nugget cover

Nugget, a Blue Heeler puppy, is adopted by the Janetzki family. He matures,  enjoying a caring, loving environment and a strong bond with the family, becoming a true family member. At the same time, he endures a challenging relationship with  Pyewacket, the family cat.

Nugget’s adventures take the reader through the family’s ups and downs, often   highlighting the funny and special moments that come with a strong bond between humans and their dog.

This is the story of one dog’s life, which, with Nugget’s final moments, will bring a tear to your eye…

In Store Price: $AU19.95 
Online Price:   $AU18.95


ISBN: 978-1-921919-06-0 
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 75
Genre: Non/Fiction

Cover: Zeus Publications


Author: Don Janetzki
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2012
Language: English




“This is a story that needed to be written for us to share the love, life and times of a remarkable dog. What a read! I wanted more.” (Nikki)


“This is a ‘fun’ read about the life of a loving family as seen through the eyes of    Nugget the dog. However, it is also a story tinged with moments of sadness. Nugget is a lovable rascal who probably took some of his cat friend’s 9 lives to reach the age he did. Anyone who is a dog owner will relate to many of Nugget’s exploits and enjoy the experience of seeing life unfold from a dog’s perspective. The author has an easy-going style and once you start this relatively short story, you won’t put it down until the last page. Most enjoyable.”  (John)


“I like the concept and it’s like Nugget writing the story. I like how the paragraphs are not too long or too short in the story. I love how it is written and the structure of the story. It would appeal to dog owners, older kids that like dogs, and adults. It wouldn’t suit pre-school kids because of the history and they might get bored in the middle of some paragraphs and stop reading it. The ideal age might be from one – adults,  possibly 7-8 years old that love dogs may like it… Younger children might get      emotional when Pam and Nugget die and at the end poem. Overall, I think it is very good.” (Hannah)


“To Pa Fred, I loved the book Nugget Come Home when I was finished - I wanted more. Hope you like the review. The review is honest.”  (Jye)



Author Biography 


Don was born in 1936 at Yarrawonga on the Victorian side of the Murray River and raised in Cobram, a few miles downstream. His family included three sisters and a brother. He is tertiary educated to Fellow of Australian Society of Accountants.

Prior to his retirement he held management accounting-related positions in several large companies in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. He has travelled widely on business and pleasure, and now calls The Gold Coast, Australia, home.

I’m a Queensland Blue Heeler


was born in November, 1985 in the Western suburbs of Sydney in a litter that comprised six puppies. I was about in the middle, not the biggest, but certainly not the runt. Both my mother and father were pure-bred Australian Cattle Dogs; we were also called Blue Heelers. My mother told us puppies that we were called cattle dogs because we were a working dog breed, well suited to the Queensland Outback cattle country. We were fearless and tireless, rounding up the cattle and when it was called for, going in and nipping the heels of the huge steers that weren’t doing what they were supposed to. Perhaps this was why we were also called Queensland Blue Heelers.


My dad proudly explained to us all that our breed goes back over 170 years. When the first Australian settlers established farms they imported cattle from England together with a long-haired, bob-tailed Smithfield dog, but apparently these boys didn’t cope well with the conditions. They tried another breed, the Northumberland Drover’s Dog who were known to bite severely and attack the heels of cattle. They were said to be ‘singularly quick and prompt in their actions and both courageous and intelligent to their masters, faithful and attached’. Then breeders crossed these dogs with the native Australian Dingo, reputed for his silent approach and endurance to heat. The breeders experimented with crossing the breed with the Dalmatian, a dog with a love of horses and still later, with the Red Kelpie who had a ‘heading’ instinct.


I suppose I’ve got a little bit of all these fellows in me.


One thing that I noticed about my siblings was that from the same litter we appeared to be of two distinct colours, a bluey-grey, called Blue Heelers and a rusty-red, called Red Heelers. I was a Blue Heeler.


My father was a big, strapping dog with a splendid bark; he wouldn’t take nonsense from anyone and he certainly never thought twice about giving his puppies, including me, a nip if we got out of line. My mother was placid and gentle and quite content to lie quietly and let us suckle.


In those carefree early days it was fun playing chasings with my brothers and sisters and engaging in pretend wrestles. I soon learnt how to roll over onto my back and defend myself from that position. This way, I had four paws and a mouth with a full set of sharp teeth to attack with.


I meet my adopted family


Unknown to me, on the absolute other side of Sydney lived a boy called Ian. He had been pestering his mum and dad to buy him a dog for Christmas, not any old dog, but a Queensland Blue Heeler. How he’d heard about us I’ll never know. His dad seemed rather keen on the idea but his mum had reservations.


