"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

The Adventures of Rufus: Fred and Ginger.


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Every family has its legendary characters, and mine has more than a few.

Other dogs think that I lead a glamorous life, and up to a point, they are right.

My mistress attracts a lot of attention. She is a single, famous mystery author after all, and humans get excited about celebrities.

But, my life is nothing compared to my ancestors, Fred and Ginger. They too had a mistress, and by all accounts, she could party till the dogs came home. Fred and Ginger were always involved, always invited.

Alcohol is not good for dogs, but Ginger didn’t know that and she used to get ‘stuck in’ at every opportunity.

One time they found her on a freight train headed to Brisbane. No one knows how she ended up on that train, and she is very lucky that someone made the call, and even luckier that someone answered the phone. Ginger’s mistress drove all the way to Queensland to retrieve her, with Fred riding shotgun all the way. Their mistress owned a huge Rolls Royce coupe which befitted their combined status in Melbourne society.

Every cocktail bartender in Melbourne knew them by name, and when Fred and Ginger passed away [on the same day] all the bars in Melbourne were draped in black silk, and every bartender and bar owner attended a wake in their honour in the ballroom at the Windsor Hotel.

If you look carefully in Gordon park, just across the road from The Windsor, you will see a simple brass plaque which says, “Fred and Ginger, always remembered.” The problem is that it was so long ago people have forgotten. But dogs never forget. We remember and we honour our ancestors.

It’s important to know where you come from.

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