MEM­O­RIES

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - News - with Ivor Jones & Friends

PETS

Reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn would know that I own or ad­min­is­ter quite a few Face­book groups de­voted to “Mem­o­ries” or nos­tal­gia of var­i­ous re­gions or ar­eas. From time to time I ask the mem­bers who have joined the groups a ques­tion or two to help gen­er­ate in­put and con­ver­sa­tion or dis­cus­sion. Re­cently I posed the ques­tion of “Did you have a pet or pets as a child?” This prompted quite a few re­sponses from the mem­bers.

Times have changed for all of us from the time of our child­hood - where dogs would roam free fol­low­ing the kids as they went about ex­plor­ing around the neigh­bour­hood; chas­ing the billy carts down a hill; chas­ing and catch­ing the ball when play­ing street cricket; of­ten rid­ing in the back of the fam­ily ute with­out be­ing tied or chained in. Or per­haps the dog would swing on a rope tied to a clothes line or a tree; chew­ing up shoes, the gar­den hose or what have you. There is no doubt that pets whether dogs , cats, guinea pigs, rab­bits or even gold fish have pro­vided fun, com­pan­ion­ship for many over the years.

In re­sponse to the ques­tion posed in one of my “Mem­o­ries” groups one wit re­sponded along the lines that he “had lice, nits, fleas, cock­roaches etc” then went on to ex­plain that he thought the ques­tion was “Did you have pests as a child?”

My wife tells me of the time her fa­ther ar­rived home on his mo­tor bike with a duck’s head stick­ing out of his great­coat quack­ing loudly. The duck was de­posited on the kitchen floor and she (3 years old) spent some time chas­ing the duck around the kitchen ta­ble un­til even­tu­ally slip­ping over in the re­sult­ing duck poo. “Don­ald” was housed in the back yard and kept down the gar­den snails, and other in­sects, even­tu­ally pro­duc­ing an egg and hastily be­ing re­named “Daisy”.

A mem­ber of an­other of my “Mem­o­ries” groups, who in­ci­dently is also a reader of this col­umn in her lo­cal news­pa­per “The Monthly Chron­i­cle” has kindly agreed to me us­ing her com­ments in this pub­li­ca­tion,( her name I have with­eld).

“This is me in the early-50s with my first pet. My slightly older cousin lived with us and used to ride his bike with his mates from Darcy Ave (Lid­combe) to the Abat­toirs (as boys did). One day, he saw a calf that was sep­a­rated from its mother and was go­ing to be put down. He con­vinced the work­ers to let him bring it home as a fam­ily pet. He then con­vinced our Grand­par­ents (who we lived with) that it would be a good pet for me as I wasn’t al­lowed a dog or cat. We kept it for some time till some­one man­aged to ‘spirit’ it out of the back­yard. I now sus­pect we ate it, but would never have had thoughts like that as a child. As a teenager, my cousin brought a horse home an­other time and pro­ceeded to build a sta­ble along the back fence, then a sec­ond horse, and so it went. His life, since that time and even now, has been spent sur­rounded by his beloved horses far away from suburbia in the Riverina area. And I’m still lv­ing in suburbia and very fright­ened of horses, cows, etc. - go fig­ure

My Grand­fa­ther had to get rid of the chooks and ducks as the sta­ble ex­tended. Not that I minded as it meant no more head­less, drip­ping chooks or ducks hang­ing on the pal­ing fence af­ter he’d chopped their heads off ... am amazed that I’m not ve­gan! Ev­ery time the horse/s were led from the sta­ble (through the back­yard and around the side of the house) I would take off inside the house. And horses cer­tainly liked bread, but noth­ing could en­tice me to hand-feed them, just way too much big­ger than me! Al­though I did feel sorry for them when they had to get new shoes as it seemed such a cruel process. We did have the horses for a l.o.n.g. time till he got mar­ried and moved out. “

Yet an­other mem­ber (Dale Ken­twell) re­lated this story

“We lived just next to the bridge on Show­ground Rd... Ev­ery­one chucked their un­wanted cats and dogs over the bridge in hes­sian sacks or what­ever... so we had lots but the best find was a beau­ti­ful dog I found be­ing beaten up in the creek... I took him home... put him in the chook shed and fed him veg­e­tar­ian sausages. I called him Snuffy and spent my early life with him... Turned out he was a black/sil­ver Scot­tish sheep dog... and had es­caped from the Show­ground... It was the first time these dogs had come to Aus­tralia... about 1977...my lovely snuffy I will never for­get the day I had to put him down ... My trav­el­ling buddy”.

Other mem­bers of the var­i­ous “Mem­o­ries” groups went on to tell of the var­i­ous types of pets that they once owned and the names that they had given them and in some cases a few other com­ments

NOW WHAT ABOUT YOUR MEM­O­RIES OR YOUR STORY

If you have some great mem­o­ries, or per­haps you be­long to a lo­cal com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion and would like to share your or­gan­i­sa­tion’s his­tory or story with us then feel free to share your mem­o­ries or ex­pe­ri­ences by writ­ing to PO Box 1278, Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755 or email to [email protected] op­tus­net.com.au. You can also share mem­o­ries on any of my Face­book mem­o­ries groups in­clud­ing Hills Dis­trict Mem­o­ries which you will find here https://www.face­book.com/groups/Hills.mem­o­ries/

You can write about child­hood mem­o­ries of where you may have grown up. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on hol­i­days; your first car; that first date or maybe the his­tory of your group or or­gan­i­sa­tion in the dis­trict. This page is about mem­o­ries so tell us yours.

Sorry the qual­ity of the re­pro­duc­tion of the photos are not that great.

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