On 29 April 2020 it was with great sadness that Andrew’s companion, Nala, passed today after a short battle with a brain tumor. Nala will live on with Farmhouse, she recorded several videos while munching on treats, and there are still a few new baked treats she approved but aren’t yet in production. Her legacy will never be far from us. Hug your fur babies extra tight tonight 💕
Below is Andrew’s tribute to Nala.
About ten years ago I met a girl. One of my best friends had brought her to my horse paddock in Canberra to meet me and my ponies. Little did I know the impact that would later have on my life.
She then moved to Bendigo, and then Melbourne, but about a year or so later she found herself looking to move again and needed somewhere to live.
As luck would have it I was about to move onto my new property in Yass, and the wheels were set in motion. Together with the friend who first introduced us. she got a lift to Gundagai, and I drove south to bring them the rest of the way.
On 15 September 2012, both she and I would spend our first night in my new house. She liked it, and it was agreed – she’d move in. That was two thousand, four hundred and sixteen (2416) days ago.
As many predicted at the time, and despite my initial resistance, we grew very close. Some say ‘co-dependent’. Soul mates, kindred spirits, best mates. She became my rock and I was her provider and protector.
She loved my farm and together we roamed every centimeter of it, swam in every dam, checked the horses, inspected fences. Anyone who visited was welcomed by her, as soon as a car pulled up she’d be at the door or gate to greet them. Everyone instantly took to her warmth and caring, she truly was a friend to all she met.
She quickly took control of the house; of meal timings, the menu, how much we each ate, the cleaning of dishes. She chose when we went to bed, when we arose and, it must be mentioned, who had 90% of both the bed and doona for much of the night. Still, waking each morning to see her snoozing with her head on the pillow beside me, or rolled over with arms and legs draped across me, was worth losing the bed territory during the night – each and every one of those 2416 nights.
She was an avid gardener and was particularly fond of turning over soil in vegetable beds and scratching out weeds under the apple trees. Yet no matter how busy she’d been in the garden, how dirty her hands were, she’d always wash them in the tub outside before coming into the house.
She loved road trips. We went on drives, so many drives, often for no other reason than to see where a road may lead and return home hours later. She was my trusty road trip copilot, alternating between gazing out the window or gazing at me, often with her hand on my leg – although she’d occasionally sneak over to the back seat for a nap on the longer drives.
Our mutual love of pasta saw me start ‘the gourmet pasta factory’. When the pasta business ceased, she was the driving force in starting Farmhouse Pet Treats. As the chief product tester, she was thoroughly supportive of most of my recipes. She would later go on to feature in videos demonstrating the treats to others.
To say that girl I met in a horse paddock all those years ago changed me and saved my life is an understatement. She was an Irish Wolfhound cross, an orphan, rescued, and rehomed. She gave every bit of her heart and was simply the best friend anyone could ever wish for; I doubt any human could ever match her unconditional love.
But none of us live forever; for each, our time comes. Our measure is by the love and support we’ve given and the incalculable vacuum we leave in other’s hearts when we go. At 10am this morning my heart was broken.
Rest well Nala, I am eternally grateful we shared our lives for as long as we did. The world will never be the same without you by my side. 🐾🐾💔💔😢😢