What your lunchbox says about you…….

ImageLunchboxes  – many of us have them, lots of people don’t but the word ‘lunchbox’ conjures up images of brightly colored plastic boxes filled with a sandwich, banana, yoghurt and a cereal bar – or perhaps a big piss off bar of chocolate and a sausage roll, either way lunchboxes involve food of some sort and in general, can often speak volumes about the person that eats the contents.

Here are my own thoughts on the politics of the lunchbox and what they say about their owner.

The sensible lunchbox

Usually of standard shape and depth, contains a salad and ham wrap of some sort which is always on wholemeal pitta bread or something similar.  A piece of fruit such as an apple or orange, or if they are not too expensive in Coles, a banana, plus a cereal low sugar bar to round it off.

The sensible lunchbox is carried around by sensible people who always eat the recommended food groups, have their own regular toilet time and generally have excellent digestion.  One is always tempted to offer them fish and chips but that would be akin to eating a kitten so best you don’t.

The carb lovers lunchbox

Don’t think’ one sandwich’, think four slices of bread filled with cheese or meat or something and it has to be crammed into the lunchbox and almost squashed to get the lid shut.  There is no yoghurt with this one, it simply won’t fit – a chocolate bourbon biscuit on the top finishes this meal, all that is needed is there and the owner of it happily commits to ‘carbocide’ every lunchtime and doesn’t give a shit (literally) when they block the toilet up in their once a week ‘toilet trip’ because when it comes to carbs, they are backed up to the tonsils.

Meat lovers lunchbox

No effort required here, in fact technically no lunchbox either.  Think two slices of bread packed with meat, not even cut down the middle, no yoghurt, no fruit, no nothing and it is all wrapped up in foil or glad wrap.  This  is usually owned by a man that loves his meat and enjoys every Sunday at the Bunnings sausage sizzle and thinks that the word ‘vegetarian’ is a swearword.

The dieters lunchbox

Consists of tomato, lettuce, cucumber, olives and a small piece of cheese – not really enough to keep a rabbit in calories but this person is always on a diet and the only reason that the diet doesn’t work is because they have a doughnut every lunchtime which is almost swallowed whole, actually make that three doughnuts and the evidence is usually found around their mouths in the form of sugar dust.

The pasta lunchbox

This lunchbox normally belongs to one of the fat office bitches and by that I mean one of the office bully brigade that was mentioned in a previous blog that bullies anyone younger, slimmer, and that has more moisture if you know what I mean.

The lunchbox is packed tightly with pasta, cheese and meat and technically enough to feed several people, this will in fact be consumed by 11.15am and in secret so that she can sneak out at lunchtime and buy a ham and salad panini so she can look healthy.  She will bank on the fact that no-one has seen her scoff the pasta tub and can then say ‘I have only had a panini for lunch, how good am I?’ and then proceed to be horrible to other girls that have actually eaten normal portions and still manage to stay slim.

Be careful of this woman, stand still long enough and you too will become part of her lunchbox.

The pie munchers lunchbox

This is not really a lunchbox so to speak but more of a Mrs Mac’s pie, a carton of Masters chocolate milk and a Cherry Ripe bar that sits in the fridge until lunchtime.  This person will eat this every single day without getting bored and the only variation is the flavor of the milk which alternates between mint choc milk and banana milk or occasionally plain chocolate milk.  The pie is normally eaten with two sachets of tomato sauce to aid the digestion process.  Never ever touch their pie unless you want your fingers chopped off with a blunt instrument.

The ‘non-lunchbox’

This person never brings in food but may scab some of yours.  They are too busy to make their own lunchbox and if they are feeling brave enough, will swipe one of your chips or anything they can lift easily off your plate.  Most of the time they tend to go without and by the end of the day, will have exceptionally smelly breath due to not eating and their own body digesting itself.

ImageSpot the ‘carb lovers’


Go in to your works/office fridge and take a photo of the lunchbox situation and see if you can identify just who owns what and if you are feeling really naughty, reorganize the fridge so that the pie muncher is faced with salad and the pasta eater is faced with the meat.

Get out there and create some food anarchy!

See you later….

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Identity Crisis


Gordon is getting in the mood for Australia Day

On Saturday 26th January 2013 at precisely 10.30am, my husband and I will be sworn in as Australian citizens.  We have been in the country almost five years and were actually eligible to apply last year but finances prevented us so almost a year late, we will be pledging our loyalty to Australia – still, better late than never I say.  I am looking forward to being a permanent part of this country and being able to vote and just being able to call myself Australian.

Dream on

I have been having rather odd dreams about it as well which have involved me singing the American National Anthem rather than the Australian one, god knows why I am dreaming that and I have dreams that the Mayor hands me my certificate and then snatches it back and doesn’t let me have it. So as you can see, a psychologist would have a great time interpreting those dreams.

I have found myself being more than a touch homesick if truth be known and have taken to seeking out pictures of Big Ben and all things belonging to London including maps of the London Underground purely to see if I still know how to get from Marylebone to Holborn (yes I do and that is one journey that I will not forget).


After suspending my Facebook account, my homesickness became worse as I realized that this was the main link to my family in the UK and one thing I will say about Facebook and that is that the site is very good at keeping people linked to one another and I never appreciated just how much it meant to me being able to see what my sisters/brother/nieces/nephews/dad were all up to and vice versa.

Facebook is also good for having friends that are not really your friends and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but in a way that they are just on your friends list for no particular reason and you rarely if ever converse with them. Facebook can also be used for people that don’t really have much time for you yet are on your friends list, which enables them to be nosy or keep tabs on your lifestyle and not for good reasons either – so you get my drift.

I am also guilty of using Facebook to see what people I don’t have much time for, are getting up to so I am not entirely blameless in this.

So there was me becoming more and more homesick without realizing that the missing link, was indeed Facebook and that I could still have my account but it just needed reorganizing in the friends department – sort of like a spring clean, and reorganize it is what I did.

Which is why I decided to cut back on the friends list and delete them, nothing personal – we just had/have bugger all in common or we are not really friends – simple as.

It was rather nice being back in the ‘Facebook family’ and although I had only been gone a week, it had felt a lot longer and I thoroughly enjoyed going over my family status updates and seeing what was going on and I also have equally enjoyed talking to my sister Julie this morning on Facebook chat, it makes the distance smaller and the fact that we can involve an old pal from the 1980’s in the conversation makes it even better.  Hello Rob Ellis, if you are reading this!

With my homesickness feelings better in control, surely the weird dreams would stop? One would think so but they haven’t.  Last night I had another dream about singing the wrong National Anthem and the same thing about the Major not letting me have my citizenship certificate, all rather amusing and confusing stuff you will agree.

It feels strange to me to be gaining another citizenship, I feel so proud and excited but it has been a long time coming let me tell you – and that is another (long) story to be told.

I have had dreams about this moment and never thought it would come, right from the very first time we made our nervous inquiry about our visa and were told that we had ‘no chance’, which to those of you that know me, will know that I don’t give up easily and spent many a month learning immigration laws and different pathways into Australia.

It was a long process – about 6 years from start to finish and the visa application took 19 months on its own.  I remember my Mum being in the hospice with terminal cancer telling me ‘You will get to Australia, take it from the words of a dying woman’ – in her blunt Yorkshire fashion and after Mum died on the Boxing Day 2005, just a few weeks later my husband got his positive skills assessment and then in Sept 2008, our visa was granted.

And here we are, we have done ‘our time’ as permanent residents and are now about to take our pledge to become citizens to commit to the country that has given us so much.  There are people that I wish with all my heart that could be there but aside from the fact we are only allowed six people, and it is a long way to come for a ceremony for my Dad, we have our ‘adopted’ Aussie family to be there instead and I am just as pleased and proud that they are going to come and see us get sworn in.

Australia vs England in the cricket!

Please don’t ask me who I am going to support because I have never ever liked cricket but I guess in the next Olympic Games, it will be Australia – it has to be really.  But I do reserve the right to ogle at the NZ All Blacks when they do the Hakka because – well come on, do I really need to explain that one! (stop laughing Waitangi!)

That (POMMIE) accent!

One of the guys at work asked if being an Aussie would mean I lose my accent, I told him that I didn’t have an accent, it was he that had an accent which has resulted in a few emails going back and forth for the last efforts of POMMIE bashing, but don’t worry, I give as good as I get.

Talking of accents, the English accent seems so strong to me now; is my accent changing I wonder – I don’t know, and I also get absurdly excited when I see English money.  In fact no matter where I live or what citizenship I take up, there is a part of me that lives in the UK and will always do so.

I simply cannot and will not accept the new year unless Big Ben chimes it in, Big Ben rocks and is my favorite historical landmark.

If I hear ‘God Save the Queen’, my ears will tune into it pretty quickly, I remember they played it before the rugby when my husband and I were in Namibia and we gravitated towards the TV in the restaurant to see it where several other Brits had also found themselves.

I still love the Royal Family and was so proud to watch the Royal Wedding and the Jubilee and I am more of a royalist living in Australia than I ever was in the UK.

So who am I?

I guess from Saturday I will be Australian, my passport will be Australian (when I can afford to buy it!) – I live here now and if you live somewhere, you should embrace it and make every effort to fit in and that is what we have done.

We are getting sworn in with about 60 other people and our council are providing food/refreshments for afterwards and then we shall go off to Fremantle somewhere for a few drinks – soft ones for me of course and later that evening, we will be watching the Indian Ocean fireworks in Fremantle.  I will say that it is brilliant to see this country being so patriotic and Australia Day is no exception for this, which is why it is a great day to become citizens.

That’s it from me, I am off to make a cuppa and start learning the National Anthem and if I may say so, I am getting more than a little excited about Saturday and as for pride, well that goes without saying.

Speak soon

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Life before Sjogrens

To those of you that have Sjogrens or Lupus, can any of you remember what life was like before you had it?  Can you even remember a time when life didn’t revolve around avoiding what makes you sick?

Being UV and flouro light sensitive, I have to stay in my own bubble and have minimal exposure to sunlight and by minimal, I am talking a mad dash to the office next door or to the car or from ‘A to B’ and even a 5 minute walk down the road can result in swollen joints, fluid on legs/ankles, dizziness, nausea, chest pain – you get my point.  And at work I sit in a dark office only lit by a small desk lamp, in fact if you walk by my office, you could be forgiven for thinking that I am not there.

You are my sunshine

The trouble is, I live in Australia and have done for almost five years hence the reason my ‘sickly’ state in the UK was not really picked up on, or rather I am comparable to a jigsaw puzzle that has taking years to piece together and when I moved to Australia, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.  It call came to a head, I developed more symptoms which resulted in a diagnosis.

How on earth could I be allergic to something so beautiful?  Life to me is like looking in a cake shop window at all the cakes and not being allowed to touch them.  I look out of my living room window at the sun, blue skies, warm temperatures and know that for me it equates to several days in bed and a flare up of symptoms.


Stunning sunset or ‘symbol of sickness’

Drink and be merry

I remember the times where I could go out and have a few glasses of wine, eat, drink and be very merry which would result in me doing something daft and embarrassing which could be relayed at many a gathering for months afterwards – drunken behavior, many of us do it or have done it.  I will not go into detail about how I broke my leg in a lesbian pole dancing club in Thailand in 2005 – but you know what I mean.

But even before my Sjogrens was diagnosed I knew that alcohol was making me quite sick.  After a night out my joints would ache the next morning and I would wake up unable to swallow and my face looked as though it had been sucked in and the life of me sucked out and sometimes I would wake up in the night choking due to my throat being so dry – basically I just felt crap.

So going out and getting drunk gradually became a thing of the past and I would settle on a couple of glasses of wine with a meal which after a while, would still make me feel just as bad.  I remember lying in bed one night wishing that the room would stop spinning, that the palpitations in my heart would stop and that the pain in my joints would go away.

The decision to stop drinking was taken away from me when I commenced on the methotrexate, it was a no brainer really – I was pumping my body full of potentially liver damaging drugs – steroids, plaquenil and methotrexate and even the painkillers that are a vital part of my medication.

