Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Peter Pan: Magnificent, Talented and Kindly White Dingo – extract from Merigal Dingoes by Pamela King

Peter Pan (Berenice Walters’ Collection)

Peter was bred by Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney’s western suburbs and was sponsored by the Blue Mountains Branch of the RSPCA. He was the father of Jarrah and Jedda.

He was very much a 'family' man, a gentle Dingo, completely devoid of cunning or meanness. He lived in peace and harmony with his mate Dawn and their offspring over whom he exercised firm but fair discipline. He was always a loving and protective parent. 

Peter Pan shows his son Jarrah the “watering hole” (Berenice Walters’ Collection)

Peter Pan, being a yard dog, was not always in contact with humans, and, at times, tried them out by challenging them in a rather polite, but insidious, way.

During a breeding season, Berenice entered the yard shared by Peter and Blondie to change the water. Without any obvious overture, she found herself pressed against the fence, Peter standing very close, staring straight into her eyes. She was not sure if she was being challenged and did not wish to wrongly condemn him. Quietly walking back to the gate, never taking her eyes off his, she put him on a chain before again going into the kennel to get his bucket.

She informed Ken of the incident, warning him to be on his guard.

Next afternoon while 'feeding up', she was amazed to see Ken in the same position she had been the previous day, Peter standing very close, slightly crouched, and staring straight up into Ken's face.

It was crucial the situation be rectified with diplomacy, not aggression. Unless checked, Peter would probably openly challenge one of them, even attack.

Next day when Ken entered Peter's yard he marched straight towards the kennel. Peter attempted to bar his way. Ken proceeded as if Peter did not exist causing him to bound out of Ken’s way. Peter then romped along beside Ken, tail up, all smiles, bouncing along with a series of 'bows', acknowledging Ken's superiority.

There were no more problems with Peter. He was a very good-natured dog, friendly with strangers, and able to readily adjust to most situations, provided his rights were observed.

Berenice believed they had unwittingly encouraged Peter to challenge them, by always walking around him when entering his yard. From then on, they made a point of heading straight for his kennel, then play with him or brush him. They had no more problems.

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