I'm not one for New Years resolutions, those 'New Year, New Me' type of statements however i do want to look back on the year that was and then move on. So, heres how 2016 went down for me...
It started with watching
fireworks from the front yard of our home and then watching the build up to a local government election across the state. We got a kitten in February, a tabby cat and then progressively our home became a refuge for a variety of animals. I began
talking about the cats that entered our premises but i havent mentioned the dogs...
We'll make great pets..
The kitten has
grown and is still with us and we are now the home of daschunds. We were offered a puppy for sale by a local, it was to go to another but due to it being so young they werent prepared to take it at that time. The owner did not want to keep it any
longer so offered it to us. A male daschund of only 6 weeks old. It was thought that this would be a good companion to our kitten. Growing up together would be good for both of them.
All throughout this process
i was reluctant, i have much experience with cats and dogs as pets and know how much work/time is involved with them. I love them but i didnt want to be tied down by them. However, the deal was done and so we have a male daschund. A good
dog generally, mostly an inside dog with all that that entails.
I finally gained a form of employment in the town that we live, in local government though i say i'm part of the increasing casualisation of the workforce and i
have no end date it just keeps rolling along. I commenced as a fill-in for one role and then thinking that was done they called me for another role more project-based. This role is continuing into 2017.
From one daschund
to several in a short space of time. The owner who sold us the pup had an issue with the mother dog and said she didnt want it anymore. Initially she said it was fat but that was quickly dismissed as we realised the dog was pregnant again.
The owner thought she had it locked away from the male however it seems to have done the business again. I got told that she was going to have it put down if we didnt take it.
So, we gained a mother dog heavily pregnant and
trying to figure out what to do with the puppies. Strangely, when the time came, we were attending a family funeral and had just driven out of town when she dropped her bundle. Luckily, my partners sister was present and seemed to know what to
do, even saving the life of the last puppy to be born. A litter of four male puppies, all ranging in size and colouring. The last puppy was born a black-and-tan and has been kept by my sister-in-law. Shes staying with us as she also works
in the town.
The puppies were born a number of weeks before christmas and we advertised them using social media in the wider regional area. The response was good and 3 of the puppies have been delivered to new homes.
Quite a drive in some cases. Happily, we are kept updated on the progress of at least 1. We are not professional breeders and we're not doing it for the money, we just want them to go to good-and-loving homes.
Having pets in this place means that a drive of up to 4 hours is required if and when veterinary services are necessary. It also means that to go anywhere means many hours on the road and with this number of pets that is a logistical issue in itself.
Having pets is a restriction on movement at the best of times but the time and distance we need to go is sometimes too much. We do not have boarding kennels or catteries here either so it is a case of, in an emergency asking neighbours to watch the dogs
and we take the cat in the car. The cat is okay in the vehicle, she's used to long drives now and sleeps through most of it.
On the home front, we had a new back fence constructed, was the neighbours idea and we contributed.
It seems to have kicked my butt into tidying up the back yard especially getting rid of piles of grass and sticks that had accumulated over the time. Previous mower seemed to blow up and having even tried to borrow one didn't help as it would not
start for me. I got sick of taking our mower to the mechanic for him to get it started for it only to stop again and not restart. This was no matter how much i cleaned the spark plug and cleaned the filter. Eventually, i exchanged it with
my dad and he had it fixed by a bloke he knows, says it is working well for him. The mower i got has since worked and the yard is now looking a lot better.
What helped was that i recently bought a Ryobi whipper-snipper/edge-trimmer
and blower pack from Bunnings, may be light weight but seems to do the job for me. It is cordless not petrol-driven and a lot quieter which is why i got it. So, the yard is really taking shape.
Now that it is the
beginning of 2017, we have been residing in this little community for 2 years and we have had a few little occasions with our neighbours. We did not go down to family this christmas and some might say we sacrificed that for our pets. Perhaps it
was a lack of planning on our part given that we kept accumulating them and not accounting for the busy time at most kennels and vet surgeries over the holidays. It meant a realignment of our priorities and we spent the xmas/new year here at home having
quiet time just the two of us and our animals.
New Years Eve was spent in the company of a couple of neighbours and my partners sister and her husband. We had a nice night, plenty of food and drink followed by watching the
fireworks on television. Not sure the pets knew what was going on but still...
The beginning of 2017 has not been the best, my partner and her sister recently got the call that their father just died and
have flown out of the country and back to Philippines to organise the funeral and all that that entails. I decided not to go due to having pets and the casual nature of my employment so it is a sad time for all. These calls
never happen at a convenient time, we got this one late on saturday afternoon and by Sunday lunch time we were in Sydney.
I drove them to the airport and the cat came with us. The dogs were minded by a neighbour
until i got back late on Monday afternoon. That was a round trip of a couple of thousand kilometres. Going to Sydney was not the first choice of course, however from a closer airport there are no daily flights to Philippines. The next flight
out of this town would have been Sunday lunch time and it is a small mail-run type flight to Brisbane and then you would have to catch a connecting flight to Sydney anyway.
Driving overnight out here is not without its hazards.
There are lots of kangaroos jumping around at night and not having a bull-bar on the vehicle did not help quicken our progress. Much prefer to drive during the day but had no choice in this instance. A road trip that would normally take
more than 12 hours took us over 17 hours going down there.
Coming back on the monday and driving all day, just me and the cat, took a little over 12 hours from my dads place which is a little up the coast from
Sydney. Strangely, i did not see a kangaroo on the way back, instead i saw an emu. I guess it was too hot that day even for the wildlife out here. The outside temperature in the car was registering 42 degrees Celsius. I
was back at work on the Tuesday.
Things can only get better from here surely??...