It wasn’t easy giving up alcohol either, I was a 5 glasses of wine a week girl, hardly exceeding my units but when you have to have monthly blood tests to check your liver function, then no way would I want to add to the risks that my drugs already posed.  Now don’t get me wrong, those that are able to have a few drinks with their methotrexate, well that is their choice but for me, aside from the fact that alcohol was already making me feel sick, it just made sense to stop.

Now although there was no physical dependance there was certainly a mental one because there is nothing like seeing a chilled glass of white wine on the table to make you want to have a glass for yourself and as I am married to a chef, I actually developed what I called ‘wine envy’ when he used to enjoy a glass of wine with whatever delicious meal he had whipped up and there was I with my glass of water or orange juice and even with orange juice, rather than enjoy it, I did what many Sjogrens people do with everything they put in their mouth and that is to think ‘what the hell is this orange juice doing to my teeth?’ and ‘will this erode my enamel?’

You still have to live your life

Well you do don’t you?  And I tried to do just that last week when I went to a garden center with two of my friends.  Armed with my hat and of course being suitably covered up and smothered in total sunblock, we made our way to the garden center in temperatures being in the mid thirties.  I was going to be in the shade so I would be fine  (famous last words)

How wrong was I?  Because after ten minutes I felt the ground come up to meet me, I felt dizzy to the point I don’t know how I remained upright and my head was pounding and my stomach threatened quite violently to introduce itself to the pavement.

Making my way to the cafe, I sat down before I fell down and after we had a cup of tea, I asked my friends if we could go home and they very kindly obliged (thank you Dee and Clare xxx).

All I know is that when I got home I fell asleep and woke up intermittently at various intervals throughout the day and being aware that my ankles felt tight, sore and swollen and my fingers and hands were also swollen.  I have very little memory of the rest of the day but my husband said I was in bed for 7pm, I don’t remember him going to work the next morning, in fact I don’t remember putting myself to bed – I must have done though as that was where I woke up the next morning.

So I think that was my act of defiance, my ‘I am going to live my life’ kind of rebellion and my attempt to kick Sjogrens in the teeth rather than Sjogrens attempt to dissolve my own.  This act of defiance failed miserably and I am now back to gazing at the sunshine through the window and making my own entertainment during the times of high UV and pretending that whatever I do, is far more fun than anything a ‘normal’ person could ever do outside. (and if you believe that you believe anything)

So what was life like before Sjogrens?

  • Well, I used to go out and my only worry was did I have enough suncream on.  I used to be able to drink alcohol and go to parties – I can still go to parties but choose not to as there is nothing quite like a drunk person in your face giving a drunken lecture of some sort whilst spitting saliva at you with every word beginning with a ‘P’ (they are showing off as they have saliva and you don’t).
  • I used to only see the dentist every year instead of every four months and I now count my Immunologist, eye specialist, GP, pharmacist and dentist as part of my ‘family unit’.  We really ought to have family portrait for the living room wall.
  • My bed used to be only slept in at night time, now it is my best friend – next to the panadol osteo.
  • A joint was something I tried in Amsterdam in the form of ‘special cake’, now a joint of any kind equates to pain in my hands or ankles/knees.
  • I was quite the party animal at one point – yes I know that is hard to believe but now even listening to next doors wild parties leaves me exhausted and I can get a hangover merely breathing in their fumes.
  • I used to love swimming in the ocean, but now it is a military effort as I have to swim in a rash vest, long shorts, a hat and sunnies, total sunblock and I still get the rash over the bridge of my nose.

So what was your life like before you were diagnosed, do you have any funny stories to tell that could lighten the subject a bit? I would be most interested in your replies.

Now I am off to make a drink because last nights party at my next door neighbors that I wasn’t invited to, has left me completely shattered, in fact I could do with the ‘hair of the dog’.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Dwellingup -The Movie *Caution contains adult content*

This story is about the time that Abdel, myself and our Kelpie Rocky went on a weekend trip to Dwellingup.

This is what I describe as a rather childish story containing adult content with the animals swearing and doing adult type stuff like look at dirty doggy magazines.  Some rather rude and uncouth spiders have also made an appearance and swear quite a bit as well.

If you do not believe in talking/swearing animals then it really is best to look away now because if think that you may be offended then you are only choosing to offend yourself by reading this article and for that, I cannot take responsibility.

This story is purely to indulge your inner child and imagination because we all know that our animals can talk, we just have to chose to listen to them.

The drive to Dwellingup 

‘Are we there yet?’ Demanded Rocky as he sat literally quivering with excitement at the back of the car.

‘’No, we are not – we are in Beeliar, precisely a few kms since leaving home’ I sighed.  This was going to be a long journey.

‘Shit, what’s that!’ Rocky shouted an hour later at the pile of silvery/cream/dark feathers and absurdly long legs lying squashed along the road.

‘Dead Emu’ I replied whilst turning my neck to have a good look – Jesus that must have bent the hell out of someones car.

‘My god, what’s that?’ Rocky shrieked in a high pitched ‘girls’ voice that sounded like he was having his testicles squeezed – oh, he doesn’t have testicles so think ‘choir boy’.

‘Dead Wallaby’ Abdel said and then added ‘Did you see it?’.

I hadn’t, I was in too much awe of the scenery, the red soil, the magnificently tall trees that made everything quite insignificant in comparison.  It also amused me that we had already lost signal on the GPS and on our phones and had to rely on a sense of direction and a printed Google map.

We were only 90 minutes out of Perth and we kept intermittently picking the local radio station that sounded a bit ‘countrified’ to me – I always refer to it as ‘radio nowhere’ where you are in the middle of nowhere and pick up various radio stations as you drive along and it sounds all very crackly.  But then again small things have always amused me, that was until I started thinking ‘Wolf-creek’ but then had to mentally slap myself, it was Dwellingup for goodness sake, not the middle of nowhere.

I mean, what could possibly threaten us in Dwellingup?

There was a distinct difference in shops though, local taverns seemed almost backward compared to other parts of Perth and some of the shops reminded me of the set in ‘Back to the Future 3’ with the Western theme and I half expected to see ‘Mad Dog Tanion’ wearing cowboy boots shouting out ‘Hey, McFly!’

‘Are we there yet?’ Rocky shouted again from the back seat.

‘No!’ Abdel and I said in unison.


The car rattled along the unsealed road, digging up clouds of red dust behind it – it rather reminded me of Metricup except Metricup was worse and I am still surprised Abdel came home with his windscreen in tact as the pebbles/stones appeared to have been thrown out of nowhere as we drove along the road and bounced off the car.

‘This is not bad at all’ Rocky said, appearing to make a mental note of where he could lift his leg as soon as he could, where he could take a shit and better still – he had spotted the lake and was wondering just whether or not he could swim across without being eaten by god knows what – would there be crocs in there? He wondered, he hoped there wouldn’t as that would ruin his plans to do ‘Baywatch Dog’ and hopefully save some hot bitches from drowning.


We were met by the owner, a very friendly older lady – well I say older, she was older than me but saying that – I am feeling pretty elderly myself and all I need is a blue rinse and incontinence and I am there, especially if you see my medication pile (just call me Ethel if you like except I do not wear big knickers).

‘I have two dogs – and both of them like us (referring to herself and her husband), are getting old’

‘I know that feeling’ I muttered to no one in particular.

‘Hi there!’ A strong Australian (dog) accent came from behind the security door as a grizzled and senior German shepherd dog grinned – he obviously didn’t get to see too many people as he was absurdly excited by our arrival yet still managed to do the obligatory guard dog bark which in elderly dogs always sounds a touch ‘rusty’ and in our neighborhood, always appear to be heard at around 11pm barking at drunk people.

‘Drive to chalet no: 4 and I will meet you there’ the woman instructed Abdel and beckoned where he had to go, then she and I just walked over the grass to get there.

536642_10151145821713317_1785185187_nOur chalet – aptly named ‘Black Cockatoo’

Hearing the revving of an engine and the scattering of very slippery red pebbles and stones, I could see Abdel’s commodore almost digging a hole with its tyres.

‘Slowly, slowly!’ She yelled to Abdel and then sighed and shook her head and muttered ‘Townies, they don’t understand country driving’.  Rocky was cringing in the back telling Abdel that he ought to know better and to give him the keys and he will get the commodore up the drive himself with no issues.  But of course Rocky cannot drive – well not counting the time he was caught hooning in my Yaris in Fremantle one time but the least said about that episode the better especially as he had several bitches in the car flashing their teats.

‘Sorry!’ Rocky mouthed in embarrassment to the tatty German shepherd at the gate and then shrugged his shoulders in a ‘oh the shame’ kind of way and shook his head and slunk down the back of the car to hide himself which didn’t work as all you could see were two huge satellite-like kelpie ears sticking out like military radar from the back window of the car.

Our chalet was beautiful – it had everything that we needed but we had been given strict instructions that Rocky was not allowed in the bedroom or on the sofa – which was fine, well not really, Rocky was mightily cheesed off about this especially when I told him he would have to sleep on the verandah outside, this resulted in a huge row about how he contributes to society by defecating in the garden on the roses, except that we don’t have roses, and when that didn’t work, he tried playing the ‘disabled card’ because of his hip dysplasia and that was pretty low, even for Rocky and when those pleas were ignored, he turned to using somewhat abusive language that went something like ‘Cruel bitch’, ‘kelpie abuser’ and my particular favourites ‘Hip Clicker’ and ‘turd legs’ and ‘Is it cos I am a black dog? in an Ali G type voice’

In the end I relented as that first night turned out to be exceptionally cold and windy and round about 1am while I was up watching TV, the wind howled outside and Rocky pretended to be unconscious inside and the thought of putting my little kelpie outside filled me with dread and I had visions of him blowing around and being found in Pinjarra the next day.  This fear was not helped by Rocky doing Stephen Hawkings impressions on his bed and bending his limbs to the point I thought that he might break something.

‘OK, you can stay here!’ I sighed and as if by magic, my ‘disabled kelpie’ rolled on to his back with his hind legs spread apart, one front paw bent and the other stretched rigid to the sky in a ‘super dog’ pose.

‘Thank you!’ Rocky said, grinning.  Bastard, he had played me like a fiddle that dog.

182542_10151145822773317_891633594_nI caved in that first night as you can see

Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself as usual, something I am often guilty of – now where was I? Oh yes, we were being shown around the chalet.

‘There is another kelpie cross staying with us, she is down by the lake with her family while we get their accommodation ready’ the owner told me as she showed us around our chalet.  Rocky nodded approvingly and then tried to butt in the conversation by asking if the other kelpie was ‘hot’ or ‘knew what to do with a couple of sheep’ (his words not mine).

‘Oh my god, dog porn!’ Rocky said excitedly as he spotted a pile of dog magazines on the table – seriously there were, with the top magazine promoting ‘Senior Dogs Special’ on the front and I have the photos to prove it.

‘We have the more updated copies in reception’ the owner said – making it sound almost like a treat that ‘dog porn’ should be on the table.  I am always quite wary of Rocky reading dog porn, as he has never forgotten an article about a red cloud kelpie that made it big in Dampier by flashing his genitals and becoming a stud dog.

3467_10151145819028317_1229469222_n‘Dog Porn’ – according to Rocky

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with ambition but Rocky has never been blessed in the genital department, in fact I doubt that he even has a penis because what he does have is so tiny it looks like something the birds had dug up.  I have suggested that he wears budgie smugglers as they can make the smallest of men look well endowed but Rocky refuses saying that budgies serve no purpose and he would rather have a cockatoo down there instead of a budgie.

‘Thank you kindly, I shall be reading those later’ Rocky grinned at the woman and wagged his tail; she patted him in return and called him ‘cute’.  I think she also had a ‘Dr Doolittle’ thing going on and could ‘speak dog’ fluently although she didn’t let on.

After unpacking the car, putting our stuff where it should be, sorting Rocky’s stuff out – you know the usual things that happen on arrival at temporary accommodation, admiring the view, the kitchen and even the toilet, the usual comments of ‘Oooh, isn’t this a nice room’ or ‘It’s not bad here is it?’, Rocky was finally let out in to his little garden where he furiously circled each patch and cocked his leg and promptly urinated on various patches, and then added with a smug look on his face ‘that’s better’ and then made a big show of kicking dirt back with his hind legs spreading his ‘doggyness’ all over the garden.

