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Canberra Today 19°/22° | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Sketch / I’ve gone completely to the dogs

SARAH MILNE came to Canberra petless but after three years it’s all dogs, dogs, dogs!

I CAME to Canberra three years ago without a pet to call my own and had to make do with friendly neighbourhood cats and a family of six, high-maintenance magpies. 

Sarah Milne with golden retriever pup, Obi.

My luck has changed and I now have doggo overload! It begins with my friend Tash who is a volunteer search and rescue mountaineer. 

Training of her year-old golden retriever pup, Obi, is well underway and me and best mate Ming are the lucky recruits in these manoeuvres. Our instructions are to scarper off into the bush in various directions, throw ourselves into the scrub and remain stock still until Obi comes to rescue us. Lying face down in the scrub, counting the minutes, you hear the crackling of undergrowth, the thumpity thump of feet and then a wet nose pressed into your face. 

Obi then gets a reward. Not as he would hope, a chocolate doughnut, but playtime with a favourite pink octopus. And, of course, what must be running through Obi’s head? These two idiots, why do they keep getting lost? 

That’s Mondays and Fridays; Tuesdays and Thursdays I promenade with two dainty poodles of my acquaintance, around the lake shores in Yarralumla. Controversial as it was, I was kinda glad the local dog park was temporarily closed. My “ladies” would go into the small dog park but spend the whole time regretting their decision. They’d call through the fence to the big guns in the big dog park, asking to be let in. 

And what did the big guns do? Taunt them through the fence with what I can only surmise were “dogrogatory” remarks. 

And finally, a word about Serek; tall, blond and handsome, still living at home and, according to mum Linda, a bit of a handful. A truly “golden” retriever with a pedigree resulting from the finest eugenics, so fine indeed that it makes the royal corgis seem, well… common. 

He came to visit recently and made straight for the muddy pond at the bottom of my garden. He then came in to tell me that I had a pond at the bottom of my garden. Serek, despite being a considerable size, was ACT Parkour Champion in 2018. 

He proceeded to leap all over the sitting room while recounting the story of his discovery of the pond, creating a Jackson Pollock to rival that in the NGA. 

Our rental property lease screams “no pets under any circumstances”. The property agent’s office is less than 100 metres down the road and I could sense the pet-detector alarm going off. I hid indoors, behind closed blinds, for the rest of the day. Phew! Got away with it for now, but it’s only a matter of time. Wonder if Linda and her family will put me up when I am evicted? 

And a very final word on the subject of poodles. Spoodles, labradoodles, groodles and cavoodles; is there any living thing not crossed with a poodle nowadays? Leave them alone. What next? Humanoodles?

Sarah Milne has come to Canberra from overseas with her husband and daughter. She has lived here for the past three years. 

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Ian Meikle, editor

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