The absence of a family member is always a little perplexing to Harry, so when Him Indoors recently abandoned the two of us in favour of a mini-break with the boys, our dog spent the first day repeatedly checking every room to try and find him.
Harry gazed up at me with those oh-so-soulful eyes that seem to express a thousand words. Why would anyone want to go away without us, he asked? You, who are a tickler of tummies and scratcher of ears, a bountiful goddess of plenty raining down meaty treats on those in your care? And me, the greatest ball player known to man.
You make some excellent points, Harry, said I, while passing him a piece of sausage, but this weekend gives us the opportunity to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes. Yes, we are going shopping!!
And then I stopped talking to the dog, picked up Him Indoors’ credit card, and we went on our merry way.
Petbarn tends to be a weekly destination for us these days. Harry, nose-a-quiver, likes to investigate the toys and treats conveniently placed at his eye level.
It’s still a novelty for me to walk into a shop where dogs are welcome and Petbarn is almost as good as the park when it comes to canine socialisation. Harry gets to say hi to lots of furry friends, and usually receives plenty of attention from their owners too.
This particular weekend, we were also curious to explore the luxury end of the retail market and started our exploration of Sydney’s pet boutiques with a trip to Dogue at Bondi Junction.
There’s no shortage of merchandise for pampered pets, from luxury beds so soft I wanted to climb in them, to snazzy outfits and stylish accessories.
Our purchases included a collapsible water dish for when we’re out adventuring (Harry is a selective drinker and generally refuses to touch a drop from any dish that is not his own) and a new blanket for him to sit on when we’re eating al fresco. It comes with a clip-on hook for the leash, which is great because it means I don’t have to try and stuff a dog blanket into a handbag already overflowing with treats, balls and poo bags. Gone are the days of taking out a small clutch to dinner – at least when Harry is in tow.
Next stop, Paddington’s Bowhouse. Harry was particularly impressed with the treats on offer here and he got to sample plenty, thanks to a generous and friendly staff member who got sucked in by his “I haven’t eaten for a week” face.
Kangaroo Valley Natural Treat Company’s selection of meaty treats went down particularly well. Next time we’re keen to try the raw dried tripe, which is like “crack for dogs” apparently.
Our final purchase from the weekend didn’t arrive until the following week as we ordered online from Dharf. It was well worth the wait: our package came with a cute handwritten thank you note, wrapped in red ribbon and included a gourmet dog treat for Harry.
Our purchase was a collar, bow tie and lead, which has been put away for an upcoming special occasion (more on that nearer the time). However, Harry did get to model his new “outfit”, and, even Him Indoors had to agree, he looked a real bobby dazzler.