28062_10151145821158317_193677831_nOur back garden

Now I have already mentioned that there was a lovely lake at the bottom of the hill and the lakes had a selection of kayaks, rowing boats and peddle boats.  By the lake there was an elderly couple (older than me which makes me a ‘young thing’) and a sort of brown/red kelpie mix that had morphed over time into something like a canine coffee table.  This was the dog that the chalet owner had told us about.


Jess – the ‘canine coffee table with calipers’

I feel I must elaborate on this kelpie bitch whose name turned out to be ‘Jess’.  She was obviously quite senior and had dodgy hips, like really dodgy and not pretend dodgy.  Do you all remember the film ‘Forest Gump’ where Forest had calipers when he was little and would run in them when he was being chased from the bullies?  Well Jess had calipers – now before you all go high and mighty on me and say ‘but Sam, dogs don’t have calipers’ – this dogs calipers were invisible to those with no imagination, just like those with no imagination don’t hear or can imagine animals speaking so if you have no imagination, best you clear off now as you are SO in the ‘wrong room’.

Had you seen Jess in real life, you would know what I mean about the calipers – she had them and Rocky sat on our verandah, already having claimed it for his own and placed his ‘wubba’ (a ‘wubba’ is a furry octopus type toy made by KONG) and rubber chicken in the corner, spotted Jess waddling up the hill looking very disabled indeed.

‘Wait for me!’ Jess cried in a strong Australian accent as she noisily clanged her way up the hill with her calipers bashing on each other – not only did she appear to have severe hip problems but one of her legs looked completely fucked in the sense that it looked as though it had been glued on back to front and to Rocky’s delight, they made his hips look like ‘Kennel Club’ standard.

‘Jesus, your hips are worse than mine!’ Rocky yelled to Jess who blushed like a fat girl that had been caught with cake down her knickers.  Rocky made a note to himself that she was not worth mating with but I guess she could become his friend, besides if he tried to shag her, he might damage himself on the ‘metal work’ (calipers).  Not to mention that, but with his dodgy hips and her dodgy hips it would be like a badly managed metal work class.

‘I wonder what would happen if I put magnets on her calipers?’ Rocky said under his breath.  I would like to tell you that thought went no further but I would be lying because later that day, Rocky did actually put magnets on her calipers and Jess ended up rolling down the hill with her hind legs in a knot looking like Stephen Hawkings in a gymnastic class.  I will not say anything further on the matter as Rocky claimed that he was not in his right frame of mind and then later admitted that he only did it as a ‘science experiment’.

Jess was really rather sweet though and I for one quite liked her, she greeted everyone with joyous abandon as though they were all a long lost relative.  Rocky however, greets everyone as though they are sheep and need to be herded or like lamp posts needed to be pissed upon.

After lunch it was decided that we would walk down to the lake and take Rocky for a swim with no rope, no leash – nothing.  This was a huge risk as Rocky becomes selectively deaf and very naughty on the grounds that he doesn’t go off the leash back at home due to his dodgy hips.  He can often be sighted on South Beach in Fremantle causing a canine uprising, barking in a high pitched voice whilst encouraging other dogs into the ocean, getting them so hyped up that they refuse to come back to their owners and I always get the blame.

‘Oh my god this is awesome!’ He said in his high pitched bark and then proceeded to follow Abdel out who was on a Kayak out into the water whilst I sat under the shade frantically trying to hide from the sun as to avoid getting sick – fat lot of good that did, being sun sensitive, I paid a high price as I spent a large percentage of the weekend away in bed in considerable agony.  But I would rather be sick in Dwellingup than sick at home as it is a beautiful place, as Rocky will testify.


Rocky and Abdel enjoy the water

Once Rocky had done with his swimming, we all walked round the lake back to the chalet.  Rocky ran ahead thoroughly over excited about being off the leash, it wasn’t too bad as we didn’t throw his ball and there were very few distractions so he just trotted on ahead, frequently stopping and looking behind him to see that we were still following, and then running circles around us to herd us up and when he wasn’t doing that, he was cocking his leg and then digging up the grass in an effort to prove his ‘youth’.

IMG_3558Rocky – ‘proving his youth’

‘I can smell kangaroos!’ Rocky said sounding a touch nervous.  Last time we were in Dwellingup; it was in a tent when my friend and I were camping, I needed to go for a pee and as there were no toilets near by, I had to do it in the bushes and because it was dark and I was scared, Rocky came with me.

Picture the scene, it was pitch black and there I was taking a leak, Rocky growled, I looked up and saw a kangaroo in the bushes and in my panic, yanked up my pyjamas ‘mid-flow’ and proceeded to piss all over them and then ran shouting my head off that a kangaroo had seen my ‘lady-garden’.  I don’t know who was faster – Rocky or me but we came out of those bushes like a bat out of hell.  So you see Rocky has never forgotten it and actually told me that the kangaroo had later threatened him if we ‘toileted’ ourselves in his bushes again.

‘There you go!’ Rocky said in a smug voice, ‘Kangaroo turd!’ and rightly pointed to what suspiciously looked like ‘roo poo’.

‘Oh it’s fine, they won’t remember us from all that time ago’ I tried to placate him, but I don’t think that he believed me and to be honest, I didn’t believe myself – damn straight they would have remembered me, I mean who could forget a mad English woman peeing down her own legs late at night in Dwellingup forest?

Anyway, as we were walking next to the owner’s house, which I may add was huge and rather beautiful, Rocky met up with Jess (caliper dog).  Now I feel that I must state that the dogs in my suburb are nasty bastards that think nothing of beating Rocky up or threatening him with violence, they are ‘Derro’ dogs in every sense of the word.  So you can understand how nervous I was of Rocky initially meeting Jess off the leash.

Well I needn’t have worried Rocky had his tail high wagging it frantically as though it had a mind of its own and Jess reciprocated with an equally frantic tail wag.  It was as though they were two long lost friends.

‘Where are you from Jess?’ Rocky asked, it was so nice for him to meet another dog that wasn’t violent, rude or uncouth – well you know what I mean, the dogs where we live carry knives and guns so I have been told.

I enjoyed watching the pair of them play briefly on the lawn before Rocky cocked his leg  all over Jess (yes really, he does that to other dogs quite a bit and has even done that on my leg once – please don’t ask me to elaborate on that, it is far too shameful but it did involve next doors female cocker spaniel who joined in on the action and I was left rather damp).

‘Oh thank you’ Jess replied, almost grateful for Rocky’s actions and then clanked her calipers as she tried to squat purely to fit in with ‘the crowd’ but ended up dribbling urine all down her elderly bent legs

‘Hello, hello – excuse me, can you hear me?’ sounds of a very rusty but very strong Australian accent came from the owners’ garden.

Losing interest in Jess, Rocky ran towards the garden where he was met with quite frankly, the most ugly terrier dog I have ever seen but without a doubt, the cutest ever.

Obviously an old, very grizzled black and tri-color dog with tufts on his ears, grey beard, wiry coat smothered in black and grey and bits of brown, a white vest, white huge paws that looked like dinner plates and very stiff bow legs, he looked like ‘the Doc’ from ‘Back to the Future’, – this dog looked about a million but was actually 19 years old which in doggy terms, may as well have been a million.  He was a very friendly and happy dog and quite instantly, Rocky took to him and declared him a friend.

Having visions of Rocky meeting up with him for a coffee and a roll up cigarette, sitting in a cafe putting the world to rights, I marveled at the two dogs wagging their tails a million miles an hour.

‘How long are ya here for?’ The dog demanded in a somewhat ‘Mandurah’ accent – you must have been to Mandurah to understand what I mean by a ‘Mandurah’ accent because I find the accent very strong indeed as far as Australian accents go.

‘Till Sunday’ Rocky said excitedly, the terrier sighed and looked dismayed, he was hoping to get at least a week from the happy little black kelpie who was now all shiny from his swim in the lake.

‘Rocky, come here!’ I shouted to him in a bid to try and get him back to the chalet.

‘Fuck off, I am busy!’ He yelled back and then pretended that I wasn’t his owner.

‘Naughty!’ Jess giggled at Rocky’s bravery at swearing at me – she didn’t know the half of it how he speaks to me and how he runs rings around me at home.  Although I must say that I later discovered that Jess was no angel, this was not her first time in Dwellingup and the last time she was here she got in to serious trouble for chasing kangaroos and let’s not even start discussing what she did to the donkeys that lived there but it involved calling them ‘donkey dick’.

‘The name is Diesel’ the terrier said to Rocky – really this dog (Rocky) looked to be good fun and Diesel didn’t have too many friends, except for the old and somewhat confused German shepherd inside the house but that didn’t count as he was a bit senile and kept saying ‘Is it time for a pee yet?’ even five minutes after he had just been in the garden and had also attacked an ‘intruder’ that turned out to be his own shadow.

His owner bought him from the dog rescue kennels 18 years ago – she had gone there looking for a new dog and just told the girls to give her the dog that had been there the longest that nobody wanted and she came away with Diesel who had been there for a year, so at 19 years old, he is fully entitled to be grizzled and tatty – he has earned his ‘grizzlement’, and I will say that having met Diesel, he is adorable and every bit deserving of his loving home and a warm bed and a squeaky rubber chicken (Rocky also has one) to keep him comfortable at nights – he rather reminds me of Benny Hill in his own little way and I can imagine him chasing hot young bitches around the coffee table whilst smelling of dog farts and old bones.

Diesel, I had been told, was also selectively deaf, exceptionally stubborn, and disobedient and only did what he wanted and when he wanted to do so.  ‘Diesel come here’ his owner said.

‘Bollocks’ Diesel replied, promptly farted an ‘old smelly dog fart’ and then carried on talking to Rocky whilst shuffling around his garden like an old man in furry slippers with his pants falling down.  You know how when men get old, their testicles become like space hoppers, their arse disappears and their trousers go up so high at the waist that they need braces to hold them up.  Well that was Diesel.


Diesel – the rescue dog

Anyway, I don’t quite know what was said after that as Diesel and Rocky appeared to be whispering but I know Jess was involved and I know they were up to no good, I think it was Diesel as I saw him snorting with laughter as Rocky dug up the grass scattering mud everywhere.  Jess wouldn’t tell me so god knows what they were talking about or what happened but I suspect Rocky was planning to swap dog porn or something or steal another dogs tennis balls which is another bad bad habit of his.

It took some persuading to get Rocky to come back to the chalet, he and Diesel did not take too kindly to being interrupted but managed to exchange phone numbers and email addresses and before you laugh, of course dogs have their own email and phone numbers – why wouldn’t they?  Don’t tell me that you really believe that when you go to bed, your dog is all obediently curled up on his bed?  Don’t be daft; I think you will find he is on your computer fiddling with your hard drive and Skyping his friends or watching dirty doggy movies on TV.


Proof that dogs watch dirty doggy stuff on TV

‘Catch ya later!’ Rocky yelled to Diesel as he was reluctantly dragged back to our verandah, Jess waved back and Diesel cocked his leg and pissed in the fish pond as Rocky did the thumbs up sign in approval.

We were all pretty hungry after that – it is damn hard work relaxing, swimming, walking and in Rocky’s case, socializing.  Placing a large bowl of dog biscuit on the verandah for him, we went inside to eat our lunch as the flies had threatened to eat us alive while Rocky chowed his way through a bowl of biscuit and was so hungry, he polished off a large part of my steak afterwards.


Rocky enjoying the view from the verandah

The Spider-Hood

Up until now, I have never mentioned talking spiders, in fact I rarely if ever mention spiders – they don’t usually have a place in my stories as I reserve those for creatures with either two or four legs but let me tell you that the spiders I met in Dwellingup really ought to be mentioned because they make the Hells Angels look positively angelic.

I had been informed that the owner kept donkeys – two of them to be exact and I love donkeys so thought I should try and seek them out.  They had a huge paddock so could have been anywhere really but I had decided to venture to the paddock to check them out.

To get to the paddock you had to walk by an old shed with a clothes hanging line type thing attached to it.  What greeted me on that washing line made me almost scream like a girl and almost soil myself because it was not only ‘beefy’ by spider standards, he looked acutely dangerous as well.

‘Jesus Christ!’ I shouted as I almost walked into the biggest spider in the world – universe even.  He had thick black furry legs, huge fat bulbous body and even a set of beady little eyes.  Of course had had eyes, I know spiders have eyes but this one had a pair of sunnies on as well.

