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Friday, October 9, 2015

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'aime les chiens - or "The story of Rover"


March 20, 2003. We were spending Padma's birthday at Moruya where we had an enjoyable midday lunch in the beergarden of the "Adelaide Hotel" overlooking the Moruya River when a man on a pushbike pulled up for a rest.

He had a tiny Maltese puppy in his backpack which made us walk over and talk to him. He turned out to be an Austrian by the name of Robert Krenn who was pedalling from Melbourne to Sydney (a distance close to 1000 km) and who had ridden his bike all over the world and had many stories to tell.

We invited Rob to stay with us at Riverbend and he turned up late that same afternoon to overnight in our guest cottage. We talked and talked and became very good friends. When it became apparent that he was going through a bit of a mid-life crisis (easily spotted by me as I was having one myself at least once a week ☺), we offered him the cottage free of charge for a new start in the Bay.

His little Maltese puppy and our dog Malty became very good friends as well! So much so that when it was time for him to leave, we suggested that if he ever needed a good home for his little puppy, we would be very happy to take care of him!

Late that same evening Rob called us from Burrill Lake, some fifty kilometres north, to ask if we had been serious about the offer. Thinking that he wanted to come back to live with us, we assured him we were. However, it turned out that he wanted us to take care of his little puppy as he felt we would give him a much better home.

So we got into our car and drove to Rob's campsite where we drank hot tea, walked along the beach and gazed at the stars, and talked some more. We returned home well after midnight with the new member of our family whom we have called "Rover" as he had already travelled so much!

Twelve years later - TEMPUS FUGIT, which is Austrian for 'Time flies' - and Rob now lives in Düsseldorf and has a family. And little Rover is still with us. He and Malty are the best of friends. At night he sleeps on our bed between the two pillows, usually on his back with his four legs spread out in all directions. He is a dear little fellow and a great addition to the family!

P.S. Rob Krenn returned to Riverbend several more times as he then worked as an adventure tour guide trekking through the Australian deserts or four-wheel-driving up Cape York or into Kakadu when he wasn't taking groups of mainly German tourists to Machu Picchu or up Mount Kilimanjaro. After his second visit to Riverbend, he went to cycle round Tasmania, then cycled the length of New Zealand's North and South Island, and then did the same in South America, at the end of which he flew to Spain to walk the Camino. Now he's a family man in Germany and doesn't even walk down to the corner store!