Meeting Paddy…

This is the first in the series of posts from Livin’ in Fiji – A House Sitters Story.


Our first responsibility at our Fiji house-sit is to take care of Paddy, described as a Fijian mutt, but clearly there’s a little German Shepard in the mix as well. Grey hairs in her muzzle tell us she’s not quite a puppy anymore. She’s an outside dog who comes in every night to sleep on the porch and during the day she prefers to sun in the yard surveying the driveway from her spot at the top. After seeing pictures and her description, we could hardly wait to meet her!

Unfortunately, our best plans of arriving in Savusavu by noon to relieve Wayne, the previous house-sitter, were not to be. Our flight was cancelled when we arrived at the airport and the only option was to be re-routed six hours later and two hours by taxi to our final destination.

From a day when we started traveling by 7am, we’d covered two hours by car, stranded six hours in a TINY airport, an hour flight, and a harrowing two hour taxi ride over misty mountains to finally arrive in Savusavu by 8pm in the pouring rain and pitch dark.

Lucky (for us, anyway) Wayne’s flight was also delayed due to weather, so he was there to greet us and make the necessary introductions to Paddy. She was already settled for bed on her woolen mat, so when two soggy strangers came onto her porch she wasn’t impressed. We got bared teeth and a deep growl. Uh-oh! This might be a long three months if the dog hates us.

Wayne tried his best to convince her that we were friends and within a few minutes while she hid behind his legs, we had a few tentative licks on the hand. However, her tucked-low tail wouldn’t budge. While Wayne showed us around the house and then said his goodbyes, Paddy stayed on her mat, watching us carefully with those beautiful brown eyes.

Our first day together was quiet. She had a good breakfast (she eats boiled rice mixed with tinned fish), but kept her distance in the yard, watching us a little warily. By the first afternoon we were getting a few tail wags in return for lots of rubs and attention.

By day two, Paddy decided we were okay. She didn’t leave the porch at all and had to be practically pried away from laying all over us. She’s our buddy now, “talking” to us when she’s ready for a walk on the beach, wiggling her bum when she wants to play, and not even fussing at all when we decided it was time she had a bath! Now “our” Paddy has us wrapped around her paws…    

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