Shortly before our much loved Ridgeback Jack (Boulderbrae Our Tanaman) left us in April 2010 at the great age of 13, we learned from his breeder Jocelyn Hansen of a Ridgeback, almost 4 years old in Auckland, who needed rehoming. The void left by Jack’s passing (he had been part of the family from the age of 4 months) prompted us to contact the Auckland owners (that was a bit spooky – they were Mike and Jenny Mills and we are John and Jenny Mills). After a few calls we agreed to take their dog Indy (Indy of Totara Glen) sight unseen. We took a risk as Indy had a malignant melanoma removed but we had gone through the same experience many times with Jack and he lived a full life and died with dignity in old age.

On an agreed day in May 2010 we met Mike and Jenny in Taupo and were introduced to Indy, a tall, handsome and friendly dog. Mike and Jenny were sad to see their pet go but Indy jumped into a basket in the back of the wagon and the four of us (our aged Border Terrier Gus was the fourth) headed South to Wellington.

From Day 1 Indy very quickly became part of the family – although he had lived predominantly as an “outside” dog he quickly and happily adjusted to sleeping in his basket at the foot of our bed. He shares with Jack his love of food and it almost seemed that Jack had left him a series of notes telling him how to conduct himself. Their habits are uncannily alike (they each took 18 months to work out how to cross the cattle stop). Indy has proved to be a laid back, friendly, affectionate and happy dog. He is great with our grandchildren and is very non threatening. From Day 1 he has ignored the ducks, geese, chooks and sheep and they all just step out of his way when he ambles through. Our only disappointment with him has been his reluctance to mix with other dogs – he is not aggressive – he just doesn’t seem to want to play. Poor old Gus is a bit bewildered – he used to love sharing the basket with Jack but now it is strictly for Indy only – other than that they get along fine. It took 12 months but Indy has become an enthusiastic and successful possum hunter – the instincts of his forebears have shone through.

We have been lucky to have inherited a wonderful dog and he is very firmly part of our family.

John Mills