The end of our adventures

The time has come to officially end our blog, so this is a quick note to say cheerio and thank you so much for all your kind messages and comments over the last four and a half years.

I’ve loved hearing about your dogs, your pet-friendly recommendations – and we have had lots of fun visiting dog-friendly spots in and around Sydney. I hope the blog has been helpful in sharing our finds.

However, Harry is now quite a senior dog (about 14-15 we believe) and he is showing his age. Always a homebody, with his eyesight failing and energy levels dropping due to various health issues, he’s even more reticent to venture out.  So we stay in our favourite familiar spots – which makes Harry very happy, but isn’t much to blog about 🙂

If you are still interested in Harry updates, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook:   @smallcreaturesstudio where I continue to indulge my crazy dog lady streak with lots of dog sketches – art is proving to be a great hobby when you have a dog who just likes to stay home snoozing at your feet. Of course, Harry is often my model and I can’t help myself putting up the odd photo of him too. I’d love to hear from you – and if you have a cute dog, Instagram is often my inspiration for sketches so please give me a shout.

Emma and Harry x

A dog’s-eye view of Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden

We recently enjoyed our first visit to what has to be one of Sydney’s most magical spots: Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, in Lavender Bay.

This place is an inspiration for any guerrilla gardener.

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Harry’s Great Escape

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?

Holiday-planning with the help of Shoalhaven’s pet-friendly guide.

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A foreshore stroll (and a sit-down protest)

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.

Best foot forward.

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Harry plays wine dog for the weekend

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.

Meet the neighbours.

Meet the neighbours.

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In sickness and in health

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).

Visiting hours at the vet hospital

Visiting hours at the vet hospital

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

A Blue Mountains break

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.

Harry gives Secret Garden the sniff of approval.

Harry gives Secret Garden the sniff of approval.

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A night at the flicks with Fido

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.

Harry spots a particularly enticing picnic at 12 o'clock.

Harry spots a particularly enticing picnic on the back row.

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Surviving the dog days of summer at Silver Beach

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.


Harry looks as morose as the weather as he gazes across Botany Bay.

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A respite from the heat in Sydney’s rainforest retreat

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.

Welcome to Cooper Park.

Welcome to Cooper Park.

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