Today is Monday 17 May 2012. Me name is Sandy Freckles. I am an Australian cattle dog cross. When I was a puppy me first family surrendered me to the Dog Shelter because I showed no' spunk' - whatever that is. I was considered too slow to work on the farm so they gave me up for adoption. For a long time I missed me brothers and sisters. In human years that was 12 years ago - a long time in the life of a large and mostly inactive cattle dog. When me new owners saw me they called me Sandy for me first name and 'Freckles' as me middle name. I have these large spots on me back - that's why they called me Freckles. I'm glad the new owners thought the markings 'cute'. Recently me bones became stiff and sore as I lay in me kennel waiting to be let inside the house. You see, the Master of the House doesn't like me to sleep inside because he worries that I will poo or wee over the carpet. I did that a few times because I couldn't hold on any longer. When the nights are extra cold they allow me to sleep in the laundry. Anything would be better than an open kennel in wintertime.
Now the birds are already awake and are busy getting their breakfast from the gum blossoms closeby. In the mornings they are fiesty and so rowdy! I enjoy 'em performin' hijinks in the trees.It's the mating season and those females love to flirt! The birds don't pay any attention to me. I am lonely. Me old mate, Max died in September last year. He was 18 - a grand old man but stern with me.I was astonished how much I missed 'im when he went. We used to cuddle up in the kennel at night; his thick fur kept me warm in the winter. Now the weather has turned cold I miss the comfort of his body but not the bites he gave me when I lay too heavily on 'im. I've still got the scars where he stuck into me.
I had better hold off barking to wake me owners. Should I do so, I shall be hosed - I hate that. The sun is only just rising so I am freezing. Perhaps I'll walk around the enclosure a few times to ease me sore muscles. That'll help. I just have to bark! A few gentle woofs might wake me mistress.I'll try. Yey! She heard me and came flying out of the side door in her dressing gown. I love me mistress. She's called 'Karen'.
As she opens the kennel door she calls out: 'Paper, Sandy' and together we limp down the drive together. Me owner also has problems walking, too. I'm not interested in fetching the paper but I am interested in the droppings of rabbits and wallabies that have visited the area overnight.They are such delicious tidbits! The walk back up the driveway is so steep me back legs weaken just as we reach the house. Quickly she opens the front door and I dash down the carpeted hall-way and head. for the comfort of the living room. Here it is warm and sunny. I settle on me special cushion and relax. When me mistress is in no hurry she and I play with me on me back. I act like I'm a puppy again and with me belly up we plays the 'paws' game. She says 'paw' and I hold up a front one and waggle it. Pleased that I have responded, she drops to the floor and places her head on me tummy I adore this sign of love! Then she strokes my ears,and tenderly rubs me throat and tummy. I am in paradise, hoping these brief moments will last.
'I'll better get my breakfast now' she says as she gets up stiffly from the floor. I settle down for a snooze while she cooks porridge. Wouldn't mind a bit of that meself I think as I nod off. I awaken to see her sittin' at the table with her breakfast. I have to wait until she she's finished, and has swallowed her tablets. She leaves the room. I think I hear her unlock the laundry door. I know what's goin' on. Can't rely on me hearing anymore to be sure. She's making me breakfast! Soon she calls out loudly: 'Breakfast, Sandy! I hop up quick fast and follow her out through the front door to the laundry. I see the battered breakfast bowl filled to the brim with on top of the washin' machine. Ah! she opened a new tin of dog food - the chumpy one. Plus an apple core. Yum! It looks like she has stuck one of her white pills into it. No matter. I'll eat the food up real quick so I won't notice the table'ts vile taste.
Joyfully I run ahead along the cement path to the enclosure where me mistress will place the bowl. In no time all the food's gone. I am lonely once more. After I've done me business I bark a genteel bark which I hope she will hear. If she isn't too busy doin' things in the house she might let me in. Oh! No sign of her I'll bark again - a little louder this time. She ignores me. Shortly after she's changed her clothes and hops into her little car. I wonder how long she will be away. In the meantime I'll take a kip inside the kennel and snooze until she returns - whenever that will be. In the meantime the the painkiller has kicked in so I snuggle into one of her woollen jumpers and rest, momentarily painfree.
I haven't always been like this. Only recently I could glide into the car boot easy peasy and accompany me owners for a walk. Me favourite place to walk is called Gentle Annie Falls that is halfway up the big mountain. Usually I love this walk because hardly any people or dogs are around. You see, I am wary of other people and dogs and when I see 'em my hackles rise and I growl. The last time me owners wanted to take me for a walk I was too weak to jump into the boot though I tried a few times. How pathetic I must have looked! Me back legs gave way and me owners had to push and pull all 25 kg /50 lbs of me into the back seat with lots of exertion. I could sense they were worried about me condition.
Aah! I hear the sounds of the mistress's car grindin' up the driveway.I pull meself up and stand at the gate whimpering for attention. She gives me a lovin' look as she enters the house. I start crying. Action! She reappears with the leash. That's the sign she'll let me out for a wander. Woopee! I am so excited to see her again. I jump high with excitement but me back gives way again. I don't mind the pain.Together we amble around the garden at a leisurely pace with me leadin' and she followin'. If I slip on any step she will push me backside up. After steppin' out awhile I pant with the effort. After lappin' up the cool water in the plastic container placed by the steps she'll she'll let me stay inside the house for the rest of the day. What a lucky dog I am to have such a carin' mistress. Should me life end tomorrow I consider that I've had a fortunate life despite havin' no 'spunk'.