Monday, 22 December 2008

Column8 Dog Train - Sydney Morning Herald

Friday 19 Dec:
"State Rail have these large glossy posters at most stations stating the rules," reports John Blackhawk, of Umina Beach. "One rule states 'No pets not allowed'. I emailed, asking if we'd all been breaking the law by not travelling with our dogs, cats, axolotls etc. They asked for clarification - was it me who was travelling with a pet, or had I seen others doing so? I pointed out it was a humorous attempt at pointing out their double negative, and I looked forward to taking my groodle to work on the train. The posters remain unchanged. But I believe it is legal to travel on trains, buses and ferries if your pet is 'under control' anyway. It is, isn't it?" We're not sure. Guide dogs have always been OK, but as for groodles …

Today 22 Dec:
"I got fined for being on 'railway property' with my dog," writes Eedra Zey (Column 8, Friday). "I have in writing from RailCorp that a level crossing is railway property. Therefore, I cannot cross from home to the shops at Woy Woy with my dog without committing an offence."

Barking Mad comments: We look to Column 8 (Column8?) to show us the rules of punctuation,"(_).**

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Silly Season Woofs and Wags

Thanks to a member (and Dulux Paint) for these light-hearted doggie Christmas Carols. Click here to sing three well-known carols along with the dogs. Make sure your speakers are on and your doggie is around to join in too. My dog woke from her post-beach slumber briefly, and my old cat is close to deaf so I had to sing solo; it's wasn't good so lucky for you there is no sound on this BLOG.

And thanks again to member SB (above). I didn't know how I was going to get beyond the last post. I had backed myself into a corner hard to get out of and not dissimilar to the corner the Opera House is now in from their choice to wave 150 pages of 'we are so good' and ignore eye-witness statements and video showing 'we may be so good usually, but we sure failed on this occasion,' but I is MY blog....

We have found out that the mother actually called the police for help before the police killed her child. I, like many of you reaading this, am still disturbed by all this. For me, I can be sure this is at least partly due to my own experience with police thugs earlier this year. (And just to re-iterate, I was travelling legally with my dog as per the 2007 Transport Regulations).

So when is having Glandular Fever a fabulous Christmas Present? (Yes, I have it.) It's a fabulous gift for me because I've been dealing with debilitating medical conditions that do not have direct causal relationships; I have had symptoms exasperated 6 months into treatment and no one knew exactly why; and because it's a diagnosis based on a blood test that is fully accepted by the medicos. Yeah for me - certainty. I like certainty. Now I can rest, enjoy summer, albeit slowly and know that functioning at 10-40% is actually OK because it's temporary.

The benefit to you as a Barking Mad member is that I will be working throughout the Christmas break. So if you and Fido get into strife on a beach or a bus with those revenue protection people, remember that members can call me 24 x 7 for information or advise. In addition, the Barking Mad beach house still has a few vacancies during the silly season. 90 minutes north of Sydney on a dog friendly beach; members welcome by donation.

Friday, 12 December 2008

gang of police kill solo youth of same race and we're not protesting like Athens is?

Updated post after a few phone calls and inquiries. I'M (any expletive here) OUTRAGED! Shooting a gun 'to maim' works ONLY IN THE MOVIES but it doesn't work in real life. Am I really reading this quote from the Victorian Police Assistance Commissioner? Yes, I am.

The Commissioner continues 'we want our police to be trained to 'shoot-to-kill.'

I am so upset by what seems to be a murder of a juvenile by THREE Victorian police in Melbourne. Howard's lie about children overboard got more press than this.
“Why was he slayed to death when it was so unnecessary?”

The entire incident took less than three minutes to unfold, but police had done everything possible to avoid his death, he said.


Postscript March09 - Story on 60 Minutes

Thursday, 11 December 2008

el Loco & el Lobo: A line in the sand

Cross Post: "Today's visit to the beach was a lot of fun until a couple of guys, each with a pair of muzzled greyhounds, turned up and thuggishly started trying to order us off the beach...." Read the rest of the story from an Aussie who travelled Europe for 2 years with a BIG dog...then (for those readers who are not members) rethink your view of pets in our communities.

