Two recent photos that sum up Maggie’s life at the moment. Sleeping a lot, or in this case also listening to the soundtrack of “Three Colours Red”. She wandered out from her bedroom to listen. The other image is from our last visit to our only secure off lead park. Here she free form plays if any suitable partners can be found.
Maggies inside toys waiting to be put away for the evening.. When she is particularly playful many of these will be scattered across our lounge and dining room, in the hallway, kitchen and on the couch. She has particular favourites for the mood she is in. Bigger ones are for throw and fetch, smaller ones are for close up push and pull and this gets dangerous as the teeth can be involved. Sometimes we can call a particular name and she may choose it, for instance there is Ted, Elk, Ratty, Parrot, Turtle Tom and Mick the Monkey. Most of this collection has been collected of the street, in car parks and parks by Charlie and now Maggie.
Since I took this photo she found and brought home a 1 metre stuffed snake toy. An observant reader will notice none of these toys have been damaged. Charlie and now Maggie respect their toys. What kids and parents leave abandoned in public is amazing.
The outside collection is another story. Destruction and damage are the norm. Again there is a collection of balls, as in many tennis balls, a Soccer ball, a football, a large rubber ball, a plastic ball and one frisbee. There was another frisbee that was her absolute favourite however this was finally totally demolished last week. Tug of war, chase and fetch with balls and frisbee and swing the old runner by the laces are favourite games. All outside games come with an element of danger to humans as jumping, hitting, grabbing prodding and twirling are involved. Again most of the balls have been found and brought home. The soccer ball was rolled up the street by Maggie using her nose. The football was found in a street in Toorak, our poshest suburb and proudly carried a long distance back to the car by Maggie in her teeth by the lace to the disdain/amusement/ confusion of many onlookers. She happily adits outside ripping apart or shredding her balls. Charlie found a cricket ball and Maggie is yet to break this one up. When all else gets boring Maggie finds a twig or breaks off a branch or pulls a pot plant apart or digs a new hole. Afghan Hounds are creative players.
Maggie visited our local municipal Art gallery twice recently. She enjoyed the first visit so much we had to plan a return. This had nothing to do of course with the free dog biscuits specially prepared in small packages handed out to all arty dogs . As you can see Maggie was actively engaged with the displayed works and did show a keen interest in the fate of Horatio the cat. This prompted a late entry for Ronovan’s haiku challenge Wake and Wail. Other contributions can be viewed at https://ronovanwrites.com/2019/10/14/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-275-wailwake/
Every Tuesday morning I would go to Yoga class and at midday Charlie would wait by the front room window looking out for my car to arrive. Jill captured this moment to show me how the routine would unfold. It is over three and a half years since Charlie died and we are often reminded of what a perfect dog she was. One of her understandings was not to get on furniture. Maggie on the other hand has commandeered every couch and bed in the house as well as her three dog futons. When she wants to look out this window Maggie climbs up on the furniture, (now a couch is under it) and presses her face against the window. Or if she is lying on the couch she raises and stretches her head and places it on the back of the couch to see who is coming in the gate. Then she decides to jump up and bark or slip off the couch and wait by the door or go back to sleep.
Maggie is now tracking along, living a well cared for life with plenty of leisure time. At the moment this small park is the only secure ,fenced, off lead park for dogs in our city. There are 12,500 registered dogs so fortunately most can be trusted off lead in unsecured parks and only 5-20 are at this one on most occasions we visit.
We did visit other parks however our local government recreation department decided to take gates off many that had secure gated fences. Maggie quickly discovered that no gates led to free runs with a hint of danger.
Yet another political challenge arises, this one at a more localised level.
Walking the track out the back of our house in Bendigo is one of our favourite places. There is a small remaining pocket of ground where native orchids still flourish from Winter across into early Spring. These beautiful tiny plants were much more abundant everywhere in this area of The Bendigo Regional Park. However 2 severe wild fire burn offs by the State Government authorities during the last decade has all but eliminated Orchids now except in our special place that lies just at the edge of the burnt areas. We have an impressive photographic record of native orchids from this entire area dating back to the 1970’s, including a couple of species that we have not seen for 30 years. Each year we return with hope and cameras. Both these photos are taken at the same spot on the track. Charlie was trusted off lead in her mature years however Maggie must wait a while before she wanders the track independently.
Maggie’s muddle includes these objects plus many others. For a pup she has more possessions than any dog we know. This pictured group include Chicken Joe who Charlie brought home one day and treasured, a glove Maggie found on a footpath and insisted on keeping as well as the cricket ball, (another of Charlie’s finds) that is of particular enjoyment to Maggie. She carries it onto our wooden veranda and drops it making a loud thud then repeats the action again and again. Regardless of these toys she still prowls the house looking for things to steal and chew.
Maggie has visited the bush behind our house in the Bendigo regional Park twice now. We will not let her off the lead for some time as she becomes overwhelmed with the new scents , noises and visual distractions.
A photographic timeline of our Afghan Hounds on beaches they loved. From the top down: 1977 Kelly on Shoreham Beach 1987 Suki and Flossie on Merricks Beach 2003 Kara at Ricketts Point 2010 Charlie at Shoreham Beach 2017 Maggie at Ricketts Point
The first 5 were at trusted times of their lives when they were lead free on their favourite beaches, as yet Maggie is on hold although she is trusted to walk in and out the front gate to and from the car. Kelly loved the beach most of all as can be seen from the disturbed sand around her as she grins into the lens.