Sunday, August 7, 2016


We like a country dog, and that for us means a Kelpie - very smart, personality, good size, good outdoors with strong working dog instincts, good indoors and, of course, good companions. So there's a road trip involved. And the road trip becomes the birthing, with unexpectedly deeply etched memories.

The 9 year old is exactly that - a sensible 9 year old - and she's from Harden on the SouthWest Slopes. She chose us - there were a few in the litter up for sale - on an Easter Monday, the hills browned off, the rivers and creeks snaking green through the valleys and gullies, the gums massive against the rolls and almost sensual swells of the tapering ranges, and as we nudged closer to my birthplace, getting that strange comfort feeling, I heard myself saying "This is my country" while immediately embarrassed at the crass pretension of even the thought before thinking no, no, for as comparatively little as my exposure might have been, not decades, not generations, not embedded forever in genes, nonetheless the feeling was the feeling.

Orange is another drive altogether - across the Great Divide (Bell's Line) where the sandstone rock faces can still raise a gasp, on into the Central West in sleeting cold early morning showers, Lithgow more bleak than ever, Bathurst cut thorough with a biting cold wind, a Full Breakfast in a warm friendly cafe so big the scattered customers may well have not been there at all, and so un-place-ably retro only a photo can do it justice ...

... and back on the road, along the highway, finally now skirting the town (famous for its cherries, rose gardens and uppity residents) whose outer suburbs have all the horror of city outer suburbs, turn north deep into grazing country, and finally we were at the gate. 

She was chosen for us. This is your puppy. She had been 'allocated' to another, who defaulted because of health, and now she was ours. And it is someone-in-Melbourne's loss, I can tell you that. I like that there was a slip or diversion or two in the process - it seems less coldly calculated.

8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks. And looking good.

She slept for the 4 hours drive down the western side of the ranges, stunningly beautiful country, through old mining towns like "Tuena"

and the hairy hair-pin bends plunging down to cross the Abercrombie River then onwards through Binda and Crookwell - rich country this. 

We were home by dark, just. With Noonburra Olwyn.


Anonymous said...

Trunkey Creek! Hobby's Yards!

wanderer said...

Yes! Yes!

A first for us and loved every Km of it, racing against the end of the day though so couldn't linger longer.