Wednesday, August 28, 2013
These are the Dog Days
Today is our second last day here in paradise, yet again.
It started out as yet another foggy day and it was a toss of the coin as to what the weather would be like, but regardless it was a Dog Day morning AND afternoon. Our plan was to extract Stuart and Noni from the kennel we put them in when we come up here (Aspen Kennels) and take them out for a day of fun and frivolity.
Our arrival at the kennels was heralded with much excitement by both dogs who acted like we had not been a part of their lives for weeks. It was a quick jump for each of them into their lair in the car, the boot, and off we went.
First stop was the foot of Mount Buffalo, a place where we have taken the dogs a couple of times before. It's a lovely green area filled with tracks and smells and animal spawn which renders any respectable dog crazy with the possibilities of adventure. It's a picnic ground which leads to 'The Big Walk' which takes you up the side of Mount Buffalo if you are fit and daring enough to try it out. The walk initially traverses over a quick flowing creek with a swing bridge and begins a lead up the mountain which the dogs loved.
One of the major delights for myself as we go walking with Stuart and Noni is how the dogs will run ahead then circle back to 1. make sure we are still coming, and 2. ensure they remain the leaders in this walk.
The hillside as we started our walk was filled with the sounds of bird song and some scurrying in the undergrowth, not to mention the bubbling sounds of the creek in the background. It was a delightful start to the day and you could tell by the smiles on their faces that the dogs were enjoying this immeasurably.
We got back down the picnic ground again after walking over the swing bridge once more and as a reward, I gave each of the dogs a brush which like all good dogs, they absolutely loved coming back for more and more after a quick run each.
Lots of wattle around right now! I am so lucky I don't have any allergies.... I know lots of people react to wattle pollen but I can appreciate the perfume and just admire the brilliant yellow hue amidst the greenery of the trees.
With the melting of the snow and all the rain thats been had up here of late the rivers and creeks are pretty full right now, so the one fear we had was of the dogs getting caught up in the fast flowing river... I can imagine the ludicrous scenario we would have jumping in to save either of the dogs. The water is icy too, so we were very wary of either of them getting in too deep. If you can imagine, Stuart is very much like an adolescent these days.... He likes to push buttons and when you say "no", he looks at you as if to say "why not" and continues on until your voice changes and he thinks he might be in a spot of bother if he doesn't comply. Noni is very much a good girl and just watches from the sidelines most of the time but.....you never know!
So, after a while, hunger was getting to us so it was back into Bright for some lunch then a drive onto Wandiligong for yet another walk. We drove to the gold diggings and encountered a Chinese bridge and yet another stream (fast flowing too) with a beautiful grassy pathway we walked along with the dogs once again taking the lead.
Back to the car again, and next stop was in Bright itself where we sat in the main park, by the river and watched a lot of water flow by before hoisting ourselves up again and going for yet another walk along the canyon just to wear both dogs out that little bit more.
I have to say and this juncture that both dogs are a hell of a lot easier off the lead than they are with their respective leads on.
Both dogs like to be in front ( once again like kids) and its a bit of a tussle until they learn that the humans are really in control. (Well, we like to let them think that anyhow).
Back to the car again, and with a cold drink now and a toilet stop for the humans, it was time to venture on once more.
Next point of interest was the park by the river in Porepunkah itself. This is where we got the ball and the throwing stick out to amuse Noni as a distraction to stop her from venturing into the raging torrent of water that is the usually calm Ovens River.
One ball decided to go the quickest way home by water and by the time you reader are aware of its venture, it'll probably be floating out to sea. Fortunately Noni didn't see the ball overboard otherwise she would have thought it was her responsibility to save it from the perils of the deep and with the speed of the water I don't like to project much thought into that outcome either.
So, here we are, mid afternoon, with another hour to kill before drop off time (4 to 5) thank you very much, and so, a walk in the pine forest was the next experience for all concerned.
This time of the day is magnificent up here. The weather is warm, the sun is still sitting above the mountains and the flowers are facing upwards, catching the last of the rays.
The dogs were happy as was the master, and they gambolled off into the bush from time to time pretending to hunt the local inhabitants be they rabbits kangaroos or even stray cats
The most interesting thing of the whole day for me was watching their personalities.
The beginning showed them exuberant and excited as they were picked up from the kennel where they stay each time. When Stuart is like this he's quite vocal and makes a bit of noise....much like a whimper, whereas Noni is complacent and just happy to be in the zone.
As I mentioned before, I love their need for reassurance as they walk on ahead, coming back for the occasional cuddle, pat and lick. I love how they walk together in tandem, yet, as Murray pointed out today, Noni feeds off Stuart, he being the older and the male of the two. Whatever he sniffs, she sniffs also. If he goes in a different direction she will follow, but when it comes to eating other animal poo...she fortunately leaves to him.
They are beautiful dogs in more ways than one. Yes, they are cute, but most importantly, they are loving towards each other and they are generous with their affection towards us, their owners.
We are very fortunate indeed in having our two lovelies even if Noni isn't the full bred border collie she was supposed to have been. To tell you the truth I couldn't care less as the love they give far outweighs any thing else.