Didget's Story

By Bernadette Merchant . Australia.
"Ambajaye" Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs.


Last Sunday afternoon“Didget“ and I had just been to visit with my mum at Richmond nursing home. Now this in itself is no ordinary thing as we have been doing this at least 3 to 4 times a week for over 4 years but what occurred that Sunday made me realise just how special this little dog is.

My mum has been in a hostel and nursing home for over four years and her love of animals has helped make the transition from an independent proud woman to a frail, bedridden BUT STILL VERY proud woman thanks to a little blue Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle dog by the name of “Didget“.

At the hospital
At the hospital

“Didget“ was not a particularly "happy" show dog, in fact it was a “battle “ to title her, but this was not because of her type or temperament. “ Didget “ just HATED the lead and the show ring.

However, ‘Didget” loved to be shown by Melinda Scott and as a team Melinda helped contribute points towards “Didget’s” title. Melinda loved to handle “Didget” and the joy is written all over Melinda’s face.

Belinda and Didget
Melinda and Didget

Showing was just too boring for this little dog.

She is a “special” dog with a very special gift and showing was not on her list of priorities.

What has moved me to write this story about this wonderful dog is last Sunday’s visit to the nursing home was different. “ Didget” loves going to visit the old people and will walk up very gently and rest her head on their knees, bringing a smile to the blankest expression. She will look up at them and plead with her eyes “ do you have a biscuit for me “? She is never refused. The oldies always have a biscuit ready for “Didget”. Last Sunday after our visit with my mum one of the nursing staff asked did I have time to go around to another section of the home with “Didget “ to visit with several of the residents there.

Well time is precious, as we all know, but how can one refuse? So around to the other wing we trot. An old gentleman named “Jack” was lying in bed in a single room and the nurse said “Jack I have a visitor for you, well two in fact “.

Jack turned around and with some assistance from the nurse he sat up on the side of his bed. “ Didget “ just sat beside me and I said, “ Aren’t you going to say hello to Jack, Didget?” With this “ Didget” gently walked up and rested her head on his knee. Jack patted her head and looked up at me and they’re where tears welling in his eyes. He proceeded to tell me about the Cattle Dogs he had as a boy and the working Kelpies. He knew she was not an Aust. Cattle Dog, picked that up straight away. It was very moving.

“Didget” maybe a pedigree,‘titled” dog but these old people do not care, they love our “Didget” for her special softness. She has given and continues to give so much joy to so many people.

Note: The above story was written in January 2003. On the 8th of March 2003 my mum passed away at Hawkesbury Hospital.

The nursing Home asked Didget & I, when we where able if we could continue our weekly visits. Three week’s later we started revisiting.

“Didget” and myself continue our weekly visits to the nursing home. “Didget” still looks for mum but does enjoy her weekly visits with the “oldies” and has many old friends and new….

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