Last week on Thursday, was International Dog Day. This day that celebrates our four legged canine friends, is intended to be a reminder that there are many dogs who need to be rescued from homes which fail to provide care, and other difficult situations. The day aims to also put the spotlight on dogs who are homeless, and encourage people who are looking to introduce a dog into their family to consider a dog who is need of a loving home.
To celebrate International Dog Day, I thought I’d introduce you to the most important little characters in our household.
Oscar is a practical poodle who doesn’t have time for nonsense. For Oscar, life is about having fun, helping out in the garden, bushwalking, rounding up chooks and guinea fowl, and generally being involved in anything that is happening, at any given time.
Molly, my little maltese/shihitsu, came to me in 2007, when she needed to be re-homed. This was at a bad time of life for me, when I had recently moved to Bendigo, and was suffering a form of grief, after the breakup of my marriage.
Before I moved, I had three dogs, but was only able to bring one – Matilda, the toy poodle – with me. You can imagine how it broke my heart to leave the other two behind. I had the idea that it broke Matilda’s heart also, to leave her mates. She had never been a lone dog and seemed to be stressing, so I began the search for a mate for her. I heard about Molly, who belonged to my niece, and very soon, she had arrived. It took a while for them to become friends but they ended up being great mates.
In those days, I was doing quite a lot of trail running. Molly on her tiny little legs would run 10k easily with me, and often more. Molly has now almost reached the great old age of nineteen years.
The vet seems to think that those years of running have given her a very strong, healthy heart and a long life. She’s still getting excellent reports from the vet at her check ups. Today, Molly only cares about two things – food and sleep. She’s old, cranky, scrawny and ragged around the edges – very much like myself these days!
I can’t talk about my dogs, without including Matilda who came to me as a tiny toy poodle in 2000. Matilda was apricot in colour and much tinier that Oscar’s size, though they are both toy poodles.
From the first day, Matilda clung to me, and forever after was always by my side. When I moved to Bendigo, and was not in a happy state, I knew that Matilda could always sense that I was sad, and tried her hardest to cheer me up.
Before the move to Bendigo, Matilda walked with me every day at 5am, whatever the weather. I was younger then and didn’t feel the cold as much as I do these days. When I started running Matilda would run with me. It must have been a sight. It’s not often that you see a toy poodle out running.
What was probably a more unusual sight was both Matilda and Molly running with me. They actually kept me going, because I knew they loved it so much. Very sadly, Matilda died in 2016, when I was on holidays in USA. I never really recovered from losing her as at the time, she was the best friend anyone could ever have.
I really can’t imagine life without my dogs. Thinking of the time in the future when I’m unable to have them makes me feel desperately sad. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting my four legged friends.