He wore a black leather jacket, had black leather boots covering his legs (all of his legs), a flick knife in one pocket and a gun in the other (yes spiders have their own pockets) I know you won’t believe me, but this spider had a beard – like the bikies have, a proper spiders beard and I am sure he has appeared in several ‘Crime Watch’ poster campaigns.

‘Where the fuck do you think you are going?’ The spider said in a Paul Hogan type voice.

‘To see the two donkeys’ I replied in the weakest and most feeble voice ever, I mean seriously you had to see this spider to believe it – I later found out that his name was Barry.

Around Barry were several webs, some big and some small but all of them contained spiders of varying sizes all scuttling to safe areas of the clothes line.  You could hear their voices shouting ‘Get her, trap her, wrap her up in your web and eat her’ Honestly, I had no idea spiders could be so violent, well not including the time I spent in hospital after a redback spider bit me on the ankle but I am still coming to terms with that.

‘What are you doing in the spider hood?’ he demanded, raising his voice slightly.

‘I want to see the donkeys’ I repeated but by now I didn’t give a shit about the bloody donkeys, I wanted to run for the hills jumping and slapping myself to make sure I had no spiders on me.

‘She wants to see the donkeys’ – the smaller spiders repeated together and then sniggered, trying to imitate my voice.  A female spider in black tight satin pants and black T shirt with ‘Punk Legs’ printed on it, sat on a chunky black spiders lap, chewing gum and inhaling deeply on her cigarette, she stared at me, smirking her spider face off.

‘Well they ain’t here are they?’ Barry laughed and then examined a selection of his legs, measuring them against one another and flexing/extending them – a bit like when someone checks their fingernails after a manicure.

Glancing round I could see there were no donkeys – they must be in the bottom paddock.  ‘I will be on my way then’ I said meekly and then started to move away giving the washing line a wide berth as several spiders did ‘cut throat’ signs near me and hissed or laughed or just glared at me, it was so intimidating I could not believe it – we are talking serious ‘underbelly’ of the spider world.

‘Oi, miss!’Barry said loudly.

I looked up at him feeling sick – how could anything have legs that thick and hairy, aside from Fatima Whitbread?

Without even looking at me, he said calmly ‘Don’t come back – this is OUR territory, if you do come back, you won’t be so lucky next time’ the other spiders all laughed, some lit cigarettes and some just looked bored of me.

I didn’t need telling twice, I could feel my feet snapping the twigs on the ground as I walked off at some pace, keeping an eye out for cobwebs for I was certain that I heard one of the spiders beg if he could be allowed to catch me in his web and suck the life blood out of me until I went all dry and shriveled from the inside out – oh hold on a minute, I am dry from the inside out anyway from the Sjogrens disease so it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

‘Have you been running?’ Abdel asked as I came back in to the chalet sweating like Michael Jackson in a creche.

‘Spiders’ was all I could say and then added ‘Bastard great big fat hairy fuckers with attitude’

Shaking his head, Abdel laughed and carried on making tea.  He could laugh – he hadn’t even seen them, I made a mental note to introduce him before we left and pray that we wouldn’t be eaten in the process.

After our tea, we sat on the verandah and admired the view which was pretty awesome and made me realize that I am a country girl at heart and could quite happily live amongst the animals and leave humans out of the equation.

Clutching my camera I trained my eye to the field just behind the lake.  Abdel was about to go inside and glanced over to me and said ‘Why don’t we sit inside?’

‘Kangaroos, I want to get some pictures and I have heard that they gather by the lake of an evening’ I replied.  Abdel cleared the table and went inside to watch ‘Home and Away’.

As I strained my eyes, I thought initially it was a large bush or two but then it moved so grabbing my camera, which had the zoom lens on it, I had a look to confirm whether or not it was ‘bush or beast’.

‘Build it and they will come!’ I yelled excitedly because through my zoom lens I could spy 3 kangaroos – a mum, a dad and a joey.

The photos were not brilliant but considering I took them from the chalet, they were not bad at all.  Rocky was quietly quivering in the living room, as he wanted nothing to do with the ‘hopping handbags’ as he referred to them.  But as for me, I was thrilled because as some may say Dwellingup is too quiet and scant on human company, I say it has a rich abundance of company of the furry and feathered kind and if you can ‘speak dog’ then you would never really want for a friend.

IMG_3545Mum, Dad and a Joey – ‘hopping handbags’

The next morning

Rocky was doing the nosy neighbor thing on the verandah and spying on the new people that had moved in to the chalet next door.  Honestly I don’t know where he gets his ability to be nosy  from, Abdel reckons it is me as I am the curtain twitcher supreme but I beg to differ.

A tiny pugalier (pug crossed with cavalier spaniel) ran at pace to catch up with his owner, barking noisily to get his attention.

Now if you can imagine the Danny de Vito voice saying ‘Whatch ya doin’, slow down, I got little legs ya know’ in that accent he has, then you will know what I mean.

‘Twat, I bet he talks like that for a bet’ Rocky growled under his breath and then glanced over to his right, straining his head to see if Jess was up so he could go off and play with her.

‘Are you ready Rocky?’ I said to him as Abdel grabbed the tennis ball to go down to the lake for a swim.

Running ahead of us, Rocky ran straight to Jess’s chalet to see if the tubby crippled Kelpie was up for a swim.  Jess however, was on the verandah with the gate shut as her owners were still having breakfast.

‘Coming for a swim Jess?’ Rocky grinned at her, Jess who was trying to adjust her invisible calipers; looked boot faced at her owners for being so slow with their eating habits.


Jess pleading to be let out with Rocky

Pushing her head through the bars of the verandah fence, she proceeded to howl noisily in frustration as she couldn’t get out.  ‘Let me out now!’ Jess shouted and became so loud that her owners relented and opened the gate.  In her excitement Jess nearly fell down the stairs to get to Rocky, honestly it was like a game of ‘Jenga’ where you pile on bricks to the highest point and they eventually all collapse in a heap.

Gathering herself, her calipers and her dignity, Jess ran down to the lake with Rocky.  ‘Catch me if you can!’ Jess shouted happily.


‘Catch me if you can’ Jess yelled to Rocky

‘I can see your minge!’ Rocky replied, looking rather smug that he was so close to her genitals. (sounds of giggling from Jess)

‘Rocky, don’t be so bloody rude!’ I reprimanded him but it didn’t do any good as Rocky and Jess were long gone and I could just see both of their tails wagging as they sniffed down by the kayaks by the lake.

IMG_3641Rocky and Jess catching up on gossip

‘Are you coming down the lake with us?’ Abdel asked me, grabbing Rocky’s tennis ball – although that was pretty pointless as Rocky had Jess and no tennis ball would tempt him away from her.

‘No, I will stay here and do my writing’ I replied.  There was far too much to write about (as you are now reading and finding out for yourself) and besides, I could see the Danny de Vito dog strutting around his chalet puffing out his chest and trying to make his genitals look big by standing with his legs apart and failing miserably, he was just begging to go into my stories.  Really my head was bursting with my imagination trying to get out – put me in the countryside and I don’t need friends as the invisible ones and my imagination are all  fabulous company thank you.

Grabbing my computer and a coffee, I sat down on the verandah, feeling the warmth of the wood under my feet – really it was beautiful there, not a sound except for the birds, not counting Rocky and Jess barking or the Danny de Vito dog talking in a purposely loud voice to make himself sound bigger than what he actually was.  But that was OK, the sound of animals talking is far better than that of humans and once you grasp that aspect, then everything is really quite perfect.

Danny de Vito Dog – full of shit dog!

‘I run the ‘hood’ where I live, I have lots of dogs working for me dont cha’ know?’ Danny de Vito Dog could be heard yelling to Rocky by the lake.

‘Bollocks!’ Rocky sniggered to the tiny dog who bristled back with indignation at being called a liar.

‘You have boots kelpie and you are too big for them!’ Danny de Vito Dog shouted to Rocky and then cocked his leg up one of the kayaks to prove a point, only he didn’t prove a point as the only thing he managed to do was fall over.  Isn’t it a good job that we humans don’t prove our worth by pissing over stuff, mind you some may beg to differ on that score judging by the smell in various shop doorways on a Friday night.

Rocky really did not much care to be friends with this dog that told lies about how he had his own kingdom and lots of bitches that attended his every need and fed him bones.  In fact even Rocky wanted to avoid him and even told Jess to do likewise which resulted in the little pugalier being forced to talk to himself from his own verandah and even attack a large branch as he was convinced it had threatened him.

Rocky to the rescue!

Now this section is somewhat dramatic so please be prepared for it and if you are of sensitive nature and prone to crying, now is the time to get your tissues – think ‘Lassie’ and you will just about have it right.

Abdel wanted to go for a swim and Rocky was not happy about it and had advised him not to and much to Rocky’s horror, Abdel chose to ignore him.

It all started by the lake and Abdel was deciding what to do – swim or kayak and Rocky had yelled to him to do as he was told or he would be forced to take action.


Rocky orders Abdel out of the lake

‘I am not going to tell you again, you only have two legs and I have four so you cannot hope to be as good a swimmer as myself!’ Rocky insisted.

In an act of defiance, Abdel took to the water as Rocky nearly choked on his own tongue.


‘Right, this is not funny, get out!’ Rocky screamed in his high pitched kelpie bark. And then added ‘I am coming to get you’ and started swimming towards a bemused Abdel.



Nearly there!


Got you!


Follow me – I will keep you safe!


Stay close!


Follow me back to shore!


The things I do for my owner!

Rocky was declared a true hero by Jess that night because he had ‘saved’ Abdel, only don’t tell Jess or Rocky that Abdel didn’t even need saving and is a proficient swimmer so we will let Rocky think he is a super dog, actually he is because with no thought to his own safety, he went in after his owner to bring him back because he thought he was in danger and for that reason alone, he is a super dog and I love the bones off him.


My little kelpie hero – Rocky Dog

Day Two – Date with a Donkey!

After the spider-hood incident, you could be forgiven for not believing me when I said that there really were donkeys on the premises but Abdel and I did actually find them and yes, it involved walking through the spider-hood in order to get to them.

So we did manage to get permission from Barry the head spider who rattled even the normally cool Abdel with his threats of violence involving several sets of legs and a flick knife.  Abdel returned the ‘favor’ by threatening them with a mortein bomb and if that didn’t work, someone from pest control to ‘saturate their arses with enough toxicity to float a ship’ (his words not mine)

These threats could have made things worse but Barry the spider had decided to back down as mortein was one thing but pest control was another so a truce was called, we could see the donkeys on this occasion but we had to promise never to come back because if we did, Barry would be on the phone to the spiders in our suburb and had threatened us with arachnid gang warfare which would not only include redbacks but white tails as well.

Anyway, all that was said was what needed to be said and yes, we saw the donkeys, yes they were very nice thank you and no, they refused to talk to us other than to tell us we were very lucky to walk away from the spider-hood that day with our bodily fluids still contained within our body although some spiders were heard to be bragging that they had sucked out our lifeblood but they were just bullshitting.


Donkeys – they tell it how it is!

Later that day

Abdel and I had decided to take Rocky for a walk, there was really no need for him to be on a leash as he is a country dog and seems to thrive in that environment.  Put him back in the suburbs and it is a different and somewhat more disobedient story.

IMG_3633Leash? What leash?

Rocky really was enjoying the scenery of Dwellingup and I have to admit – so was I, really it is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to and not only that, there is plenty of animal company to chat to and I even made friends with a couple of forest red tailed black cockatoos called Susan and Gregory, and a very nice pair they were too.  It was only a flying visit you see but they managed to throw a few words my way as they flew over.


Forest red tailed black cockatoo – Susan and Gregory


The lake ‘place of action’


Rocky on ‘roo watch’

It really was rather marvelous seeing Rocky enjoy his freedom, when he wasn’t playing with Jess, he was making fun out of Danny de Vito Dog and when he wasn’t doing that, he was swimming and when he wasn’t swimming, he was either watching TV or reading the dog porn in the front room – basically a kelpie with a busy life you might say.

Roo Watch – again!

