I’m lying here in a meditative state humming that old Beatles song that has something to do with working like a dog. I’ve heard you people exclaim many times that it’s a dog’s life, but those dogs don’t carry the mantle of responsibility that I do.
I have a fine wardrobe of rainbow coats, collars and hats (not to mention the shoes which, frankly, even I think is going a bit far). On a cold and misty morning in beautiful Bundanoon, it makes sense to bundle up in something that will keep me warm and, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a rainbow? Is that another Beatles’ song? Oh, wait, no, I’m thinking about submarines.
My day starts by leading Darryl around the 12-acre property, alerting him to any sudden growth of weeds, overgrown hedges and patches of grass that aren’t in the pristine state he prefers. I try not to alert him to the presence of rabbits as I like to see them off singlehandedly – they are definitely my responsibility.
Once we’ve done the necessary jobs I get changed and take my position with Darryl by the front door of Quest and wait for the arrival of people who come to stay with us for a residential program. This is really where the hard work begins as I’m required to be waggy of tail from the minute they arrive on Monday until they depart on Friday afternoon. Sometimes my whole body quivers I’m so excited – you can only imagine how hot I become in the summer with all this exertion.
I often bump into people on their way to an early morning relaxation class and I spring immediately into action. My tail wags, my mouth opens and my tongue hangs out in a most attractive and endearing way. I try very hard not to jump up as Darryl says that’s very bad manners, but I never say no when invited to do so. Break times are the busiest as often people like me to sit with them and have a chat. They tell me I’m gorgeous and handsome, which of course I already know – nothing worse than false modesty – but I pretend I don’t as I know it makes them happy.
By the end of this very busy week, they’re all my friends and really, who can’t get by with a little help from their friends?
Oh, as a postscript, Darryl is a huge Jimmy Barnes fan but none of his songs were going around in my head at the time of writing this. Ah, wait! I’m humming Right By Your Side…
Learn more about Quest for Life’s residential programs.
Words by Keri Ahmet