Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dolly, Kudjekbinj, Bing, JP
When I first picked her up her name was Dolly. I was living in Darwin at the time and she was the pride and joy of a big burly biker living next to the Nightcliff Tavern. He seemed devastated when I told him I didn't plan to breed her (Staffy-Dingo-Bully?!?)
She was classified by the vet as a Humpty Doo-Brown-Dog.
She grew up surrounded by the camp dogs of Gunbalunya where her days were spent keeping cool amongst the lemon grass clumps and wisely avoiding the croc-infested waters around the town. It was here she was given the name Kudjekbinj, a place name in Arnhem Land. Visits to Darwin were always interesting as calling out "Kudjekbinj" on a walk always elicited amazement among any Bininj (Aboriginal people of that area in Arnhem Land).
We moved to Sydney where we walked daily around Callan Park, marvelling at the pace of city life and quickly realising it was not the place for us. While she remained Kudjekbinj to me she was usually just introduced as Bing.
She then went to live on the farm with my parents in Northern NSW while I was overseas, learning the joys of chasing rabbits and NOT chasing chooks (chook-chasing dogs don't last long on farms).
We then moved to Hobart and I'm certain she was the only Humpty Doo brown-dog in town. Somehow she then became known as JP, which was supposed to be a shortening of Kudjekbinj??
It was not the weather that brought the biggest changes in Hobart, it was the arrival of children. As more babies arrived, less walks were had. Thankfully JP was ball-crazy and we live next to a reserve so chasing the footy or a tennis ball replaced proper walks. Even so I often went to bed feeling guilty about yet another day with very little time spent with her.
Last weekend we had JP put down. She had a very large tumour on her spleen and while one vet encouraged us to operate I did not want her remaining time to be spent recovering from such major surgery. A second vet agreed and advised against an operation like that at her age.
It was a sad day for me but it was tempered by the knowledge that it was the right thing to do and she had had a great life and had not suffered at the end. We buried her in the backyard with her footy (or what remained of it) and a tennis ball. I've planted some sunflowers there and look forward to seeing them throughout the summer ahead, each one reminding me of my old mate.
I'll leave the kids reactions for another post but they sure do ask the curliest questions!