Monday, 28 April 2008

Food + Bones = Community

A room full of support and months of lobbying has paid-off for Cafe Bones. post incomplete

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Police and CHARGE against Barking Mad

Maybe they read the paper the day after their arrest of me in February and found out, once again, Barking Mad did our legal research better. Can't say much more as I am still in hospital and now I have plaintiff lawyers chasing ME and you can read into that what you wish. Here is an excerpt of the email from the NSW Police; we love their use of the softer word 'allegation' when in fact it was a charge - by three arresting officers.
Dear Ms Zey,

I wish to advise you that the prosecution will seek to withdraw the allegation of 'Resist Police in the Execution of Duty' which is currently listed for mention before the Burwood Local Court. (name), Senior Sergeant, Burwood Area Prosecution Co-ordinator

Barking Mad is still dealing with 'dog on railway property' from Central Station Sydney and once again, can't say much. But have a laugh: we think LEVEL CROSSINGS are railway property, and if they are, you can't cross them with your dog or that dog would be 'on railway property' and get a $100 fine. Can anyone confirm this for me? No word from RailCorp as yet. And what if you cross those tracks on foot and/or in a vehicle (or train!).

Sunday, 13 April 2008

I'm heading into hospital so Barking Mad will be slowing down for the next few weeks. Check contact us for urgent matters and please lend your support to the Clontarf Sandy Bay campaign near Manly.

One of my heath concerns is related to being brutally arrested on Victoria Road when travelling legally with my dog; and that is why I've posted this wonderful guide written by the EDO NSW. I just wish the NSW Police would know how different our rights are before being arrested than to after being arrested. Their knowledge of this and the DDA (login for this link) would have prevented any issue on this bus trip. (Barking Mad would also like to stress the co-dependence of rights and responsibilities. Lastly, please check-out the updated events and work for us pages.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Summit Dog

We attended the 2020 local summit in the most marginal seat in the country today. It was NOT a talk-fest. It was a wonderful to be with people who were engaged in their community and had practical solutions to ongoing issues - such as our 'growing' economy that is dependent on the cheap labour overseas, or the selling of public assets.

Our contribution was to the summit topic 'health' where I introduced Pema as a 24 x 7 health care worker. She will work for ten years or more, never needing a pay rise and without complaint. No, she can't change a nappy, but brings joy, i.e. respite, to both staff and clients at hospitals and in aged care. No one in health care disagreed. Why then is every obstacle put in front of people and agencies who want to expand the therapeutic experience by getting more dogs working with the ill?

Friday, 11 April 2008

My Dog Isn't Invisible....

. . .but my disability is. Join Barking Mad for events around the country to raise awareness and celebrate the value of dogs to people with disabilities. In this event, now in our second year, we aim to demonstrate how highly trained (and often self-trained) dogs assist people with invisible disabilities. Event date 3rd December, events announced in August.

IT COULD BE YOU! Grief, despair, stress, change - it can get to us and stop us from functioning fully in life. It could be temporary, long-term or even permanent. If you don't get on top of it after it gets on top of you, you can become a 'burden' on our health care system. If your dog assists you to maintain a healthy life, to stay alive, to participate in society, then you and doggie may be protected from discrimination by the Disability Discrimination Act.

IT COULD BE YOUR MUM. Barking Mad is often told about a women in her senior years who is having difficultly coping with grief after the death of a life-partner. (As boomers, these 60 year partnerships leave us in awe). We then hear of how their partner's dog comforts them. This may sound like a difficult but manageable situation, but what about when Mum moves into a unit and the neighbour decides that 'dogs don't belong in units' and lets Mum know. Barking Mad gets these stories nearly every week. Dog gets surrendered because Mum can't deal with conflict from her new neighbour. Lots of doggie rescue organisaitons come in to help the dog, but who now assists Mum with getting through her grief? Sure, she may cope; but she may start to withdraw and lose her will to live as she has now lost her reason to go out for a walk every day.

I really want to stress how often Barking Mad hears these stories. If we are hearing so many, how many aren't we hearing? We are an ageing population. The average age of people in care is 70, and the average age of their carers in 50 (source Legacy employee). In ten years, we will have a major crisis. If a dog assists a person to keep their independence longer, it is essentially a HEALTH CARE WORKER. Full stop. It will work 24/7 for ten years without complaint and never ask for a pay rise.

Please - if you can organise an event in your area, perhaps if you have a dog that visits health care facilities, or if you have had a 'my dog saved my life' experience, contact us. We will be registering events mid-year. We are quietly excited about some health care agencies who 'love' our campaign in this area and hope we can announce sponsors or partnerships with these organisations soon.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Dogs: Fight or Flight?

It's often said that the best way to introduce one dog to another is in the same situation, i.e. both on a lead, or both on a lead. I've heard it explained that this because of their 'fight or flight' animal nature, and on a lead, 50% of their choice is taken away. Don't panic professional dog trainers - Barking Mad is not and does not profess to be dog trainers; I'm just repeating what I've heard and trying to make a joke!

Because FLIGHT now has turned into travel on Qantas for Kane (above) and a very joyful experience for the flight attendants. Kane was a star, completely settled. It was reported that two other assistance dogs last week would not settle for the entire flight. Good on you Kane and good on his guardian for putting up with the daily discrimination for having a self-trained assistance animal.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Paws Fly Qantas

As I write, one of our members is flying from Sydney to Brisbane with his previously 'unidentified' assistance dog. This dog enables our member to travel without the need for a human companion and provides him with Independence. Nope - not a guide dog, hearing dog or other dog trained by an organisation at the cost of $20,000, but a dog trained by his owner and recognised by the Disability Discrimination Act but not many State governments and pitifully few Local Governments. Qantas even provided doggie with an absorbent mat in case of a doggie accident. It won't happen as dog has flown before and is trained like most assistance dogs to toilet on command, but it is a gesture of kindness we appreciate.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Parliament Animals - NSW

Pema at NSW Parliament HousePema at NSW Parliament House Roof Garden with the children of one of our MPs. Another view of the NSW Parliament Roof Garden - no doubt a butt more tolerated than the (shock-horror) incident of dog poo - which is highly unlikely. OK, the question is - why do we tolerate this litter but not the occasional dog poo. To take it further, why can ducks, seagulls etc poo on our streets without a public outcry?
Barking Mad Equity for Pet Owners is now a registered lobby group in NSW. They won't miss us as we show up with dogs! Today was our first day in Parliament and we will be there most of next week. Free doggie travel bag to the member who chooses to sponsor our $220 lobby pass! Email Eedra.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - our new home

We've lost the dash - does that mean we are no longer a dash mad, or does that mean our symbolic 'dog lead' dash was obtuse? Probably both, but dot org is a good place for an organisation so here we are!