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Thursday, 20 January 2011

A Grand Adventure

Those who live and work in rural industry, in particular the livestock industry would recognise the value of the humble working dog.  Not only a faithful companion, these team members work long hours, often saving a man's wages for little more than a pat on the head, a cup full of bikkies and a kind word from the boss. 



And throughout our lives, many dogs come and go, some just making up numbers, space-fillers, butterfly-chasers, pan-lickers, many names long forgotten.  Boofa, Sam, Fletch, Kym, Lotte, Jill, Max, Trapper, Taggart, Siegal, Butch, Chocko, a few of those that come to mind.

But then there are those dogs, those one-in-a-million dogs, whose ability, tenacity, loyalty and strength all combine to create a dog with a special gift, who come along but once or twice in a lifetime.

Our first such 'special' dog was Tess.


Lithe, agile, spirited, smart Tess.

Our beautiful, capable Tess succumbed to snake bite, along with her daughter Polly one Wednesday afternoon many years ago.  Polly died almost instantly, Tess was raced to town to the vet surgery and lived through that first night and next day, filling us with false hope.  That second night she lost her fight. I cried rivers.

A second dog of legendary value entered our lives as a four year old, some five years ago.  Fred.  Timid, loyal, incredibly capable and brave Fred.


And just two days after this photo was taken,


we lost our beloved Fred.  Let off for his evening run, Fred was nowhere to be found come feed time.  As darkness fell, we called and whistled, all to no avail.

With Fred still not back next morning, we started to drive.  Driving, calling, whistling.  I sent out an email to all neighbours, put posters up at the local store and roadhouse.  The bush telegraph swung into action and all and sundry were keeping an eye out for our beloved Fred.

I cried.  Children cried.  I cried some more.

Five days later, I answered a 'Found' advertisement in the city paper over 100 kilometres to our south.  The description fitted perfectly, unfortunately the lady hadn't been able to catch the old dog, but he had been hanging around their local park for some days.  We headed to town the following day, no Fred to be found.  More posters were placed and the older girls slipped notes into letterboxes in search of our dear old pal.

Eight days after he disappeared, we received the phone call we'd been waiting for. 
Fred was found.


He'd had a grand holiday, was fatter than when he left home, and proceeded to stink up the car all the way home.

22 comments:

  1. the old stinker hey! wonder how he managed to get so far away from home! glad there was a happy ending to this story, I was dreading scrolling down, waiting for a tale of woe...

    PS want a puppy?! have some spare smithfield/kelpie/working dog puppies here that need to find alternate accomodation in the near future!

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  2. Great post. My best dog was called Sally, she taught me SO much. There have been others but she was the "one".

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  3. I love a happy ending :) Dogs are so special!
    Our "one in a million" dog was our red border collie, Gus.
    P.S. Love your blog header

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  4. So glad you guys found him, I too was imagining the worst!

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  5. I was so nervous about his fate - I'm so glad it had a happy ending :) XOL

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  6. I cried when I read you'd lost him then I cried when I read you found him. What a roller coaster few days you've had. So glad he turned up. What's your theory on how he got that far? If only he could tell you!

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  7. I am SO glad you found Fred. How did he manage to get so far away? I imagine he must have jumped on someone's truck? We seem to periodically lose pets - the current workdog is actually microchipped and is wearing a collar with a big orange cattle eartag attached with his name and our phone number. We're thorough if slightly overboard ;)

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  8. Bloody dogs! They're a bit like children ... frustrating at times but you just have to love them ... and both species smell occassionally.

    Thank goodness you found him! I love that bottom picture.

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  9. That is very weird for a station dog to wander off and re-appear 100 klms away.
    Great to know you got him back. Pity dogs
    can't talk????
    Colin (HB)

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  10. Why would he just wander off like that? Most Freds I know are a bit senile you know.

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  11. Gosh what an anxious wait but what joy Fred was found.

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  12. I love this story! Fred looks, and sounds just like Sox, my beloved childhood dog. Loyal, gentle, fun, clever and adventurous. So glad you found him :)

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  13. I am so glad you found him! Our dogs occasionally go on adventures and can travel an amazing distance...

    Also love that you had a dog called "Boofa". We currently have one called "Boofy"

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  14. That's a longway for a dog to go for a pub crawl - Fred and Archer would've been great mates! I suppose Matthew check all the pubs?

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  15. What a long way from home, so glad for the happy ending.

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  16. and i'm sure you all were THRILLED!! that he was stinkin' it up! :)

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  17. OMG, he looks alot like our old boy Jeddy.
    I still get tears when I think of my old mate. 15 years is alot years to have someone by your side, then GONE.
    I still get a faint whiff of Jed sometimes when I sit on the kids old leather couch, not bad-Just Jed. So glad fred got to come home.

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  18. So glad he came home, I would have cried rivers with you !

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  19. Oh, gosh, Fiona - that gave me goosebumps! So pleased ti see his delighted owners at the end. J x

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  20. Yep we all loved Fred....and King and Gem.

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  21. Awww, I'm so glad you found Fred. We've had several dogs, all gone now, but loved with all our hearts.

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  22. Oh phew... was holding my breath until the end. Great story and yes, a good dog is a priceless asset to any farm. gxo

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