Digit… a Most Singular Dog

A poem for our old faithful blue dog Digit 1993 - 2007

The old blue eyes look back at me and no longer see my face,

They’ve seen a thousand sunsets, long happy hours of lizard chase.

No more she hears my whistle, time to come and have her treat,

But still she strolls determinedly and gets beneath our feet.

At five weeks old we found her; a lively ball of fluff,

For what we had in store for her, she needed to be tough.

A Heeler/Kelpie cross she was, mostly black with wisps of grey,

And when she nipped my ankle, I knew that home with me, she’d stay.

Our ‘first-born, bat-eared creature’ was how we first referred,

To that stinky little ball of fluff who filled our house with t#*!s.

Was JP who did the honours, in a sentimental fit,

That cheeky one and only, yes, it had to be ‘DIGIT’.

The clever little puppy quickly learned to sit and heel,

But members of our family said she’s silly as a wheel.

We walked her here and talked her there, till she was fit to drop,

And then one day we packed the ute and tied her there up top.

A travellin’ dawg she had become, what sights she did behold,

She wandered everywhere with me and helped me dig my gold.

Those blue-tongued skinks in spinifex she bravely did pursue,

But then one day it fell apart; we found that she liked poo.

Now if you’ve ever owned a dog you’ll understand this fact,

That once they dig those landmines up, there is no going back.

With scolding, flailing, banshee-wailing; ‘twas such a great to-do,

But we managed to convince her, it was not on her menu.

From East to West and North and South she travelled dusty roads,

She racked up frequent flyer points in many different modes.

For those who ever met us, you’d nod your head and smile,

You knew when we were coming, you could hear that dog for miles.

A life full of adventure, this dog seemed to have it all,

No silly games for this old mutt…‘go get your own damn ball!’

With party tricks and friendly licks, our mates she’d entertain,

You’d swear she understood you though she’d drive you near insane.

As a brave and loyal canine, many times to us she proved,

Those bungarras and emus, when they saw her, how they moved!

From big brown snakes to mickey bulls, she faced them with a growl,

No sly bush thing was safe from her when she was on the prowl.

The years rolled swiftly onward then our family grew to five,

Twin boys were born with fanfare and I made it home alive.

As doting aunts would tell you, babes are cute beyond compare,

But Digit, looking startled, thought ‘Good grief...they have no hair!’

She took the kids’ arrival with remarkable good cheer,

But I really often wondered if those dewy eyes were tears.

Though she nuzzled at them gently when they toddled round the yard,

She felt glad to be a neuter...‘Cripes! this motherhood looks hard!’

Of course she’s had her moments, many visits to the vet,

With spiky seeds and lumps and bumps, she’s worth half a Lear jet.

While he’d never freely say it, JP loves her as I do,

Just hope he spends as freely, when I get to 92.

The years of dust and brightness, would finally take their toll,

When we considered her replacement, all those good points we’d extol.

Then one day off the road I found a dingo-styled recruit,

Though Digit’s mostly blind and deaf, we wish she’d just go mute!

She offed and went a-wand’ring, a while back in mid ‘07,

Thought she’d took her last long road trip, right up there to doggie heaven.

Three days, two nights she roamed about, so sadly did we fret,

But she came home just to witness one more Kimberley sunset.

And now she lives in twilight years right here beneath the van,

Dreaming of the wilder times she walked ‘cross rugged lands.

And when her time is finally up, we’ll shed a tear or three,

For that feisty one and only; our DIGIT…my ‘Cheeky’.

Frieda Berry-Porter
Halls Creek 2007

Digit… a Most Singular Dog