A talk this morning with my dog ‘Puddles’ while I performed a shampoo and bubble bath for ‘her Highness’, followed by a warm drying with a hairdryer.

“Now don’t move while I do your tail, no not that way, over here.” We proceeded to do her perennial overcoat shortened of course for our summer. It may have lost length but the vibrancy of the fur denotes her level of health, it is shiny, fulsome, and robust. Enough so that the dryer is flat out coping with her water drenched coat required of course to ensure anything underneath is clean.

She sashayed around picking the parts she wanted to be dried instead of relying on me, being a Shih Tzu/Maltese cross, she is somewhat bossy or selective of her body, you choose. This, of course, interfered with the area I had allowed for this task, so I spent most of the time soaking up the water on my clothes as she tried to push me back for her escape. For nine years I have washed her each week, but each time her actions are the same. The next day is her worm, flea, and tick treatment and she must be dry and clean for the adhesion to occur. Miss Puddles does not know this, of course. To her, it is a game for which at the end she receives a treat.

I must admit Adelaide and environs is a long way from the Hills and a different environment. When weeding the garden, I do not have to look for a snarling tongue licking reptile with a head close to ‘mother of pearl’ colouring with a body length of 2.5 meters. However, what I had to look out for after I had bathed the Princess were eagles after a snack. Our little ball of fur resembles a small sheep in her finery, and I do not want her last moments to be waving to me from high up in the sky on the way to be dinner. I would much prefer her to eat her dinner and then retire to her bed at the end of the day as did our last bundle of joy after eighteen years. So the many joys of living in Adelaide has hidden benefits apart from being a vibrant and technologically diverse city, there are no lurking reptiles in the garden or eagles in the sky.

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