Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dog loss is too much 'to Bear'

Three "bear stories" in three months. That’s probably enough to qualify for a Bearophile Award. Previously Classie Corner has brought you heart-warming tales about cuddly little stuffed toys. Now, from this week’s Redland Times (Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia), comes a heart breaker about a boy and his dog. Don’t worry – you’ll soon find out more about the bear connection.
Image from

THE sad scenes that resulted from the departure of a much-loved pet to a new home have etched their place into the history of a young Wellington Point family.
Mother-of-two Debbee Wessling won’t easily forget her energetic toddler son, Tayhvin, traumatised and trying to climb into a stranger’s car to go with his best mate, a lovable german shepherd-collie cross called Bear.
And when the horrible reality of losing Bear sank in, Tayhvin showed his grief and frustration in the awesome way that toddlers do.
"It broke my heart," Debbee says. "He just bawled his eyes out. It took about five minutes to get him into the house and I managed to distract him.
"I think I did it with a book – he loves books."
THE bright side of the visit by that mysterious woman from somewhere in the Redlands – at least, from within a short drive of the Wellington Point address – was that Bear immediately took a liking to his new family.
Undoubtedly, he now bestows his love on her little kids instead of Debbie’s.
"Good guard dog and with kids," said the notice in the new Giveaways section of our Classifieds. There was nothing false about the advertising.
"The lady had two small children with her and they came in to have a look at Bear," Debbee says. "He went up to the little girl straight away and licked her."
Bear was just a little pup when Debbee decided to look for the right canine as a special Father’s Day gift for Tayhvin’s dad, Bruce Beavan.
She says she asked their property agency if the family – eight-month-old daughter Zarkhiya completes the clan – could have a dog in the rented home.
"THE agency asked me to put the request in an email but after I sent it no one got back to me and when the time ran out I thought everything must have been okay," Debbee says.
"When I got Bear from the pound he was just so fluffy, with big floppy ears and brindle-type stripes that he could have only one name."
When the landlord eventually said no, Debbee and Bruce tried to break the bad news to Tayhvin gently and gradually but in the end it appears nothing would have helped convince him to part with the dog easily.
Debbee has printed pictures of Bear and stuck them on the boy’s bedroom wall so they are still together in spirit.
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people and other creatures in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Want a bird? Get a goldfish!

This story has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

THE early mornings have been unusually tranquil for the past few weeks around a certain Cleveland home.
Amelia Soutar can now sleep peacefully past dawn.
For most of the past seven years, Amelia was resigned to a rude awakening at first light as a cacophony of birds welcomed each new day.
"They would get going at full throttle at dawn – I just had enough of it," she says.

AN aviary behind Amelia’s Coburg Steet West house where the nine feathered alarm clocks kept up their avian antics is now empty. And Amelia could not be happier.
She thanks The Redland Times Classifieds for helping her toward a beak-free lifestyle.
Amelia advertised "Peach Face Bird to give away; must go" but she actually had nine.
"The first call came at a quarter to seven (on publication day)," she says. "It was a lady from Victoria Point and she took the lot.
"I was still getting calls two weeks later. From the ad I had at least 10 calls. Even a little girl called, wanting a bird, and I felt like going out and buying one for her."

AMELIA says she tried to give away the birds away about two years ago but "no one wanted them".
The new owner of the flock appears to have saved a decent sum, as the species, often called "peach-faced lovebird" is a popular pet.
However, Amelia believes she has not given away a handful of cash as much as a bucket of work.
"Birds take a lot of looking after – keeping the cage clean, supplying the seed and giving them fresh water every day," she says.
"The price of seed has been going up. You have to give them other sorts of food too. I gave the peachfaces apples and parsely.
"And the birds attract snakes, mice and rats. We have had a couple of snakes here over the years."
Amelia says birds can also be a hindrance to a happy holiday. A family member enlisted a young person to look after his aviary for a few weeks.
But he returned to find his beloved birds had died. The carer had not cared enough to fill their water tank. Birds drink a lot, Amelia says.

SHE says a woman thinking of getting a bird for her children recently asked what was a good species.
"About all I could say was the best species of bird is called goldfish," Amelia says.
After all this, we hope the beneficiary of Amelia’s "giveaway" notice does not appear back in Coburg Street West with a car full of creatures that drink, eat and poo 24/7, and do most of their communicating when the average human simply wants to sleep.

THANKS for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Time is worth more than money

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

THE first year in business often has the status as the most important so special greetings are in order for one of our Fast Find Services community.
Running Errands, the service-oriented firm of Victoria Point’s Louise Denisenko, is about to celebrate its first anniversary.
"Relax … we’ll do it for you" has become the catchcry for the mother-of-two, who has long known the value of time management.
Louise shared some of her observations in a series of articles this year in our Redland lifestyle magazine, d’fine, telling readers, "Time is really more valuable than money."
On the money side of that equation, Louise began a career in foreign exchange banking in the Brisbane CBD and later was a consultant with the Commonwealth Bank in Cleveland.

ONE of her first jobs was in the Queensland Performing Arts Centre function centre and she also worked in recent years at Sirromet Winery.
All her experience came together in her own business, after she saw wider social implications from the business and government trend of "outsourcing".
Louise’s vision of a society making heavier demands on people’s personal, as well as business, time coincided with international recognition of the need for service and a national focus on the work-family-leisure balance.
She says the service support industry has boomed in the United States with a proliferation of firms like hers.
Louise offers dozens of services from simple bill paying and shopping to gathering quotes and organising events.
"At the moment, I have three jobs on the go," she says. "A lady who has gone to Italy for five weeks has employed me to collect her mail, feed her fish, water her plants and check on her house.
"Another lady who has moved from the Gold Coast sought my support for home organisation and sorting a lot of paperwork and files.
"I have also just helped put the finishing touches to Wizard Home Loans’ new office in the Victoria Point cinema complex and I am now organising a business dinner for them."

DESPITE operating a growing small business Louise still manages to get through her own family chores, with husband Michael on shiftwork in IT (information technology). The couple has two children, Emily, 7, and Matthew, 9.
The philosophy of "Nothing is really difficult – every day is different" undoubtedly applies 24/7 in the Denisenko household.

THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. Classie Corner appears in The Redland Times on Friday.