Saturday, 20 February 2016
The Quality of Love by Berenice Walters 1979
The Dingo is the embodiment of a free and natural spirit; independent, noble and aloof, dignified and graceful, quiet and reflective; an animal of tremendous loyalty and compassion for members of their family group or the human fortunate enough to have the trust and love of this most intriguing native Australian.
There are countless tales of the devotion of the Dingo to a mate caught in a trap, poisoned, or incapacitated in some way; of a bitch deliberately making a target of herself to decoy a would be enemy from her helpless pups; not aggressive enough to attack, but courageous enough to die for those she loves.
Over the many years I have been privileged to share with my Dingoes, I have been continually amazed at the breed's devotion to a loved one, the ability to question and reason, but nothing has affected me so completely as Dora's love for Joker.
Our young Dingo Dora, and our elderly Cattle Dog Joker (Champion Wooleston Blue Joker C.D.) had been running together for four years (but not bred), Dora showing her adoration for Joker in every conceivable manner at all times, he accepting her devotion with pride, jealously guarding her from rivals - real or imagined.
It had been obvious that Joker's sight was failing, and on several occasions at dusk he had run into a closed gate thinking it open. One night I arrived home late after a meeting, and Joker and Dora were still running in the grass enclosure. I opened the kennel door, calling to them. Dora ran straight in, but Joker held back. She returned to him and tried to shepherd him over to, and through, the gateway. He came close, but would not attempt to enter the yard, jumping up and down in confusion, uncertain as to whether the gate really was open. Again and again Dora ran behind him, coming up close to his side, her neck cradling his face to encourage him to move forward with her guidance.
Continuing in her efforts to inspire confidence, she became increasingly agitated at his obvious fear and confusion. My fatigue forgotten, I watched in astonishment and pride, the desperate efforts of this Dingo bitch to assist her mate. Fondling his face with her muzzle, her every movement displaying her increasing concern, she glanced appealingly at me, then back to Joker and going to him I gently lifted him into the kennel yard, his safe arrival greeted by an overjoyed Dora who ran to him and embraced him, then to me, her incredibly beautiful eyes mirroring the gratitude she felt in my helping her loved one.
In the Dingo, I so often see acts of compassion, tenderness and kindness; characteristics so often lacking in our own society. Is it this distinctive quality that reminds man of his own inadequacies, jealously blinding him in a fury of brutality and hate for that which he cannot, or will not, accept? It is sad that the very qualities that endear the Dingo to so many are, through ignorance, the cause of much of the intolerance and. prejudice in others. Perhaps through a better understanding of the Dingo, we will better understand ourselves.