Home Bark Word Stories The things we do out of love for our dogs

The things we do out of love for our dogs

Copper the much loved Golden Retriever.

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Copper the Golden Retriever

When I was a teenager we had a Golden Retriever called Copper.  We lived in Jersey in the Channel Islands and our dog had a lovely life.  Copper was free to roam around and often came come unrecognisable having soaked himself in the slurry from a farm machine spraying liquid cow manure on the fields.  That wash was not a pleasant task.

I used to go snorkelling in the sea, just swimming around shallow rocky areas looking down at the things that go on in the sea. Copper used to come with me, and he used to swim all the time I was swimming.  Now and then he would come to me and just swim over me just to make sure I was OK.  He loved to swim to rocks where there were seagulls and chase them off before jumping back in the water.  It was such fun to have him for company, and he really enjoyed swimming in the sea.

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From Jersey to Australia

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As a family, we decided to emigrate to Australia and the decision came about what to do with Copper.  There was no question, he was to come with us.  I dread to think what it cost to send our pet all the way to Australia.

When we were all reunited Copper had to learn to adjust to the warmer Queensland weather and the different wildlife.  There were highly poisonous snakes in the garden and there was always a concern that he may get bitten, but thankfully that did not happen.

I do remember one time he found an Echidna on the lawn.  These are like a large spiny hedgehog and it had rolled up into a ball.  Copper was digging a hole beside it with the intention of rolling the Echidna into it.  I am not sure what he would have done after that as I rescued it.

Echidna or spiny anteater.

We only lived in Australia for a year and we could not leave Copper behind, so he was subjected to a long voyage back to England, and after that to six months in quarantine.  The things we do for the love of our dogs!

Back in icy cold England

My mother wanted to live in Cornwall, and she spent the winter living in a mobile home which was not properly heated as it was a summer home while she looked around for a house to buy.  I remember she used to tell me that both she and Copper used to lie under the bedclothes and they used to keep each other warm.  I did not know dogs shivered with cold until Mum told me this story.

So what a well travelled and adventurous life Copper led.  Freedom to roam around and be a family dog in Jersey.  To be loved by the family and join in with the family activities on the beach and swimming in the sea.  Then to the other side of the world to a new climate and different creatures followed by a gentle retirement back in England.  Our Golden Retriever was much loved and we could never leave him behind.

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