Molly, the transient dog


Molly, the Golden Retriever, comes from a family of transients or rather, travellers, and she has adapted remarkably well to this lifestyle. Her family members have lived all over the world – in Yorkshire, New Zealand, Brisbane, Melbourne, NYC, Perth, Sydney, London and Nice. Molly has never been to these places, she only hears about them. However, this does not perturb her as she does her own travelling, it may only be local but she enjoys it just as much as her owners enjoy their overseas sojourns.

Molly travels to the people who look after her when her family can’t do so. Mostly, these are friends she has got to know well over the last few years. She knows as soon as the suitcases come out that it’s time for everyone  to move soon. She just doesn’t know where. But never mind, she thinks and gets excited. Most of the time it will be to a nearby suburb which has better beaches, friendlier dogs and people who sometimes let her sit on the sofa. She also likes the fact that if the kitchen door in this particular house is even a tiny bit ajar she can sneak in and eat the cat’s food, until such time when someone notices and she gets in trouble.There is also a little fluffy dog who visits there and so then she has company too. As this  little dog, called Ralph, has not travelled anywhere much, there are no travel stories to share, only tales of the cat who does not like the little dog. Molly and the cat however, have worked out a truce and they get on  perfectly well when there is no one else to pay attention to either of them.

A couple of times Molly has travelled into the country with her dog-sitting(or rather part owners) family. Her  actual owners being more urban dwellers, have never taken her to the country, can you imagine? The poor, underprivileged dog. Anyway, the country is very interesting for Molly, many  different smells, trees, sticks and especially the animals. There are cows with their big eyes, slow movements and constant chewing, Molly thinks they should just eat as quickly as she does. Then there are the kangaroos, Molly is not too sure about these. Should she chase them, try and keep up with them or just observe them?Koalas are a bit more difficult for her to spot, due to their inherent  diurnal sleeping patterns and general lazy disposition. Usually when they get off their preferred trees, Molly tends to be asleep so perhaps koalas are not as simple of mind as they sometimes appear.

Being an indoor dog at night time, Molly has not experienced the exciting going-ons that happen when it’s dark, very dark in the country, except for the stars, moon and impressive Milky Way. So she misses the gliding of possums from tree to tree, the big fat wombats digging in the dirt and the unidentifiable noises that vary from night to night.

Usually a happy dog, Molly sometimes takes on a sad appearance and enters a ‘depressive’ state of mind. We are not sure why this is but think it’s a form of ‘fernweh‘ a German word meaning the desire to be somewhere far away and the opposite of being homesick. This condition has not been known to affect dogs, only people, but who knows, Molly might be a candidate for  any future canine studies of this condition.

When all of Molly’s family is home she is very excited to see them all and to spend time with them. But after a few weeks of constant excitement and a bit of chaos too, and  being a dog of advancing years she thinks about her other options and her ‘fernweh‘ returns. She then thinks of her place in the country where the fresh air, new sounds and interesting animals provide a good place to rest and observe. Or she thinks of her other family, including the cat, where the beaches are quieter, the sea weed in which to roll more appealing and her temporary dog walkers more likely to throw shells into the water for her to retrieve.

Molly exploring



Many years ago, a small, 5 year old boy with shiny, happy eyes, was sitting on a park bench with his parents. Close to him was one of his favourite toys, Skeletor, who belonged to a group of toys based on the Masters of the Universe films. Masters of the Universe represented a male-dominated world, where exaggerated or inflated male characteristics and egos, were what appealed to little (and sometimes big) boys. He-Man, Beast-Man, Buzz-off, Skeletor, Kobra Khan and others either lived in or fought battles around Castle Grey Skull, no doubt about dominance of the Universe or lesser, but just as important power struggles in the eyes of 5 year old boys. There were no female characters, besides Evil-Lyn with her sickly yellow skin; for some reason she never rated highly in this little boy’s imagination or Christmas wish list.

The little boy’s mother worried about this dominant male influence in his growing years, especially since the male characters were not always using their strength, dominance and power for any discernibly good reason. Being her first child and a boy at that, the mother thought, this strong and undirected male influence could result in a young man who favoured bikie gangs, tattoos and a very poor attitude to females and should not be encouraged by such obvious boy toys. Being politically correct, even before it came to the forefront of the media, politicians and people’s minds, when the little boy could not find Skeletor after leaving the park bench, the mother was not that unhappy about the situation. To her credit, or maybe it was the father at this crucial and tense point of time, a search was instigated for Skeletor. He was not to be found, no doubt picked up by another little boy aspiring to greatness and supported by this rather ugly blue and purple figure with a skull face.

The little boy was very upset by this loss and so the parents, despite the mother’s joy at the prospect of a more balanced choice of toys from now on, spent many days and visits to toy stores to replace the old Skeletor. The memory of this incident gets a bit fuzzy now, due to the many years in between then and now, and it is not certain whether a replacement was ever found.

So now 28 or so years later, thanks to the internet,  online purchasing, social media and the rest, Skeletor is making his appearance yet again for the now 33 years old little boy. The mother has since got over her politically correct attitude to children’s toys and is very proud of the little boy who grew up to be a sensitive, kind and gentle young man.