Monday, January 16, 2012

Tenterfield terriers draw worldwide interest

AN amazing breed of canines has featured on this site from time to time. The Tenterfield terrier, an Australian-bred variation of the miniature fox terrier, has generated site traffic from throughout the world.
There's obviously an interested audience for any postings about the terriers, so today I introduce two Tenterfield-cross puppies - Joey, above, and Millie - and share stories of joy and tragedy.
The pair, bred on Russell Island, Queensland, Australia, have the same bloodlines through the foxy mother and Maltese father; the foxy genes are obviously stronger.
Millie came to my family in December 2010. She died from tick paralysis in October 2011. We are still grief stricken.
At six weeks old she fitted comfortably in the palm of my hand. It was quite hilarious to hear such a tiny creature growl if anyone's hand infringed on her personal space when she didn't feel like any attention.

MILLIE was a robust puppy and soon picked up a few tricks. She would stand on her back legs at the command "walking dog" and when I lit a small campfire in the backyard she would help collect the fuel from the nearby bush, dragging sticks to the fireside.
During her short life she would play with the curlews that live on the vacant blocks around our house. She would challenge the birds for being on her turf, running up to them.
The birds, towering over the tiny dog, would raise their wings and hiss. Millie then would dance around them for a few minutes before moving on to another interest.
After Millie died, I dug a grave in the backyard. As I lowered her body into the hole, a curlew suddenly came into my field of vision, its head was only about half a metre from mine.
The bird looked into the hole at the dog's body, then looked at me, then again looked downward into grave, then slowly sauntered away.
It was like a solemn show of respect for the passing of a great mate, who had never appeared to "get serious" and show any wish to harm the birds.

WHILE all this was happening, Millie's mum was about to give birth to another litter. One day in December I awoke from a late afternoon snooze, exhausted from my early shift in newspaper production, to see my wife and daughter come home with another palm-sized puppy.
Joey has had to suffer comparisons with his elder sister. Unlike her, he was a very timid little creature, retreating if he received any attention at all.
He didn't like being handled or patted and would move out of reach at the mere gesture of such.
However, over the weeks Joey has become a lot more confident. In fact, he's getting to the stage of overconfidence but thankfully is starting to tolerate the lead.
Initially, he would scream at any attempt to attach the lead clip and sit or lie down and refuse to budge.
Getting his confidence and trust has been difficult because of his hyper-timidity but now we may have hope for some serious training.
Well, that's about it for now. I will keep up the Tenterfield terrier postings to help satisfy the worldwide appetite.

For the other Tenterfield and "mini foxy" stories on the site simply paste the keywords into the search box above. If you prefer the spelling "mini foxie", that's okay - they'll forgive you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Builder rests after deadline on SE Queensland post-flood rebuild

Image: One year ago Redland City's Rotarians were quick to rally the community for the "monster flood fightback".

QUEENSLANDERS nervously watch the clouds and the forecasts this summer. No one would want a repeat of the terrible tragedies that hit the State with the January 2011 floods.
It has been a year of rebuilding for many thousands of families. Builder Ellyott Allan, managing an insurance contract on home restoration in Ipswich, Goodna, Grantham and Toowoomba, says he is delighted to have completed work that allowed about 100 families back into their homes for Christmas.
Ellyott says the post-flood pressures were heavy during the restoration.
"In a project like this, you are dealing with a lot of emotions," he says. "People have been badly traumatised and we have had to reassure them that their lives can get back together again."

AUSTRALIA has been home for New Zealand-born Ellyott, 58, for the past 40-odd years.
He first came here when at age 17 he surfed the NSW North Coast breaks, after growing up in the North Island resort town of Mt Maunganui.
Ellyott has specialised in such large-scale restorations since a storm devastated big areas of Sydney in 1991.
He says he has now been involved in the restoration after about 10 minor and major disasters, including the 1999 Sydney hailstorm that left $3 billion damage in just 20 minutes.
The gratitude of the Queensland homeowners has been a treasured reward for Ellyott and his team.
Ellyott had to 'soldier on' during the year, despite suffering two personal tragedies. In June, his mother Betty Hill died, and two weeks later his wife of seven years, Julie, died from cancer.
Although he has been based mainly in Sydney, Redland City became his second home during 2011.

EARLY in December, he suffered another loss. After dining at a Cleveland restaurant, he drove off, leaving his motorised skateboard on a footpath.
Ellyott says he has used the expensive skateboard because a slip at Brisbane Airport about two years damaged his knee.
"Luckily I can still surf but I am unable to walk any long distances and have relied on the skateboard to get around," he says.
"I realised within minutes that I had left it behind but by the time I returned, it was gone."
Ellyott advertised a reward for the return of the 1.2-metre skateboard. He has been taking a short break before launching a new venture for insurance contracts.
He says the new firm, i Projects Australia, will be based on the Gold Coast and is set for a January 15 launch.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.