Tuesday 15 August 2017

Jarrah – PR dingo and scone thief

Jarrah and his sister Jedda were born in 1985. Jarrah took after his mother Dawn, (an alpine dingo bred by B Jacobs Vic), while Jedda resembled her desert variety father, Peter Pan (bred by Featherdale Wildlife Park, NSW).

As pups, both had the advantage of several brief stays in Sydney thanks to the generosity of a society member. It helped Jarrah enormously to adapt well to a variety of situations. Unfortunately, it was not able to continue for the planned 12-month period and’ although they both received regular socialisation and responded well to training, Jeddah became increasingly wary of strangers and shy away from familiar territory.

Not so Jarrah. This delightful dingo was always very gentle and loved people once he got to know them. As a well socialised Dingo, he participated in many public functions including a fashion parade with an unfamiliar handler.

He was also a very vocal dingo who loved any excuse to howl. Fortunately, he eventually gave up doing so under the bedroom windows.

Jarrah was sponsored by the Bull Run Australian Cattle Dog Club in the USA and Jedda by the World League for Protection of Animals who supported her most of her life.

It was said that Jarrah had a weight problem. In fact, one of his greatest admirers banned us all from calling him fat pointing out that he was merely cuddly. However his love of date scones may have had something to do with his errrr.. cuddliness

One day, Berenice was busy welcoming relatives. Jarrah took himself into the lounge room. While waiting patiently for them to join him, he neatly ate through most of the scones, licking the butter off those that remained. Tired of waiting, he finally brought a butterless scone to Berenice, dropping it at her feet, as if to say that he had waited long enough, before sauntering outside, disgusted at not being joined in the lounge room.

This magnificent dingo was always very gentle, firm but fair, with a great sense for fun and drama, and always noble.

At one time Jarrah dislocated his shoulder and although it improved with traditional veterinary care, he still had a limp, and frequently cried out in pain. A chiropractor visiting the area agreed see Jarrah. He was thrilled – Jarrah was his first Dingo patient.

He treated Jarrah with the Laser beam, and it his leg improved with three more treatments. Jarrah was soon normal playing with his dingo friends although for a time he was restricted to gentle play just in case of accident. His shoulder made a rapid recovery after three sessions with a chiropractor, and also though it could hurt if roughly handled, he no longer limped.

At twelve Jarrah was still the darling he always was and became one of her 'oldie' house dingoes. With most of the dingoes she was usually flat out staying one step ahead but with Jarrah he was usually one step ahead of her – the crafty but lovable old man, that he was.

By thirteen a number of inactive skin cysts developed in his skin but one lump started getting larger. At first it was a very slow growth and surgery was not considered to be needed. Finally, it swelled alarmingly and started to look like an abscess. Although starting to suffer from a little dementia, he was, as always, as bright as ever. Blood needed to be collected from his leg for pre-surgery. While this was being done Jarrah treated all and sundry to one of his infamous roaring episodes, terrorising all within earshot. Jarrah recovered well from his ordeal.

Jarrah and Jedda both went onto celebrate their fourteenth birthday. Jedda, her eyes sparkling and ears hard pricked would still pranced about her enclosure like a young dog. In her old age she still had a lot of spunk and enjoyed sparring on the fence line with her son, Paterson.

Jarrah’s health was not quite as good but he enjoyed life with regular walks, a good appetite (as always) and joining in the community sing-a-longs.

Wednesday 2 August 2017


From Dingoes Don’t Bark by Lionel Hudson*

First to stir was the twig-thin warrigal.
eyes closed, moving from memory, she edged between the
Paddle and sleeping woman.
she helped herself to a sagging breast ... tawny fur soft
on burnt brown skin.

first light caught the stone axe cuts of the dugout
canoe, and the woman woke.

she brushed away the pup and reached for her limp baby.

the pain came as she forced open her salt-caked eyes,
but then they were wide with fear. Her cry from cracked
lips woke the man in the canoe.

Together they stared at their new, strange land.

the grip on his spear tightened. Her free hand reached
for the pup. Fear of the unknown trickled strength into
their wasted bodies.

they stumbled up the beach to hide in the tumble of rude
red rocks.

no new enemy here - neither man nor animal. How were they
to know they were the first humans on this stretch of the
waiting land?

seven times the sun had slid out of the sea ahead of
them as they drifted from the crowded other land where
people were hungry.

this time the sun was coming out of the land itself

the pup was first to find sweet water in a rock
hole. Soon the woman was gathering, the man

game was easy to kill. Curious, lethargic. They
had never been hunted.

the smoke told them more humans had come to this

the child found a mate; but not so the lonely

the worrying warrigal hunted, aching for one of
her own kind.

at night the howl went up to be answered by bush

at last the howling was joined in the distance.

The first bitch trembled.

Lionel Hudson was a journalist, author and film maker. He was also passionate about dingoes and kept a Dingo called Noxious (illegally) at his Sydney Home in the early 1970s. He met Berenice Walters in 1975 and introduced her to Fred Wirrer who had Cornelius, the father of Berenice’s first litter of dingo pups.