The other day I was relating a story about the early days of living with Janet, my partner, in a small cottage with two sofa chairs, one bed, and a Great Dane Dog.
It was a lovely cottage set in a suburb not too far from the centre of Brisbane.
We loved that cottage, our first place together, which was nestled away in a small street, surrounded by plenty of greenery and flowering trees.
A real little love nest…
Anyway, the subject line is true, but possibly I’m being a little harsh on myself, although Janet has just called out that I did kidnap the dog,
“pure and simple Baz…”
But let me explain.
Firstly, I love Great Dane’s they are so majestic looking and all the ones I have met have been very well natured. Mind you, a suburban back-yard is probably not big enough for them to run around in and perhaps the reason you don’t tend to see them in the city.
Back in those days we had little money to spare, not that we needed it, crikey, sitting in those two sofa chairs, gazing into each other’s eyes, before retiring to the only other piece of furniture we owned, the bed, popping jellybeans into that jar like rabbits on a mission…
Mind you, we’re still happy to do that these days, but a 12 year old son, who is on the cusp of puberty, usually walks in just at the inopportune time.
So what about the dog…yes, the Great Dane, let’s call him Barney, because we never really got around to giving him a proper name.
We didn’t own any white goods back then, you know, a washing machine to clean our clothes, so this was done at the local shops where there was a Laundromat. Now I can say that is a place I haven’t been in a very long time, a Laundromat…
Every few days we’d make the trip together, happily sitting there watching the dryer spin around until it was time to head home and sit in the sofa chairs, well you know, until it was time to
put another jelly bean in the jar retire again…
Anyway, on one particular evening Barney, the Great Dane turns up, he looked lost and was hanging around. And even if I say so myself he took an instant liking to me.
A Great Dane, my favourite!
It didn’t take long to convince myself that he was an orphan, after all he had no tag and he was rummaging around the bins seemingly looking for a feed.
So I quickly dashed home in Janet’s little Ford Anglia, a Harry Potter car, to get him a feed of mince. It didn’t take long, but by the time I returned Janet broke the news. He’d left.
“How could that happen” I asked?
This dog loved me.
Concerned for his well being I hopped in the little Ford Anglia and headed down the back streets to find him, to give Barney a good meal,
to kidnap him, and a good home. After all he was neglected, clearly, surely?
My heart raced, there he was, looking forlorn, standing dejectedly outside a large home with a large wooden gate.
Yes, he recognised me.
Okay, in hindsight it might have been the mince I had in my hand that I was offering up, but strewth, I was as happy as a pig in
Now this was the tricky bit, but I did get Barney inside that little Ford Anglia, eventually. It was a bit squashy, especially once Janet hopped in with a basket of clean washing.
We I was excited as a new dad bringing the family home for the very first time. And Barney settled in well, those first couple of nights he just sat back and lapped up all that attention. But geez, have you seen what these things can eat?
Bloody hell, this was at a time in our lives that we managed baked beans on toast every couple of days if we were frugal. We didn’t even have two brass razoo’s to rub together. And a good night out was spent in the sofa chairs starring lovingly into each other’s eyes…
A few days later, as inevitable as the sun rising in the east, there it was, a lost notice in the window of the local shops.
“Much loved pet, a Great Dane, lost a few days ago in the local area. Brown in colour.”
Whoops, the description sounded just like Barney.
The person at the other end of the phone sounded lovely, distraught, and anxious for any news.
She didn’t live too far away so we decided to walk Barney “home.”
And home was behind a large wooden gate, yep, the one in which I had coaxed Barney away from with my offering of mince only a few days earlier. His owner was elated, and Barney reunited himself in a scene reminiscent of Fred and Dino straight out of the Flinstones…
She couldn’t thanks us enough for looking after her best friend while we tried to track her down.
Yes, we loved Barney, and still think of him fondly, but I’m sure he would have sent us broke before heading back home.