Lilla

Little Lulu & Smoky at 6 weeks old

Nanna Lassie, Prince, Lulu, Normie, & Smoky

Smoky, Normie, Lulu, & nanna Lassie at Lilla

Lulu was born in a kitchen cupboard at my house at Lilla Aboriginal Community near Kings Canyon in Central Australia. Gypsy was her mother, Prince her father, and Lassie her grandmother. Lassie and Gypsy were my Uncle Jimmy’s dogs. After he passed away they both came to live with me. Prince came from Ntari (Hermannsburg – an Aboriginal Community west of Alice Springs).

Lulu had 1 sister and 2 brothers. Her brother, Pira, was named after the moon because he had a crescent-shaped moon on his head. ‘Pira’ is the Yunkuntjatjara word for ‘moon’. The other brother was called Normie and her sister was called Smoky. Normie died quite young from Parvo virus. Her sister went to live interstate.

Nanna Lassie, mum Gypsy & Prince

Andi & Pira, Nanna Lassie, & Magaer & Lulu 

Lulu, & nanna Lassie at Lilla

Lulu lived at Lilla for a few years with Gypsy, Lassie and another little dog called Blackie. She had a great life as a pup – her grandmother adored her. Pira went to live in Melbourne with my friend Andi but they would visit as often as they could. Lulu went back with him one time. This was the first time she’d been in a car and was pretty scared at first – but Pira was used to it and she calmed down and started enjoying the drive. It’s a long way from Central Australia to Melbourne.

Whilst staying in Melbourne – after visiting the beach, she managed to get out of the yard and was picked up by the dog-catcher and sent to the Dog Pound. It took 2 days to find her.

Alice Springs

Lulu with her pups in the little old truck

Lulu, Jasmine & Little Lass In Alice Springs

Lulu with her pups – 3 red dogs & 3 blue dogs

We moved to Alice Springs and lived in a house about 10 kms out of town. Lulu had her first lot of pups with Gerry, the dog next door. Her second lot of pups had another father – a dog that lived down the road. She loved having pups and was the best mum. We lived in Alice for a couple of years.

Pira, Magaer & Little Lass & Lulu

Little Lass

On the verandah in Alice Springs

Lulu and the pups, Jasmine and Little Lass, would go for long walks down the dry Todd River bed. One day Lulu came home without the pups. They were both gone for nearly 10 days. Both retuned home safely.

Little Lass went off to live on a farm in Victoria and Jasmine went to live in town. Lilla Dog came back to live with us and my friend Jen. Jen worked as a project officer travelling round to many of the remote Aboriginal Communities in Central Australia. She would be gone for days at a time and took her dog, Lilla, with her.

Lilla Dog was always really friendly and she became known in all the communities and was indeed famous. She had a favourite friend at Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), his name was Cocoa. He was such a good singer he was known as Cocoa Pavarotti.

Lulu & Lilla Dog

Lilla Dog

Lulu

After leaving Alice we went for a long drive south to Port Augusta and then east through Broken Hill to the Blue Mountains to visit a friend, Pauline. While we were visiting, some huge bushfires started in the eastern section of the Mountains. We had to drive west to avoid them when we drove to Melbourne.

Lulu and Pira were reunited in Melbourne. They loved each other and always had a great time playing together. The reuinon was short lived because we were catching the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ Ferry to Tasmania. We crossed Bass Strait and then drove down to our new home on Bruny Island off the southeast corner of the state. To get to Bruny, we had to catch another ferry – the ‘Mirambeena’.

Bruny Island

Boris & Bella on Bruny Island

Petra, Lulu & Bella playing ball

Boris & Bella on the beach

On Bruny we met Petra and her 2 whippets, Boris and Bella who became close friends. They loved playing ball together – but the whippets knew to get out of the way when Lulu came charging through. Even thugh they were faster than Lulu, they were more fragile and Lulu knocked them over a number of times. Despite this, they loved Lulu. After she visited them, they wouldn’t let any other dogs sit where Lulu had sat.

It’s also a true story about Boris’s squeaky toy. He sulked for days after Lulu chewed his up. I had to replace it and he would hide it when Lulu visited.

Lulu at Karen & Wayne’s place on Bruny

Lulu chatting with Wayne at her birthday party on Bruny

Lulu relaxing on the couch

We lived on Bruny for some years, then moved to Dunalley near the Tasman Peninsula. We lived at Boomer Bay. Lulu quickly made friends with all the neighbours and she loved to visit her doggy friend, Jack, down the road.

We had a lovely little house that was later brunt down in the bushfires in 2013. Luckily for us we had moved to Apollo Bay in Victoria by that time. More beaches and more swimming. She was a very active dog and would get quite irritable if she didn’t get enough exercise, which consisted of walks and swims at the beach and lots and lots of ball games.

Lulu and Pira

Andi, Ingrid & Pira in Melbourne

Lulu at Boomer Bay, near Dunalley

Pira on the beach in Melbourne

Pira mostly lived in Melbourne with Andi and then her mother Ingrid and Peter. He would get so excited when he saw either me or Lulu. He knew a lot of the good walks around Eastern Melbourne, and many of the beaches in the area. Unfortunately he was run over by a car while out walking.

The Final Chapter

Flowers on her grave

Magaer at Lulu’s grave

Lulu buried next to her brother Pira

After a few years at Apollo Bay, we moved to the Dandenongs on the eastern fringe of Melbourne. This was Lulu’s first experience of urban living and she found it most frustrating not being able to wander around like she had always been able to do everywhere else we’d lived.

But by now she was getting old. And believe me she had grown up to be a wise old dog, just like her nanna Lassie. Both her hearing and eyesight were failing her. In the end I had to make sure I threw the ball quite close to her because she wouldn’t see it otherwise. I also had to communicate with her by hand claps – she could still hear that. Despite this, she was still happy and we loved each other’s company.

Eventually she developed lung cancer and died not long before her 16th birthday. She is buried next to her brother Pira in the back yard of Ingrid’s house in Heathmont, Melbourne. I was glad she was able to rejoin her dog family in the other realms, although I do still feel her spirit close to me. She was a special dog and I am so glad to be able to share her story.

Magaer Lennox