Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Watch Dog's Work is Never Done

Here is Fergus taking a breather from his watch dog duties. The mad koala took his leave of us a couple of days ago and will not be missed.
Although the coast appears to be clear, the wise Fergus knows one can never be too careful and has been patrolling the grounds with commendable zeal ever since.
Too much zeal perhaps as one of the after effects of the koala capers is that once night descends, he goes on heightened alert and at the sound of even a leaf falling to the ground springs to his feet and hurtles outside to check it out. A couple of times I've spotted him perched on the outdoor chair, gazing balefully up at the pergola, or the gum trees, his eyes peeled for the flash of grey fur. As a result, come morning, the poor chap is exhausted and succumbs to a well earned sleep.
Hopefully this will subside in time and peace will once more reign. That is of course, unless the magnetic powers of attraction that I seem to possess for native animals continues and we are visited by another species. I do hope it's not an emu.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kenny K rides again

Just when we thought it was safe to expect a night's sleep uninterrupted by close encounters of the animal kind, Kenny K decided to drop by again. Hell hath no fury like a koala given the cold shoulder and this time he decided to give us that message personally.

The happy trio were peacefully slumbering en famille last night. Me snoring faintly and doubtless dribbling, Scully snoring loudly in her bed and Fergus on his/my bed not snoring but emitting pollutants from his posterior of sufficient strength to render our personal methane footprint the size of an elephant's.

Suddenly all hell broke loose. Fergus gave a clarion cry like a pack of hounds to the chase and burst from the bedroom into the loungeroom, from which there shortly came not four but eight clacking claws pounding the wooden floor. To this was added the cacophony of ferocious growling, yapping etc. as noted in my previous post, and another indeterminate sound which soon turned out to be .... wait for it .... Kenny K - having a very bad fur day and at large, and I mean large, in the bosom of our home. Whether he thought he'd drop by for a spot of quiet TV viewing while the coast was clear, or what I don't know. He had apparently slipped through the aperture of the back screen door left open to cater for urgent canine calls of nature in the night and then forgot which way was out.

Fergus already somewhat embittered by the previous confrontation was not about to do any turning of blind eyes, other cheeks or similar wimpish stuff. The scene that met my eyes was not a happy one. I had to decide in a flash what to do and being both a dog and and a koala lover there was a decided conflict of interest. The potential for flying dog and koala parts was high though. So what could I do but leap into the fray, feet protected by the trusty holy bedsocks but hands sadly not. Like the proverbial mother throwing herself in front of a truck to protect her beloved brood, I prized the creatures apart, seized Fergus and hauled him off into the bedroom slamming the door behind him.

I was then left to face Kenny K, alone, as is my lot in life. By this time he was in a state of advanced panic galloping about, as if to the strains of the William Tell Overture, scrabbling up armchairs, blundering into furniture and so on. Having the presence of mind of one who is expert in emergencies, or in other words doing the first thing that leaps into my mind, I threw open all the doors and windows and kept out of the way. Kenny eventually cottoned on that freedom beckoned and gallumphed his way out the door and off into the night, apparently uninjured.

On subsequent inspection Fergus also proved to be unscathed, which is more than I can say for myself. My passage through the house was marked in classical chain saw massacre fashion by large drops of blood on the floor and smears on the walls. This alerted me to the fact that I was wounded, messily but not mortally, now evidenced by some impressive looking medical dressings along one arm and finger.

Fergus when allowed out of the bedroom was bent on vengeance and spent the rest of the night seeking it. A glance at the bedside clock radio revealed the time of the incident to be 2.00am so there was a sizeable bit of night remaining. Sleep was but a dream as Fergus tore through the house in a frenzy for the next four hours. An excitable dog at the best of times, he outdid himself on this occasion. Scully slumbered on through the whole uproar. Deafness has its advantages.

