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.
Hiking the hills at Sydney Park.
And here’s how we do it:
It has come to our attention, thanks to some less-than-subtle comments from family and friends, that our dog is becoming a little stout around the middle.
Since Harry trembles with longing when he’s in the vicinity of food (Him Indoors is much the same actually), I often find myself wanting to over-compensate for any neglect in his past by sneaking him extra treats here and there.
However, while some portliness is forgivable in his golden years, we want our mutt to live a long and healthy life and have therefore been trying to curb the flow of treats and encourage more vigorous exercise.
A trip to the beach is one of the best ways to get Harry’s heart rate up and so we decided to give him some off-leash action at Greenhills Beach, near Cronulla.
The sands at Cronulla are forbidden for Fido.
It’s one year today since we adopted “golden oldie” rescue hound, Harry – and the past year has been a big journey for all three of us.
Something to celebrate.
Harry is a different dog entirely: playful, affectionate and a lot less fearful than he was this time last year. He’s still reluctant to leave our home (although this is getting less and less the case), still jumps at shadows, and still runs for cover when Him Indoors loudly cheers on his football team. But I’m confident we’ve made progress and we’ll make a lot more in the years to come. Continue reading
The small bar scene that’s sprung up around Sydney in recent years has become renowned for its friendly and personable staff. Who would have thought they would be Fido-friendly too?
Stepping out for the night.
Until airlines start allowing dogs to travel in the cabin en-route to the UK, I will, on occasion, be forced to travel without my trusty terrier in tow.
A recent visit to see family in Britain presented the dilemma of who would care for Harry while we were away. So when we heard about Perfect Pet Sitter Maralyn Nash through a post on the excellent Puppy Tales blog, we were keen to find out more about the service she offers.
When Harry discovered Maralyn was a keen ball-thrower, he was happy for her to come stay.
While demand for dog-friendly wedding venues might be limited, Harry and I would like to heartily recommend Silos Estate.
Back in the days before Harry, I used to envisage my life with a dog to be one of boundless activity, where I make my dog’s day simply by taking him out for a stroll and a sniff. Just the prospect of someone picking up the leash has sent every dog I’ve ever known into a frenzied excitement – so when Harry came to live with us last June, it was a shock to discover not all dogs enjoy a daily constitutional.
I’ll just stay here on the sofa instead.
On the bank of Leichhardt’s Hawthorne Canal, Café Bones is an institution among Sydney dog-lovers.
This dedicated dog-friendly eatery offers both human and canine refreshments – including the famous pupaccino – and has only outdoor seating, meaning no discrimination against patrons who think the best café company is a dog.
Harry’s Sunday session.
Late last year, Harry and I had high hopes for an action-packed first summer together. Ah, the best laid plans…
The sudden death of my dad in November put paid to any such notions and, after a brief return home to my native Britain, we have instead spent the best part of summer in hibernation, venturing out only as far as the local park.
While I would love to say Harry demonstrated an uncanny empathy for my grief, alas, he did not. Whatever my emotional state, his reaction remains the same – he brings a ball and waits patiently for me to throw it.
Happiness is… a wide open space in which to play ball.
It’s somewhat ironic that, while places to pamper your pooch in Sydney are prolific, it’s still a challenge to have man’s best friend tag along on the most mundane of activities. Harry can sleep over at five-star hotels and enjoy gourmet dinners in dedicated pet restaurants, but he cannot set so much as a paw in the local hardware store, florist’s shop or newsagency.
It’s enough to give an impeccably house-trained pup a complex, so we like to assure Harry of his social acceptance with regular trips to establishments that actively welcome four-legged patrons.
Paws Point pet deli and boutique is a treasure trove of treats – the ideal place to stock up when you’re expecting special canine company. Harry was like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop as he inspected the extensive range of chews, pig’s ear pieces and various other animal parts, all laid out in glass lolly jars.
I can smell treats!