*Names have been changed to protect the innocent*

A couple of weeks ago I was tied to a fence post and left alone in a back garden of cement, I was walked as much as the owners could but they went off to work each day, then suddenly on a nice sunny day this lady came and spoke to me clipped me onto a nice blue lead, called my name and opened the car door and I jumped in. I thought I was going for a walk, I was a bit timid and sat in the back looking at her as she drove out of the driveway.

I moved myself to the front seat and sat looking at her sideways, she spoke non stop as we drove and kept her hand on me. I was more interested in looking out of the window and smelling the fresh air than looking at her. It didn’t take me long to realize I she wasn’t going to shut up nor stop touching me, we drove for what seemed like l hours then she pulled up  at a park, put the lead back on and out we got. I was very shy and kept trying to run away, she kept talking at me and walked me round and round the park till I settled.

We talked to some kids who had to hurry back to school, she let them pat me, then we went into this place that smelt like cats & dogs and she wanted to put me on the scales, how rude. The nice reception girl came over and lifted me onto them, told me I was perfect weight and was a lovely boy (she gave me a liver treat).

The door opened and out another girl came, she smelt nice and I kept going to her. My lady holding the lead was talking to her and petting me, she talked about black hand. The vet lady started running her fingers through my fur and said I had black fleas and needed immediate treatment, she gave me a liver treat. My lady said great, lets do it, the vet lady got a machine and it beeped they were all happy I was micro-chipped but then not happy as it was not registered.They shave my paw and took some blood to test for some heart worm, it was clear and I had a liver treats.

My lady said check his ears please, so the other nice lady from the other room came in and held my head while they stuck this really long hard stick in my ears, I wasn’t that happy, they gave me a liver treat and I became suspicious. They then wanted my temperature and the next thing I know I’m having something put in my bottom, all I wanted to do was turn around so she could remove it, that was fine, they offered me a liver treat, I had to be asked 3 times, as I worked it out, they only gave me treats when they wanted to invade my orifices !

Then they came at me with needles, I didn’t take the treat and headed to go underneath the table. The last thing the vet girl said to my lady is we are going to have to put these 3 big pills in his mouth to treat his fleas and by the time you get him home, it will have started dying, he will need a bath. Then as I was thinking we were about to leave the vet lady came at me and opened my mouth and put these awful things in it, I spat 2 out, I didn’t want them or another liver treat. But they came at me again and did it so I swallowed and didn’t have a liver treat. I turned my head in disgust.

I traveled further away from the concrete home with the lady I was looking at her now, I felt better so I gave her hand a little lick on this part of my trip. I was still anxious as to what was happening to me. She pulled up outside this place, opened a gate and I watched her the whole time, she pulled into the house, put me on the lead and met this man and we walked into the bathroom. They lifted me into this tub and she turned the water on I cried out, I was scared I had never had a bath. The nice man came back and he held me and talked at me whilst she bathed me, all this dirt and dead fleas ran off me. I felt so much better.

I went outside and met these black four legged creatures who tried to lick me and the man walked me round the yard on the lead. I was exhausted, it was a very big day. They fed me – my own food and I didn’t have to fight off others to have it, then they showed me a thing, it had sides and a lambswool pillow bottom, they called in Bailey’s bed. I sat down it in straight away, I sighed, I was only use to cement. I also didn’t scratch anymore, they pulled it into the bedroom on my first night, I had a woopsie up the curtain and they didn’t yell at me or tell me off, I woke up 4 times and wanted to go out so they got up with me and let me in and out with out telling me off.

I am Bailey, I am a dog and this is my story of my life at Caloundra Farm. Yea and that lady that talked at me for the drive, took me for a walk in the park on my new blue lead, waited with me at the vet, gave me my first bath and inside bed, she’s still here let’s call her Bella




Happy New Year 2016

It’s the morning after the night before and how are you feeling? Happy, hung over or sad and looking forward to a new start? Us, we are doing fine, no hang over, not sad and I am so looking forward to 2016 and feel relieved to have left 2015 behind.

2015 was a hard year on the farm we rolled over the 2014 drought into 2015 and it was difficult. I promised the farmer (and everyone else) I wasn’t going to do another drought, yet here I am.

Looking back on last year I lost my beautiful old mate Pete, it is only recently I have stopped looking for him. The thing about farms is there is always another animal to take it’s place, albeit not in my heart. I am now the care taker of a 15 year old retired kelpi Mandy, the Caloundra 6, Josie the lamb, Rosie, Delilah, Abby, Hope & Annie all calves, and as at 2 weeks ago Jeremy another baby calf who is now about 3 weeks old.

