Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Allow me, if you will, to impart to new residents of this Country some wisdom that I have gained about pet ownership in this beautiful country.

When we (Peter, Chase and I) started our pursuit of a new family addition, we knew up front that the puppy would have to have permanent quarters outside of the house (not something I was very accustomed to, nor did I like); but as renters, we did not have the luxury of making this decision on our own - it was made for us, by the property management company on behalf of the owners of the home.

So, we were on the lookout for a hearty sort of puppy that could endure the elements of cooler evenings in the Winter (yes, I know that it doesn't get as cold as the snowy White North); but nonetheless, it does get quite chilly; in fact, in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane where we live, the temperature has been known to go down to freezing.  Picture your feline family member having to sleep outside in their house, while you are cuddled up warm and toastie in your house. And of course, the outside elements of the scorching, hot and humid summers must be a consideration, too - this past summer the temperatures were in the 40's Celsius.

So, alas, we got ourselves an adorable tan coloured female kelpie-cattle cross puppy and called her Jessie.

She is gorgeous and she has provided a lot of great company to our family over the past 7 years - yes, she just had her 7th birthday, but alas, she is an outdoor dog.  When we come home from work at night, she stays outside and that is where she lives.  We used to occasionally let her come into the house and watch television with us (but that was before her brother arrived on the scene).

You see, spending all of the time that she did on her own outside, she got bored and started digging holes and barking a bit more (understandable, don't you think).

So, in our efforts to make her life more enjoyable, we did what we thought was the right thing to do at the time, and got her a baby brother - he, too, is a kelpie cattle cross.  He was equally as cute, in his own way - resembling more of the cattle dog with his colouring.  We called him Jake.

So, living in suburbia creates a problem with having these two gorgeous puppies.  They are technically working dogs and help with rounding up of sheep and cattle and hence, have loud yippy like barks.  Now, if I had done more research when initially deciding to get this breed, I probably would have thought twice.  This is why I am imparting this knowledge to others considering this breed.

They are beautiful dogs and very faithful to their owners, very people oriented and although a bit heavy to have on one's lap, Jessie has grown particularly fond of just being loved and petted.

Even now as I am writing this article, she is shoving her head up under my arm, trying to get my attention and get me to rub her ears.  (I'm sitting at the patio table outside).  Her brother is a bit younger than Jessie, and he has yet to appreciate this attention, but he thrives on praise and is a real pleaser.

In each of the houses we have lived in, complaints have been received by the City Council about their barking and although we have only lived in our new house for approximately 5 1/2 months, the newest complaint has come in.  So, now it is, in fact, decision time.  They are regularly walked by their daddy in the mornings, played with in the arvo by their daddy, fed regularly by their daddy; taken to the offleash park by their daddy - what more can we do.  Perhaps, the best solution is to set them free....not literally, but to a property where they can roam and bark to their heart's content.

What's that expression, "If you love something, you'll let them go free."

Like I said, they are good puppies...sure they have their moments, but they are faithful and very loving and affectionate.

I'm praying that we do the right thing by them, as hard as that might be for us in the end.

So, in the end, although the durable, hearty dog might seem like the solution, be very careful with your final decision - do your homework and research the breed; their habits and characteristics, etc.  You will save yourself alot of headaches in the end.

Our gorgeous puppies.  Picture from this past Sunday during our walk around the Lake.

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