You want a friend, get a dog - Gordon Gekko
'Jeez, look at you, my friend blurted. 'You hardly smile. You used to be hilarious but you haven't laughed in weeks.'She listed the things she thought might help: a bottle of wine, six months at the beach, a year overseas.
I was having none of it.
Finally, she said: 'Jill, you need something to love.'
She was right. I needed someone who cuddled me at night and was still excited to see me in the morning. I just hadn't met him yet.
Newspaper editor Jill Baker arrived home to find her husband dead on the bedroom floor. Within weeks, still in shock, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and told her chances of surviving. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment followed in a year from hell.
At her lowest ebb, Jill took a chance. She needed something or somebody to make life worth living again. But could it really be a crazy, howling, snoring, digging, chewing, barking orange pup?
Turns out Harry and Jill were made to be together. They are an unlikely duo. Jill is quiet, Harry is loud as hell. Jill meticulously plans the day while Harry says let's wing it. She sips pinot while he's an espresso martini guy. Theirs is a beautiful friendship, an unbreakable bond.
Jill Baker is an award-winning journalist. She edited two newspapers (The Sunday Age and the Sunday Herald Sun) and was a group publisher at Australian Consolidated Press, running about 20 magazines including The Bulletin, Australian Gourmet Traveller, House & Garden and Belle. She won a Walkley award for feature writing in 2010, the Keith Murdoch award for journalism (News Limited's highest award) and the Melbourne Press Club's gold quill. She loves great words and how great writers tell stories. She's undoubtedly the only newspaper editor who can pull a calf if needed or get a red-bellied black snake out of the chook yard (if she absolutely has to!). At various times she has bankrolled a herd of cattle, two alpacas called Boomer and Sally, a slew of cats and more chooks than you can have roast dinners. She now lives with a mutt known on his bad days as Dirty Harry. Harry is her first dog.
A Dog Called Harry
Author: Jill Baker