Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doggy Do's and Doggy Don'ts

The 25th July marks 32 years service on planet earth (some might disagree believing I'm from another planet altogether but I swear it's true). Usually, this auspicious occassion is celebrated thoroughly with a bunch of good mates and a shitload of piss. This year, is a little different.

Every single birthday has had a party attached to it... and oh, they've been good! This year? It seemed there'd be nothing, nilch, nada! I thought I'd be spending it with Micko at home alone. I was planning on heading up to Byron and catching up with a few mates over a few cold ones at my old local, but Splendour is on (spend a few birthdays there) so not only will it be mad busy, but a few are heading out to Belongil for what I expect will be another cracker of a year. I felt like a kid whose been told Santa doesn't exist and so Christmas takes on a different feeling... There's no real excitement to it anymore. It's sparkle fades and although the presents are great, the magic is missing.

But out of the darkness, came some light... a little bambino by the name of Billy - a bitza 4 month old beauty. Micko knows what my birthday means to me and knew I'd be a little down on the day so he organised us to get a dog! We found Billy online, he'd been taken from his Mum and left to fend for himself in the depths of winter... they doubt he would have lasted another night out there alone. We rang immediately to inquire if he was still available. The lady, from the rescue centre, told us that he was supposed to be heading down to Sydney to a family next week. However, the family rang that morning to let her know they could no longer take him on - they had moved into a unit which was not pet friendly. She was devasted and said our call was the best thing that had happened all day. So, on Saturday we take the 1 1/2 hour drive north to Grafton to pick the little fella up.

Micko and I have talked of getting a dog for the longest time and we always knew that we get one from a rescue centre or the pound - it was a given. The hardest part is, once you arrive, you want to take more than one. In fact, you want to take them all home! Even just looking at the rescue centre website, it's hard not to think too yourself 'perhaps I could take 2 or 3'. It's a little bitter sweet... you are doing your part by saving one, but what about all the other beautiful dogs waiting patiently for someone to love them. You kind of feel helpless and that you need to be doing more.

So, Saturday marks a couple of milestones... My 32nd birthday, the first without a party, and entry into the world being a responsible human being. I'm very excited to finally meet our precious practise baby!

Both Micko and I are both dog people all the way! Besides the fact that I'm allergic to cat hair, I find cats scary! Their lack of loyalty, sly nature and unexplained, sporadic attacks make me feel on edge around them. I don't like them all of a sudden running out from under the couch to attack and scratch the fuck out of my legs... in fact I hate the 'surprise' element a cat brings. Birds aren't really my strong point either! I like birds... I think they are beautiful creatures, but one incident has marred my belief in my ability to care for them.

I once had 2 beautiful canaries - Rico and Rana... They were orange in colour and lived in a blue cage. I'd feed them and change their water daily and loved them to bits. Then, my partner at the time and I moved house. I put the cage in the outside laundry (which was completely removed from the house). A week or two later, I was shopping at Carribean markets in Melbourne with one of my best girlfriends. Shopping is one of our favourite bonding exercises and we were having a great time! I even had a psychic reading - was utter bullshit - even though I had a, quite visable, gold chain with a camera charm hanging off it, she leapt into a story that involved me being a nurse!?! 

Then we walk towards the pet section and I notice the bird cages... Something clicks inside me and I feel very cold all of a sudden (I'm sure my heart stopped momentarily). Fuck!!!!! My canaries! The colour drained out of my face, I looked at my shopping buddy and said 'Oh my GOD! The canaries! I've gotta go!' and I bolted out as fast as my tree stump legs could take me. I arrived home, ran to the laundry and there were my 2 beautiful orange canaries... upside down on the floor of the cage. I started to cry... 'I've fucken killed them! I'm a murderer!' I thought to myself. Then I flew into protection mode, if my partner of the time found out all hell would break loose. He had forgotten they'd existed so I grabbed the cage and hid it behind the garage. My girlfriend rang to see what the verdict was... I told her I was a murderer and had killed them and she started to piss herself laughing. Then I did the unthinkable - I started to laugh. Man! I felt like some evil bastard, cackling at the thought of my 2 dead canaries. I've never forgiven myself... although whenever I tell the story, I always get a good laugh.

You're probably all sitting with your mouth gaping open in absolute horror at my blasé retelling of the moment I killed two innocent animals and I can imagine you're now thinking am I capable of raising a dog? Well, I am... I've had many pets throughout my life, 4dogs, a few blue tongue lizards, a couple of stumpy tails, a turtle and my 2 aforementioned birds and the birds are the only ones that ever came to harm. Now my belief, surrounding birds is, 2 birds in the bush is far better (and safer) than 2 in my hand! Let me assure you little Billy, couldn't be in better (or safer) hands! I'm going to love that little fella like it was my of my own blood. Besides... with a dog, you can't forget it's there! It just won't let you!

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