What happens next who knows. I will be barricading the dogs in the house at night from now on at least until the coast is clear of the mad koala. If you don't hear any more from me, you'll know I've either gone bonkers from sleep deprivation or have started a new career as a taxidermist of native animals.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another brush with an Australian fauna icon

I’m moving – somewhere – anywhere where the innocent populace is not plagued by rampant marsupials running amok.

First it was Skippy the kangaroo or one of his relatives, blundering into my car and causing one hell of a mess. Now it’s Kenny the Koala decorating my backyard with the fruits of what must have been a veritable orgy of pooping, and then to add insult to injury rudely awakening me from my well earned rest last night.

To be fair it wasn’t Kenny K who woke me. It was Fergus, my trusted terrier, conscientiously fulfilling his watchdog duties, who must have heard the plop of koala excretions hitting the ground or something (his hearing being very keen). On being alerted, he leapt to attention, sprang from his bed (unofficially my bed, but he sees it as his), tore outside at top speed and erupted in a frenzy of hysterical yapping interspersed with ferocious growls – both loud enough to wake the dead, let alone the peacefully slumbering neighbours. I gave it ten minutes or so, in the wishful hope that he might have just had a bad dream and on realising there was nothing there calm down and come back inside. No such luck though. The barking and growling if anything escalated in volume and intensity. There was nothing for it but to drag myself up and go outside to investigate, bedecked in all the splendour of my winter season night attire, complete with holy bedsocks. A vision that can only be imagined.

There was Fergus in full cry, springing up and down, tearing around in circles and generally acting like a mad dog. Above him, perched precariously on the pergola was Kenny, the giant koala. Judging from the state of his figure he had clearly been feasting on those special gum leaves beloved of koalas which I suppose are now flourishing because of all the nice rain we’ve had. Hence the voluminous poops. Despite his bulk, he managed to trot back and forth along the beams of the pergola quite nimbly, occasionally glancing down at Fergus in a taunting sort of way as if to say “come on dog – make my day”. Which I’m sure he would have – and his breakfast, lunch and dinner as well. No cute cuddly teddy type this one I can tell you.

Needless to say, it was mother who had to save the bloody day, as far as one can in the dead of night. After a few fruitless efforts to tempt Fergus inside with calls of “bickie, bickie” I realised this was useless. Normally no matter what the alternative temptation, Fergus is such a glutton that this feeble ploy actually works. However in this case a cartload of bickies wouldn’t have done it. There was nothing for it but to try and catch him. Easier said than done. Despite lots of plunging and lunging as he sped past, he managed to slip through my fingers. Eventually though as he was attempting to climb the wall to get to his prey, I grabbed his collar and hauled him inside. Of course I then had to haul him all the way to the other door that was still open in order to close it before he could slip through and escape again. Quite a test of strength it was too. Even at the risk of strangulation, the little bugger kept surging ahead, desperate to make a dash for the exit. But I prevailed and with all the exits blocked, decided it was safe to go back to bed.

Back to bed I went but not to sleep of course. Foiled in his attempt to get up close and personal with Kenny K, Fergus was not happy. He made this very clear throughout what remained of the night by rampaging through the house, pummelling at the doors to get out, whining and yelping and otherwise carrying on. The only one who slept was Scully, who luckily for her is stone deaf.

Aroused to another day of work by the clock radio, I dragged myself from my bed in an even more advanced state of stupour than usual. Fergus having momentarily lowered himself into a prone position for the space of a few minutes just before dawn, immediately jumped up again ready to burst into the outdoors – that exciting realm of furry nocturnal invaders. I made him wait until at least I’d had a shower and got dressed, thoughtful enough not to inflict my night-time sartorial ghastliness on any neighbours who might be abroad. Once we did venture outside, thank goodness there was no sign of Kenny K. Presumably he’d moved off to partake of another serving of leaves somewhere else, or after the excitement of the night, was sleeping it off amongst the branches.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t decide to pay us another visit tonight.