Before Sleepydog, there was The Best Dog In The World.
Slabs and I got TBDITW when we were living in Canberra. We both agreed that we wanted a male, and Slabs was very keen on getting a blue heeler, so when we saw an ad in the paper for blue heeler cross pups for $50 we decided to go and have a look.
What appears to have happened in the creation of these adorable little pups is that the ridgeback breeder's Mummy Ridgeback had an unwelcome visit from a local blue heeler x mongrel.
When he heard that some of the pups had got their mum’s ridge, Slabs decided that he wanted one of the ridged pups. There were only two boys with the ridge; one was running round madly in the hot sun, and the other one was tucked up well out of the heat under the guy’s trailer. Obviously he was the smarter one.
He was very cute, and we fell in love with him on the spot and took him home.
We never knew when his birthday was – all we knew was it was in early November, so we decided that we’d celebrate his birthday on Melbourne Cup day every year.
Today The Best Dog In The World would have been 13.
Unfortunately he didn’t make it to his teens. He was only seven when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a few months into my pregnancy.
We tried chemotherapy with him and he was okay for a little while, but ultimately we knew that his quality of life just wasn’t there and it wasn’t fair to put him through this for the very brief periods that he was OK. So we made the heartbreaking decision, just two weeks after Juniordwarf’s arrival into our lives, to say goodbye to him.
I don’t want to dwell on that, because it was an incredibly difficult time for us. I want to remember the good times we had with him, because they are precious memories that I will never forget.
Like the way he triumphed at dog training school on the day of the graduation test, after being almost impossible to train for the whole course – he came third, which surprised everyone there, most of all me.
Our holiday to country Victoria where he came with us in the car because he was part of the family. The way he and Sleepydog used to wrestle, fight and chase each other round the yard. Just like human siblings!
The day a huge kangaroo came into our yard that set the duck off, but TBDITW only bothered to go and check out what was happening when I got up to find out what all the noise was about. The night he came home from the vet after his ‘operation’ and we felt so bad about what we’d done to him we slept on the floor in the lounge room with him. The way he’d got so used to travelling in the car that he hated going on the back of the ute when we got it.
So many fantastic memories of such a wonderful dog.