So our boy might not be a barker but apparently he has a voice.
We thought we were the only ones suffering separation anxiety when we leave him but it seems Harry is becoming overly attached to us and expressing it in a very vocal way.
Thankfully, we have understanding neighbours who are more concerned with the fact that our little wolf is distressed than they are with lodging noise complaints. But still, it’s not in anyone’s interests to let this continue.
We set up our own stalker-cam to record Harry, so we could see the evidence for ourselves. Sure enough, when we walk out the door, Harry will perch on the highest piece of furniture he can find and start calling the pack back in.
We’re also noticing he is starting to shadow us around the house, as if he’s afraid of letting us out of his sight for fear we might be gone for good.
When I shower in the morning, he pushes open the door and presses his nose against the glass to check on me. It’s becoming a bit much – time to teach our boy some independence.
And so we’re now trialling every scrap of (often conflicting) advice offered to us. Interactive toys to keep his mind stimulated, food hunts to keep him entertained, training to cultivate a more disciplined dog. Then there are the dog-sitters, dog-walkers, dog whisperers…
Is it any wonder we were in need of a drink??
The London Hotel in Balmain had been hovering in our minds like a shimmering mirage since a friend recommended it for its dog-friendly virtues. Could this really be true? A pub where you can bring your dog INSIDE? While you EAT?
Despite the fact that I’d already contacted the pub and been assured, yes, dogs are welcome as long as they are well-behaved and quiet, we approached the bar tentatively, still half-expecting to be kicked out.
We had no cause for concern because on this fine Sunday afternoon, the saloon was heaving with pint-supping patrons and their pooches. There were dogs at the bar, dogs slumped across their owner’s feet and, what’s more, all canine patrons seemed remarkably calm. Like they knew they were getting special privileges and were determined not to rock the boat.
The London’s restaurant and upstairs areas are out of bounds to dogs, so you can only eat with dogs in the bar. That wasn’t a problem at all for us, since there was an extensive bar menu offering everything from burgers and schnitzels to salads and seafood. It’s a great pub too, with a good range of ales, a traditional atmosphere – and a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge from the balcony.
Our session slipped by pleasantly, as fellow dog-lovers smiled indulgently and the occasional mutt stopped by for a quick sniff. Him Indoors sat contentedly sipping his beer, nodding approvingly at an exceptionally well-behaved Harry by his side. This lazy afternoon at The London has been a tonic for us all.
The London Hotel: 234 Darling Street, Balmain. Tel: 02 9555 1377.