Those early days in the store we renovated and set up systems and spent many hours on customer relations. Rod carried out the renovations; revamping tables, organising the kitchen, tiling floors whilst I spent hours talking to people. No-one left that shop an unhappy customer. We remembered a customer telling us early in the piece that he used to look behind him to see if he had a shadow. If he did, he knew he wasn’t dead. He made this comment due to the lack of service previously given where the customer stood waiting until it suited the person in the shop to serve them. Sadly all these efforts impacted on Mungo and we thought he sank deeper and deeper into depression.
He wouldn’t play ball anymore. He didn’t even lie there and chew it until it was broken, as he had done in the past. He would lie on the slate floor, chin flat along the floor, raising his eyes in greeting but not often moving. He lagged behind when we walked. He became petrified of thunderstorms and this was the only time he really did move. He had to be where we were and no barrier was able to keep him from us if we were in the shop. Once with us he would stand and salivate, rooted to the spot with such fear in his eyes which corresponded to the quivering that his body was doing.
It wasn’t long before we had to employ people to help us. The first was two schoolgirls who helped on weekends, one of their mothers would come in during the week if we were busy and a cleaner Colleen. Eventually we employed Bridget, a single mum from Newcastle, on a full time basis. Bridget and Colleen were godsends. Not only did Colleen clean the house but she also started cleaning the shop and proved herself invaluable behind the counter at times when we were unexpectedly busy. Bridget gave us the ability to have a bit of free time.
We had been there seven months without a day off when Bridget and Colleen insisted we needed to do some Christmas shopping and that we should go to Port Macquarie, over 100 kilometres away, to do this. Reluctantly we left, leaving Mungo in their care.
After a short unstimulating time in the shops we decided to get a local paper and see if there were any German Shepherd pups for sale. If there were we would look at them with the hope that company for Mungo would get him out of the depression he had slumped into.
Our luck was in and we were soon looking at eight puppies. Rod again made the choice choosing one that chose to stay near us rather than join in the rough and tumble of the play the others were doing. We paid and were soon on our way home with Jerry, (the other half of Mungo Jerry) a playmate for Mungo.