While Edith, Judith’s Mother, was still alive, we used to visit her on the Gold Coast once or twice a year depending on the demand for attention.
It was a 4500 kilometre return drive from where we live.
As per always our furry children, Jeddah, the Blue Heeler, and Modesty Blaise, the Kelpie, travelled with us. At this stage Blaise was still a young pup and very wary of Jeddah as the old girl can be mean just for the sake of it and she had nipped Blaise not long before.
Jeddah, being the old matriarch, has to be helped into the four-wheel-drive as the height of the floor is beyond her jump now. We have trained her to put her paws on the door sill and then we put an arm underneath her tummy and lift her in. She rules the back seat but quite often has to share it with shopping bags or garments, much to her disgust. Her greatest fun however is to lurch halfway over back seat into the luggage area to give Blaise a fright. Blaise prudently gets out of the way, remembering the time she got bitten in the face by Jeddah.
So to stop Blaise from being harmed I manufactured a Cargo Barrier to keep the two dogs separate. This worked initially but Blaise found ways to bypass it by either squeezing around the sides or over the top. But after a few more months she got used to being in the back and I needed more space inside again and took the Barrier down. Blaise confidently took up her place on the Engel fridge and leant forward with her nose near the window.
It always seemed to be hot and humid when we visited the Gold Coast.
The doggies had to sleep in the 4×4 as we always stayed at the same Motel at Chinderah on the banks of the Tweed River in Northern New South Wales. But they knew their place and were safe in there and did not bark and we stuck to a pattern which they got used to with all things we did with them.
Edith lived the last number of years of her life at Bangalor Retreat, a Private Aged Care facility at Bilambil Heights, Tweed Heads West. We knew the route well. Closer to the home there was a small park on the banks of one of the Tweed waterways and we used to take the dogs there for a run.
We were returning from our visit to the park and driving along Kennedy Drive when one of the traffic lights caught me by surprise when it went red. I applied the brakes hard and we stopped quickly.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw something black fly past the passenger side window. I thought that maybe it was a bird that had dived at the car. Judith looked out of the window and exclaimed “There’s Blaise!”
I had neglected to raise the window, and Blaise, leaning forward, was catapulted out into space. She did a perfect somersault and landed on her feet, like a cat…unharmed, but bewildered and as is her passion, ran around to the back of the 4×4 to look for a way back in.
I had to engaged the emergency lights, get out into the street, go around and open the back doors to let Blaise back in. By that time a funeral procession of cars had banked up as the traffic lights had changed to green and drivers were becoming agitated at being held up. We slipped down a side street and stopped to see if Blaise was hurt. She checked out OK and we were once again on our way.
This time with the window raised again to an acceptable level!!