ROONEY. The St Francis Bay village legend

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Touching article by Sheena R Ruth also posted on Facebook

Let’s celebrate the canine characters of our village. Who remembers Rooney, the dog who belonged to all of us in St Francis Bay. A village roamer, who would not be confined. A big friendly brute, part German Shepherd, part Sheep Dog, part Labrador, part anything big canine, with the most magnificent tail, that probably emanated, genetically, from a Retriever.

He would invite himself to any occasion, walk or hangout with anyone on the beach or in the village. If he eyed a person or people that he thought looked particularly in need of his company, he would even swim the canal to grace them with his company.

I first met this legend in 2009, on the beach at the spit. I was walking, with my boyfriend, the beach to ourselves, in awe of a southern right whale, moving along in the water, at what seemed to be the same pace as us. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the company of Rooney. Every time we stopped to watch the whale, he would stop too. And sit. If the waves obscured his view, he would stand on his hind legs to get a better sighting. I truly felt, that there was some kind of magic around us that day. Us, Rooney, the beach to ourselves, and a whale. I’ve never forgotten it.

Rooney belonged to the Robertson’s and lived in Spray Avenue. There were often people on the search for this escape artist, who wasn’t escaping at all, just living his very best life! He could often be found up on the thatch roof, surveying his domain (which was, of course, the whole of the village).

In the “great fire” Rooney’s parent’s home was lost. Rooney was given refuge by his two of his favourites, Jenny and Ken Wiggins, with whom he has lived ever since. Sometimes to be found, meandering the Shore Road estuary. Still with us. Magnificent in his old age, with that tail that belonged to a Retriever.

Do you have any experiences with Rooney? Or any photographs? It would be so lovely to honour this magnificent village legend.

rooney