Dogs of Udekki

There are always animals, here there are the non human kind. At Udekki the dogs form a sub-culture, a family society under that table. The mother and farther look a little like dingoes and are gentle to fault. In fact most dogs here are harmless and look like dingoes. There are two puppies, one the dun colour of his parents the other a long legged black chewer. The puppies constantly play fight, brawl in the sand and then stretch out exhausted. Digging is one of Blackie’s favourite pastimes. Holes appear around paths and plants and as I walk buy he will wag his tail and make a lunge for the legs of my pants or sarong and his sharp little teeth clamp shut. Holes appear in cushions, chair legs get chewed. Blackie has been adopted by an Austrian family, they don’t know what they are in for. He will probably chew his way out of the transport container in the airplane on his way to his new home.

Many children, who come here, are afraid of dogs. Who knows why, usually it’s the parents teaching them to be afraid, very afraid, so they cry and whimper in the presence of a dog. The gentle parent dogs here are often a balm on the fears of these children. I’m glad these frightened children haven’t been witness to the recent manoeuvres of dog politics going on. A new bitch dark, long legged and sleek has entered the scene. Daddy dingo is enamoured and the stiff legged posturing and barking, growling escalates on the beach between the two bitches. Last night an older dog, tough, the equivalent of a red-necked tattooed, biker, bad ass, rocked up from the fishing camp and our daddy dingo was out of his fighting weight, but had the advantage of youth and territory.

This occurs nightly on the beach at sunset. The sky, a golden dome, over the brilliant yellow sun sizzling into the horizon. I throw sand at the growling dogs and dive into the water. I expect to come up covered in golden motes of water and I’m not disappointed, diving like a dolphin, swimming until I am breathless, stretching in the wavy water. Up and along on the beach fishermen brace themselves against the weight of their nets filled with thousands of small white fish and the occasional puffer fish, these they unceremoniously chuck out of the nets onto the sand, worthless and jettisoned. It’s infuriating It would be simple to throw them back into the water, still it’s not my call. The bloated puffed bodies of the fish slowly deflate on the beach and the nightly tide claims them.

The dawn is cool. I hear the doves on my porch and I get up to fill the large shallow water bowls that are used for foot washing and bird drinking. There is a white cat who lives behind my house, mostly this old Tom sleeps. This morning I heard a kerfuffle and the two puppies had bailed up the cat, but they really did come off second best.

By the time I had pulled on my swimming costume all was quiet again and I went out into the coolish air to see a beautiful green, yellow and brown cockerel drinking from the water bowl filled with fresh cool water. The day had begun. I wonder what dog wars will be waged on the beach tonight.

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