Sniffing out employment opportunities for my dog

Sometimes I joke that Bertie dog should get a job and help pay the mortgage. And I’m only half joking. As a feast and famine freelance writer, some form of canine contribution wouldn’t go amiss. He has lots of potential, you see; it’s simply a matter of how I direct it. It all started with Christine who sold him to me. She fed Bertie and his nine totally adorable chocolate brown roly-poly snuggly, squeaky, nipping and biting siblings on Advance puppy formula. Now Christine, bless her, is big on ideas (lots of them, all at once and in no particular order) but rarely follows through. I, on the other hand, am a list-ticker and like to get things DONE. So I emailed the advertising people at Advance with my proposal. I suggested they might like to photograph the chocolate brown babies and use them in their marketing collateral. I could already see something along the lines of ‘Premium Pet Food for Premium Pups’ and an ad with my boy and his siblings romping across TV screens. Suffice it to say that nothing happened; I didn’t even get a reply.

Then last week as I was working on something, I heard a rustling kind of noise. I ignored it for a bit but then it came closer. Bertie had gone into the bathroom, got hold of the loo paper and pulled it around the door, through the laundry and into the dining room. Aha, I thought. Here is another modelling opportunity. We all know that toilet advertising and cute puppies go together. Some of my all time favourites are the Andrex ads in the UK featuring plump baby Labradors. The trouble is that I couldn’t get a shot of Bertie in action, only one of him sitting admiring his handiwork with a guilty look on his face.



Today I treated myself to a delicious lunchtime bowl of potato, kale and celeriac soup at McGain’s, the gorgeous nursery and cafe in Anglesea. I drank my soup slowly and leafed through a few copies of Country Style at the same time. One of them fell open at an article about truffle farming in Tasmania.

Deliciousness at McGain's

Deliciousness at McGain’s

A few years ago I had truffle-infused custard at a friend’s dinner party and, foodies will be in up in arms, but I’m not really sure what all the fuss is about. But what I do know is that you can’t harvest truffles without dogs to sniff them out. Reading the article, it sounded like truffle hunting for dogs is pretty much a scratch and sniff affair. Bertie has the keenest nose ever – he can sniff out food from a hundred paces or more – so what am I waiting for?!

A Google search has just come up with an organisation called Aussie Truffle Dogs – ‘Our business “nose” your truffle needs’ – and there’s a dog like Bertie on the front page of their website. What’s more, there are training classes in Geelong and the Macedon Ranges. Oh, but wait, reading on it says that Aussie Truffle Dogs was formed to ‘provide purebred registered working dogs to fill the harvesting needs of the truffle industry.’ Looking at Bertie, I’m sure his breeding is impeccable but I don’t have any papers to prove it. And I would have had to start his training when he was a pup. Regular readers might remember that he turned one just before Easter meaning that in human years he is about 15.

However, there is something else he excels at: paper shredding. I’m not sure why I bothered to buy a paper shredder when Bertie does the job with such gusto. Today, he demolished a paper bag in seconds. The only trouble is that he doesn’t clear up after himself. He leaves that to me. Typical teenager!


28 thoughts on “Sniffing out employment opportunities for my dog

  1. Hahaha! As well as paper shredding, have you thought of post-hole digging? I reckon it would still be good to train him for truffles, though…he’s the right age for an apprenticeship. And how much fun would you have during the training? Not to mention sharing the odd sliver of Bertied truffle with me….

    • What a good idea! Can definitely offer out his services for post-hold digging. He does love to dig. And, you’re right, perhaps I will ring Aussie Truffle Dogs and see what the go is!! After all, field spaniels are one of THE breeds!

  2. Ha ha, love this! May wait until my kids are a bit older before I consider a dog – too much destruction in the house as it is 🙂

    • Thankyou. Glad it made you smile! I think it’s probably a good idea to wait a bit before getting a dog. Puppies and toddlers would be a double whammy!!

  3. Charlotte, check out this blog…
    Sometimes her voice reminds me of you. American, though.

    • Hey, I hadn’t thought of food sampling! Wouldn’t that be a great job for a dog? Mind you, Bertie doesn’t sample or taste anything – he just ‘hoovers’ it down. Not sure the food even touches the sides of his mouth – it just goes straight down and into his tum! 🙂

  4. Awesome post loved it made me smile so much!! I have two dogs of my own who are equally as mischievous and get up to all kinds of things, Rocco the ginger ninja likes to leave his mark on everything!!! He’s nearly 8 now and we are guessing that he’s never going to grow out of it! And Jessie the tiny terror is exactly what it say’s on the tin a tiny terror! I think the sending them to work thing sounds great 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Hope the rest of the week is blessed and full of good things 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Oh no, so Bertie might never grow up?! Having said that, I just love his playful and mischievous behaviours. I’ll miss them the day he grows old and matures. Your dogs sound a lot of fun too.

      • No Bertie may never grow up, lol 🙂 But that’s what makes them all the more adorable isn’t it.

        Our dogs are lovely and way too cute for their own good!!

        I loved your blog it was really lovely to read and made me smile all day thank you 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the re-blog and comment. Much appreciated. Life has been a bit topsy turvy of late and I haven’t blogged for about three weeks so hope to post again this week. Your re-blog is a good kick up the backside to get on with it!

  5. The dogs are fun. My dogs like to pick green beans and empty the trash. After they go and retrieve the newspaper, they search out their breakfast. At least the only allowance they ask for is a dog treat 🙂

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