Apathetic or Anarchistic

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Hasn't Chicago (and surrounds) been in the news? USA President Elect Obama aside, Chicago city ran a high school art contest TO CREATE CITY-WIDE AWARENESS OF DOG-FRIENDLY CHICAGO. Ok, we love it, see previous post. Here is the winner - to be displayed on 1.3 million vehicle parking stickers.

AND, Michigan car insurer Progressive offers Pet Injury Coverage if your dog or cat is injured in a car accident - regardless of fault! As an ex-yank, I can say that ANYTHING offered 'regardless of fault' is indeed progressive.

The Detroit News reported Auto insurers add pet policies. Stating the bleeding obvious:
  • The coverage reflects what pet owners have known for years and some corporations are just now realising: The bonds run deep with fluffy friends.
  • It's an opportunity to provide a new coverage that right for the market.
  • The market is huge with 2 million dogs and 2.5 million cats.
  • Customers love their cats and dogs.
Our comments - DUH! Most domestic pets in Australia carry $10 MILLION liability insurance with your home contents policy (check with your insurer). Common law clearly puts pets as chattel; yep, same as a handbag. This is an interesting angle when dealing with legal stuff. I digress: chattel means no innate rights - that's why Barking Mad is about pet Owners, not dogs or cats, or horses.

Animal rights organisations state their preference clearly in their name - rights for animals meaning a reform of common law/chattel/pet. Barking Mad has an interesting case on foot as a dog was present in a legal assembly (our right of political expression), but the owner was fined for dog in prohibited space. If the dog is chattel (so too a banner, or a loud-speaker), necessary for political expression then how can its owner be fined under council by-laws?

Barking Mad contacted both AAMI and NRMA insurance asking them to promote a product (pet liability insurance) that they currently offered. Both declined. What are they missing? With 2 out of 3 homes with pets, when will they switch on? I recall working with a major industry around the Sydney Olympic Site (and time) to install water tanks. They had a mega-huge flat surface; a perfect catchment with drainage in place. They thought I was nuts. Need I say more?

Saturday, 6 December 2008

A Special Collection of Video for You

Look, it's back. Be touched by Mankind is No Island. Take a moment for yourself and watch. The images were captured on a mobile phone from the streets of New York and Sydney. The story is there for you to grasp, to feel. Who says we need big budgets to create change? Who says our doggies need $69 collars?

I hope to have several video links on the BLOG for you to enjoy, to learn and to celebrate and laugh. Have a look on the menu on the right side of the screen. I hope this will be a 5* service for Barking Mad members and supporters. Send in your video or link to be included.

Current Videos:

Friday, 5 December 2008

Tails of the city: Sydney's passion for pets

Don't miss this exhibition from Saturday 13 December 08 through Sunday 22 March 09. $10 entry (and we're trying to get a members discount and invitation for our well-behaved pets).

Importantly, this is at The Museum of Sydney (MOS). If you ever lose hope working for change, or get frustrated at our nanny state laws, think about MOS. It is on the site of Australia’s first Government House, built in 1788 as a home and office for the colony’s Governor, Arthur Phillip. Many people fought long and hard to prevent this site from becoming another light-restricting soul-less high rise. We owe it to those people, as well as our pets to make a trip to Sydney to see this show. Bookies, be warned. The MOS book shop is known to capture people for hours, only letting them out with a massive credit card purchase!

From the MOS website: "Australians are one of the biggest owners of pets in the world, with two in three households living with animal companions. Along with dogs, cats, birds and fish, we have shared our homes and lives with a variety of animals, from axolotls to yabbies, budgerigars to stick insects, and many in between.

Discover Sydney’s surprising social history of pets, from the early days of the colony where favoured animals served practical purposes for their masters, through to today's indulged furry and feathered family members. Tails of the city is an exhibition for the whole family that explores our passion for pets through photographs, paintings, objects, hands-on activities and film."

Should we know what an axolotl is? . . . And don't miss the talk about keeping a pet in the city by the wise, learned, experienced and lovely (my comments) Tara Mai Dethridge, Companion Animal Liaison Officer, City of Sydney Council (official comments). Tara's talk will cover de-sexing, obedience training, kids and dogs, off-leash parks and the importance of micro-chipping and registration. Sunday 18 January 2 - 2:30pm, free with museum entry, no bookings.

NSW has gone to the dogs … and fish and birds: Sydney Morning Herald article.