There comes a time in everyone’s life when your neighbour will ask you to look after their most prized and precious asset. ‘It’s just for one night’, they’ll cry, ‘and she won’t be any trouble, she’s been to puppy school’. Some people should be entitled to a refund.
Primrose was very well behaved for the first 18 hours. But then someone left the gate open. And I know it was Archie because I’d asked him to put the bins out. No one could remember when they’d last seen her but as the bins had been on the street for about two hours I had to assume she could have been gone that long.
So now the very prized and precious asset was missing. We had four hours until the neighbours would be home from celebrating their wedding anniversary. They did not need the event tainted by news of a missing or dead dog. The most logical thought was that perhaps Primrose had just gone home. I led a search party there but no sign of the dog. We extended our search up and down the street and then around the block and an exploration of the gutters for maimed or dead assets but Primrose could not be found. It was now getting dark. We now had two hours before the return of the neighbours.
Perhaps someone had found her. If so, they would find her name and number on the disc around her collar. Maybe the rescuer of Primrose had left a message on the neighbour’s answering machine. We decided to break into the house. I knew where they kept the spare key and Archie, suddenly and briefly full of usefulness, remembered their alarm code.
Sure enough, there was a message but it was scrambled and hard to hear and the woman said, ‘well just ring me, the number would have come up on your phone’. But of course it didn’t, did it, because she had left a message on a landline and not a mobile. One hour to go and we knew she was alive and seemingly in good hands but we didn’t know where she was. The rescuer phoned again. This time she left her address. We beetled over there as quickly as we could.
And there was Primrose – happy as ever and without a care in the world. Saving our necks was her rescuer who turned out to be the world’s most devout dog lover with two of her own, Lola and Bodo.
Primrose had enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. She had played with Lola and Bodo who had accepted her into their world without a blink of jealousy. She had been taken to the dog park for an afternoon in the sun. Our rescuer had even brushed her ears and given her treats.
This is how you can pick a dog lover at 30 paces. They are shutterbugs and will lead you towards their laptop where they will take you through all 1,297 images of their dogs – thrice! I saw all the photos she had taken of Primrose, then I was shown photos of Lola and Bodo – Lola and Bodo wearing reindeer suits on Christmas Day, wearing tiaras on their birthdays, wearing pink jackets with faux fur trims on cold wet days, photos of them getting all muddy at the park followed by photos of them having a bath, getting out of the bath, being towel dried, being groomed, having a treat, chewing a bone, up on the beds, ‘working’ in the office, lying in the sun, yawning, stretching, snuggling, sprinting, leaping, sniffing and cuddling. Exhausting!
I had to tell this obvious dog lover that I really needed to go. ‘You see, the neighbours will be home in about eight minutes and if Primrose could just be on our premises when they come through the gate we’ll all be very much relieved’. So the rescuer gave Primrose a few last hugs, kisses and cuddles and we had her back home with three minutes to spare before the neighbours arrived asking, ‘has she had a good day?’
She’d had a great day.
A few days later I received all the images of Primrose on a disc with a note from the rescuer saying, ‘It was simply a pleasure to look after little Primrose after her ‘escape’. She is such a delightful and very well behaved little dog. She seemed to take to me as she followed me everywhere I went and loved to jump up and relax on my lap. The park was also a special place where she enjoyed the freedom to run around with my two fluffies, Lola and Bodo and sniff at everything. Hope you enjoy the photos.’
May God bless all the dog rescuers. What a great breed they are.
Hot Dogs with Onion Marmalade
6 Hot dog buns
6 Frankfurts – I use good quality Frankfurts from Barossa Fine Foods
1/3 cup olive oil
2kg brown onions, sliced
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 Balsamic vinegar
Preheat a large deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onions. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until the onion is golden and caramelised. Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Makes 5 cups. Use with the hot dogs and with other cold meats. Stores well if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.