The antics, quirks and other endearing qualities of my animals: Part 2


Jedi is the love of my life, after my husband, of course. We got him from the RSPCA shelter as a three month old, bumbling puppy who was supposed to be a staffy/blue heeler cross. I don’t know whether this was just an educated guess on the RSPCA’s behalf, but he just kept getting bigger and bigger, and we really have no idea what combination of genes created him. He’s tall, athletic and black, with a blue chest and four blue feet. He looks kind of like a mix of labrador, kelpie, pointer, staffy and god knows what else.
George had never had a dog before and, while he knew that me and a dog was never going to be an either/or deal, he was a little apprehensive about it. But Jedi knew straight away who he had to charm. As soon as we met him, he crawled straight into George’s lap and gazed lovingly up at him, begging us to take him home. George was smitten in an instant, and is now his biggest fan.

We’ve never quite been able to work out whether Jedi is extremely smart, dumb as a box of hammers, or just a little unhinged. On the one hand, he knows with one tiny finger gesture from me to back away and go around the other side of the coffee table before he knocks over a glass of wine with his tail. He also knows when someone’s coming over even if we do nothing differently to normal.

But on the other hand, he has some very weird and unexplainable habits. When I walk towards the front door when one of the cats is waiting to be let out, he yelps, then races out the back and around to the side gate (which is solid, so he can’t see anything). Whenever the neighbours are in their back yard, he trots up and down and stares at the fence for hours. And I mean hours. All day, sometimes. When we put him out the back before going out, he circles on the spot until we shut the door.

Running is his favourite thing to do, and the beach is his favourite place in the world. He is completely and utterly obsessed with fetching things, particularly tennis balls, but sticks, pine cones or sea sponges will do at a pinch. He has an extensive vocabulary, which began with ‘woo woo woo!’ and has continued to expand the more we laugh at him.

He adores our cats, and is always gentle with them despite being rowdy. The youngest cat, Pedro, has grown up with him and they’re the best of mates. They occasionally play fight, as shown in this video I managed to get when Ped was quite young. They hang out together and follow each other around the house. They’ll even lick the same plate with no jealousy or aggression.

Jedi also loves water, especially after a vigorous session of ball/stick fetching, so during the warmer months we have a clam shell exactly for that purpose.

He’s the biggest wuss when it comes to pain – if he gets a three corner jack in his paw, he’ll stand and dangle his foot pathetically, begging one of us to help him. But as soon as we touch said paw, he gets all panicky and jerks it around, making the whole operation far more difficult and painful than it needs to be.

Jedi is tolerant of, but not generally keen on other dogs, with the exception of two beagles called Winston and Buddy. Winston in particular is Jedi’s all time hero, and he goes into raptures of joy whenever he sees him. No matter what, they never get angry at each other. They’ve even been known to sleep on the same bed together. Awww.

It’s safe to say that Jedi is very spoilt. He sleeps on the comfiest bed in the world, right next to our bed, and we take him with us on any errand we can. He has had a walk almost every day of his life, with the occasional exception of foul weather and injury. But despite all this, he’s very well mannered and generally pretty obedient. He’ll never steal the cats’ food or any other food (with the single exception of the New Year’s Eve when we had a party at our place and foolishly left three chicken carcasses on the kitchen bench – he held off for hours until he could no longer resist the temptation, leaving nothing but three lemon halves and a whole lot of grease on the kitchen floor). He usually comes when he’s called and does what he’s told, just for the pleasure of being called a good boy.

The best thing about Jedi is how much he loves us. He’s never happier than when he’s had a morning walk, a whole day of hanging out with us in the backyard in the sun, and ends the day curled up on his bed in the lounge room between us. He doesn’t even like it when we’re in separate rooms, and spends the whole time walking from one of us to the other, looking dejected. He’s a great companion, listening to every word we say and never answering back.

I could write all night and still not be able to cover all the awesome things about Jedi. Suffice it to say that he’s the greatest dog I’ve ever had, and he’ll be an important part of our little family until his final day.

P.S. I just walked towards the front of the house and he sprinted at high speed out the back, yelping all the way. Nutter.

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