That evening I was determined to some better shots of some kangaroos, I left Rocky on the verandah with Abdel and I took the camera and went down to the lake to see  if any of the ‘hopping handbags’ as they are known in some parts, were in sight so I could get some good photographs.

IMG_3725Rocky and Abdel chill out on the verandah while I go on ‘roo watch’.


Perfect scenery

Turning round to admire the scenery which you have to admit from this photo, is pretty awesome, I turned my camera on and took this photograph.  That was when I heard noises, sort of whispering but very loud whispering and sounds of ‘Who are you?’ kind of thing.

Thinking it was my imagination, I ignored the noises and then focused my camera on the scenery and it happened again but only the voices were louder – how did I not hear them in the first place, they were practically shouting at me.

Have you ever seen the film ‘Gulliver’s Travels’? Where the little men carry off Gulliver and although they are little, there are so many of them they actually make a powerful army?  Well I thought nothing could scare me after the spider-hood incident but boy was I wrong because when I realized that the voices were not coming from eye level, I glanced down and looked on the ground and what I saw made me do what only can be described as the ‘River Dance – Samantha style’.

I was standing on a nest of bull ants – please feel free to Google ‘bull ants’ and then imagine me standing on a nest of these bastards and if you want to pray for my soul and my pants that were now soiled, you have my full permission.

You know in army films they sing those songs as they march ‘I don’t know what I’ve been told, I’ve heard your genitals smell of mold’ – you know the kind of song?

That is what they were doing, thousands of the bastards had started to lift me up and were jostling me along the path to their nest and I could even hear the senior ants in charge yelling ‘heeve, ho, heeve, ho’.  Jesus Christ I was being dragged into an ants nest – these made the spider-hood seem like pussycats.

‘Oh, we have a big one!’ One of the bull ants shouted and then instructed them to sing their marching song again while they all pulled together and managed to move me another inch (yes it was an inch, I was sure of it and you had to be there to see it)

For what seemed like ages I allowed them to carry me towards the nest, fascinated as I watched them wipe the sweat off their tiny little ‘anty’ type faces and take swigs of water and yell out words of encouragement to the ‘ant army’.

Then I remembered that these bastards not only bite but they bite hard and I still have painful memories of being bitten by a bull ant in QLD which resulted in my leg burning and going numb from the pain and that memory alone was enough to shake me out of my fascination for these tiny insects that were hell bent on getting me back to the nest and that is when I did it – I performed The River Dance – Samantha Style.

The River Dance can be performed in many situations you see, when you find a cockroach in your cupboard, a mouse in your house, a dead spider, a snake – in fact anything that terrifies you can result in the River Dance which involves jumping up and down and slapping various bits of your body using your hands and some people have even been known to kick their own faces.  The River Dance can be done by men or women and get quite violent, legs and ankles could be broken, anything could happen.

So there I was doing the River Dance, slapping my own legs and marking them red, jumping up and down and blacking my eyes with my ample bosoms bouncing around like day old puppies and thank the lord and the baby orphans that none of those bull ants managed to bite me because trust me on this one, those bastards hurt when they bite and once bitten, the pain is never forgotten either.

‘What the fuck?’ The senior bull ant yelled and then shouted ‘Hostile attack! Get her!’ and seemingly from nowhere, literally thousands of ants poured out of a small mound by the bushes.

That was my hint to go and go I did, I ran like a starving kid wanting a Hungry Jacks and literally hopped along the pathway like a springbok until I came out into the clearing.  Checking there were no more ants on me, I still had that reactive instinct to continue slapping myself like a mental person, in fact my legs had hand marks on them where I had slapped myself so hard, I somewhat resembled a self-harmer and was surprised that Abdel never picked up on my ‘injuries’ when I got back to the chalet.

I was rewarded by my ‘walk of death’ through the bull ants nest by a nice group of wallabies and managed to take this photo before they spotted me and told me to ‘sod off and leave them alone’, which I did as I had suffered more than enough excitement for one night.


They were so small and so fast – I was lucky to get this photograph


And in the blink of an eye – they were gone as quickly as they appeared

The next morning

Abdel got up before me and went to the toilet, I saw him glancing out of the patio door and looked somewhat confused and then looked again.  Rocky did not even stir, he was fast asleep and really was not a morning person.

‘There are ducks on the verandah’ Abdel said and then yawned, rubbed his eyes and went in to the bathroom.

Was he joking? Ducks on the veranda?  I was tempted to drag my arse out of bed but really couldn’t be bothered but I should have known that nothing was ever that simple and just because you don’t see things, it doesn’t mean that you cannot hear them.

‘Do you think there is food here?’ I could hear one of the ducks say – it sounded quite young.

‘Well I can’t see anything, I would have hoped that kelpie would have left something behind’ The other duck sighed and then I could hear several other ducks arguing over the food situation in Dwellingup and even the fire from a few years ago.  Jesus Christ, I was trying to sleep and now I could hear these bloody ducks holding a ‘feather conference’ on our verandah.

It was only when Rocky got up and went on the verandah and told them to stop being so noisy that or he would turn them into crispy fried duck, they all took flight and left, but not before one of the ducks flashed her arse to Rocky and crapped near his water bowl which did not go down very well let me tell you.

‘Ducks on the verandah? Are you sure?’ The woman who owns the place said when we told her and then told us that she had never seen ducks on the verandah of any of the chalets since she opened the business.  Oh well, they were on the verandah, just ask Abdel and Rocky if you don’t believe me, the duck shit may well still be on there.

Time to go home

‘But I don’t want to go!’ Rocky cried as I packed up his toys, bowls and bedding.

‘That makes two of us’ I muttered and I meant it too.  I really didn’t want to go home, as a writer I yearned to live in the middle of nowhere with only wildlife for company and hated living in the suburbs – it was my idea of hell so I could totally sympathize with Rocky not wanting to go back.

Once we had tidied up the chalet and did the usual checks that you do before you leave guest accommodation, we had loaded everything up in the car except for Rocky who was now sat huddled up on the step pretending to be a cruelty case so that he could stay.

‘Do you have to go Rocky, can’t you stay one more day?’ Jess pleaded looking rather depressed.  Her calipers clanked together noisily, they still had some fridge magnets on them that Rocky had stuck on the day before.

Staring at her, Rocky sighed ‘Sorry Jess, I have to go with them’, his tail swished slowly from side to side.

Taking Rocky, I led him to the back of the car and secured his leash to the seat belt so he was safely contained in the back seat and then opened down the window for him and then I got in the front seat whilst taking a last long look at this beautiful place that had made a significant impact on me which in turn had made me realize just how much I hated the suburbs.

‘Call me!’ Rocky mouthed to Jess through the window and then did a gesture with his paws mimicking a telephone.  Jess grinned back and then did a naughty flash of her genitals whilst at the same time bashing her calipers together.

As we pulled out of the chalet park, I could see a line of spiders from the spider-hood on the side of a fence, all wearing their leather gear, some carrying guns, some carrying knives, some hissed but most said nothing and fronting up the army of spiders was Barry who gave Abdel a nod of respect.  Anyone that threatens the spider-hood with a mortein bomb has to be respected and anyone that knows anyone that works in pest control ought to be at the top of the food chain.  But it is always worth remembering that spiders ought to be respected, especially when they are armed with weapons have have serious contacts in the arachnid ‘underworld’.

Back home

‘It feels like we have never been away’ I said to Abdel as I unpacked our bags.
Rocky was running round the garden checking that nothing had been disturbed, moved, or soiled upon in his absence. I could see the little black kelpie circling round and lifting his leg several times to urinate on things until he eventually ran out of urine and merely did it as a gesture.

Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be home but I couldn’t help but wish that ‘home’ was somewhere else as in Denmark or Dwellingup or even Metricup, just somewhere peaceful, gorgeous scenery and nothing but the wildlife for company.

‘I won’t miss the spiders though’ I said to Abdel as he loaded up the washing basket with our dirty laundry.  Abdel laughed and then went into the bathroom to put away the toiletries that he had taken from the luggage bag.

After everything was unpacked, put away and sorted, Abdel and I sat down with the old British favorite – the thing that sorts everything out, a steaming mug of tea.  You may have noticed that in the UK whatever the crisis, a cup of tea solves everything – including war and tea always tastes best in your own favorite mug that normally has a chip on it somewhere.

Rocky was fast asleep on his bed as road trips always make him tired, his legs were twitching along with his facial muscles as he was clearly having a vivid dream about something or other – chasing Jess perhaps? putting magnets on her calipers, or perhaps just enjoying the freedom of not being on a leash because he had ‘earned the trust of the countryside’ if you know what I mean, and by trust I mean the 10th Commandment which is ‘thou shalt not chase kangaroos and wildlife’.

So that was that, our weekend away was over and it was time to get back into the real world, where the dogs carry knives and threaten people and the magpies bash you up and chase you and the real sounds of wildlife come in the form of the hoons racing cars up and down the main road by your house and you know something? I hate it – real life that is.

‘It’s like it never happened’ I muttered to Abdel as I carefully edited the Dwellingup photos on my computer whilst sipping my tea.

‘Oh I wouldn’t say that’ A small voice said from way above my head, who the shitting hell said that?

Looking up I could see a rather large white tail spider wearing a leather jacket and tight leather pants and a blue and white scarf tied around its head.  Standing up I stared at it in disbelief and said ‘Pardon?’

‘Two words’ the spider replied firmly ‘Spider-Hood’

Feeling sick I turned round to see if Abdel had heard it all, he was fast asleep with his empty tea cup in his hands. Turning back round to face the spider, it had gone.

Now, where was that mortein bomb?

The end…..

A special thank you to the owners of the forest lodge for their kindness and hospitality – they provided us with first class facilities and accommodation and it is definitely worth a trip to stay with them.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

How quickly things can change

ImageMy apologies for not updating this blog sooner but it has been a fraught and stressful week for all concerned.

I mentioned a fight with Rocky and Donkey on the first day which was sort of what was expected in order to establish pack leader between the two of them.  Things were not too bad after, they even enjoyed some games on the lawn and had heated discussions about local bitches over the dog biscuit – you know the sort of thing.

However, things took a very different turn in a couple of rather worrying ways and it was decided on Wednesday 16th February by SAFE and myself that Donkey had to be removed from the house.

As some of you may have been aware, we were trying to get Donkey used to Gordon the cat.


Gordon – King of his castle

Gordon was sitting on the chair when Donkey first walked in the house and Donkey  immediately went to attack him, so we pretty much knew straight away that Donkey was not safe to be left with Gordon or even have him in the same room unrestrained.  Now upsetting though that was, it was good in a way because no chances were ever taken with the two of them, as you can imagine had we left them for even a second; what could have happened.

So Donkey was having controlled sightings of Gordon as in he was in the laundry room behind a 1 metre high baby gate.  Although Gordon was calm and showed no fear against Donkey, Donkey on the other hand would almost have a ‘brain switch’ that flipped him into the ‘cat zone’ and he would ignore all other stimuli as in clicker/treat/voice command and would totally fixate on Gordon to the point he tried to push the gate down to attack him.

We had plans to shut Gordon away each time Donkey was walked but how realistic is that? How safe is that when all it would take is for one of us to forget and walk Donkey through the house on a leash and the fact that Gordon likes dogs, if this elderly cat walked up to Donkey, we would have very little chance of stopping him attacking the cat.

We thought of keeping Donkey outside but how fair is that if Rocky enjoys an indoor life? Donkey needed to be part of our family unit and keeping him as an outdoor dog would not only be unfair on him, but we would still have the issues for the next few years of Gordons life, watching our every step and move to ensure this Jack Russell/Staffie cross did not attack our precious ginger parcel that had flown all the way from the UK in order to get here.

Donkey the mountain goat

Whilst at first I felt confident that Donkey could not jump the baby gate, the little dog surprised me when I found him perched on top of the BBQ the day after I got him, peering over the top of the gate – the BBQ being much higher than the baby gate inside and he obligingly showed me how he could almost jump vertically like a mountain goat and comfortably perch himself on the highest point.  You could almost hear him bragging about his jumping ability which I must admit, was rather impressive.

