Saturday, 17 November 2007

Swim between the Flags

On this gorgeous morning, I had my first swim 'between the flags' for two years. I felt so safe! We get this message about swimming between the flags so strongly, yet so many flagged areas, at least in NSW, don't want our family dog with us, even if it is well trained and sits at the shore while we swim. It's madness. The biggest group of dog owners is families with children. It's summer. We want to be able to bring our children and our dog to the beach for a swim. Dogs love it.
Barking Mad had a long chat with the lifesavers who agreed that 'they' (council) make it hard on the 42% of people who own dogs. Pema was welcome at this beach, and it was a beautiful morning of swimming with kids, other dogs and a variety of people. All between the flags. Thanks to the voice of reason - we wish you would appear more often.

We have contacted all the councils in Australia (yes, all 700 plus) to inquire about their provisions to not discriminate against people with dogs and WOW what an interesting lot of responses we have got. We've found councils that don't even have a ranger, several without ANY 'no dogs signs', and many that are not aware of the Disability Discrimination Act. We've found two who are interested in our user-pays, 'extra access' dog registration. (Pay more, get more training, and get more access for you and dog). And, we've found problems with the AQIS requirements to take an assistance animal to Christmas Island. Did you know they are making Christmas Island dog free? We wonder if they have gotten rid of the foxes, rabbits and cats too. We will be adding this to the members area as well.