"Troubles Down Under - A Dog's True Tale"
by gayla mills
You might wonder, mates, how a purebred Aussie like myself got to West Virginia, but don't ask. I've spent the last few years living with some battlers--nice folks, sweet, but you wouldn't call our shack a homestead or nothing. I had some rough times there. Some of the little tykes in the neighborhood had too much time on their hands and not enough learning. They threw rocks at me and hit me in the head. The blows must've shaken something loose, 'cause I started having seizures and walking around like a stunned mullet. The doc gave me a script for some pills to take each day, so I wouldn't seize up no more.
My family had some tough times too and even lost the house. We packed up, kids and all, and drove east. I missed my lounge, but I got used to living in the car with the family, and I loved seeing the mountains and fields go by. Finally we got to the big city--Richmond--where car life was no fun. My folks had no way to earn their quid and the weather was turning cold. I was so thin I'd have to run around the shower to get wet. I knew things were bad when my mom farewelled me to a place full of barkers, and I watched her with sad eyes as she closed the cage door and walked away.
A tall girl with a nice smile came over then. "We'll have to get him a home quick," she said. I liked that idea. But Tuesdee went by, then Thursdee. Soon I found out that a lot of the barkers had been waiting weeks for their chance at a new life. So whenever a family picked one out, I'd cheer him on. "Good on, ya mate. That family's ace!" The other boys would look at me funny, like they thought I had some kangaroos loose in the top paddock. But it's just 'cause they're Yanks and don't know how to talk proper.
Meantime, the dog-feeders were giving me pills and the regular chow. But I had worms in my gut that ate all my food, and I was so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the jockey. I missed my family.
After a couple of weeks the tall girl came through. She took me to a room where a young couple was waiting to see me. The woman was gentle and sweet, and she let me snuggle up under her knees and gaze into her brown eyes. It turned out the bloke was hers too, but I figured we could share her. She took me outside and we ran side by side. Then they talked about my seizures and skinny ribs as I looked over at them sadly.
Next thing I know, the couple's filling out my adoption papers and the SPCA blokes are giving me a bath. I tell you, did I scrub-up well--my coat was a beaut! Then the woman snapped on the leash and I gave a few last licks to my mates before bailing out the door.
Little did I know what lay ahead. Straightaway we headed west to a friendly little university town. After we stopped moving, I was feeling a bit scared and stayed for a good while in the back seat. Finally, though, I realized this family didn't live in the car. So I summoned up all my courage and went with them into the house. It took a few hours of sniffing, but I decided this was just the place I wanted to be.
The first few weeks were a little hard. I had a cold, I was learning where to go to the lav, and I lost my apricots at the vet's. But you should've seen me hop into the grub. And they nursed me back to where I could run circles around them, just like a working dog should.
I got my routine now. I run every day with my woman and chase frisbees every day for my guy. Next door there's a vixen with a curly tail who lets me romp with her sometimes. Our family's going camping soon, and I even have my backpack to carry food and a water bowl. It's not the Outback, but I hear the Blue Ridge is pretty nice. Maybe there will even be some kaolas I can chase. Ooroo for now, mates!