When my children were young we had a Jack Russell dog. We lived in a beach side town and our dog, Basil, would follow the children everywhere. He would run with them when they rode bikes and loved going to the beach with them. The whole town knew Basil, he was everyone’s pet dog.
Our town of 90 residents would bulge at holiday time to more than 1,000 residents and Basil knew them all. People would say to us, “Oh your Basil’s owners” and it was lovely. Some people even cooked bacon for breakfast for Basil; he had the good life.
Basil was a great escape artist. We would try to keep him in the yard, but he would climb the fence or dig under it. When it was time for him to go visiting we discovered he was already out.
He was also a great snake killer, rabbit catcher and he knew a feral cat from a pet cat and only chased after the feral cats. One time he chased a feral cat into a bush only to emerge seconds later being chased by another feral cat bigger than him. It was funny to see him running away from this cat when normally it was the other way.
Basil was a great mate to the town and our children and even now, 15 years after his death, people still talk about him. He was 19 when he passed away.
Then there was the time we had an Easter service down by the sea. On Easter Sunday I locked Basil in the chicken coop to try and keep him home while we all went down to the service, but he escaped and came down and cocked his leg on the officiate who was conducting the service. The officiate didn’t know but we all saw it and the crowd laughed.
On this day Basil was out visiting and we were putting up a carport. The fence was down and I was in the kitchen making sandwiches for our friends who had come to help us. I saw Basil scurry in the back door with something in his mouth. I thought he had one of his fluffy toys. Next I saw a bigger dog come in the door. I stopped to look and in my kitchen was a wombat!
I called out to the men out front. “There’s a what in your kitchen?” came the reply.
I repeated my call and the men came inside to look at the large angry wombat. My husband came into the kitchen with a small fur ball in his hands and said, “Here is your problem.”
In his hand he held a baby wombat. Basil had run off with the baby and mother woman must have chased him home. My four children all came into the house all trying to tell us their own version of a story.
When we had calm they said they were playing tennis when they saw Basil grab something in the grass, which they thought was a rabbit. Then they saw the wombat chase after Basil. I am sure Basil thought it was one of his fluffy toys or even a rabbit. He had not hurt the baby and mummy wombat seemed relived to get her baby back.
But then we had the problem of trying to get the wombat out of our house. We had no idea and it didn’t seem keen to go. We rang the vet and when I told her of the problem she laughed so much I thought her sides would split. Her suggestion was to just let the wombats figure it out on their own. I was concerned we’d have two wombats in our house permanently so I closed all the surrounding doors and left only the back door open, then I started to move her on her way gently.
Once she was outside and her baby back in her pouch she was quite fast to leave, heading back to the long grass. Life was never dull living at the town at the end of the road. I never had a wombat in my house again, but I did notice they had square poo!
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