- Writers in Libraries - Heather McCloy
Writers in Libraries - Heather McCloy
My name is Hamish, I would consider my life with the Nobles comfortable, warm and happy, though maybe a bit short on snacks. And I would enjoy more than one meal a day. In return I do my best to behave.
I was born in Deception Bay, Queensland. Then at 10 weeks old I found myself living with Heather and Graham in Loch. I had 4 weeks of puppy school where I learnt to interact with other puppies and humans. Dog obedience training came next - I wasn’t keen on that and displayed my objections about being asked to walk to heel. I caused so much disruption to the class that we were asked not to come back, and that was the end of group training for me - hurray! Heather's daughter came and lived with us for 3 months. She was my best friend and I followed her instructions when asked to sit, lie down and give a paw. I was never keen on giving up my ball though. My favourite times were going to the beach, swimming in the sea, visiting doggy parks and playing with other dogs and of course eating, sleeping and cuddles. I have a strong dislike for thunder storms and being asked not to chase cats, kangaroos, birds and any other game. Also, I dislike been told to get off the couch.
Now, in 2020, I'm 12 years old and feeling it. I spend my days and nights sleeping rather than playing and I have become very stubborn about how far I walk and where. My hearing might not be so great, or do I just use that old excuse? I have also observed a few changes from the normal pattern in my home life and the things we do, which I wish to bring to this tale. Heather and Graham are normally very busy people doing whatever it is they do, which has meant I normally spend a percentage of the week at 'Sybil's doggy day care' where the snacks and treats are excellent and I have loads of space to lie around, and plenty of company including spending time with my darling Kelpie friend Gemma. This has been cut back to a very low level as 'H' and 'G' are home a lot more, especially G. I have also noticed a sharp decline in car trips with no holiday road trips, which I have always enjoyed - new smells, places to stay, lots to see. They tend now to only take me for short runs to my favourite beaches, where I have noticed a big decline in people and dogs. However, there are fortunately still plenty of fish and birds to chase and it is more peaceful. Partly also due to the weather, they are both sitting on my couch, and I either accept a smaller space or have to lie on the rug. When G's away I’m happy to share with H, especially when she puts on animal action movies for me to bark at from my sitting position.
Then in July disaster struck. They decided to have people round who used nail guns and other noisy machinery to wreck my home. Voices were raised above normal as noisy arrangements happened, with dust everywhere. I wasn’t allowed to wander in and out and the result? A new, smooth, tiled bathroom that doesn’t appeal to me in any form but they spend a lot more time in it. As humans can't fly, Heather never got to Scotland for her six week trip back home, and I never got to spend six weeks with Gemma. And they thought a new bathroom would help lift spirits! – honestly, it makes no sense.
It only gets worse. Humans now wear masks to hide their expressions and keep their distance from each other, as if they don't like each other. I get a lot less attention, pats and snacks. There have been no BBQ parties for me to sniff around and enjoy. The kids that would normally come up and ask to pat me in the park have vanished. Both H and G are sad at times and I can't fix it. But it is nice having them home more. This is all because of some very, very, strange thing call COVID-19. Please may it end and life get back to holidays and NO masks.
Woof. Woof . Hamish, Golden Retriever, aged 12
Heather McCloy is an emerging writer from Loch, Victoria. Through a weekly creative writing practice with the Loch Writers Group, she explores stories of her everyday life, drawing on her past 16 years in Australia as well as her earlier life in Scotland. Heather is a member of Writers Victoria. She is also a very hardworking nurse.