Because we live in a bungalow we no longer “come down for breakfast”, we “come across” instead. Only now we were met by 8 Golden Retriever puppies and at this stage in our lives it was a mixed bag. Yes, they could have adorned any chocolate box you could think of and were truely scrumptious but what goes in, of course must come out and it did so in copious quantities. Every morning the Kiwi had a complete hairy baby sense of humour failure over what resembled something out of a 1970’s Belfast prison dirty protest. We were forced to don industrial strength rubber gloves whilst breathing through our mouths rather than our noses and dealt with it.
Thankfully as the pups got older some of them managed to hold off on their morning ablutions until they reached the lawn outside. But then that holds just as many problems as the outside whoopsies need to be cleaned up just as they did inside. However this is where Santa’s Little Helpers came in (yes it was Christmas time too).
A few years ago an ingenious soul introduced the African Dung Beetle to the Australian wildlife scene, mainly with the aim of reducing the gazzilians of flies that blight our lives. The idea was that the dung beetles would munch through the mountains of agricultural manure produced on farms and thereby reduce the fly problem. To a certain extent it has worked but we always thought the dung beetle was a thing of the outback and not semi-rural Victoria.
You see with four adult dogs and 8 puppies on the property, each with regular twice daily habits, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that’s 24 whoopsies to deal with, every blooming, pooping day. So, yes, Hurrah for the Dung Beetle! By the time we ventured out onto the lawn of an early morning the Dung Beetles had often beaten us to it. I know that some of my blog followers may read this before their petit dejeuner so I won’t go into graphic detail but suffice to say, the little blighters were a God send to us. We have come to love them and will remain in our hearts forever.
To find out more about these lovely creatures have a look at this..
The puppies took over our lives for an entire two months. Between rising at 6.00 am and leaving for work our time was spent mopping, washing beds and bathing pups whilst throwing our brekkie down, me flinging on smart work clothes, putting face on and trying to get out of the door without being late. At lunchtime I drove home at breakneck speed to do the whole thing again, only this time at the run. The office became a place of whoopsie free peace and calm. But in no way am I complaining, to breed a litter of puppies has been on my bucket list for years and I’m incredibly proud of Margot for producing such beautiful pups. She really has been a wonderful mother to them and they are a credit to her.
Eventually it was time to say goodbye to 7 of them, we decided to keep the one with a blue collar and named her Prudence Chalmondely-Smyth. Here she is with her favourite ,,,, Dads boot.
We had no trouble in finding homes for her sisters and brother. I didn’t have to advertise at all, it was done by word of mouth and they have gone to wonderful families already being much loved. The only boy of the litter was named Hugo and went to live with a family of four who live a four hour drive away. On Hugo’s journey home the little boy said to his Dad “I can’t believe we’ve finally got a dog, I love him already”. Later the car radio was playing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and as they were singing along they changed the words to “What a Wonderful Hugo”. When they got home the Dad called and told me this and it made me cry thinking that Margot had made a family so happy. Soppy I know but there we are.
Here’s a photo of one of the Pups enjoying her new home on a farm not far from us.
In other news we have been busy doing lots of improvements to our environs including upgrading the fencing around our property. The fences were a little lacking and Friday the calf frequently visited our neighbours, why we don’t know but now we’ve got an electric fence she’s staying put.
We’ve also got yet another new addition to the team. Our 6 Merino ewes were in need of a husband and we heard of a likely candidate a few miles away. Presented with a mob of about 20 strapping young rams, we chose our boy, mainly due to his magnificent horns and necessary swinging appendages.
Being a huge fan of Monty Python and especially, The Life of Brian the Kiwi has appropriately named our new sheep “Biggus”. Here’s a clip which will explain everything…. Enough said.. until next time xx