As we headed towards the Victorian era goldmining boomtown of Ballarat, I felt a sense of adventure.   Lila and I were finally returning to Boskyrhomb Kennels, situated amongst the endless acres of a former sheep station, where she would reunite with her biological family of  “free-range” Labs.  It was bound to be fun!

When the car turned into the dirt road leading up to the house, Lila put her nose to the air.   A moment of recognition.  Scanning for trains we then hastily bumped across the railway tracks.   Further along, some big blue plastic bags of silage in a paddock prompted a single suspicious bark.   Then nose forward again.  [read more below]

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Upon arrival we were greeted by six chocolate girls, including Lila’s mother Lilly, grandmother Ella, very pregnant Auntie Carlotta and nine-month-old cousin Poppy.  Everyone was terribly excited and burst out the door to discover what had become of their long-lost relative, with a frenzy of circling and sniffing.  Lila was delighted, but made sure to ingratiate herself by rolling onto her back. 

Once the protocol had been established, we made our way to the back of the house for a sunny morning of ball throwing, bone scavenging and lots and lots of exploring.  At one point, Lila noticed that her grumpy grandmother was napping and thought she might take the opportunity to sniff her toes and tail…cautiously leaping sideways when granny unexpectedly stood up!  

All in all, the reunion was a huge success.    Lila fell gracefully into the fold.  And no one snapped at anyone else.  (Why fight when you can have fun?)  If only such perfect harmony always occurred at human family gatherings…

[If you have received this post by email, please click “dog downunder” or “the homecoming:  back to her breeder” in order to view accompanying video in a web page.]