June 13, 2005


I flew down to Melbourne yesterday to pick up Dusty. Had a couple of hours to talk puppies and breeding, agility and training, people and pets, with Deb and Murray to watch the girls play and to meet their mum and aunt. Rosie treated me like a lost lost friend, and I loved both the puppies at first sight. Then back to the airport. I was really impressed by the way Dusty responded to the new sights and sounds - alert and curious but not at all timid or wary.

In the plane I looked through the wonderful package of photos, information and personal comment that Deb had given me. We got back to Newcastle just on sunset. She had dug a little nest in her blanket and licked most of the cream cheese out of her kong so I decided that she wasn't too stressed by the trip. She had hung on for the couple of hours she had been in the crate, so first step was a walk on the grass.

She rode home beautifully. I couldn't bring myself to put her back in the crate, so she travelled the short distance on her blanket on the passenger seat, tethered to the seatbelt anchor. She stood and looked out the window, then curled up for a nap.

Thommo gave her a cursory sniff, but was more interested in getting me to play ball with him, so we had a game while Dusty explored. For dinner they both had kongs stuffed with Billinghurst patties - shut in their Cabana crates, while I made some phonecalls and checked email. Dusty let me know when she was ready to come out - but quietened and sat when I stood beside the crate. I think she'll learn quickly that the door doesn't open unless she is sitting quietly at the back of the crate. Outside for a pee on the designated mulched area.

She made a move towards Thommo's kong (empty) and he barked at her. She backed up a couple of steps then bounced forward barking at him. He gave another bark, and she answered with a play bow and a chorus of barking. She thought it was a great game, but I wasn't sure if the neighbours would, so I sent Thommo upstairs to bed.

She seems to be a problem solver. She couldn't climb up onto the sofa with me, but got herself onto the neighbouring chair and jumped across, very pleased with herself. Having done that she wanted to be on the floor, and slept with her back against the sofa.

I also slept through the Midsomer Murders. Then out to the mulch again, and upstairs to bed. Thommo gave a bit of a wuffle when I let her on the bed, and jumped up himself but settled. She was tooo wiggly and I was too tired to read, so into her wire crate with the blanket and her cow. She gnawed on my fingers for a while, then slept soundly until just after 1:00am when we went out to the mulch again. Back to the crate without stirring until Thommo got us all up.

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