhere. (although friends stayed overnight a few times).

And this is what Teachers must raise with Children, our perspectives are always different, and we often think our own lives are a lot less glorious than the lives of others.

Now that’s settled, I want to talk about my holiday… and although my eleven year old self may sigh, I’m actually quite happy to write about it.

I got up relatively early, my bags were already packed and I had a shower.

I fed Vicky before I left and got Katie ready.

Deb turned up early, She’s turned up ready to take me to Her place, in her car. The drive would be something like four hours to the south east of our state, heading for a place which is somewhere near Heyfield in Victoria.

I had been telling Katie, My Malamute, that we would be going out in the car soon, and I think it did get into her doggy mind that she was going somewhere, and she was very keen to get into the car for a ride.

We did a few local things first.

Deb had been hanging out for a Turkish Delight Gelati at the Gelati shop (No spell checker, it’s “Gelati” here in oz, kindly piss off). But I also wanted to drop off a photo for a local photo competition, in Seddon, so we did that, then drove to Yarraville… but the shop was closed, Deb wasn’t happy.

But she did buy some small cakes at Heather Dell, a shop which has been there for decades, going back to when Mum was a kid.

Some people came out of the op shop and started asking me all the usual questions about Malamutes, I don’t mind, it happens all the time, how could anyone who loves dogs not want to talk to Katie? I am very lucky to have her.

We went back to the car and set off

We drove for about an hour, and then stopped at a big servo which had almost any sort of take-away hidden away inside it, No truckie would go hungry there.

I noted that they even sold soft porn DVDs.

I had a chicken sandwich there, and a juice.

Katie had a pee, and was much happier.

I don’t recall what Deb had, but we all had something good, and that was the main thing.

Then we piled into the car and continued.

*** Sorry dear reader, but I was very tired and fell asleep.


We continued on to Moe, Which is South-East Victoria, sort of… lots of hills and trees and houses, quite an active small city with a lot of shops.

We stopped for peeing and dropoffs and pick ups and I tweeted a message to Scuzzy that we were nearby and would be at his place in about 30 minutes.

I had known Scuzzi for quite a while, mainly via Second Life, But we’d never laid eyes on each other for real, so this would be interesting.

He tweeted back that He wasn’t expecting company and tore off to do some cleaning.

We drove off, and Deb showed me all the sights of Moe and the Shops, there were a lot of shops, it appeared to me that if you lived in Moe, then you wouldn’t have gone without. It was probably quite a nice place to live.

Confusingly, there was a shop at called Maccas, which wasn’t a Maccas at all… but something else. (Aussies call McDonalds “Maccas”).

We drove for another half an our and found a particular farm gate… Deb stopped and paused, then remembered I was a city boy, and opened the gate herself… I promised to do it on the way out.

There was this, and I’m hesitant to call it this, “road” leading through into the bush, into a gully… it was covered in what may have been quartz, and was full of potholes and bits which scraped the base of Debs car… this was not a place for your standard vehicle, a four wheel drive was what was needed here.

Katie braced herself in the back, and for a moment there was a scary bit where I thought we were going to go off the side of the cliff, but we didn’t.

We came to a separation of the track, one side leading up the hill, and the other down.

We decided to go up, and came to a run down home with lots of glass windows, but no wonder, the view was magnificent. as Deb went knocking on the home, I went outside and took a number of photos, which I made into a panorama once I got home.

I tweeted Scuzzi again, we’d gone up instead of down… oh well, back in the car we got and slowly wended our way down the track.

Scuzzi lived with his dog in a huge concrete house overlooking the lake, it seemed a strange place for a home, but excellent if you needed peace and quiet.

Scuzzi welcomed us, it was nice to see him… He was very informal, which was great because I don’t have a formal bone in my body either, old hippy that I am, and He welcomed Katie too.

Now Katie was looking a bit distressed, and I was thinking that it was just Her finding herself in a strange house… I really should have thought about her more.

Deb, Scuzzi and I sat around the table, and had a cup of tea and a few small cakes which She’d bought in Yarraville (near me) before we set off.

Then katie came romping into the room like a silly puppy, and I realised what had happened before the others had.

Katie had taken a dump inside the house, and it wasn’t a little dump, it looked as though an elephant had left it there.

Scuzzi handed me a fire shovel and I scooped it up and raced it outside, It was cleaned up quickly and forgiven, but still, I really hadn’t been paying attention to Katies body language, She had been in the car for quite a while and was quite agitated once she got out and I had taken her inside Scuzzis home (fearing snakes) too soon.

It was my fault.

*** I’ll write more later ***



The most photographed.

31 01 2012

I was given my first camera by Mum, it was a polaroid which shot eight photos, in black and white.

“Now don’t go clicking on everything” she said with that snapping tone in her voice, like she was about to give me a clip around the ear “save it for something special”.

So much for creativity.

I’ve been here before in other blog posts.

But this is about my dogs, I have had five dogs to my name over the years, Beginning with Tina, a fox terrier, Tina had the knack of photo-bombing down petty well and appeared in about five photos that she wasn’t really supposed to be included in.

There was a gap, and then when I was a teenager, asked Mum why we didn’t have a dog.

Well, Mums boss found some puppies and had been caring for them, She asked us to come over to her place one night, and that’s how we got Bobby… Who seemed to be partially German shepherd and Greyhound.

I think He stayed with us for about four years, but he was a randy bugger and tore off one night, He’d do this fairly regularly, but one night he never returned… We were’nt as careful with our animals in those days.

The strange thing is there are no photos of Bobby, none!

Then Laddie turned up, part German Shepherd and part Collie, He grew up to be very clever, very loyal and gave as much love as we gave him.

We have some instamatic pictures of him, a couple of very nice ones, but you can’t expect much from 110 film.

Then Benny came along, our first Malamute, and the only dog our family had ever bought.

Benny was wonderful.

Because I was starting to get into cameras at that stage, there’s quite a few shots of him in various formats, Instamatic, Realist 3D and very low res digital from an early Canon camera.

I got my first Camcorder at the time too, so he’s one of the rare dogs to be captured on video.

But I should have had a lot more digital photos of him, and I didn’t realise why until I realised that I had been stuck in a mind frame where we simply didn’t take many photos because film was costly… the film was gone (except for the 3D camera, and video for the camcorder) but the idea of reserving shots for a particular day remained.

I think what killed that line of thought was meeting @Wolfcat on Twitter, who took thousands of photos on a weekend trip.

I began to realise that I had heaps of storage, why shouldn’t I take more photos now?

People who know me, know that I love my pets, I adore them… so it comes as a bit of a shock to look through old photos and not find anything of some of them.

This had to change.

Along came Katie, and I was determined to take as many photos of her as possible.

I have photos and video of her from Pentax *ist DSLR, Sony HDV Camcorder, iPhone 3gs and Canon 550D… and although the plan was to get deeper into photography, and perhaps get work from it, I think if I’m honest with myself, I just wanted clearer photos of Katie.

So perhaps when I’m 90 (oh please no), I can look back and see photos of my beautiful girl.

I’ll end with a sad thought, in all honesty, Katie is the last… I hope my heart gives out when hers does, I really couldn’t take being without her… someone else can have the photos.

Photos of Katie, Here.