Tuesday 31 July 2018

Dora’s Twilight Years

Those of you who have read For the Love of a Dingo will know Dora was Berenice’s first dingo. It was Dora who gave her the opportunity to prove what she claimed about the Dingo being a tameable and trusting dog was true.

Through observation of Dora, and dingoes who followed, Berenice learnt more about the dingo than many of the so-called experts.

Dora lived nearly 14 years retaining her quality for life right up to the final days. She would still try to play with Berenice with bows and backward jumps - only to collapse on the ground as her arthritic legs gave way but smiling all the time. They still enjoyed a daily walk down into the Merigal gardens they had done over the previous 13½ years.

She was never a problem dog - she did not dig, or try to jump out of her enclosure, she was very obedient.  She was always close by but never seemed to intrude.

It was Dora who adopted little Cobber when he first arrived, introducing him to the “territory”, and daily routine.

As Dora got older Berenice felt she could not cope with Cobber’s sometimes rather disrespectful behaviour, so they were only together when supervised. But they remained wonderful companions.

Dora also got on well with Meri Meri, a newcomer though 11 years of age, and a Cattle bitch named Wish. Wish would make Dora's day. As soon as she was let out of her night yard, Wish would rush to find Dora, so she could submit to her, sliding along the ground in complete submission.

Dora would stand there with her head up high, her tail up over her rump, the expression in her eyes regal and aloof, through sometimes I detected a little surprise at this total submission. But it all helped to keep that twinkle of youth in Dora's heart and to enjoy the position as the alpha Dingo bestowed on her when Napoleon so suddenly died three years previously.

Just before Dora passed away Berenice was due to go into hospital and would not be able to lift or carry anything. She became concerned she could not be able to meet Dora’s needs as an old dog - the provide the extra support she needed.

It seemed to Berenice, as in the whole of Dora's life, she should not be a burden on her at that time and she died.

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