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?
Sydney’s unseasonably warm weather of late has been perfect for exploring the city’s dog-friendly parks.
One of our favourite green spaces in which to spend a sunny afternoon is, of course, Centennial Park. And since this weekend marks the three-month anniversary since we brought Harry home from Monika’s Doggie Rescue, what better way to celebrate than with a picnic in the park?
One of the most challenging aspects of dog ownership for me has been adapting to the curtailing of personal freedom.
Pre-Harry, I had no major commitments or responsibilities (other than Him Indoors, who is generally low maintenance) and have been able to come and go as I please. Now I have Harry, who needs walking twice a day (he has an enormous amount of energy for a 10-year-old dog) and bucket loads of love and attention. Long days away from home are a thing of the past – unless of course my four-legged friend is in tow.
I would happily take Harry with me wherever I go: office, shops, restaurants, bars, buses, trains… However, the rules do not always permit. I’m still discovering just how dog-friendly Sydney is but offerings like Chew Chew pet restaurant give me hope. A restaurant not just where you can take your dog inside, but in fact it’s ONLY your dog who will be served. Chew on that!
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. Continue reading
We have been making slow but steady progress with Operation Socialise Harry. Twice daily walks around the neighbourhood, combined with visits to friends and family (both human and canine), have gradually seen his confidence increase and he is handling his new life and all the changes associated with it like a trooper.
He’s coping well with new experiences – and even enjoying some. A wash and blow-dry at Clovelly Dog-O-Mat turned out to be a treat for our pampered pooch. Owner Lian and her staff were so kind and gentle with our new charge, he soon got over his shyness and lapped up the attention (not to mention the back massage).
Taking on a rescue dog is always something of a gamble but from day one it was clear we have been lucky with Harry.
We knew nothing of his background, how badly he might have been treated in the past, or whether he was even used to living inside a house. Fortunately, despite his fearfulness of new situations and certain people, he has never shown any sign of aggression and is eager for human attention and affection. He’s gentle and loving; a joy to be around.
Mercifully, since we live in an apartment, he is also one of the quietest dogs I have ever come across. Although our vet suggested Harry’s bark was likely beaten out of him in the past, he is not the entirely mute mutt we first thought him to be and will, on rare occasions, let out a loud and deep bark that belies his small stature.
As for adapting to life in the house, I’m still not sure whether he was house-trained previously or is just a quick learner, but there have been no incidents of mass destruction. This has been a particular relief for Him Indoors, who was nervous about our home being trashed by a psychotic hound from hell.
However, life has not been without its upheavals and one issue we are all facing is Harry’s fear of The Great Outdoors. The mere sight of his leash sends Harry running for cover and if we try to put on his walking harness he rolls onto his back and lies rigid as a corpse.
Once we’ve coaxed him out of the door (fresh chicken or his favourite ball encourage him, but he’s still reluctant) he gets spooked at the drop of a hat. If a dog barks, a bird swoops, or he simply spots someone he doesn’t like the look of, then he will plant his bottom on the floor and refuse to budge.
It’s heartbreaking to see him so frightened and it also means I am left with the option of either dragging or carrying him home, neither of which appeals to me (although Harry seems pretty happy with the latter).
So at this stage it’s looking like he lacks an appetite for adventure and my dreams of exploring Sydney with Harry at my heels are on hold – for now.