Sad Dog
The Highway Boys
A Voyage to Australia
Fires of 1967
Spring 1961
Julie, eat your heart out!
The Last Stand of Black Pete
Enter the 21st Century
Tales from the Crib Room
Weather Watch
The Bus Trip from Hell
Agonising About Acronyms
The Vacuum Cleaner
Forward to the Past
List of 2003 stories


When they brought her home for the first time that day, she looked just like a little white fluffy ball. She could not have known then this was the luckiest day of her life. The family likewise, could not have known how lucky they were, for this little dog was one in a million, the children named her Jenny.
From day one Jenny was pampered and loved every bit as much as a baby would have been. The children would carry her around, and when she was tired they would put her to bed on the floor with pillows and rugs. One rug always went over the top and she would be neatly tucked in. They showered her with toys and every night they would be placed all around her bed. The years went by and the children grew up, and Jenny grew older, but nothing changed much. The children never came home without a new toy for Jenny, and when she went to bed at night she flatly refused to stay there without the rug over her, she would then arrange the toys around the bed herself
When life became a little harder with old age, she had her bed made up on the floor next to 'Mum and Dads' bed. Now she wanted 'Mum' to go to bed when she did.
Many's the time when visiting, I've seen her doing her 'little thing' at bedtime. It went like this: Jenny would look at 'Mum' and give a big sigh, Mum responds and takes her up to the bedroom and tucks her in. We sit and wait for about five minutes, and Jenny comes trotting out with the rug still neatly in place across her back. She stands at the door, looks at Mum and gives another big sigh. Mum says "Ok I'll be there in a minute" and Jenny trots off.
Another five minutes pass and this whole scene is repeated once again. We all waited for what we knew was coming next. Out she comes minus the rug, marches straight through the door and promptly sits down on the floor. It was a case of "Bugger, if you're not coming to bed then I'm not going either."
This little charade went on every night of her life.
Jenny always wanted to mother everyone, including myself, and every pet in the family she thought needed mothering. The pet cat was blind, so when she had her kittens, Jenny promptly took the kittens from her and carried them into the lounge room. She laid down beside them with her paws out encircling them. As far as she was concerned a blind mother couldn't possibly look after her kittens. After getting her kittens back a few times and then loosing them again, the cat finally took her babies under the house, where over-fed Jenny couldn't reach them.
Another time that stands out in my memory is when the duck had a number of babies and one little duckling was very obviously in a bad way and looked like it was not going to make it. How did Jenny know this? Because she was Jenny, and naturally took that poor little mite up, and carried it into the lounge room, just as she had done with the kittens. She laid down on the floor with her paws out encircling the little duck in front of her. She stayed there for hours never taking her eyes off the baby, and no way was anyone going to touch it.
Another very vivid memory is when she decides I needed mothering. I'd just come out of hospital after having major surgery, and gone up to Jenny to be looked after until I got back on my feet again. From the moment I stepped into the room Jenny knew. For the next couple of weeks she was at my side. I moved, she moved, she would sit on the floor in front of me and look up as if to say, "Are you Ok?"
Each day I tried to walk a little further than the day before, and Jenny walked with me. (I should say here that Jenny was and old dog by now) and walking was very difficult for her. The footpath on the street ran slightly up hill, not very much, but enough if you are an old dog, or recovering from surgery, and it ended about three house blocks up.
Jenny stuck with me each day, the two of us crawling at snail's pace. One day mum said, "How far does Jenny go with you?" I said “All the way." She said," She hasn't gone past the end of the drive way for months."
Finally the day came when I reached the end of the footpath, and was pretty pleased with myself. Jenny on the other hand must have said quietly to herself "Thank God for that.” because the next day I set off for my walk and Jenny walked to the end of the driveway and sat down, I got the message and set off on my own, but I noticed she didn't move until I got back.
Jenny filled that house with love, both giving and receiving it in abundance, she knew instinctively what so-called learned human beings never learn in their entire lifetime.

Top | 2003 stories | Writers Home