It’s been another couple of action-packed weeks.
Our steers, who’d grown into large, strapping and handsome bullocks, have gone and it wasn’t a particularly smooth process, but more on that in another post. Jones caused absolute havoc at soccer training, and we’ve had the local agricultural show.
Time certainly does fly by, and Bec C and I couldn’t believe that it was a year since the last Show, the one that was cancelled due to rain. The Wallamba District Agricultural & Horticultural Show, known to locals as simply the Nabiac Show, went ahead this year without a hitch. The skies were clear and in fact, it was uncharacteristically warm for an autumn day. The Produce Shed, was as we’d all expected, pretty sad. At best, there was half the amount of produce that would normally be on display, thanks (or no thanks) to the long, hot and very dry summer we’ve just had.
It was nonetheless a fun and happy day.. that is, once the visit to the vet was over.
But first, an update on our entries. The Kid was awarded 2nd Prize for his Space Lego display in the kid’s hobby section. I know I’m biased, but I have to say, I thought it was a great display. He’d used my brother’s space Lego from the early 80’s or “the olden days” as The Kid tells his Uncle (much to my brother’s chagrin!), so it had a wonderful retro feel to it. I’m not sure if that appealed to the judges, but they saw fit to issue him with a red certificate for 2nd place and he received $1 in prize money.
The Kid was quite chuffed, until.. he discovered that my rosemary had won 1st in the Open Herb section. You see, this meant that I not only got a certificate, but a silky blue ribbon too. He felt completely ripped off. I promised him he could have my ribbon as compensation. Secretly though, no-one leaves my kitchen (where it’s on display) without knowing that it’s actually mine.
Sadly, the Lego and my rosemary were the only things we entered this year. We had big plans for The Kid, Bec C’s eldest, our dog Jones, and their dog Jack to go in the Best Dressed Pet section in the Kid’s Program. Last year I made costumes for both dogs so the boys could dress as Spiderman and the dogs could dress as Spiderdogs, but sadly, as history records, last year’s show didn’t happen.
So this year, excitedly, I retrieved the dog costumes from the wardrobe. Thomas, having grown during the year, no longer fitted his Spiderman outfit. He did though, fit nicely into a Batman costume. And so I converted Jack’s costume from Spiderdog to Batdog. Who knew two knee-high stockings and some spare fencing wire could be transformed into bat wings? Not that I’m overly competitive, but I did fancy our chances as winner of the Best Dressed Pet/s. Did I say ‘our’ chances? Sorry, I meant ‘their’ chances.
Anyway, the planets were not lining up for us, that much was clear. On the Friday night before the Show, I was up from 1am, holding my poor little boy Jones while he coughed, gagged and retched. His little body tensed, every muscle spasming and stiffening. By morning we were both exhausted. By 9am, I was sitting on the doorstep of the Vet’s, Jonesy in my arms. You’ve probably guessed the problem (if you’re a dog person). Yes, he had Kennel Cough. Highly, highly contagious. I wasn’t even allowed to wait in the waiting room. He’d spent two nights in a kennel the previous weekend. Damn it. And yes, in case you’re wondering, he’d been vaccinated.
Codeine and anti-biotics (to ward off phenomena) administered and issued, we headed home, both very long in the face. The vet had been adamant. No Show for Jones today. Any temptation to disobey his rule was quashed when I discovered that the very same vet would be the Judge of the Best Dressed Pet section. Show over, before it had started. And so the costumes were returned once again to the wardrobe, for yet another year. Third time lucky? I bet by next year the boys won’t even be interested in dressing up as Super Heros. I tell you what, if they’re not, I’ll bloody well dress up as Spiderman or Batman myself. Those costumes will be used. You watch.
Seemingly to make up for the disappointment of not being able to demonstrate his adorableness at the Show, Jones decided to take the spot-light at soccer training yesterday afternoon. We’ve registered The Kid for his first season of soccer and Hubs, Jones and I sat on the sideline yesterday with the other parents watching Joe, their coach do a great impersonation of someone trying desperately to herd cats. 12 five and six year old boys, running this way and that, not listening, but having a ball. Joe deserves a medal.
When the boys had finished their session, I let Jones off his lead so he could have a run around. He’d been very patient for the hour, sitting and watching. What a mistake. Instead of sniffing around and having a wander as I thought he would, like a bullet out of a gun, he tore off across the oval picking up in his mouth, the first orange marker cone he came across. He grabbed it by the hole in the centre of the cone so that when he ran, the cone stuck up and obscured his view. He had to tilt his head and hold it up high to get some kind of line of sight through the hole. But he wasn’t stopping to re-adjust, no way!
Worried he was going to chew the cone to pieces, I took off after him and 12 little boys followed me. Jones ran like the clappers, picking up speed as he realised there was a chase on. Off he darted, running through every other game of soccer that was taking place on the oval. We picked up a few kids from each game so that in no time there was a pack of kids chasing Jones and the cone. Boys were diving, head-long, putting their bodies on the line, in an attempt to catch Jones, all of them falling flat on their faces having made contact with nothing, not even a hair. One of The Kid’s mates Will was exceptional. He is incredibly athletic for a 5 year old and he was so committed to the chase. If anyone was going to catch Jones it would be Will. But not even he could do it. Neither could the 15 and 16 year olds that were recruited along the way, some of them pretty fast.
Jones, only spurred on by the chaos around him, ran faster. Dodging, diving, curving and swerving, he beat them all. Kids were yelling “Get him!” “Make a dive”, “After him, after him!!” My son ran laughing and calling, “He’s mine, he’s mine, I’ll get him”, but couldn’t even get close.
After what felt like an age, Jones finally took himself to the sideline and plonked down on the grass next to Hub’s feet and dropped the cone. A pile of kids came crashing down after him. Jones couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Hubs had just sat there laughing. He said it had looked like a Benny Hill show. Thanks for the support!
Red-faced I slunk off away to the car, Jones beside me, securely attached to his lead. No more soccer practice for him. But he will be a Spiderdog one of these days. Mark my words. He will.