My very lovely sister is visiting us from Brisbane. I haven’t seen her for two years so it is a big deal for all of us. Today I took her to Devonport which is a quaint village on the North Shore. I know I complain endlessly about Auckland but my complaints are related more to the car-centric culture here than anything else and also the 8% over 80 years statistic for the likelihood of the volcano erupting. That’s just a little too high for me. However, there are some characterful pockets around and some beautiful natural scenery. Devonport has both. It is also very walkable with lots to look at including volcanic cones, beach, city, harbour, early 20th-century architecture and lots of enticing shops and cafes.
We walked around Devonport for more than hour and our dog Freud managed it without any trouble at all. He’s been back on death row this week. My friend has decided that she can’t take him when we leave for the UK next month which has caused us all a bit of grief but her decision is understandable. It’s a big responsibility taking on an old dog. The latest development is that my mother in Brisbane has offered to take him. I am now discussing with my vet the prospect of sending Freud to Brisbane. I am very realistic about this. If Freud was showing signs of illness then I would put him down. But the fact is that he can walk for hours, chase cats, bark at small children, hump legs and I have no doubt that he would dutifully bark at any intruder. These are not things that a dog about to die generally does. So I find the idea of putting him down very difficult. Of course, a dog can go downhill very fast and it may be that one week he’s his usual self and the next he’s at death’s door. In case this solution falls through, does anyone else want an ageing dog with bad breath?