Celebration in Wilcannia for a new hero
Locating in outback Western New South Wales, the once-called “Queen City of the West” has a splendid past. In its golden day, Wilcannia was a major port on the Darling River, and third largest port in Australia, played an important role in transporting chain system from New South Wales to Adelaide. Time has elapsed, everything has changed. The present Wilcannia is a small town, with the population of 750, serves as a service centre with banks, shops, motels and service stations. One thing that is worth noticing: the indigenous here truly love their pets.
In recent days, the atmosphere has been getting hotter and hotter. People are preparing for one of the main events of the year on this coming Sunday. The town is about to celebrate 189th year birthday for Jerry, as well as the celebration for a new world record. If nothing unexpected happens until this Sunday, Jerry will be the oldest living creature in the world. Yes, Jerry is a dog. Raised by Woody and Aileen Smith, a red heeler-bull terrier cross Jerry is approaching its 27th year birthday (in human years), which means it has lived for 189 in human years.
Its owner, Woody Smith, is a respected Aboriginal tribal elder. Jerry was raised by the Smiths since he was just a puppy, and now, he is a friend of three generations of the Smiths. To him and his family, Jerry is much more than a dog. “He’s been a good dog and a good friend”, said Woody. In spite of being a guard dog for Woody and his family, Jerry never hurts anyone, except cats in the yard. Dogs and cats have a long story fighting each other, an endless war. It is sad that he has no offspring, but in a positive aspect, he is having the great family: the Smiths.
Jerry, in some words, is a celebrity in the town. “Everyone in Wilcannia knows Jerry and loves him”, added Woody.
Despite nearly being the oldest living dog in the world, Jerry’s health is in good condition. It is not because he drinks water from Fountain of the Youth, but thanks to his scientific eating habit and activities. “Jerry has grown up on Kangaroo, rabbit and emu as well as scraps off the table”, said Woody. The owner also states that he usually comes for a bush walk with Jerry as a daily activity. Jerry, of course, is not as strong as it used to be. “He’s a fair bit slower now and has to stop every now and then for a rest”, Woody a little bit worried.
In an explanation from Dr Honey Nelson, Jerry’s health doctor, another cause which leads to Jerry’s long age is partially a generic, and activities that Jerry participates in his lifetime such as catch emu and roo. “He could push on to 28 – going by his body condition he could”, said Honey.
The current record is hold by an Australian cattle dog name Bluey (29 years old). People in Wilcannia are expecting that record will be broken by their beloved Jerry.