It is with much sadness that we share the news that Jasper, our beloved Cellar Door Concierge has passed away. The time has come for us to farewell our fabulous furry family member, known to our many customers and their dogs.
Jasper’s Story – 01 April 2006 to 31 May 2021
The Christmas of 2005 Pippa received a gift card stating that her present from the family that year wouldn’t be available until April. When April arrived, Pip got a phone call to say she could come and choose her present. So off to Lake Clifton, Pip and Gab trotted to choose the newest addition to our family.
Jasper was born to champion red cloud kelpies, and he was one of only two in the litter. Gab was keen to cuddle the puppies of course, and we’ll never really know why, but Jasper stood out from his brother and came home with them that day. We often reckon Jasper was very lucky, as his brother went off to live in Tom Price. Those who knew Jasper will remember, he never ever liked really hot days, air conditioning was invented for him, so just as well he was chosen to come live with us.
Jasper commenced life in the family, under the direction of 2 kids, parents and the senior family dog, Garvin. (A black kelpie/border collie cross). Garvin was our first family dog, having made the move back to the west with us, and he was the inaugural vineyard dog. He transitioned very well from being a Melbourne dog to a country one.
Sadly, in June 2006, Garvin at just over the age of 13 had a stroke and commenced his forever sleep that same day. We had hoped he would be around longer to knock the new dog into shape. Instead, those duties fell to our neighbours’ dog, Bundie, also a black kelpie. Bundie would visit regularly to make sure this new puppy in the neighborhood knew his place.
Jasper grew up alongside our kids, the development of the cellar door, and of course all the visitors who came as well. He loved walking in the bush around where we live, and he loved the beach. Visiting Preston Beach when the kids were swimming was great fun, especially barking at the waves. When the family took holidays, he mostly stayed at home with his favorite dog sitter, Steve, who he loved due to the sharing of vegemite toast each morning.
The first winter, when he was only a puppy, Jasper thought he’d help out with the pruning in the vineyard. That was until it rained. What was this wet stuff falling on him? Not liking it at all he positioned himself between Steve’s legs, ensuring the big raincoat covered him so he wouldn’t get wet!
Jasper worked 14 vintages with the crew, and every winter pruning session. In the last few years, he shortened his working day considerably and would often only visit in the vineyard for a short time before retiring to his beloved couch at the house. All our workers knew when they had reached the end of a row, because Jasper would always bark at them, as if to say you’re done now, we can go in. Morning tea and lunchtime were his favoured times of the day, as well as breakfast and dinner, well basically anything to do with food ranked very highly with Jasper!
Many of you will know Jasper as the brown furry dog, with a dodgy nose who greeted you when you first came to the cellar door. Jasper would sit on the lawn waiting for customers. When COVID-19 came along he was very confused as no-one visited for 3 months. Jasper loved other dogs visiting, and throughout his 15 years as concierge, welcomed and befriended many.
His first best doggy friend was Bundie, who being older was in charge. Then of course Kipper, who often came to stay when her family were on holidays. Jasper was much photographed and filmed. A memorable day was when a bus load of Scottie dogs and their owners came to visit the cellar door. Jasper even starred in his own movie, ‘Jasper’s View of the Day’ made by our son, Bailey. Then again in 2019 in a short piece called ‘Jasper’s Holiday’.
These last few years have been quieter for Jasper and slower. Arthritis in his back legs and a trapped nerve in his lower back restricted his movement and ability to go for long walks. Instead, a slow stroll around the vineyard each morning became his thing before retiring to his couch for a long nap. Some days he would miss all the action at the cellar door, and other days he’d be there meeting and greeting.
Jasper gave unconditional love to us all. He was a much-loved family member, and brought much laughter and joy into our home, and the occasional frustration when he rolled in something ‘dead’. He loved meeting new people at the cellar door and will be forever known to many as the Vineyard 28 Concierge.