Saturday, August 13, 2011

Canis lupus 'dingo'

Arguments continue about the status of the wild dog of Australia, is it a native? (it has been here as an immigrant from Asia for at least 5,000 years. Can it be domesticated? ( Aboriginal people have managed to do so).  Is it sneaky and untrustworthy? (it has that reputation and to be called a 'Dingo" is an insult implying just that). That it has formidable jaws, cunning, and a penchant for eating sheep is undisputed and this last more than anything has led to our ambivalent feelings towards this animal. In some states of Australia it is declared a pest and anyone trying to keep a dingo or even failing to kill one given the opportunity will be fined. In other states it is listed as a vulnerable species.
So desperate were farmers to keep sheep safe from the Dingo or 'Warrigul' that an enormous series of fences was erected across the country to keep them confined to non grazing areas, alas to little effect. An interesting fact is that purebred dingoes (and there are fewer than ever given that they hybridize with domestic dogs) have such low genetic variability that they may have descended from as few as two immigrants.

I have used this etegami to pose the question  about whether these animals are truly 'wild' or can  be tamed as companions for people.
On another subject, I have spent the morning tidying up my fishpond  and enjoying the winter sun, a highlight of the garden is this potted cyclamen, blooming on  a diet of worm poo, it is the best one I have ever had.

Thursday night saw a major medical drama here, the 18 year old Silkie dog  managed to almost choke on a piece of chicken cartiledge, he panicked and could not breathe, luckily we are two minutes from the vet and so we rushed him there, by which time he seemed to have cleared his airway. It was extremely frightening and trying to do the Heimlich manoeuver on a panicked dog only resulted in dislodging something less savoury from the other end!  Cut to the scene, me, carrying said dog, covered in a malodorous mess hurrying into the vet . As I later remarked to them, "This is not  my usual perfume!"
I asked the vet to give him a sedative and then it was home for a VERY hot shower and out to a dinner engagement leaving him with the sitter...yes you read that correctly he has to be babysat!  Luckily I have a very obliging animal loving neighbour and friend, Betty, who is happy to sit and knit and provide company for my insecure dog who would otherwise bark incessantly the whole time we are out.  My fellow diners were transfixed by the tale, at least they stopped eating! LOL.
You will be pleased to know that TJ is back to his usual annoying demanding self. (I think my next dog may be a Di...noooooooo!)


  1. A great addition to your growing collection of Australian wildlife etegami. :D

  2. Wow, great work on the doggie. I love it Carole.

    Re your doggie - poor thing! Glad it's over and he's back to his usual self.

  3. A great post, and thank you so much for the gorgeous budgie which I got in the mail today! Australia Post had thoughtfully put a fluoro orange bar code on the poor bird's head, but luckily it sort of blends in and suits it! I am sending you something, but I need to paint it first. I didn't know about the dingo being banned in some states and saved in others ... we don't have any in Tas.
    What a drama with the dog. I once had to get a stuck bone out of our neighbours' dog's mouth as a bushfire advanced on our houses. The dog was frothing at the mouth, the parents were away and their son thought maybe it had rabies! Talk about an exciting day.

  4. Uh Oh! fluoro orange, rats, next time I will send my cards in an envelope, that's a first. Can I sue for vandalism?
    Dogs, bones, bushfires, we lead exciting lives don't we?

  5. Hi, Origami,
    he etegami is brilliant!! Always your posts are full of love for nature and your sense of humour shines through. TPlease keep up!