So far I have been relaying the tales of early life with the J's at no 36. When they were both 6 years old, though, we had to move home. This was traumatic for all concerned!
It took a few months for 'mother' to get herself into shape with regards to finding the new place. This was now post-Olympic Sydney and housing costs had inflated beyond most pockets. Thus it was we had to shift to a suburb even further out and a plot which was one third the size to which we had become accustomed. The house on said plot was half the size of No 36.
However, 21a had a lot of other things going for it. We were off the main drag and onto a quiet, tree-lined street with friendly neighbours. There were three parks within our walking range for lots of off-leash fun. There was a direct bus route to the shopping mall. All-in-all, it was a good thing.
It took some time to adjust though. Animals which have had the run of a quarter acre are inclined to get a bit feisty and fed-up when confined to 300 sq mtr. For the first time there was competition between Jade and Jasper - whereas Jasper had been the sole proprietor of no. 36 prior to Jade's arrival and therefore dominated the territory, at 21a they had to sort out who was in charge of which bit and Jade of course wanted the lot! This meant Jasper had to take ownership of everything above one metre height. So the fenceline, the trees, the tops of bins and clay pots, tables, chairs, balustrades and under the bushes became his domain. Everything else was Jade's.
Of course, once they had sorted this out, they began sharing again. It took about 9 months though and a couple of times they fought. This was a new thing for me and rather disturbing. The time Jade had Jassie's neck in her jaws was not a pretty thing - only because she, naturally, came off worse. Her nose was bleeding for ages after Jasper took several chunks out of it with his claws.
Once that all settled down, the next phase was the boundary barking. This having been proved to not be a problem at no. 36, it very much did become so now. Remember, her understanding of the range to be protected around me was up to 1000 metres. Now we were down to 300. The fence turned out to be the only thing that saved us from certain impoundment as I got rather a shock at how apparently aggressive she would become to other dogs passing by.
Outside on our walks, she was the same as always and we could meet those very same dogs without any hassle. (Thank goodness the owners could see she was actually rather lovable!). Try to stick your nose through my palings, though…… wooof WOOOOOOOOOF.
Over time this too did moderate, but never stopped completely, no matter what I tried. I could not every time go out and stand with her to stem the flow of noise, so had to do the rounds of neighbours to apologise. At this point I got a surprise. Apparently, when I was not there, this didn't happen! It wasn't the property, but myself that she was protecting. It was jealousy and not actual aggression- which explained why we were fine out walking.
I was not happy that this trait had arisen, but apart from one or two dogs who did have to alter their walking route in order to maintain peace, overall it did not present a major problem.
It did demonstrate to me yet again, however, how animals relate to environment every bit as much as we 2-legs do and that they attach themselves to it, respond to it, adapt to it just like us. There was no back yard at 21a. There was no back anything! Just the metre to the fenceline. At the sides there was 2.5 metres on the entry side and 4 metres at the kitchen courtyard. The bulk of the garden was to the front and was laid mainly to grass.
I was in the habit of leaving the back door open for the J's to come and go as they pleased at all times. I never closed it unless we were all absent. So when, that first summer at 21a, I arrived home from work following a major storm to find the tree on pavement side had split in half and dropped entirely into the front yard, missing the house by inches and demolishing the small picket fence, my immediate angst was not for the property, but for where the animals were! Jasper's incident with storms had left him leery of any rainy weather and I was fairly confident he'd be under the house. But would Jade have stayed or taken off down the road? She absolutely HATED storms. Thunder terror.
She was not in the building. She was not in the laundry shed. No one had seen her. I ducked down under the house to look for Jasper and heard him crying for me after calling out. As he crept forward, who should be crawling behind him?
|A garden nest...|
Yup. Come to think of it, that was about the 9 month mark I mentioned above. Oh I just realised now in telling you all about it, that this would have been the rebonding moment!! They were huddled together and I had to go in there (yuk) to cuddle and "moo" over them in order to entice them out. It had been a doozy of a storm. The other thing that may have kept them cowering there, despite its being over, was that the neighbour three doors up had brought down his buzz-saw and began clearing away the tree for me.
No asking. Just done. Other neighbours arrived and brought their green bins to put the small stuff and leaves into. The logs I said Jim could have for his efforts.
There is something about the human creature that when disaster arrives so does their very best of nature (or the worst, but not in this case!) …. Hmmm it makes me all menosukhi just thinking about it.
BOZO likes visitors! Haven't met the ashram dogs? Come on over! Please check out other pet blogs per the list at right - your heart will fill!!!