As child we had a labrador called Buster, he was my constant companion until brothers and sisters became playworthy. He used to do his rounds after we’d headed off for school. A reporter from the Daily Mail obviously was one of his stops and put us all on the front page thanks to a note on his collar written by my father to disuade neighbours from feeding him (why he didn’t just shut the garden gate I’ll never know.)
We went without a pet of any kind for a few years during the transition and emigration to Australia but once settled in Melbourne, we bought Sam . . . we thought he was a labrador but turned out to be something far more destructive and energetic. He was eventually given to someone with a bit of land once he’d completely ruined the back garden and chewed his way through the hose and above ground pool liner and scratched the bejeezus out of the back door and yapped persistently through the night. At least that’s where I think he went!
We then moved to Sydney and bought Ben. Another lab, great with kids, did tricks, didn’t need much exercise and was very easily pleased. My father had him well trained by 3 months to sit, stay, heel, balance biscuits on his nose which were ‘on trust’ until he was given the ‘paid for’ command. He was beautiful but used to shag anything left on the floor. We had him for 17 years! Unheard of but he had a new lease on life when we moved to acreage in 1975. Where he had more exercise space and tagged along with Babysis and I when we went riding. He finally reached his last legs on ClareBear’s Christening day . . very sad.
Then there was quite a stasis for me. Ray wasn’t a dog fan and as a young couple, we spent many weekends away so the responsibility of dog ownership was too much. We bought a cat. About which I’ll write some other time. Once Ray died, and I was left with toddlers, buying a puppy became a priority. I checked one place out and she had a clutch of rolly-polly’s but they weren’t the best strain of labs and I declined. Sur’nuf about three weeks later she rang to say she had one puppy remaining from the litter so we went to take another look. Yep, bought the dog. $400 worth of tumbling blackness. We named her Brenna “Raven Maid”. Bren was a top dog. She was largely outside, allowed in only when it was very wet or very cold so she was a little rough around the edges and had an itchy spot on her back and tail that made her scratching hilarious to watch as she rubbed underneath things with a look of pure bliss! She was a superior guard dog. Vicious to anyone who didn’t know her yet she could pick the sound of friends’ and familys’ cars and never made a whimper. Sadly, she was neglected a little on the training side due to the demands of building a house and raising a young family and never got much beyond ‘sit’ but she’d retrieve, loved a swim and was generally a loyal companion.
She was just 10 when I took her to the vet because she was struggling a little and he examined her and told me she had a huge tumour, was suffering terribly and needed to be put down . . . I acquiesced, not wanting her to suffer. I asked what would happen to her . . the vet said I could take her home and bury her, he would arrange disposal or I could have her cremated. Can you imagine! It just didn’t seem right taking her to the tip and I didn’t have the stamina to bury her myself. So, doggy cremation was the choice. I still have Brenna in a Box. Seriously! A little green box tied with white ribbon and a condolence card from the pet crematorium. They sent her back with a nice little oil and incense burner! She’s outside in a plastic tub containing painting materials and two-stroke. I just don’t know what to do with her. I was going to bury her, then thought about the bulldozers coming through once the block is subdivided and never really got round to scattering her in her little smelly place which probably would have been the right thing to do. So there she sits, in her green box, waiting to be dispatched. I think when I move, I’ll take her with me and plant a little tree in her honour. . . I haven't a digital photo of her royal blackness so here's one of bewfulls instead. I think I'll have her stuffed!
First one to say "nice arse" gets a slap!
Oh alright then . . .
Awww such a bewfulls wooffly snoofly!
(on my pillows I might add!) How very dare she!