Embark on a new expedition

The Dog Grumbler

WE are preparing to embark on a new expedition.

The air is electric with excitement at the prospect of new discoveries and expanding knowledge.

Each team member has skills, duties, specialities.

Each will pursue his or her own lines of enquiry, collecting new data to be collated later.

We will research wildlife, monitor the travels of other explorers, and study the movements and habits of the natives.

We will work closely together and coordinate our progress to maximise efficiency.

If one member makes a discovery of significance, all will stop what they are doing and concentrate their research there until satisfied that enough has been learned, or the expedition is moving on.

That’s where I come in.

I hold the distinction of being team leader.

I decide where we go, when we go, how we go.

It’s a big responsibility and a humbling distinction.

I have the trust of a talented and intrepid team who respond to my leadership without question.

It’s a job I take some pride in.

I’ve earned it through previous successful explorations — shorter and simpler at first, incrementally building trust and confidence as we safely bring home new knowledge, experience and insights.

Whatever we encounter, whatever new discoveries we make, we will be bonded by the shared experience.

Mindful of each member’s field of interest, I will strike out along the boundaries of popular traffic — out on the edge where exotic wayfarers will have left evidence of their transit, perhaps while we slept.

I will choose a location to rest.

The team will scan the area, establish a perimeter and settle down to review the expedition so far.

Our stillness and silence may encourage local life to continue unperturbed.

A movement or sound may pierce the calm and the team will stir, perhaps send a scout to investigate.

When the time is right, I will signal and we will strike out again, refreshed and focused on the job at hand.

We will cover some old ground on the expedition, but as part of my contribution I will make sure we arrive by a different route because each of my teammates is putting together a map of the world as they know it, using skills I lack.

Each will benefit from cross-referencing existing knowledge with new data, and we will return home tired, satisfied and laden with new experience and information.

Their work ethic is inspiring.

Watching their sustained focus on the expedition will have worn me out.

Much sleep and restoration will be necessary for all.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

And lots of dogs have to just sit in a backyard all day.

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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