I opened a business in a local country town in December 2014 and closed the doors for good on 30th December this year. The down turn in the economy and the failure of crops in our district have meant many are evaluating their finances and putting it where it needs to go, back into the family pockets.

I have passed a milestone birthday which was celebrated sitting with family & friends at the Big Lunch one of the charities we support by being able to supply the meat every year for 300 guests to enjoy grass fed true aussie beef and lamb from our farm to Adelaide via the Hilton Hotel Renown Head Chef Lloyd Cremer> This is one of our long term charities and a must not miss lunch in July at the Central Market supporting the Big Issue a magazine which enables sellers to earn an income to work their way out of desperate circumstances.

I along with many others from my school year – held our breath following a beloved class member undergo life changing organ transplantation. It was a long and bumpy road to which we can say 1 year of life has been celebrated with much love and joy. During the highs and lows of this major achievement, in support of the family, many donated blood to the Red Cross, did you know every donation can save 3 lives? make this something you do in 2016. Many signed up to the Organ Donation Registry so that many more can live should others die.

We watched as the siege at Martin place in Sydney played out in broad daylight and knew we were no longer protected from terrorism. We watched world events in horror, the senseless deaths caused by terrorism, avalanches, volcanoes, road deaths and stood on the side lines with sympathy & empathy to the families that lost loved ones.  We watched as 2 Australian Citizens were executed in Bali in a time when we needed good news, William and Kate gave us Princess Charlotte.

We have watched the fires in our state that have taken property and lives and I have watched my husband don his CFS uniform and go off to assist fighting these fires. It catches my breath every time he gets the call, I feel so uneasy until he comes home. He is one of many who enter when others are fleeing.

We have had mainly good health this year, a family member recovering well from a stroke to the point that most people can’t even tell they have had a major episode. We have had many happy episodes but not enough time with our families. We go into 2016 with hope, hope for rain, hope for each other and lots of exciting events to come.

As I leave 2015 behind, I can smile, I did what I could and changed what needed to change, now I can concentrate on the things that matter, family, love, friendships and more time spent on all of these things. Also to the weather gods, any time you want to turn the heat down to a simmer from 44 degree to a nice 24 would be my preference, please feel free and if you find a couple of rain clouds looking to drop a load, we are located in the Upper South East of South Australia.


Happy New 2016 everyone



I think that is how I need to describe it, I have an allergy personality, I am allergic to many antibiotics, penicillin, erythromycin, cephalosporins, latex, banana and avocado and now I am going to add Shiraz to this list. I feel like I have been hit in the head with the bottle not consumed 1 glass of it. Truly it was only one glass, every time I drink it I get the biggest headache like I feel I have been hit with the bottle.

Today is one of those days, up at 430am to clean up after Pete (the dog) who had an adventure of his own last night. Drink large glass of water and go back to sleep, wake up at 530am with the biggest headache, throw down some paracetamol more water and complain loudly to farmer of my headache. Then back to sleep till after 8am, Pete is still asleep on his mattress on the floor.

I’ve had to take phone calls and pay bills, so much so early. I have ventured to having a cup of coffee, something I don’t really drink a lot of these days, when I stopped smoking years ago, (approx. 20)  I gave up coffee as well. I hate the bad breath coffee gives you and the after taste is fairly ordinary as well, but I fell I need something to try to shift this stupid Shiraz induced headache.

Whilst I do enjoy it when I drink it, it was interrupted when we realized that Pete was gone an awfully long time, considering this week he has lost sight in one eye and hasn’t walked further than 5 metres from the house in years. As he is very old and frail (and blind) these days, and our house yard is dangerous in the dark, an empty clay pit / dam, tractors, machinery and farming stuff he could trip on fall over and well get lost in. We decided I should go and look for him in the car, so I drove around for approx. 5 minutes and decided I needed to head out on to the road and here in the car lights I see 5 sets of eyes.

I found him, he was having a late night stroll, all of the cats were around him bumping his face to turn him around and walking under his belly and chin getting him to move back towards the gate. He didn’t stop when he saw the lights but I pulled up next to him, got out and picked him up and put him on the back seat. Matilda the cat jumped in next to him and meowed loudly on the way home. (in fright) The other cats came running behind. The animal kingdoms is amazing how they look after their own.

I’m off now to take more Panadol and drink more water the coffee hasn’t helped. Crap


Animals and Ageing

I have for the last 12 months struggled between guilt and love, I have a beautiful Golden Retriever named Pete, who for the past 16 or so years has and is a loyal, loving friend who has developed arthritis in his hips and has taken to not being able to stand or walk quickly and he poops where ever. The medical term is “walk, sit and drop syndrome”

I can tell when he is about to as the only indication is he lifts his tail, sometimes I can get him outside in time but others especially at night he doesn’t realize he has done it. The smell of dog pooh wafts up and we both know one of us has to get up and deal with it. Pete for all of his life has slept on a mattress on the floor of my bedroom, with the occasional stint on the bed and in his compound outside at the farm if we go away. We abandoned that as he aged as he doesn’t wander off the farm now he sleeps by the door on his mattress waiting for us.

