July in Australia is our mid-Winter, a time where I hunker down into the warmth of my office, accompanied by our Bearded Collies, Elsa and Kuura.
Our first Bearded Collie came into our lives in the late 80s, and he was called Blue, a good Aussie name. In 1990 we moved to Hong Kong for work and were unable to take Blue with us, so we arranged for him to be flown to England to be with my family there, where he enjoyed an active life as a mascot for an American Civil War enactment group, strange to have one in England. Blue crossed the rainbow bridge before we returned to Australia.
Missing the breed so much, we were soon looking for another one, when we found Gromit, named after the dog in the 1990s TV series, Wallace and Gromit, much to the amusement of his breeders. Gromit started off with us as a suburban dog and then we moved to a rural setting in the Adelaide Hills. Gromit needed a friend, so we found him, Lola, a two-year-old girl, who had spent her time as a show dog. It was quite a change for her, from the showring to a relaxed rural lifestyle with Gromit.
When Gromit passed, Paddington, as in Paddington Bear from darkest Peru (where my husband was born), joined Lola, arriving in style, flying in from northern New South Wales.
With the passing of Lola and Paddington, we now have two females, Elsa and Kuura. Who have the same Finnish father. Elsa is a popular girls name in Scandinavia and Kuura means frost in Finnish.
Out of all the Bearded Collies that have come into our lives, Paddington was by far the most obstinate. As a puppy, we took him on an Outback adventure with us. He is probably the only Bearded Collie to have travelled through the remote South Australian outback sleeping with me in my swag. He had a huge personality, so much so that I wrote a series of stories about his life’s adventures.
Blue was an escape artist who always wanted to visit the neighbours. Gromit was a gentleman, and he would do anything you asked him. Lola was a spirited girl. Elsa, we call her Princes Elsa because she is, and Kuura is the youngest and is still a big kid.
Returning to the present. The dogs bring much joy into our lives. So, as I sit in my office, creating worlds and characters for my stories, you will often meet the odd dog. These worlds would not be complete otherwise.
Contemporary adventure with