The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #1

It’s happening again.

The Staff are taking liberties with my possessions and schedule. It’s an Outrage. For the past day, they have been bustling about with stuff in their paws, scarcely taking a moment to give me strokies or a treat. I grant you that meals and walkies arrived on time and up to standard, but it’s upsetting to have this stuff going on behind my back.

Later: Well, all is explained. They are loading my fence into the back of the car, my travel water bowl and a large bag of kibble are sitting on the bench, the Quartermaster (Mum) has put all my stuff into either the car or the caravan, and only my bed (currently occupied by Me) has not been whipped out from under my nose and taken away. Dad says he has bought extra fencing so my yard is now twice the size, which will be nice.

A solitary lead still hangs from the hook, so I expect there’ll be walkies before we go… Mum says we’re going north, even further north than Townsville, where I was adopted, but that we’ll be taking time out to visit friends at GAP Queensland in Townsville so I can say hello to Miss Nikki and the other greyhounds at the kennels. After that, we’ll go up to Cairns for just over a week, then home again.

I like Miz Lizzie the caravan. My bed is comfy, meals arrive at the usual time, Dad’s bunk is perfectly placed beside my bed for strokies whenever I want them, and there are fascinating new walks and smells to enjoy when we go out. Mum and Dad find fun places for me to run around like a maniac and stretch my legs along the way, and we all enjoy trying out all the dog-friendly things to do when we get there. Mum has printed out a list of cafés in Cairns where dogs are welcome and people can come along too. She says there will be beaches too, in case I should feel like a spot of cautious paddling (well, jellyfish, saltwater crocodiles and sharks permitting, of course, this is Far North Queensland, after all). I’ll have to think about that one…

Now, if only the Staff would hurry up and finish packing stuff, we can be on our way.

The Travels of Mouse, Part 7

It’s cold and it’s wet and it’s an Outrage!

But the Staff didn’t do anything about it, so I sulked a bit. It rained hard just before we left, and Mum and Dad were both complaining in the car about sitting in wet clothes. I had done the sensible thing and supervised the packing up from inside the car…. They went to get hot coffee and hot chocolate from the service station, and then we set off.

We climbed the first 800m up to Dorrigo Mountain Top, up the Waterfall way and through the rainforest. I leave you to imagine whether even more water was involved in that particular drive… Apparently (although you could have fooled me) it’s very beautiful, world heritage-listed rainforest, blah blah. Mum says there are lots of walking trails, spectacular waterfalls (that W word again), incredible views, a viewing platform and a very nice café. I automatically don’t care for it because dogs aren’t allowed there for fear of disturbing the native species… Fair enough, I suppose, but who could object to Me?

After that we headed across the Dorrigo plateau via Ebor and Guyra, onto the New England Tableland. These are areas where the recent dreadful fires have created huge swathes of devastation in national parkland. Mum pointed out that nearly every single blackened tree trunk was sprouting new green growth. I must say, it looked rather strange, as though the black trunks were wearing frilly pale green tutus all the way up, instead of the leaves being at the top, like sensible trees. Mum managed a photo of some silver gums, which have pale blue green new growth (‘glaucous’, Mum says. Show off…).

We have arrived in Glen Innes, in ‘Celtic Country’. The caravan park offers ‘fossicking’, where people mess around with sieves of gravel in tanks of freezing cold, yes, you guessed it, water, trying to find coloured quartzes and sapphires. Mum talked to a couple of them while she was walking me. Loonies, of course, but they were having fun. Mum found a pink quartz for the lady in her sieve of gravel… By the way, I don’t want to create the impression that I’m a water-funk. I like water, to drink, to paddle in, to have sprayed over me in hot weather. But it needs to be hot weather to enjoy it, and this is distinctly dismal and the water is freezing cold besides. I’m a Tropical greyhound, and I don’t do cold and wet.

We’re only here in this freezing cold (14°C/57°F) place for one night, thank goodness, and then it’s off to Uncle Jim’s for a bit more civilised Queensland warmth. Oh, and the cat… I’m looking forward to that visit, because I get my own bed in the guest room. I expect there will be a lot of Staff chatter, because they haven’t seen Uncle Jim and Aunty Shelley since Mum and Dad got married 7 years ago. Before my time….  We’re there for 2 nights, and then off again.

Oh, and while I think of it, Mum and Dad are taking me to Townsville the weekend after we get back. We’re staying in a special cabin for dogs and their owners, and on Saturday morning (21st March), we’re participating in the Greyt Greyhound Walk. This is to promote the work of GAP Queensland in rehoming retired racing greyhounds, and I am proud to be associated with the organisation and my fellow retirees. Mums and Dads and furry greyhound siblings are also welcome, as are those interested in adopting. Mum is going to ensure I look fabulous and shiny, and there will be an absolute pack of us there so I’ll be able to socialise and sniff like mad and compare notes on Staff, treats, diet, treats, grooming, treats, accommodation, treats, etc.

I’m really looking forward to it!