We’ve long been a fan of the Shoalhaven and when the local council goes to the trouble of producing a dedicated dog-friendly holiday guide, is it any wonder?
Since the onset of Harry’s illness, our progress with walking has suffered a setback. Never an enthusiastic walker, I can’t work out whether he’s too old and doddery these days, or just stubborn. Given his gusto for a game of ball the moment we get back from a walk, I suspect the latter.
However, since discipline is not our strong point, most days we resort to luring him out of the house with a piece of cheese or the promise of a car ride. Both tactics were employed the other weekend, when we embarked on the Glebe Foreshore Walk.
Coromandel Cottage in the Southern Highlands has been on our hit list for a while, after we spotted many glowing online reviews noting its dog-friendliness.
We finally made it up to this peaceful and private two-bedroomed cottage, on the outskirts of Berrima, at the start of spring last year. It’s surrounded by tranquil farmlands and bush, with a back deck overlooking gardens, a pond, neighbouring fields – and plenty of local wildlife. We befriended – and Harry stalked – horses, kangaroos, an echidna, rabbits and ducks.
The past 18 months have been a challenge for Harry, who has been battling health issues which bordered for a brief time on the life-threatening.
In the last year he has made a good recovery, although he has never quite regained his former energy levels.
The problems began in 2015, when he began to suffer with a series of digestive complaints. He was losing weight rapidly, unable to tolerate food and plagued by chronic diarrhoea.
After a long journey of biopsies, blood tests, scans and eventually exploratory surgery, Harry was finally diagnosed with irritable bowel disease (IBD).
A dog with IBD is no fun for anyone. It’s been heartbreaking to watch our gentle boy suffer and his activity has been very limited. Continue reading
When a holiday rental’s promotional material features pictures of pups enjoying the property, it’s a safe bet your dog is in for a warm welcome.
Sure enough, on arrival at Secret Garden Cottage in Katoomba we found an indoor dog bed, a jar of treats and even a doggie guest book detailing local walks and activities for four-legged visitors.
We love a night at the movies but are less keen on leaving our hound home alone. So Centennial Park’s open-air Moonlight Cinema, with its dedicated Doggie Nights, is a highlight of our calendar.
Dogs are in fact permitted at any Moonlight Cinema session, on the condition that movie-going mutts are well-behaved and kept on a short leash. The regular Doggie Nights, scheduled throughout the season, are extra assurance that your dog is a legitimate and welcome guest.
Both Harry and Him Indoors are fond of their creature comforts, so Gold Grass tickets are worth the $35 investment: best seats in the house, a comfy bean bed to lounge on, and food and drink wait service from the friendly staff – who all seem to be dog-lovers, judging by the level of attention Harry received.
The hot and humid days have been getting to Harry and he’s been very lethargic of late.
We thought a trip to the beach might liven him up and so we made our way to Botany Bay, where dogs are allowed off-leash at Kurnell’s Silver Beach.
These high temperatures can put even the most active dogs off their daily walk. Now Harry is a such a good walker (*glows with pride) I don’t want the warmer weather to put him off our daily constitutional, so we’ve been seeking out shady excursions that aren’t too taxing for either of us.
We discovered Cooper Park last year, after it was recommended to us by a friend and fellow dog-owner. And what a beautiful find: just a few minutes’ from Bondi Junction, this is a lush and expansive place of peacefulness.
We’ve been hearing a lot about the dog-friendly beach at Sirius Cove, Mosman. One of the few spots in Sydney where dogs are allowed on the sand and in the water, so surely the perfect place for a playdate with an old friend?
We have had a breakthrough with the walking issue. It’s not been easy and it’s still not perfect, but it is significant progress – and definitely worth celebrating with a trip to one of Sydney’s most expansive and dog-friendly parks, Sydney Park in St Peters.
And here’s how we do it: