Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Dog Tired

We took a couple of days off this week and drove three hours south of Sydney to Jervis Bay, an impulsive decision prompted by a forecast of twenty-five degrees in the last week of autumn and the availability of a dog friendly house offering a thirty-five per cent discount for two nights mid-week.

‘You love salt water swimming,’ I urged, ‘and Maggie’s never seen the ocean before.’


It was a long drive for a two-night stay but as the ocean hove into view it seemed worth it. The weather was as predicted, the sea temperature a balmy twenty-two degrees and the beach, when we finally arrived, was practically deserted…which was just as well.

Maggie went berserk.


Her response to the sight of ocean waves (even the shallow, barely perceptible lick of spray that passes for a wave in sheltered Jervis Bay) was to attack.

Forgetting age and arthritic hips, our elderly dingo raced up and down the beach, barking ferociously at every dribble of water that trickled onto the sand. When barking didn’t work she went in for the kill and tried biting the waves, snapping her jaws at the elusive sea foam that advanced then retreated.

No amount of soothing, cajoling, discipline or distraction made a jot of difference.


After twenty exhausting minutes we admitted defeat, left the beach and climbed the hill to our retreat, where Maggie vomited several litres of seawater (thankfully outside) and promptly fell asleep in front of the fire.


There were several dogs on the beach the next day, all of them running after sticks, chasing balls and swimming happily in the ocean, so we tried again. The same thing happened. And carrying Maggie into the water only encouraged her to swim back to shore, shake herself off then turn back and attack the waves with even greater ferocity.

I suspect she hated every minute of her beachside holiday. For once, she was probably glad to get back to Sydney.

9 comments on “Dog Tired

  1. Val Lord
    May 22, 2014

    Haha…loved it Deb! Made me so miss our dogs, and while we have a house on the beach we have not taken them down to the water, they are not very social after being behind a huge wall in BH for 5 years. 😦 but I loved the story and the photo’s and I have so forgotten what it is like to have a fire and sit with a glass of red in my hand. Not long until I find out though! On another note, did you receive the money for the books? Kristy transferred it to you the other day when she came home on days off! I cannot wait to read them!! x


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      May 23, 2014

      It was


      • debhuntinbrokenhill
        May 23, 2014

        It was so tempting to let Maggie off the lead and see if she could play with other dogs on the beach, but like yours she spent far too long cooped up in a garden in Broken Hill before we adopted her. She’s slowly getting better but her first response is always fear, quickly followed by aggression if not checked, yet she is such a lovely dog otherwise. I’m sure the money will have come through, I’ll let you know if any problems and hope you enjoy reading the books! x


  2. candidkay
    May 22, 2014

    Love it:). Reminds me of our dog, Bailey, who is insistent that our house fan is some nefarious weapon of mass destruction. And refuses to stop barking the entire time it is running. They have their own minds, these dogs:).


  3. debhuntinbrokenhill
    May 23, 2014

    Ah yes, the house fan. Another major threat that provokes a similar response in Maggie. I do wonder if there was an element of enjoyment in her racing along the shoreline and biting the waves – I’d like to think so for her sake!


  4. bkpyett
    May 24, 2014

    Dear Deb, I have been asked to participate in a writing post. I hope you too will choose to write about your own experiences. I shall post the details on my post today, (answering the questions tomorrow).
    Your experiences of the writing process will be of much interest to others. Cheers, Barbaara


  5. debhuntinbrokenhill
    May 24, 2014

    I will check your post and look forward to reading about your experiences!


  6. bkpyett
    May 26, 2014

    Thanks Deb, look forward to reading yours too.
    Loved the story about Maggie chasing the waves and her reaction to the ocean. Jervis Bay reminds me of the camps we took students on. The Aboriginal community made it memorable teaching us about bush tucker, healing plants and stories around the camp fire.


  7. debhuntinbrokenhill
    May 30, 2014

    Is that the Aboriginal community in Booderee National Park? I did a bush walk with them one time and it was a fascinating experience. There is also a very moving graveyard on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, far too many died far too young.


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This entry was posted on May 22, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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