He also enjoyed doing the same with the garden patio table so this added to my concerns that if he really wanted to, keeping in mind his total fixation of getting Gordon to the point he hears and sees nothing else or no other command, all doubts that he couldn’t jump the baby gate had now been blown out of the water – he could and he could do so efficiently which now meant that he couldn’t be left in the laundry room if Gordon was in the the living area which would in turn mean Gordon had to be shut away in the ‘cat room’ and that was also cruel.

The Achilles heel of Rocky

My Rocky has hip dysplasia and a weak patella joint caused according to our vet, by ‘blunt trauma’ as in a possible kick to the hips when he was a baby.  He has 4 monthly injections to help him and occasional pain relief.  His hip has been known to give way if he does off the leash exercise of if people throw toys/balls for him and the hip joint swivels/twists/turns.

So Rocky’s hip management is crucial to his future as we have been advised that he is not the best candidate for surgery so we have to look after him as best we can, limit injury potential and really take care of him to make him have the longest possible life.

Anyway, we noticed that Donkey had started to bite Rockys hind legs – not mark them or even enough to visibly bother Rocky but whilst it was amusing to watch initially, it became a game for Donkey to bite the hind legs, and latch onto his rear end and bring him down to the floor and because Rocky’s hip is so weak, he spent more time on the floor than he did anything else.  It was rather bizarre to watch – Donkey gripping Rockys legs and wrestling him to the ground – see photo below taken just before Rocky fell to the ground which on the face of it looked quite funny but after a few goes, Rocky’s hip had indeed paid a high price for such hierarchal canine games.


On Tuesday night when I got home, my husband told me that Rocky was lame and when I checked him myself, his hip had slipped out of joint and he was unable to get up from the floor and when he did, he was literally hobbling about on three legs.

I had decided that night to keep Rocky inside away from Donkey but when I carried Rocky outside to go to the toilet, he refused to go.  I don’t even think it was because he disliked Donkey but more the association of Donkey+Play=Pain kind of thing, or perhaps Donkey intimidated him in his battle to be top dog, – who knows?  The play had certainly become more aggressive as each day went on and that was obvious.

After a long discussion with my husband and also Sue at SAFE, it was decided that the energy match of Donkey and Rocky was not suitable, Rocky according to our vet, is a somewhat ‘special needs’ dog with his hips and a young dominant male dog is probably not the best companion for a kelpie with hip issues and no hope of ever keeping up or defending his patch.

But the real deciding factor was Gordon because Sue was right, if there is any risk of Donkey killing Gordon then it is a risk not worth taking and the thought of spending the next few years of Gordons life with the comfort and mental welfare of both animals being compromised to keep one from being attacked or killed is overwhelming and daunting. Because if anything did happen to Gordon – I for one would not be able to forgive myself and not only did Gordon deserve the right to live in his own home, but so did Donkey and the barriers that would need to be installed in order for that to happen – would not be realistic or possible.

The next day Sue had organised for Donkey to go to a lovely foster carer in Fremantle, we met at my house and Donkey said goodbye with a damp and smelly beard and trotted off with his new foster ‘mum’ without a care in the world and as he went, I swear I could hear him say ‘Hey, you’re pretty, fancy showing me around Freo some time?’ in true flirtatious Donkey fashion and as quickly as he arrived – he disappeared taking his new collar and tag with him.


Rocky’s gait is very stiff, he is still favouring the left leg and saw the vet on Thursday 18th January for his Cartrophen injection and hip assessment – walks for the time being are out until he feels better.  After just a couple of days of rough and dominated play by a younger, stronger male dog, I can only pray that his hip can recover.

The veterinary nurse at the surgery clarified what  Abdel and myself had suspected that Donkey was targeting Rocky’s ‘weak spot’ as in his hips.  Animals in the wild that are elderly, sick or weak are targeted and Donkey was doing this to become ‘head of the pack’ so to speak.  The nurse also confirmed that Rocky was simply not up to that competition and his hip is exceptionally fragile.

Now Winston our foster dog from the week before was a perfect match for Rocky and there was no contest between the two of them – my goodness they even enjoyed urinating on one another and washing each others faces.  Still, it takes all sorts and who knows what goes on in the minds of our pets.

Rocky still struggles to get up from lying on the floor so today (Sunday 20th) I took him for a drive to the pet shop and bought him a new collar and a Kong toy and he is now resting in the laundry room.

His favourite rubber chicken is in pieces as Donkey thought it to be a daft toy and not worthy, leaving Rocky with a small piece of rubber so I need to buy him a new one although trying to find one is impossible as I have tried a couple of pet shops including the one today and they have sold out – severe rubber chicken shortage, that’s what it is.

Donkey left behind a small piece of hide chew which I found Rocky curled up on his camp bed happily chewing on it. Aside from Rocky’s bad hip and his new appreciation of his toys and being nervous to go into the ‘Donkey Zone’, it’s like Donkey was never here.

Dog Training Advice

As this blog is linked to the SAFE website, I feel it would not be appropriate to publish reader comments on dog training and would recommend that if you do have any concerns about your pets behaviour then I would suggest you consult your local vet regarding an initial check up to rule out illness or injury and they will be able to advise you about consulting a qualified pet behavioural specialist.

Pet behavioural issues can come in many forms and whilst the internet can offer helpful advice, it really is best to consult an expert so that your pet can be assessed on a one to one basis and the appropriate training given.

Dedicated to Donkey

Do I regret getting Donkey? – No, not at all in fact I am pleased that we got him because I think the right home for this little guy is in Perth and it will be a home where he can either safely be the dominant male or he will be an only dog with some rough and tumble type teenagers that can give him a run for his money in the energy stakes and he may well have not had that chance in Karratha.

To quote Sue from SAFE, even if I was Donkey’s temporary home until he found his next home, it was all meant to be – he was meant to come to Perth and I was meant to be put in touch with SAFE.

Because this is not the end of the Donkey Diaries, they will continue in the name of Donkey and instead of just Donkey being in them, it will now be dedicated to all of the SAFE dogs in Karratha that need loving homes and also in the hope of raising much needed funds for SAFE and the wonderful work that they do.

And of course, how could I regret turning up at Perth airport with Tori, Dee and Clare to pick up the little guy and having the privilege of a ‘wet smelly beard’ type kiss from Donkey.  Donkey is a bit of a ‘derro dog’ as in you can imagine him getting into various scrapes and fights, escaping from his garden to flirt with the local female dogs, and probably fathering a few litters of pups in his time as well.

Now he will be starting his life in Perth, it has been established what he is like, the stuff he likes and what he doesn’t and I reckon for this little/big dog it will be his best paw forward from now.

Thank you Donkey Dundee – it has been a pleasure knowing you.

If you would like to donate to SAFE Karratha, their bank details are as follows:

SAFE Karratha/HQ Bank:
Account Name:
BSB Number:
Account Number: 
Commonwealth Bank 
Saving Animals From Euthanasia Inc
101 488 05

Remember every little donation helps and if I believe that my animal stories can raise money for SAFE Karratha, then I will make them a regular feature.  Interest is already being generated in other countries – Cyprus, USA, UK so I shall make it my mission to keep writing the stories to help their cause.

All I ask, is that if you do donate, if you could reference it as ‘Donkey Dundee’ so that SAFE know who it is in relation to.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Every Donkey has his ‘day’

ImageGood morning! – Donkey surveys his new home in Perth

Donkey’s side of the story

Who is Donkey?

Donkey sat in his cage at Perth airport in the Australian Air Express depot, he could feel his SAFE scarf tied around his neck, his thin canvas collar with a small SAFE tag containing his animal number – that was it, the sum total of his identity.

Even he was beginning to question who he was, all he knew was that he was Donkey, his first owner had died, his second one was unable to keep him, neither had de-sexed him so his burning desire to mate with every female dog in Karratha had blighted his life somewhat.

He knew he had stayed at a couple of foster homes that had cared for him very well, he knew that some things were just too tempting – like Pad Thai noodles and rummaging through everyone’s bins and he knew that Sue’s dog Malcolm was ‘top dog’ and there was only room for one top dog and it couldn’t be him.

He knew that he was going on a plane to Perth where a lady called Samantha had her heart set on adopting him to share her life with a black kelpie dog called Rocky and a ginger cat from the UK called Gordon – and although he didn’t know it yet, he wasn’t going to like Gordon.

So who is Donkey? What does Donkey have to his name?  Well ALL Donkey has to his name is in fact, his name – and his collar, scarf and SAFE tag.

Donkey’s arrival

Donkey was met with hugs and kisses from Samantha, he wagged his tail – he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to but he did it anyway, it was sort of obligatory.  He was sure his previous ‘crimes’ were written all over his head – bin rummaging, being cheeky to alpha male Malcolm dog, escaping, mating with the local bitches, Samantha could see his naughty crimes and he was sure of it.

He wanted to smarten himself up, he wanted to straighten his thin canvas collar and polish his tag and smooth his prickly beard but he looked scruffy, he looked tatty and really at the end of the day, you cant polish a turd.

Suddenly his collar and SAFE tag seemed the most important thing in the world to him, they ware all he had aside from his name, his history was a sad one and hardly something he could brag about and he dare not tell anyone that he was a food thief and a bin raider.  So all he had to his name, was his collar, his scarf and his SAFE tag and of course, his name – Donkey.

The journey home made him feel sick, how long would he be in this home for, how long could he behave himself for – could he resist the bins and the rubbish?  He felt himself being hugged by Samantha and kept giving her a somewhat grateful lick on her face and he enjoyed listening to Tori’s high pitched girly voice as she drove them towards his new home.

Home sweet home!

Donkey was greeted by a sleek black kelpie wearing a nice red collar and a dog tag.  Instantly he felt envious, this dogs collar had a history, it was covered in mud, his tags chewed and scratched – yes, Rocky had a history, he had his name, his collar, his tags and a history.

After that initial walk and introduction on neutral ground, Rocky and Donkey were finally allowed to meet off the leash in the garden.  Donkey had found a squeaky purple bone – that he wanted to claim it for his own, it could be his and the start of his new life would revolve around the purple bone. Unbeknown to him, Abdel had bought him that bone just for him.

Watching the curious young kelpie come towards him, Donkey let out a growl that said ‘bugger off, it’s mine’ – Rocky not being used to sharing his garden and toys and generally being rubbish at ‘speaking dog’, did not read the signals and continued to try and take the bone.

In a flash, Donkey attacked him – he had to, it was survival for this little desert dog to defend what he felt was rightfully his, his primal instincts kicked in and he fought with Rocky who was shocked, surprised and not sure how to react – a bit like a street kid fighting with a posh kid over a train set.

Samantha sat back and let it happen, why did she do that? Because it HAD to happen, boundaries had to be established, both dogs made noise, both dogs were ‘mouthed’ and both dogs had saliva over them and both dogs were visibly shaken after their altercation and stood looking confused as it was over as quickly as it started.

Donkey left the bone, Rocky left Donkey and Samantha checked to see that neither of them were hurt – they weren’t (except for their pride).

Convinced that was it, second crime committed (first was trying to attack Gordon the cat), his copybook was blotted, he just knew he would be sent away, he could feel his thin canvas collar on his neck, he could feel his SAFE scarf and the tag and he knew he still had his name – he was Donkey, ‘they’ could send him anywhere and he would still be Donkey and more to the point, his ‘crime sheet’ was growing and would follow him wherever he went.

New ‘clothes’

Samantha called him over and he felt her hands on his neck, he heard the ‘click’ of his collar and felt it loosen as it was removed from him, he had already removed his SAFE scarf earlier and buried it in the mud so he could pretend that he never was a rescue dog and he could start afresh, providing he wasn’t sent away for being naughty.

In its place, Samantha clipped on a smart thin green camouflage collar on his neck and on that collar was a huge silver heavy tag with the Australian flag on one side and his details on the other and the biggest thing engraved on the collar was his name ‘Donkey’.

Quivering with excitement, Donkey wanted to cry – his very own proper collar with his name on it.  He wanted to stare at it, to touch it, he liked to hear it ‘jingle’ as he shook his head but more to the point, he was also aware of the little kelpie staring at him, confused – why was HIS owner making a fuss of the NEW dog that had already bashed him for trying to take a toy?

The little dog was only too aware of the pressure to try and behave so he could keep his home – the stakes were high and he knew it.