Over winter he started to do this every night and as he has moved to sleeping by the door or next to my bed, off his mattress so it is me that gets up to deal with it. We can sometimes leave him out all day for over 14 hours and he will come in lie down and within an hour poop. Lately it has turned to 3 times per night and I have to admit I now can’t do it any longer.

I feel guilty at putting him outside as he walks around the house going to each door, front door, lounge doors, bedroom door, rear lounge where the cat flap is and to the laundry door and barks, He will even lay down on the grass and bark, I have gotten up from my office a couple of times as he won’t stop (his record is 1 hour) to ensure he is ok.

Even his friend Matilda the cat who use to sleep with him has found better, by better I mean cleaner digs to sleep in without the smell or the substance. He has on one occasion gotten her with his poop. Pete also has this week (2 nights) been disorientated and I have found him struggling to get off the treadmill, I have no idea how he got on it but I was on Friday at 130am thinking I was going to have to get a night light for him in the bathroom so he can get up drink and not get lost in the night.

I had a day and night with him yesterday and last night, I left him out all day whilst I cleaned the house, floors and carpets and cleaned up 4 “oopsies” as my husband says – all done outside but by the doors so flies and the smell waft in, I let in him at 930pm and I was up to him at 1am – cleaned up put him out, let him back in at 3am – cleaned up at 330am and then shunted him out at 530am, where he slept against the bedroom screen door and pooped, so I had to clean that up.

I have woken and decided I don’t want to do it any more, broken sleep, dog poop and feeling resentful towards him. At least outside it is still outside, not on the tiles or carpet. It is time for me to move him out, the weather is better and even if it was cold, we have bought him a lambs wool jacket that we put on him in winter and he has a fleecy lined bedding.

He is very much loved and wanted and I want to allow him to age gracefully and fully medicated (arthritis medication) I want to be able to go bed and not worry about dog poop, I know I will have guilt for a couple of days as he will bark, he will want to come in and be at my feet but I will spend time with him outside and I suspect tonight – going to be his first night out will be the hardest.

Pete on his day bed..

Pete on his day bed..

Pete & Matlida - she sleeps away from him but touching him when she can

Pete & Matlida – she sleeps away from him but touching him when she can



On a good day

It’s one of those days, I’m a tad over it already (started blog at 745am) and have been since I was woken 3 times during the night. We have very active cats that now the cool has come in, are finding those little animals that need protection from them. It also involves an old dog that finds it difficult to get up to go to the toilet, so needs to be lifted on to all fours and then the contents of his bowels picked off the floor and both deposited outside, then we have a farmer who for the last 4 or more weeks has taken not to sleep much after 4am. He finds comfort in the radio so puts it on and drifts in and out of sleep, me the same it’s not relaxing at all.

I am recovering from the flu and from our state Government election, you know the one, it’s unwelcome and hangs around for long periods of time being nothing but a headache and stagnant. The flu on the other hand can be slept off, medications added and generally can take a couple of days off work and it seems to move on. Both wear you out and you never get an end result you want, yet the flu can leave you feeling fatigued, with a persistent cough and general lethargy.

It has been dry here and I know the work load of feeding stock hay every second day is a lot of work on top of the farmers work and he doesn’t sleep, we need rain to wet the paddocks and to allow things to grow. The paddocks look bare due to the livestock living on it and eating what little stumps are left. We are looking to grow our business and am working hard to make this happen and like the climate, some things are out of our control whilst we wait on outside influences to make decisions. It will get better we know it always does, but getting there is sometime hard. There are countless days of feeling frustrated, no matter how hard one works its like elections & the flu, no real outcome, no renewal and no moving forward, I know once we jump a few more hurdles it’s all going to be ok.

I have opted to do the Michelle Bridge 12wbt starting in May and one of her things is to say out loud why you can’t exercise and saying your too busy isn’t really a good enough excuse. Get up early if you work, well can I tell you I am up early and some nights 3 or more times, through not fault of my own. I also started today with – can you cut my hair, this is at 730am so I did, then it’s a quick bite to eat and into cleaning the floors and ridding the house of the smell of cat urine. I have only half finished but it’s going to be a long day today and a difficult one if I stay in the mood I am in. I know all I need is a good nights sleep and I can’t exercise with the smell of cat around me so the exercise part is looking closer to being done this afternoon. Have a good day people.