Kipper, Snoopy and Maximo – the Three Happy Dogs – have lived on the Meadow with me for many, many years.  I know just about everything about them

I like to watch them lying together in their butterfly chair on the verandah or sitting on the green, green lawns keeping a look-out over the Meadow. They love their own company and sing songs together in the afternoon. Their favourite song is;

“We are the Meadow Dogs, Woof-Woof

Brothers, One, Two, Three, Woof, Woof”

They often have dog friends over to play. Once a week Margaret- Rose and Old Billy visit the Meadow. They belong to Janice Usherwood who drives a little blue car. They are called the Penrose dogs because they live at Westwood Track, Penrose, which is far away on the western side of the Wingecarribee Shire.  When the Meadow Dogs hear the little blue car scooting down the drive they leap up off their blankets and run to greet Janice and her dogs.

Margaret –Rose thinks she is a princess and loves to dance, eat treats and make all the humans pat her. She has a pretty smiling face, curly white hair and floppy ears.  Old Billy is also small and white but his hair is short and wiry and he has eyebrows like a very old Santa Claus.  He is also deaf and tottery and often walks under horses’ feet quite unaware how dangerous it is! Everyone calls, “Watch out, Billy! Watch out!!!”

Usually the Meadow dogs like it when the Penrose dogs come visiting but sometimes they find it hard to include them in their games.

Maximo is annoyed when Margaret-Rose wants to eat dog biscuits rather than follow him around the Meadow and he gets upset with Billy because Billy doesn’t understand the rules of Meadow dog games.  To show Billy that he is upset with him Maximo won’t let Billy climb up onto the blue-iron chairs and when Billy begs to play a game Maximo ignores him by looking the other way and pretending he can’t hear him. Billy doesn’t seem to mind because he is an old dog and knows that young dogs like Maximo can be rude sometimes.

Edith, who understands all about dogs, does special things to encourage the dogs to be friendly and polite with one another. Best of all she brings them treats of little pieces of cooked sausage. She stands in the middle and shares out the goodies, teaching them to wait their turn. When they are finished she says, “Come on Penrose Dogs and Meadow Dogs! Lets play chasing and tumbling games on the paddocks, a game you can all play nicely together!”

And the dogs do end up all playing nicely together! By the end of the afternoon Maximo wishes that Margaret-Rose and Billy could stay longer and even offers to give them some of his dinner. But Janice says “Time to go home, Penrose Dogs, to your own dinner and your own little beds. We’ll be back next Monday and then you play again!”

I love the Meadow Dogs! Don’t you?

Ryan O’Brien.