Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Berenice Walters: Getting a Good Dog a Better Name (1990)

It takes super-human patience and control to pursue the almost impossible dream - a well-trained Dingo whose behaviour is even remotely reliable.

It can be done. Dora. Napoleon and Snowgoose are proof of this; it just takes so much more time, patience, humour, understanding and love.

And, just when you think that you are achieving some manner of control. Dingo pulls you unstuck with a shattering show of quiet defiance to enforce your recognition of his rights as a free-spirited individual.


Extract from Getting a Good Dog a Better Name by Berenice Walters (1990)


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Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Did Berenice’s Childhood Experiences and Dreams Forecast Her Future?

Taronga Zoo Dingoes 1930 from collections of the State Library of NSW
It is said a child's earliest experiences influence their later life, in fact, it can predetermine their destiny.  Berenice’s life had already begun to give a clue to the direction of her future; much of it only becomes clear in hindsight.

In her childhood dreams, she saw herself as a lithe, free, happy spirit, running joyously through forests, a family of wolves gambolling about her, all as one in a free and natural wonderland.  Her favourite story was about Romulus and Remus suckled and reared by a female wolf with gentleness and love.

She visited Taronga Zoo fortnightly. There were dingoes at the Zoo! Her lasting thoughts were of the lean golden animals, yawning constantly, and stretching. Their eyes mesmerised her, filling her with sadness she did not understand.  They implored her, but she knew not what they were asking of her. She thought those eyes were of a wise and magnificent creature.

When she had to write a school essay on a subject of her own choice. She sat pouring over books from libraries, searching for information. All she found was a rehash of the big, bad wolf image and virtually nothing about dingoes.





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