My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

My Gypsy Family

Before I talk any more about my first days with Beloved, I’ll introduce you to my family. There is of course Princess Zena. She is my brother’s offspring and Beloved thought she would be a companion for me. When she first came to the house it was great and I loved hanging out with her, but somehow the responsibility began to weigh me down and when I realised she was here to stay I was not overjoyed. She’s okay but very ‘girly’. She frightens easily, pretends every good idea is hers and wants to play with my Big Dog (more about Big Dog another day). She tries to push me off Beloved’s lap too but I make sure I only go down when I’m ready to. Being responsible for another being is hard work and I often wish Beloved hadn’t got her but she’s here and I have to make the best of it. She’s not all bad and she is definitely better than Devon, a frequent visitor – but more about him later.

Then there is Beloved. She doesn’t do much. She looks after us, cooks and goes out with her mother a few times a week. When I first came into the home I realised that she was pretty sick. She has something called Dysautonomia. It’s a problem of the Autonomic Nervous System and in a nutshell means that anything in the body that is automatic doesn’t work properly. This means that sometimes she is tired and cranky. Sometimes we don’t get our walk, which I miss but then on those days we usually get to lie around watching television so that’s not so bad. It means she has a quiet life, but for me it means she’s home a lot. She has to visit lots of doctors and take lots of pills but she copes.

Beloved’s beloved is a doctor, but he doesn’t see people like some doctors. He works in other countries talking to Governments and talking about health policies and vaccinations – those things the vet give me every year. He doesn’t travel so much anymore but he’s had some adventures which I might tell you about some time. I know Beloved had hoped to travel with him until she got sick, now she doesn’t go far from home which suits me fine.

Beloved and her beloved have two sons. They are in something called the Humanitarian Aid business and I know that sometimes Beloved worries about them.

I don’t get it myself. They travel and live in different countries trying to help the people in those countries. Trying to make things better. Trying to protect those who are weak and exploited, but apparently by doing that they put themselves in danger.

One son was caught up in an Ambush in Darfur and was nearly shot (his colleagues were, one seriously). The other has just returned from living in Yemen where his colleagues were  kidnapped and of course he was living with riots and gunfire constantly. Beloved was so happy when he returned and we were so happy too because he lets us climb on his bed in the morning and have cuddles.

He didn’t stay in Melbourne too long though, he is now living in Indonesia where I hope nothing bad will happen to him.

I would have thought that people going out to help other people would have been wanted, protected, valued. But no, or certainly not by everyone. It’s complicated.

I suppose like dogs there are many reasons people hurt each other. Sometimes dogs fight over territory, we want to control the area that has the water and food. Sometimes we fight before the other dog fights us or takes away something valuable to us and then there are the times that we see another dog as an intruder, a threat to our status or freedom.

I have seen dogs fight to protect their owner, this is the only fighting I understand. When I see that guy on television with the gun running towards Beloved I get really angry, otherwise I’m pretty easy going. I’m not into the aggressive physical thing. Though if a young dog comes in the reserve and begins to throw it’s weight around I have been known to utter a well placed growl to put it in it’s place.

So in a nutshell, this is my family. A group of International gypsies finding it harder to stay in one country than to move. Beloved is a holder of three passports. Her sons, rootless, are prepared to go anywhere. Recently one son married and he now has a step-daughter of 7 so perhaps he won’t be going to as many dangerous places any more.

I know Beloved would be pleased about that. Like me, she enjoys having them around and knowing they are safe.

Well that’s it for today, time for a nap.


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