Exactly fourteen years to the day, we were celebrating Padma's birthday 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 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), 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. And 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 next, we suggested that if he ever needed a good home for his little puppy, we would be very happy to have him!
Late that same evening, Rob called us from Burrill Lake, some fifty kilometres north of Batemans Bay, to ask if we had been serious about wanting to take care of his little puppy as he felt we would give him a much better home than he ever could. Of course, we had been serious! So we got into our car and met Rob at his campsite where we drank hot tea, walked along the beach, 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 has already travelled so much!
Rover became a great addition to the family and, fourteen years later, is a 'senior citizen' who enjoys his daytime naps and at night still sleeps on our bed between the two pillows, usually on his back with his four legs spread out in all directions, snoring softly.
He's probably the most-loved dog in the world!