13 years ago today I adopted a wonderful little Jack Russell x from AWLQ on the Gold Coast. I had seen him a few days before, he was the quiet little dog who sat back of the kennel while all the other dogs rushed to greet me as I walked past. I had brought the whole family to meet him this time and as everyone had a play it was decided he would be our new furry friend.

He didn’t seem to know his shelter name so we changed it to Dexter. When he arrived you could see his skin through his sparse fur, he had three strands of hair on his tail and couldn’t jump into the car.

He had been quiet in the kennel but after settling in he found his voice and has exercised it regularly ever since. His fur grew back, he grew strong and his personality came out. He is funny and mischievous, loyal and protective, and a bundle of trouble when he chooses to be.

As the years pass he has slowed down but we have had many hours of walks and games. A few rushes to the vet after snakes or cane toads, (very much a terrier) and endless laughs at his quirky behaviour.

He had a big brother, Chas, for the first 11 years but now it’s just the two of us. He is mostly deaf but somehow still meets me at the door when I get home. He collects socks which he piles up and sleeps on and spends his days on the bed watching the world go by. He is such a great alert dog and will bark to warn me of all potential intruders – postmen, cats, possums, brush turkeys and stray bit of paper that blow across the lawn.

Dexter was four when he chose me to be his mum and I am so happy to wish him a happy 17th Birthday. I’m so glad you stood out from the crowd.

Shirley Bdexchas