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.
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.
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.
Him Indoors recently read somewhere that dogs yawning at the same time as their owners is a sign of empathy and affection.
Keen to put this theory to the test, he has since spent many an evening sitting in front of Harry and repeatedly flexing his jaws like a Hungry Hippo. It was enough to bore us all senseless, so when Harry finally rewarded his efforts and gave a yawn back, there was much rejoicing from everyone in the household.
It was in this new cocoon of familial love that we set off on our first holiday together.
For Harry, a car journey is one of life’s great joys (so much so, in fact, that he regularly tries to jump in the back seat of any car that stops in the street) therefore it was only fitting that our first holiday would be a road trip. The chance to watch the world go by, wind whipping back his ears… it’s bliss for a mutt in the prime of his life. The two-hour drive down the coast to the Shoalhaven also provided ample opportunity for Him Indoors to remark upon the marvels of being loved by a dog…
The other day Him Indoors looked up from spooning our dog on the sofa and remarked: “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Ok, so maybe he didn’t phrase it quite as eloquently as writer Anatole France (what he actually said was “I love Harry so much I want to squeeze him really tight – do you think he would bite me?”) but the sentiment was the same.
First-time dog-owner Him Indoors is bewildered on a daily basis by the fact that he has fallen head over heels for a small hairy mammal, that leaves hair all over our furniture, has questionable personal hygiene and occasionally fishy breath.
And so, given the love affair between Harry and Him Indoors deepens by the day, it was only fitting that Him Indoors’ birthday weekend would be spent somewhere man’s best friend was also welcome.
Dog-friendly accommodation can be hard to find, so we were all delighted to discover that The Langham – one of our favourite Sydney hotels – also accepts canine guests.