Tuesday, 10 March 2020

A Dingo in the Library – Extract from For the Love of a Dingo by Pamela King. (As recorded by Berenice Walters)

Napoleon
By the time Napoleon was 16 months old, I could take him out in public. I would go to the library, put him in a 'drop-stay' and be confident he would not move.  Even at the accountants or solicitors, he behaved perfectly.

Unaware there was a problem, we continued for many months to visit the library. Each time I placed him in a drop stay completely trusting him to behave. 




I would go off, browse the shelves, and select my books. Of course, I kept a close eye on him in case someone bothered him.

I was always comfortable taking him with me and extremely proud of his behaviour until one day the Chief Librarian approached and explained dogs were not allowed in Council buildings. She explained the staff had avoided telling me in case I thought they were discriminating against Napoleon because he was a Dingo.   “But I must add he is the most well-behaved dog we have ever seen.” she quickly assured me.

 



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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

But What About Dingo Pups?

No one was free from Berenice’s prodding them into awareness.

One evening in early 1980 she was speaking to a lady who had a part-dingo with behavioural issues. Her last comment to Berenice was 'Well, I must go. I'm going to a Greenpeace meeting to help stop the slaughter of baby seals.’





'What about our Dingo pups?’, Berenice asked her. ‘They are left to starve to death when their parents are ‘humanely' poisoned with 1080 laced baits, dropped from the air in our wilderness areas, during the breeding season'. Like so many Australians, this lady was well informed as to the plight of seals, but unaware of the plight of the Dingo.

This was not the only time she argued with well-intentioned people battling causes such as dolphins, whales, and baby seals. All well-intentioned but they were not in our own back yard. Was it (and the question still needs to be asked today) a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'? 





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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Snowgoose in old age

In 1988 there were only nine resident dingoes at Merigal, with one female, a daughter of Snowgoose, leased to Healesville Sanctuary. Many of the dingoes were elderly but what these lacked in youthful beauty, they certainly made up for it in character. Each one had a wonderful story to tell and members never tired of relating these to visitors.

The most senior Dingo was Snowgoose. At 13 she was still a beauty with a thick lustrous brilliant coat. 


However, Berenice felt she has been slowly fading over the past few months and asked the vet to do an ECG to check her progress. All was well, it was just aging.

Snowgoose was always an avid and agile jumper but having lost some of her agility, a log was placed beside her kennel so she could get up onto the roof as all Dingoes like to do.

To inspire her to live and enjoy her old age, Berenice would take her out on a three-metre retractable lead every morning. How she enjoyed checking out the property, investigating familiar and not so familiar scents. In a limited way she was doing all the natural things Dingoes love to do.

She has improved immeasurably, was eating well and the sparkle was back in her eye. A little bit of extra personal attention certainly goes a long way. - for elderly dogs as well as elderly people.

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Dingo and the Tree

Julie
Julie was a rescue dingo taken in by Merigal Dingo Sanctuary in 1980. She was a loving and gentle girl who played a vital role in PR for the sanctuary and Dingoes.

The run she was placed in was a bit barren, so Berenice planted a tree that grew splendidly for seven years. That year, 1987, the tree blew down just as she was due to whelp. Sadly, Julie died three days later.



Months later the run became Jarrah’s home and Berenice was astounded to see the stump of the fallen tree was growing shoots. By the following year it was growing vigorously and had already reached three metres.



Julie's story is told in the blog https://dingolady.blogspot.com/2018/03/to-julie-with-love-by-berenice-walters.html and in the bok Merigal Dingoes by Pamela King


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