That night

Donkey had his own area – the BBQ area as it was too early to leave Rocky and Donkey together.  He had also been given his own kennel – he had never had his own kennel before, what did he do with this large plastic house with a blanket in it? Did he sleep in it or chew it?

Beside the kennel was a camp bed with a quilt on it and next to that a large shiny silver food bowl and an even larger bowl of water and next to the kennel, a giant hide chew – was that really for him, was he still a foster dog or was this his home?

That night he was allowed in the laundry room, he could see Gordon the cat staring at him through the baby gate, he wanted to chase Gordon – the large fat ginger rat/cat but something about Samantha’s face told him he couldn’t, self control on this issue posed a big problem and Donkey had in fact built his own ‘fence’ to stop him going in to the living room to sit with his family, because quite simply – he could not be trusted.

He could feel his tummy rumbling, he was hungry, he glanced round looking for bins to empty and food cupboards to look through and wondered if there were any tasty morsels he could find?

Samantha came into the laundry room, she looked upset as though she had been crying.  What had he done aside from fight Rocky and go to attack the cat?  Surely his naughty thoughts could not have been discovered by Samantha, he was terrified to move, he was scared to be a normal dog so he did the typical rescue dog thing, where they don’t know what to do or how to behave so they do nothing.

Donkey sat down and wagged the tip of his tail, he wasn’t sure whether or not he should wag it, but he did anyway.  Samantha sat beside him and she was crying – what had he done, had he upset her? He licked her face frantically to say ‘sorry’ for whatever it was he had done since he arrived.

He felt her arm go around him and he wriggled his small tan and white body and pressed it against hers and washed her face – it tasted salty, he would say ‘sorry’ anyway as he may have been naughty and not realized it.

‘We have a rule in this house’ Samantha said in between wiping her eyes, ‘And that rule is that no animal should ever go hungry, so do you know what I am going to do now?’

Donkey didn’t know, so he licked her face again.

‘I am going to feed you again’ and with that she placed some biscuits in his bowl. Samantha had heard of Donkey’s habit of bin raiding and knew of his food issues.

Should he eat them? Was it a trick? Was he meant to eat them? And more to the point, were they Pad Thai noodles?

Temptation got the better of him as he sniffed the gravy dust from the large dog biscuits and within a few seconds, the bowl of biscuits were gone and the bowl was clean.  He licked her face again, his beard brown from gravy dust and damp from drooling.


Donkey sat on his camp bed, not sure whether or not to go in this kennel that was supposedly now his, he had decided to sleep on the camp bed instead.  Rocky was kept inside that night to allow Donkey to relax in his new environment.

The kookaburras made their noisy call, the last call of the magpies and the odd Carnaby’s cockatoo could be heard and then aside from the cars going up/down the main road, it was silent – just Donkey – and his collar, tag and the purple bone which had magically reappeared by his kennel.

Donkey curled up to make himself as small as possible, it wasn’t cold but he shivered anyway.  You see dogs that have gone from home to home including foster homes become unsettled and separation anxiety can set in, it is nobodies fault, just one of those things and each new home can add to the issues and Donkey had some issues.

He could feel his collar around his neck, his SAFE scarf had gone – buried in the mud somewhere, but he could feel the weight of his new tag and that weight was heavy, he had to be on his best behavior.  This place was cold compared to Karratha, it was new, it smelt different, even the dogs looked different and whom, I ask, gave a cat THAT many rights that it could live in the whole house and not be confined like Donkey?

The little/big dog did a loud sigh, his purple squeaky bone was held tightly between his paws, and even in his sleep, Samantha could periodically hear him squeaking that bone as if to remind him where he was, or was it to remind him it was his toy, or that he was in his new home?  Donkey – he now not only had his name, his new collar, his tag and his new home – he had a new toy as well, his identity was growing.

Donkey’s story – to be continued

Samantha’s Story – Donkey Diaries


Donkey and I get acquainted

Tori and I were at Perth airport, waiting to be seen by AAE, we stood outside and peered through the gates to see if we could see Donkey.

‘There he is!’ I yelled to Tori as I spotted this little/big dog sitting in his cage, appearing as chilled out as can be, with his paws crossed and a bottle of water between them.He wagged his tail and then just stared at us, did he want to come home with me – he barely showed a reaction.

We were taken through to the holding pen where I had to remove him from his cage, his whole body wriggled and his tail wagged and I felt him lick my neck as though I were his long lost owner.  He smelt of bones, meat and ‘dog’ if you know what I mean, we all have our own smell and that was Donkey’s smell.

He wore a thin black canvas collar, a blue SAFE scarf tied neatly round his neck and he had a SAFE dog tag on with his animal number.  This was my new dog – Donkey.

I won’t bore you with the journey home, I am sure Donkey has told you his version and that will do for me.


Gordon was sitting on the sofa as we walked in and although Donkey was on a tight leash, he made a very quick grab for Gordon, no growling – nothing, just opened his mouth and lunged at him, tapping him on the snout and saying ‘No!’ in a loud voice, I removed him from the living room, feeling shaken – I mean everyone loves Gordon and now I had brought in an animal that wanted to eat him.

‘That is not a good reaction’ I said to Tori, feeling upset, Gordon however had refused to run away and stared Donkey straight in the eye and told him to ‘piss off’ but I think even Gordon was rattled at how quickly Donkey went for him, basically had Donkey been off the leash he would have killed him.  Trouble is, Gordon was right by the door when we walked in – but anyway, it’s over and done with.

Now as many of you know or if you read my ‘Sjogrens Diaries’, you will now that I am quite sick with an auto immune disease and I take steroids, anti malarials and a low dose chemo drug to suppress my immune system so I am not that best equipped to deal with stress really.

The build up to getting Donkey had been so intense and picking him up the day after my methotrexate injection (which always leaves me tired), had sort of brought things to a head. As you can imagine the reaction with Gordon had left me shaken with feelings of ‘what the fuck have I done’ – how could I keep them separate, I had even worked through the scenario of Donkey killing Gordon and what would I do as it would all be my fault.  I had lived and played out every possible scenario and to be quite frank, I was exhausted.

With regards to Rocky, I had expected a fight to break out, it is normal canine behavior to establish boundaries but I never realized how much it would effect me seeing my kelpie have to defend his patch, when in fact I should have also realized that Rocky is not a dominant male and one of them has to be and really, Donkey is the better candidate for the role.  The only thing that Rocky dominates is his rubber chicken and even now, the head has been bitten off that (thank you Donkey).

So seeing my new dog go for my cat and establish himself as new pack leader in my garden all in the space of two hours was not only upsetting, but exhausting as well for me.  Normally the day after my Methotrexate injection I usually rest, not act as referee between animals and the whole day had left me feeling drained, both mentally and physically.

What have I done?

I don’t know about any of you that have rescued animals but have you ever had the ‘what the fuck have I done?’ moments when you have got your new pet home?  The excitement of actually acquiring the cat/dog has worn off – he/she is home, it is now down to you to iron out bad habits, raise them, discipline them and get them to blend in with your family.

It is also worth remembering that when someone is in your home or you in theirs, you are all on best behavior because you know how to behave.  Well a rescue dog doesn’t know how to behave and just because he/she is in your home, bad and undesirable habits can often be displayed quite early on in the relationship and instead of earning your trust and respect, you have to earn theirs – despite the naughty stuff that incidentally, falls down to you to sort out.

I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up some hours later, my mouth was so dry, my eyes itchy and burning, my joints swollen as I had some sun exposure that day and it was typical Sjogrens syndrome symptoms of waking up feeling shit.  Then I had that moment of realization – there was an extra dog in my garden, my new dog and he had a tag with his name and my address on it, he had an identichip that linked back to me and his council rego papers had been paid for – Donkey my new dog that had already tried to eat the cat and fight Rocky.  What the fuck had I done?

And with those thoughts, I burst into tears (well I don’t produce tears but you get my drift) and I cried like a baby until my ribs ached, my throat hurt and my arms went numb – the past few weeks had caught up with me and let’s just say those emotions – well they well and truly kicked my arse.

I crept to the laundry room where Donkey was lying down with his hind legs splayed out in a frog like pose behind him, he looked up at me nervously – let me tell you now that dogs pick up ALL of our feelings, our own behavior and emotions, even our bad moods.

Donkey’s tail wagged a little and as I looked into his eyes, he sat up and washed his empty food bowl and then looked at me.  I felt this overwhelming feeling of sadness that I was not up to the job of giving this little guy a good home and that he had already been through so much, he was better off somewhere else.

Donkey looked down at his bowl, licked it and looked up at me again.


Please Sir, I want some more

I went in to the laundry room and sat on the floor and started crying again, I felt ill, I felt exhausted, I felt tired from the Methotrexate injection, I was tired of all the medication I had to pump into myself in order to function and now I had adopted a problem dog that hated my cat and had ousted my kelpie from his position in the household.

And with those thoughts I carried on crying for some time until I felt Donkey washing my face frantically and giving me one of his huge, chunky and rather deformed paws.  ‘What the fuck have I done?’ I kept repeating in between Donkey face licks.

What did we both have – I had a problem dog, my ill health, my home, my husband, my kelpie and my cat and my temp job, Donkey had his name, his tag, his collar and at the moment – his new home, everything and I mean everything seemed so damned fragile.

Trying to compose myself, I stared at Donkey and told him that in our house no animal ever goes hungry and then placed some biscuits in his bowl, as I watched him hesitate and then hunger get the better of him (rescue dogs often have food issues if they haven’t had a regular mealtime or have been in a few homes, it does NOT always mean they have been made to go hungry), he wolfed down his biscuits and then said thank you with a damp and smelly kiss and wiping his gravy dust beard on my face.

Later that night Abdel came home and met Donkey and it was agreed that he was cute and also agreed that he must be kept away from Gordon at all costs.

Donkey was put to bed in the BBQ area with a few more biscuit and his hide chew and his new purple squeaky bone, Rocky was cuddled and reassured that he was the ‘Number one boy’ and I had a shower and cried some more because I felt so ill from medication, and emotional from the entire day.

It was 2am when I heard it – the squeaking of a toy, every half an hour or so that purple bone would squeak – not very loudly but enough to hear it.  And even I knew that it was probably Donkey using it to comfort himself and tell himself that he was still here – in a strange place that was meant to be his home.

6am the next morning

I woke up feeling better, heaps better, I had a mouth full of ulcers and my eyes were sore but that is the nature of my illness.  Then it hit me – shit, I had a new dog that hated my cat and those awful visions of potential problems that had not occurred yet were still haunting me.

Creeping out to the garden to let Rocky out, I nervously peered over the BBQ area and was shocked to see Donkey still fast asleep on his camp bed, he had made himself so small it wasn’t true and in between his paws held quite tightly, was his purple rubber bone.

‘Donkey’ I said calmly, and then repeated it a little louder ‘Donkey’

He opened his eyes, looked somewhat confused and then jumped up to greet me, I opened the gate and he ran out to the lawn to play with Rocky, both dogs seemed to forget that I was there and proceeded to play for a few minutes, chewing on each other, posturing and sparring together.  Donkey glanced up at me, then ran over and licked my hand and went back to playing with Rocky.


And from that very moment I decided to take one day at a time, Donkey was here living in our house, Gordon was still OK and it was down to us to protect him, Rocky had accepted Donkey as the alpha male and we were all about to go on a steep learning curve.

I stared at Donkey for some time after he had finished playing, do we look like his owners, are we up to the job and does he look like ‘our dog’?

ImageDonkey, with his collar and his tag (and his name)

Who knows, but it is a case of one day at a time and friendships are not built in a day, nothing becomes ‘home’ in a day and everything worth having takes time and effort.  Besides, if I am honest, the only thing that Rocky was in charge of was his rubber chicken and was never ‘top dog’ material so perhaps it is me that is more upset at him being ‘ousted’ as top dog and not Rocky who admittedly was in dire need of canine guidance.

And you know what? I think we just might be OK – baby steps and all that.

Until next time..

Note: I am not asking for opinions on dog training – I am taking advice from my vet regarding this.   I am just writing this diary to express what I am feeling and how I am finding this process as I am sure I am not alone in the roller coaster that is involved in adopting a new pet.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Doctors, Dentists – and ‘stuff’

I have a doctors appointment today for some ‘Sjogrens stuff’ – anyone with an auto immune disease will know what I mean by the word ‘stuff’ as it covers a multitude of explanations, you don’t even need to go into it, just say to any other fellow sufferer of Sjogrens/Lupus and say I have ‘stuff’ going on and you will be met with the sympathetic look that tells you they know exactly what you mean.

