Here are the dogs of SDF. They are basically unpaid employees with very limited ability – besides barking at people every now and then.
Holly has been with me from the beginning and is the most snuggliest of dogs – maybe a bit too much. Harry came about a year later and he reminds me of Tigger from Pooh. Lastly Frankie arrived last year. He had to learn that he didn’t need to bark at EVERYTHING.
Frankie came from the country, living with cats. So it took a little while for him to realise what a dog is and that although barking is fun, it needs to be limited.
Their main job is security of the property. Not through attacking trespassers, but by making a lot of noise when people come. There is the odd occasion when someone is at the door and no one realises because it is afternoon nap time.
The noise they make is initially quite loud, but we are training them to quieten down sooner. Frankie finds stopping to bark very very difficult.
So although people are safe from vicious attacks, the noise does allow neighbours to take notice of who is around – even if we are out.
One of the things they really like is going to the crematorium. When we collect urns we take the Lab Limo – the white car that looks like a dog’s breakfast inside – thanks mainly to Harry’s hair everywhere.
The thing they like best is running up the driveway to the crematorium. They usually start off fast and then get distracted with smells. Frankie isn’t allowed to run up the hill because he has absolutely no road sense at all.
You may see me on my electric skateboard with the labs. Holly likes to start off very fast, especially at corners, which is fun – not. They are good most of the time, except if they see a cat or dog. They are learning that changing direction quickly isn’t good for their dad. But sometimes they forget. Fortunately I haven’t had too many falls.
We often take them to Rabbit Island for a swim. Frankie didn’t like the water, but now he goes right up to his tummy – which is about 30cm from shore. Holly likes dredging for stones in the water and Harry loves it if there is another dog to chase or be chased around the mudflats. I usually read my book. I did try fishing, but Holly keep jumping into the water when I cast my line out. Very frustrating. Kath throws sticks for the labs to swim after.
Anyway – this is our team. We are probably the smallest funeral home in New Zealand. But we wouldn’t want it any other way. One thing you realise in this profession is that life is fickle so try and enjoy it as much as you can.