My local memories: roger, message received and understood - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Photo: Supplied.


Do people train dogs to fetch, or do dogs train people to throw?

My brother, John, had a young, exuberant boxer dog called Roger. Shortly after Lyn and I were married we visited John and his family who were holidaying in Caloundra. We went fishing early one freezing winter morning in Pumicestone Passage in a dinghy with an outboard motor – John, Lyn, and me. Roger wanted to come, and John relented. We were catching bream on mullet gut for bait until Roger decided that eating mullet gut topped watching fishing. Obviously if Roger got what he wanted, our fishing trip would be over.

No matter what we tried, Roger would do anything to get at that bait and his antics made fishing difficult. There happened to be a sandbank close by so, in desperation, John dropped Roger on the sandbank, and we continued fishing and kept an eye on Roger. That worked for a while, Roger was close, visible, and unable to go anywhere, while we were catching fish. It was not long before Roger started to howl and tried to swim to us. He wasn’t a good swimmer, so we picked him up, dragged him into the boat whereupon he devoured the mullet gut. Roger was now dripping wet, cold, stinking of mullet gut and desperate to get warm so he poked his head under Lyn’s woollen jumper and pushed his body in until his head came out next to Lyn’s head. Lyn was then sitting in the boat: cold, wet, and stinking of mullet gut but Roger was happy at last.

What’s in a dog’s name? In radio communications Roger means “message received and understood”. While dogs can’t talk, Roger made sure we got the message at every point. He wanted to go fishing and we understood. He wanted to eat the bait and got what he wanted. He wanted to get back in the boat and we obeyed. He wanted to get warm, then got up close and personal with Lyn. “Roger: message received and understood!”

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