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  • Writer's pictureFeathers the Wonder Dog

Grounded. And I’m not even a teenager.

Dear Friends – Yes, I am really thoroughly grounded in more ways than one, for you can also award me the prize for being a well-grounded kelpie as I have now found my personal perfect life & work balance (well…. almost).

Being a 13 year-old kelpie, I balance a life of eating, playing and sleeping against my professional mission to protect Klady, SirD, our home as well as the entire surrounding neighbourhood. Until now it all has been working smoothly just like a well-oiled doggie treat feeding machine.

Funnily enough I can now appreciate the importance of ‘balance’ in Klady’s life. No longer do I have just one hour a day after her work to maintain her fun and exercise regime, I can nowadays give her all my attention 24/7 and I sort of believe that she appreciates it, at least I did until recently.

So what has changed? I’ve been told that it is my ‘balance’.

It all happened as I was keeping a keen eye on the Realm from my first-floor vantage position on the bed. Unexpectedly, I saw Georgie (who lives down the road) running across the beach at low tide. Her focus captured my attention. It looked so very interesting. I barked several times to let her know I was watching but she totally ignored me and I then saw she was chasing some creature across the shore and into the shallow waters.

Well… that was just too good to ignore.

I realised that as the back door had accidently been left open, I was able to run into the backyard - and thanks to my good friend Cottie’s Parcours training – sail over the fence and across the verge, and straight into the bay.

Meanwhile Klady was on to me.

She chased after me into the backyard, calling me in her sternest schoolteacher voice; Feathers. Stop. Come back. Stop. Drop. You’ll be in trouble. No more treats. Friday detention for you.

What did Klady mean? Luckily I still have a little spark of teenager lurking in me so I totally ignored her calls and kept on running towards Georgie.

Imagine my surprise when I saw Georgie holding onto a brownish grey Fluff Ball and shaking it from side to side. At the same time Georgie’s owner was running towards her with her lead, his arms in the air and shouting loudly; STOP, DROP.

Oh it was so much fun. Imagine seeing two humans chasing us across the oyster shell beach and a furry, wiggly thing in Georgie’s mouth.

Lucky for me Georgie dropped Fluff Ball and so I picked it up and ran around shaking it. I know in my heart that I didn’t want to hurt Fluff Ball – only to play with her as she was soft and wriggly.

And then it all was over.

An angry Klady nabbed my by the collar; Georgie was put on her lead and the wiggly furry thing was cuddled in the arms of Georgie’s owner who brought it to shore and released it in a safe spot amongst reeds and grasses.

Georgie was dragged home as was I. I was locked in the house and Klady went outside to keep an eye on Fluff Ball to make sure it was alright. There sat the shaking little pademelon (a tiny kangaroo) in the tall grasses and then suddenly it sprang out and raced across the beach back into the water. Was it distressed? Confused?

Klady was very concerned and kept watching as she put on more sturdy water shoes. In the meantime, the pademelon swam straight out into the deeper water (well out of its depth) only to then freestyle twice around a tiny jagged island of oyster shells.

Meanwhile Klady was really in a panic and getting into animal rescue mode; oyster-proof shoes, towels, sturdy gloves, mobile phone, Vet emergency number, blankets, car keys, honey on a spoon …….

It was interesting watching it all from my storey-high vantage spot.

Next Klady ran onto the beach exactly at the same time that Fluff Ball came out of the water.

Having swum twice around the oyster ‘island’, Fluff Ball headed back to shore. Once on firm sand it shook itself - almost as if to rid itself of any dog smells - and then hopped back across the beach to the shore and its home under our neighbour’s bushes and trees where it still lives today.

Fluff Ball has, however, had her revenge!

Klady and SirD put a bench across the outside of the back fence and I have seen convincing evidence that every night Fluff Ball and her entire pademelon family are using this to leap over the fence into MY backyard and dig out MY garden beds. I can smell them!

In the meantime I remain grounded. Yes, grounded just like a teenager. In the backyard I’m only allowed out on lead and will continue to be strictly supervised until Klady finds a solution to stop me doing Parcours.

It makes me wonder – are Parcours, joining friends on unexpected adventures and not heeding explicit instructions also what gets human teenagers grounded?

But I am also grateful that I don’t have opposable thumbs because I know that in addition to being grounded, and as with human teenagers, Klady would have also confiscated my mobile phone and laptop .

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