Travel Wag

After last week’s technological shutdown, I’m glad to say, things are back to normal, so now I can introduce you to some furry friends I’ve met in my recent travels.

The animal hospital’s oral history project has taken Ms and I from one end of the state and across the border to another, around the bay and everywhere between.


Many cups of tea and 17 hours worth of interview footage later, my ears are ringing with a wealth of tantalising gossip.

But, it’s the patient bystanders who are the real heroes of this story.

On one side of the bay, in the cosy seaside town of Portsea, we met Coco and Utah.  Coco, intent on giving away some home truths, and Utah, bored silly and a little sulky after being locked away in a room for more than an hour.

The challenge of recording interviews with animal lovers is, of course, convincing their pets to be quiet and still while the camera rolls.

I felt more than a little sorry for this galah, who was intent on dancing to what was clearly the memory of a tinkling bell.

On the other side of the bay, overlooking the stunningly wild Airey’s Inlet, we met Sally – a beautiful ten year old, who did her best to feign ignorance of her misdemeanours.

She had the sadness, and the knowingness, of a dog surrendered by an overstretched single mum family to the home of a doting older couple.  And that is the most touching part of our journey.

Almost all the animals we’ve met are rescue cats and dogs.

In the middle of surburban Melbourne, we met a couple who spent thirty years rescuing strays cats.  Their home and yard is a cat paradise – as Bob’s leisurely pose seemed to suggest.

Bob Cat

There’s a separate dwelling for newly acquired trauma victims, and the yard is fully enclosed to prevent escape.


I was impressed with the ingenuity – empty cans hanging on curtain rods around the fence, designed to spook the cat that dares to jump.  Simple, but very effective.


By far, my favourite visit was the small town of Barooga – just over the Victorian border in New South Wales.

When we arrived, we were welcomed by the exuberant Misty and Paddy.  The minute the car door opened, Paddy was in my lap, landing a giant wet kiss on my nose.

Paddy Dog

Later, I learned he had been dumped out the front of the property, and spent three days running in a circle, refusing to leave the spot in the hope his owner would return.

He had the demeanour of a well loved dog, who milked his hard luck story in a constant quest for petting.

But the best part was watching him play with his new friend.

There’s nothing quite like the love or the gratitude of a rescued animal.  And as my new friend, Margaret, so eloquently put it…

“The thing about dogs is –

they wag their tails, not their tongues.”

What makes your tail wag?


My apologies to anyone who might have been feeling a little neglected of late. My haphazard schedule has been getting the better of me. And in other news…

I’ve also been busy making preparations for a little trip to Bali. As of today, I will be away for two weeks,  making the most of an extended summer, ignoring the fact that I’m turning 36 and, hopefully, hugging an elephant or two for comfort.

Look forward to catching up with you all when I get back… Until then, love, peace and tail wags 🙂


  1. says

    My little rescue dog Izzy follows me around in the most gratifying way, and squeaks adorably while I fumble with my keys on the other side of the door. Unconditional love is entirely underrated.

    Happy birthday, and enjoy Bali. Bring back some elephant pics!

    • says

      “Unconditional love is entirely underrated.” Oh, you’re so right. Shame us humans are not so good at it 🙂

      Some elephant pics are around the corner! Thank you 🙂

  2. says

    What makes my tail wag? Well these photos and videos! Just looking at them brings to mind a simple happiness–and makes me want to hug them!
    I hope you have a great b-day. Bali sounds amazing! All the best, Alarna!

  3. says

    I loved the last quote… They wag their tails and not their tongues, thus preventing so many ill consequences… And what makes me wag my tail? A great book in a quiet place ruled by Mother Nature…
    All the best for your trip to Bali. And a very happy birthday!! 🙂

  4. says

    What a lovely post. We have a rescue dog and two rescue cats. Whenever I think about that moment we decided to adopt them I feel happy that we gave them a good home–to take over!! 🙂

  5. Lynn Kelley says

    Wow, you’re on an interesting journey. I love these photos and videos. Aw, the poor parakeet’s bell stopped tinkling! I love the “Love, peace, and tail wags” and your friend’s quote about dogs wagging their tails and not their tongues! Have a wonderful vacation in Bali, Alarna. Looking forward to seeing your pics when you get back!

    • says

      Thanks so much Lynn. I had a great time – perhaps one of the reasons I’m slow to get back to it. But I will be sharing some pics, and will be over your way soon! 🙂

  6. says

    Well, my heart was in your hand from the moment I started watching your videos ! All our seventeen dogs but three were rescued, and their devotion is so moving… my heart still aches for them all, though they are all happily romping in dog heaven until I come to get them !!!
    Have a lovely holiday in Bali, sinking into warmth and beauty XXX

    • says

      Wow, yes, I knew you would connect with this post and the dear furry creatures. You must miss your seventeen – I’ve vowed to stop at the two dogs I’ve had. At least until retirement 🙂

      Thank you. I had a great time… more news on the trip soon.

  7. says

    Great post. Loved the expressiveness of the pictures and videos. What is it that made you observe these furry friends in unfamiliar surroundings during your travels?


    • says

      The project I’m working on is about the history of an organisation whose primary concern is the welfare of animals. Particularly those who are homeless or from underprivileged homes. It seemed fitting to take some footage of the pets of the interview subjects, especially because most of them are rescue animals. But also… I think I secretly prefer to film animals 😉

    • says

      Yes! I was blown away by the effort they had gone to to not only contain the cats, but give them a suitable space to roam in (as opposed to caged areas). It’s sobering to think about, really…

  8. Deliberately Delicious says

    A little trip to Bali! Oh, lucky you! Enjoy!
    Those animals are beautiful, Alarna. I know you were feeling reluctant about taking on this project, but you can see the love you have for these little creatures.

  9. says

    Dearest Alarna, I love this post so much! You & Ms are doing such an important job! Very proud of you! Oh, and you know I love doggies!
    lots of love xxxx

  10. says

    A very nice thought came from ya, dear one! Hope ya really did enjoy every moment with Ms and the people over there.
    In b/w, I might get a puppy soon at home! 😀



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