My ‘stuff’ for today is the pain and soreness down the right side of my face and the ‘whooshing’ noise I get in my right ear which causes me to go off balance.  Do I need my ears syringed? Who knows but aside from renewing my Methotrexate injection prescription today, my GP needs to assess the latest ‘stuff’ and sort it out.

Last week I was at the dentist to get my x-rays and fluoride treatment done and next month I have a whole day dedicated to my eye specialist to have my eyes dilated and my punctal plugs checked (and ‘stuff) and at some point during February, an appointment with my Immunologist is on the cards.

It is like doctors take the place of your family and your time, effort and money is aimed at attending or organizing various medical appointments and any time and money that may be left over is spent on your drugs that you need in order to function.

I mean really, I am tempted to invite my eye specialist, my dentist, my GP and my Immunologist for tea round my house so we can get them all in one room and discuss ‘stuff’ and save us all the effort of second guessing what the other REALLY thinks about the situation, perhaps we could play board games about various Sjogrens symptoms and whoever gets it wrong has to buy the Methotrexate.

My immunologist even gave me his mobile phone number once after I got a bad reaction from a steroid injection in my hip.  I deleted it pretty quickly as I have a habit of sending text messages to the wrong people.  I mean can you imagine it – me sending a text like ‘I am in the shower naked, waiting for you’ or even ‘I have the worst period pain and could murder some chocolate’ or worse still, a message that is aimed for my friend Waitangi which usually has the word ‘anus’ in it written in childish fashion.  I shudder to think about it and you can see why I deleted his number and we wont even discuss the potential for picture messages.

I may go as far as having a family portrait on my living room wall – myself, my husband, my immunologist, my eye specialist, my optician and my dentist and even my two dogs and cat – a bit like those awkward family photos.

I just hope I don’t gather any more specialists along the way as my ‘family’ is more than big enough thank you, I mean can you imagine if I acquired a gynecologist!

Right, time to get ready for the doctors to discuss my ‘stuff’.

Donkey Escapes from Karratha!


Desert dog – Donkey Dundee has escaped Karratha despite the best efforts of TC Narelle to stop him, I can exclusively reveal today.

It was tense, it was fraught with danger, lots of people were involved, a scarf was tied around his neck in case he became lost in the desert, people cried, people laughed and people cheered – although who laughed and cheered I do not know.

It is thought that Kelly Wheeler from Australian Air Express was heavily involved in getting Donkey out of Karratha and this cannot be denied as she is in the photograph.

The Departure

Donkey in Car

Donkey settles in car

Donkey technically didn’t have a proper red carpet but the red towel sufficed nicely and Donkey didn’t seem too worried at all about it being a towel.

Airport Drive

Donkey – where is your seat belt?

When Donkey was questioned about his position on the situation, he replied ‘What can I say, I like sitting on the front seat, I am that kinda guy!

Bye bye!

And he’s off!

On arrival at Karratha Airport, Donkey met Kelly Wheeler from Australian Air Express, now please do not be fooled at her innocent face because she was heavily involved in the smuggling of Donkey Dundee to get him to Perth and out of TC Narelle’s clutches.

Kelly did a sterling job in keeping this top secret and even wanted to put a balaclava on Donkey’s face to keep him in disguise but Donkey refused and a compromise was made when Donkey agreed to wear party hats on his ears in celebration of his new life.

Party hat and carpet

It’s party time!


Donkey joins in the celebrations


Sue and Lelly (Australian Air Express) do the final checks


Sue sends Donkey on his way via the ‘red carpet’

It was an emotional Donkey that took off from Karratha that day, the only identity that he had to his name was in fact his name ‘Donkey’, a plain black collar with a small SAFE tag with his animal number on it and a blue SAFE scarf tied around his neck.

What is the big deal with that? I hear you ask, well every dog should firstly have his name, his owner, his toys, a collar that tells his story and a disk that tells everyone including the ranger, just who he is.

Rescue dogs tend to lose their identity, they have the collar from their old owners, the tag from the rescue but often they don’t have their toys and some of them don’t even know their own name.  You see part of being a dog is having your dignity and dignity comes in the form of the above and Donkey took flight that day only knowing his name and having the love that the SAFE girls had shown him but other than that, he just had the collar and scarf he stood up in.

Welcome to Perth Donkey!

Donkey was collected at the Australian Air Express depot and was seen sitting with his front paws crossed and a bottle of water between them (yes really!) and he looked as cool as a cucumber and wagged his tail when I shouted his name.

Now for those of you that don’t ‘speak dog’ – please look away now because you totally won’t ‘get it’.

Donkey had that look about him of people that arrive at airports that are awaiting their friends/family to meet them and they are late.  You see the panic in their faces, will they turn up? What do I do if they don’t? – you know the kind of thing.

I swear Donkey was saying ‘Shit, they are not coming, the bastards, I don’t care, why would I? Who cares, I am Donkey, I can do anything! Bastards, they are not coming, what am I going to do?’

It was like the little dog kept looking at my friend Tori and I through the holding pen, hoping it was us, not sure if it was us and clutching what little identity he did have – his name.  Because each time we called him, he would look up and say ‘Donkey, that’s me, I am here, can you see me!’

We were led into the holding pen to remove Donkey from his cage – the arrival and first intro can be seen by clicking on this link: Donkey’s Arrival


Samantha meet Donkey, Donkey meet Samantha!


Donkey recalls his experience with TC Narelle

Donkey arrives ‘home’

Donkey arrived home and was immediately introduced to existing kelpie dog – Rocky, on neutral territory where they were both take for a walk.  Rocky was somewhat dismayed to discover that Donkey is rather generously ‘blessed’ in the genital department whilst he in fact, resembles a lady-boy.

I would like to say that Donkey liked Gordon but he didn’t, in fact he rather wanted to eat him with some sauce and it didn’t help that Gordon isn’t scared of him but suffice to say that Donkey has to be kept away from Gordon and can only admire him from the safe confines of the baby gate and no, I am afraid I will not be using Caesar Millans technique of putting Gordon in a small cage because Gordon won’t feel safe in a cage, he hates all cages and at 12 years old, I am not about to start stressing him out.

The simple answer is that they will NEVER allowed to be together and can only admire one another from afar.  Gordon was sighted yesterday sitting by the baby gate telling Donkey to ‘piss off’ but trust me, Donkey’s prey drive is as such, Gordon would not stand a chance and I personally do not think it is worth the risk anyway.


Please Sir can I have some more?

A New Identity

It was done in exaggerated fashion and really should have had an audience.  Donkey tore off his SAFE scarf and buried it in the mud and said ‘I ain’t no rescue dog any more!’ He then came up to demand a change of ‘clothes’ as in a new collar in a bid to leave his old life behind.

A green camouflage collar was put on him with his new disk with his name/details on it, Donkey gave a nod of approval and then went and took a shit on the lawn to mark his territory, a shit I might add which was almost as big as he is.

Donkey was asked how he felt about life in Perth, his response was ‘How long am I at this home for?’ and then glanced down at his ID tag looking somewhat thoughtful.

I would like to thank SAFE Karratha for all their help and support, everyone involved in Donkey’s foster care – especially Sue for ‘jail breaking’ him out of kennels and also Lelly at Australian Air Express for all her help.

And now the challenge of settling Donkey in to his new home, ironing out his bad habits and installing new good ones begins – wish us luck.

So that is the latest update – Donkey Diaries will continue from Perth and take the following angles:

1. Donkey Diaries – Mock newspaper updates

2. Donkey Diaries – from Donkey’s point of view

3. Donkey Diaries – taking on a rescue dog from MY perspective.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Donkey ‘Break Out’ Assisted by ‘Mystery Man’ in high viz!


Mystery Man assists in Donkey’s ‘jail break’

A mystery man has been caught on CCTV camera assisting Donkey with his ‘jail break’ I can sensationally reveal.  In an unprecedented move, Jot-it-me-down News has decided to do a further Donkey Diary update because this news is so hot you could burn your fingers on it (and I already have).

The mystery man wore jeans, high viz top and a wide rimmed brown hat – a bit like a cowboy hat but only this man never had a horse, only a large pair of bolt cutters – his face remained unseen so nobody is any the wiser as to who he is but we can reveal that he has big strong hands and muscles to be able to cut through that fence and may have a following of ladies interested in him –  (Sue L will start a fan club)

Donkey can be seen gazing through the fence although nobody knows what he is looking at in the photograph, some say it could be the ‘taste of freedom’.

Other photographs of Donkey after his escape include him eating a bone whilst being totally oblivious to those around him.


Donkey eating his bone in a secret location

Sue Hedley at SAFE was asked about the mystery man with the strong hands and big muscles but remained tight lipped about the whole situation.  Sue L however, could have been involved but only Donkey and the ‘mystery man’ would know and they are not telling.

Australian Air Express are on standby to smuggle Donkey out of Karratha tomorrow morning to his new home in Perth, it is hoped that the press won’t turn up because if they do, blankets will be required to cover the heads of the SWAT team and a large pillow case to put Donkey in and everyone will have to shout ‘go go go!’ like they do on ‘The Bill’ (UK TV)

Australian Air Express were asked for their opinions on this high profile little dog with big attitude, they were quoted as saying ‘All we know is that Donkey is famous and is trying hard to break out of Karratha, that is all we are saying’.

They also denied all knowledge as to whether or not Donkey would be flying his own plane ‘Air Donkey’ or in fact flying in a Qantas jet.


Air Donkey Vs Qantas!

More news as it happens.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Donkey Donations

SAFE Karratha have done a fabulous with the homing process for Donkey, their efficiency in processing the adoption and sending out the paperwork has been excellent, not to mention the support that they offer with the re-homing process.

Donkey’s stories are going to continue as Donkey becomes a part of our household, thus making up the ’3rd family member’ with Rocky and Gordon.

If you enjoy these stories and would like to donate to SAFE Karratha, their bank details are as follows:

SAFE Karratha/HQ Bank:
Account Name:
BSB Number:
Account Number: 
Commonwealth Bank 
Saving Animals From Euthanasia Inc
101 488 05

Remember every little donation helps and if I believe that my animal stories can raise money for SAFE Karratha, then I will make them a regular feature.  Interest is already being generated in other countries – Cyprus, USA, UK so I shall make it my mission to keep writing the stories to help their cause.

All I ask, is that if you do donate, if you could reference it as ‘Donkey Dundee’ so that SAFE know who it is in relation to.

Jail Break Dog!


Donkey – picture taken prior to jail break

It has been reported that Donkey Dundee has broken out of jail early yesterday morning with the help of someone called ‘Sue’ – now there are in fact two people called Sue but as both of them are said to have innocent faces, it is not sure which one did it.

Bolt cutters, James Bond type helicopter, balaclava masks, water pistols and Cliff Richard CD’s were used in the breakout which also involved Donkey being smuggled out in a pillow case whilst slung over someones shoulder whilst they shouted ‘Go go go!’ like they do in films.

Donkey Dundee who is due to fly out of Karratha on Saturday 12th January, has not been seen since since the breakout and is thought to be in hiding.  Some people have claimed to have seen him wearing a pink wig, blue dress with a padded bra, high shoes and pink lipstick and calling himself Shirley whilst others say that he is in the guise of a German Shepherd dog with short legs and large genitals.

Either way, he is out of prison and whilst he should be congratulated on ‘beating the system’ so to speak, whether or not he can beat TC Narelle is another matter entirely.

A SWAT team consisting of Tori, Clara, Deidre and myself will be arriving at Perth Domestic Airport tomorrow morning, we shall be dressed in disguise so nobody including ourselves will recognize us, where the official ‘hand over’ from Australian Air Express will take place.

Will it be televised? Who knows, not me that’s for sure but once Donkey lands on Perth soil, he has stated via a secret source that his desert days will be over and he plans to become a beach bum.

This is Samantha Rose reporting for the Donkey Diaries – updates as they happen but please, keep your fingers and legs crossed that TC Narelle does not throw a spanner into the works.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013