A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.Josh Billings
Leaving my last host by hitchhiking from Chinchila, for a few hours eastwards to Toowoomba in Australia by two different drivers. The first one a woman, working for the mines, not happy about it but needing the money, and actually not allowed by the company to pick up hitchhikers, the second one an ex ‘NASA’ worker that left america and had all kinds of interesting stories to tell about conspiracy theories, he actually drove me do his meeting place with his weed dealer, that one than gave me a lift, and again, he the least friendly he was the most friendly, very chill and drove ma around his town, showing me great natural spots, when finally dropping me at the library where I was picked up by Son and Max later. He even told me to come around or if I wont get picked up I could crash on his couch. Really friendly guy.
After an hour in the library I got picked up by Son and Max in their pickup to drive towards their farm, half an hour drive from the city. Everything was dry again, not as dry as before but still incredible dry. Apparently no real rain since a year. The area was beautiful tho, red earth, and a little hilly landscape. The farm was set just next to a hill, covered in trees, nurtured by the mineral rich volcanic soils beneath. From the property I was able to watch very far, due to our high and the flats I was watching at. Sometimes I could see whole thunderstorms passing by int the distance, dark clouds towering up seemingly endlessly into the sky with pink lighting dancing under the grey black hat.
The house was hot, but with the fans we installed it was actually alright. The farm was big, the horses beautiful and the dogs lovely. We watched after them a lot and I learned a lot about dogs. From the point they are born to a few month old and even about the grown ups. I slept in a horse trailer with a small bed and a multi plug, pretty much all I needed. In my free time I loved to read, play with the dogs or listen to music with Max, he after all showed me JAN OBERLAENDER! The stars were incredible, due to nearly no light pollution. Sunsets were simply breathtaking, there was not one single one where I would say it wasn’t nice. Sadly I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the place, also because I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the dog area. I was surrounded by dogs every day, it was lovely and those Poodles are amazing smart dogs, and Labradors, well they are lovely as well. Sonia and Max were amazing chefs and I never felt I had a bad meal. I loved to go and see the vegetables growing in their garden, picking them and eating them was even nicer tho. I felt great.
One day when I went to the toilet, I actually wet myself a bit due to a huge spider just next to my head. It nearly as big as my hand with one longer leg on one side. Massive, I just jumped of the toilet, told everyone and caught it in a cup, or more a container and set it out outside. Apparently those spiders are not poisonous for humans.
A few times I saw puppies being born, cut the line and watched them not to be squeezed by the mother when she changes her position. It is a wonderful and bloody story to watch, the dog seems to really appreciate you being there and calming her down. Sometimes all puppies are out in one hour, sometimes it takes a whole night. After one hour Max or Son put a little camp next to the dog to be there for emergencies. The first 12 to 24 hour milk is very important for the pups, after that the bodies can no longer absorb their dam’s antibodies through the colostrum and it loses its beneficial effect. Also the mother eats the afterbirth and licks the puppies clean. One time one dog attacked me, but then I got taught that holding your hand and letting them sniff doesn’t change anything for the dog, its more about coming in being loud and dominant will show the dog who is the boss.
My days usually started with cleaning around the house and then in the dog areas. Feeding, taking dogs into big runaround areas, sensual training with the puppies, my favorite part, where I had to take one puppies at at time of its mother, pet its pawns, the belly, eye, ears, mouth, nose, put it on ice and hold it upside down and the other way. I watched them growing for a month I stayed there, and it was wonderful. that Then breakfast, reading, cleaning, again, locking dogs, training bigger dogs to like loud noises and stuff, lunch, feeding, and later again cleaning. The job was very chill and I had mostly fun. I think working with animals is a beautiful thing as long as they feel you treat them well and you try to treat them well.
Sometimes Max and me went to see the horses, or I did some gardening or building around the house. The house was completely running of solar energy, which I really liked. Sometimes in my free time I was cycling around or we went to see our organic farm neighbors, once for pizza and sometimes they came over to our place with delicious wonderful food and we all shared a few stories and drinks. It was a simple life and it was a great life. I enjoyed it, the only thing that was disturbing was the dryness and the crazy heat.
That was also my last stop in Australia, a new mission was calling, repairing an old boat at home. Before that I flew to Sydney and from there for two weeks to New Zealand, to see Lorna and from there home. The first time after 2 years.
But more about that in my next blog. Meeting up with Lorna and our van Chui, and going o a wonderful two weeks road trip in New Zealand.
If you have a pet don’t over feed it, don’t be lazy. Take your time for it. A little pet feels probably as much as a dog feels. Pets have emotions and can think. Be a good partner to be with, remember that when you pet seems sad.