Miku Ganambarr-Stubbs
Miku Ganambarr-Stubbs

This is Miku Ganambarr-Stubbs, who is one of those rare creatures that lives such an absolutely charmed life that she has you in constant wonder when the charm might run out and she’ll get bitten hard by reality – or in Miku’s case – a bloody great crocodile.

You see, Miku has the rather unf0rtunate habit – for her at least – of taking herself down to the beach at the bottom of her backyard for a swim several times a day – a beach on a bay in crocodile country.

The photo above was taken as she was coming back from her regular morning swim.

Miku's backyard
Miku's backyard

Muku was bought as a birthday present for my god-daughter, Siena Ganambarr-Stubbs. On getting her home Siena’s parents realised that, as she had yet to develop teeth, that they might have been a bit premature.

So back Miku went to her mother’s teats for a few weeks until she was properly weaned and grown some teeth.

In order to make sure that they got Miku back – and not one of the several other cute little black dogs in the litter – they took the entirely sensible precaution of painting all of her toenails with red nail polish.

Hence her name of Miku – which in the Yolngu Matha language spoken at Miku’s homeland means “Red”.

When they returned to pick her up there were lots of dogs – but none with red toenail polish.

“Where is our dog?”

And, as proof of her qualifications to true campdog-dom, Miku – apart from her predilection for swimming in crocodile-infested waters – has a few other idiosyncracies.

Like most camp-dogs she loves an abandoned Kimbie (the generic term for disposable nappies) or three and she will bring home any abandoned toy that she finds in the street for a chew and a play.

But by far the best fun that Miku has with dead things is with the occasional Cane Toad that she finds squished on the road outside her house.

If she finds a newly road-killed Toad she will roll in its remains in an outburst of unalloyed joy – and comes back to the house stinking and in dire need of a good wash. If the Toad had dried out she delights in bringing it into the house for a good crunch and munch session.

Which usually results in more than a few screams and a firm and fast boot up the date immediately prior to a tumble down the stairs…