So through good old death insurance, we get to move on from this tiny house on the hill. Trent and I bought this on the 1st of July 2009. All our family pooled together and between cash loans and Dad using his house as collateral, somehow the bank trusted us to borrow 100% of what we needed to buy this shitty little house that looked like a block of brick toilets in the mountains….. but it was ours! The girls were two and six, and we were all bloody excited. Trent’s Mum, some stragglers and himself painted for four days solid to hide the hideous feature walls in every room… there was black, aubergine, terracotta, navy blue and burgundy……. what the? Must have been a sale on for fucking ugly colours at the paint shop that month! I really had to convince Trent that this house that had been on the market for nine months could scrub up alright, and that the layout and forest scenery would make it all worth it! It did….. we had four happy years here…. tough one’s of course, but it was the stepping stone into having the life we wanted for the girls and ourselves. We always told the kids that as soon as we owned we’d buy them a dog, and don’t worry, they didn’t bloody forget it!!!! We ordered our Sooty as soon as she was born. A breeder of miniature dachshunds and rottweilers (what the?) we had to drive down to South Gipplsand to meet her at four weeks old, to pay for her and collect her at eight. She stood out straight away, the smallest but prettiest one there was. Black and tan and shiny as hell, she was tiny and adorable. We have photos from that day, and we’re all oohing and ahhing over her! I still remember Ruby asking where her Mum was. The lady said she was out the back and Ruby begged to meet her. Out comes this hideous, beaten and worn out looking blue dapple dachshy, with two different coloured eyes and boobs and nipples dragging half a kilometre behind her……. Ruby never being one able to hide what she’s thinking exclaimed loudly “Oh my God!” Trent quietly whispered that Sooty would not necessarily grow up to look like her Mum while the poor breeder took the Mum back out the back! She came home with us a few weeks later…and although adorable threw us back into a life of newborns. She cried and barked all night every night…. we crated her, we gave her our ensuite…. we tried everything and she just never stopped. Little did we know that she would “never” stop!!!!! One day I came home to find that she’d ripped up te strip of carpet that fed under my ensuite door and into the bathroom where she stayed during the day. She chewed absolutely everything! We got her a playpen, she ate through it, we got her a gorgeous material travelling crate.. she ate through it. She ate through the cords of my lamps, she chewed the legs of the furniture… the bottom of doors and she incessantly scratched at the bottom of the door of whateer room you locked her in until they were muddy and paintless. But damn she was the cutest pup on the planet. So we took her to puppy school after puppy school….. none of which could get her to stop barking. One place even tried putting her behind a chair with a sheet draped over it. They still had to end up going outside wit the rest of the group in the end to finish the class as we couldn’t shit her up. Now I know most people would have taken her back…… but when it was just us, and she couldn’t see a stranger or out the window at passing cars, she really was adorable. She always adored Trent’s lovely bits of soft cushy warmth…. and could always be found draped around his neck, or with her face shoved deep in his armpit… sound asleep. Even though he had wanted a border collie, and hated small dogs he fell madly in love with her. He dropped to the floor as soon as he walked through that door every day and let her jump all over him and pull at his beard with her teeth……And right to the end of his life after sitting on his butt with her for two weeks solid whilst hauled up on the couch with a broke ankle, she always preferred to snuggle with him. She now favours me…… but I know she never recovered from him not coming home that day.