Mungo was a great asset when walking the paddocks, finding all wildlife possible. He had no desire to harm any of it but he certainly wanted me to see it. He would run off ahead and when a creature was found he would stand totally still until I arrived on the scene and followed the direction of his gaze. If he was staring up a tree I could see anything from a goanna to a koala. Without him I would never have seen the numerous koalas that lived on our property as, being daytime walks,they were silently asleep in the fork of a branch. Night time was a different scenario, the koalas awakening and moving across the ground from tree to tree. Mating season was the only time that they could be heard and, following the pig-like grunts, they were easily seen with a flashlight.
Other animals Mungo found on our walks were echidnas, kangaroos and wallabies, which were the only animals that he gave chase to, and dingos, which worried me that he would take off after but never did. The dingos were always solitary and appeared to be full blooded rather than a mixture of wild dog. They did not bark. Some nights it was quite unnerving hearing the baying of the dingos coming from all around us – reminding me of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Although there were plenty of snakes and lizards around, they rarely disturbed our walks. Bandicoots were plentiful judging by the number of holes dug but possums, which had been so numerous in Sydney, seemed non-existent here. There were also wild cats which we didn’t see on walking but one day returning from our walk Mungo became agitated and raced inside. Within seconds a huge frenzied ball of fur sped past us and outside. “What on earth was that?”
“That was the biggest cat I’ve ever seen” Rod replied. We could tell where it had been because its stink was strong and lingering. Despite fresh air and numerous fragrant sprays its odour stayed in the house for several weeks.