She said, “No Ian, we don’t want another dog; look what happened to naughty Ponty. He was all the time fighting with that Shiatsu Scallywag from next door until Scallywag got badly hurt and the police called and told your father that he had to be taken to the pound. We don’t want a repetition of that.”


This didn’t deter Ian, added to which he got the impression that he had his dad and his elder brother Ross on side and that his mum would eventually come around; she was after all outnumbered three to one. There was another concern; the family had only recently acquired a cat and how would a new addition to the family, a puppy dog, manage with Pyewacket the Burmese kitten?


Irrespective, week in week out Ian read the ‘Pets for Sale’ section of the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald until he finally came across an advertisement for genuine, purebred Queensland Blue Heeler puppies for sale.


“Can we please go and take a look, Mum?” he pleaded. His mum finally relented and off the family went right across the other side of town, leaving Pyewacket, with mystical foreknowledge, sitting in the driveway angrily twitching his tail.


Meanwhile I didn’t know anything about this. By this time I was seven weeks old and starting to fill out. I could run and wrestle with the best of them. An unfriendly fellow in a white jacket had come around twice to stick needles into us which I didn’t much like. He also liked to jam tablets down our throats, which were supposed to stop us from getting worms, whatever that meant.


Anyway, this Saturday morning my siblings and I were dozing in our enclosure, blissfully unaware that a whole group of strangers were about to descend on us. My father and mother stood by, proudly I think, while people came in and looked us up and down and tickled us under the tummy and tried to get us to do tricks. It was all good fun and to be honest I was quite enjoying the attention until a gruff-looking man wearing a cowboy hat picked up Boofie, the biggest male in the litter and walked off with him. The rest of us guys watched in dismay as he took some money out of his wallet and handed it to the man who’d been feeding us and then marched out the front gate while Boofie looking back worriedly. They got into a car and disappeared around the corner.


We exchanged glances; would Boofie come back or would that be the last we saw of him? No sooner had this happened than a family arrived to check us out. I didn’t know it then that this was to be my foster family, the people I would spend the rest of my life with.


It had occurred to me when Boofie departed that all of us might be headed to new homes. What would happen if no one wanted me? What would happen if the rest of my brothers and sisters found homes and I was left, unwanted? Intuitively I felt that it would serve my best interests to put on a bit of a show and in fact when I looked around it occurred to me that all my siblings had come to the same conclusion.


This family of newcomers comprised a grown-up, good looking man, an equally well-groomed woman, and two small boys. The man who fed us came out to meet them. “So you’re the Janetzki family?” he enquired. The man confirmed it, following which they were taken out the back where we were staying. They approached us with excitement.


Apparently this boy Ian knew exactly what he was looking for in a Blue Heeler, a male dog, not the biggest in the litter, a dog with a square face, a full tail that didn’t turn up; in other words one that went straight out, and a dog that appeared to be not too hyper-active because he’d read that such dogs were too hard to train and they could turn savage, especially us Blue Heelers.


As it turns out, I possessed all of the above attributes to a tee and then some! Imagine my excitement when Ian picked me out from the rest of the litter and said, “That’s the one I want Dad, if we get him we’ll call him ‘Nugget’.”


I wasn’t aware of it at the time but I found out later that Ian’s grandpa used to call Ian, Nugget; now there would be two Nuggets in the family.

Mr Janetzki bent down and rolled me over onto my back and began to tickle my ribs and I retaliated by playfully nipping his fingers with my sharp teeth, and kicking his hand with my hind legs, not too hard of course until Ian said, “That’s enough Dad, you’ll make him savage…” Then Mrs Janetzki lifted me and cuddled me while the older boy, Ross, stroked me.


“We’ll take him then,” said Mr Janetzki. “Pick him up, Ian, and bring Nugget the Dog with you.”


From that moment on I was known as ‘Nugget the Dog’.


Just then there was rather a commotion and Mr Janetzki started jumping up and down with consternation.


He exclaimed, “He’s piddled on my leg!” I looked down and sure enough my dad had sidled over and lifted his leg and let flow, arising from which Mr Janetzki’s left sock and shoe was saturated with a yellowish liquid. I was alarmed; would this put a ‘dampener’ on the deal?


Fortunately Mr Janetzki appeared to see the amusing side of it and the family decided that it might have been a good omen. Pretty soon I too was heading off, not knowing what lay in store.


We drove for what seemed like hours. It was the first time I’d ever been in a motor car and I can tell you that it was the best fun! Ian was holding me firmly in the back seat and he opened the window and let me put my head out a little bit. I closed my eyes and let the breeze caress me. It was pure rapture!


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