Saturday, 31 January 2009

Hot Dogs in the Adelaide Heatwave

As Sydney is stuck on 30C degrees, the Queensland coastal area is flooding, Melbourne had several 43 degree days until a cooling change last night and Adelaide has had more 40 degree days in a row since records were kept, I found this gorgeous picture of titled "Roxy is no longer a hot dog" at

All I want to say is GET DOGS ON BEACHES!!!! Most of us live in the 'coastal fringe'. We are told to SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS. We have thousands of kilometres of coastline and endless remote or empty beaches and we want our dogs AND our human family at the beach together. We're a beach culture - our dogs should be able to be at the beach with us and we'll compromise by keeping them on a lead or away from crowded or flagged areas!

I live 30 seconds' walk from a dog-friendly ocean beach. Sometimes it's just too scary, maybe dangerous for me to swim at my beach, so I walk a few minutes to one of two patrolled areas. But these areas are usually not in the dog beach area - but in a strong NE swell the flagged area is in the dog area - OH JOY!

Many dogs sit on my beach and wait while their owners surf. Other dogs play with visiting dogs while their owners swim. This beach has lots of holiday houses, so throughout January the beach and lagoon is full of kids, families, dogs, surfers and fishers. It's gorgeous and it all works. A few of us 'full-time' residents noticed that A LOT more 'tourists' brought their dogs this year. It seems that having dog-friendly beaches, and dog-friendly/family beach houses is the way to attract tourists and visitors. We even welcome dogs on the ferry from Palm Beach to the Cental coast.

It's been a gorgeous summer and a joy to meet all the visiting dogs from Sydney. I even saw two Labradors the other day that had never been in the ocean before. Sydney, and other coastal suburbs that try to ban dogs from beaches, are cruel. Cruel to Animals - isn't there a law against that?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Members Only

Barking Mad is for responsible pet owners. There are more than 6 million pet owners in Australia and about 3.5 million dog owners. More households have dogs than children, and the largest demographic of dog owners is homes with children 16 and under.

We started this lobby group in 2007 on the hope of achieving membership from the crème de la crop of pet owners, the pick of the bunch, the 5-10% of dog owners willing to annually fork out $40, less than the cost of a bag of good dog chow, to support a full-time lobbyist. This has not been achieved.

I am sorry to say that I can no longer work for the 'greater good', and I need to move to a 'members only' model. I'm dealing with health issues that have reduced my work capacity to 10%. If you feel so inclined, please join as a member. If you have skills to offer to keep our lobby group active, email. Thank you. Eedra

Thursday, 8 January 2009

We need to find Stuart - do you know him? He is hiding. . .

Do responsible pet owners REALLY need a lobby group? Does any other Australian industry that contributes nearly $5 billion per year to the economy not work with government for fair policy? Is a $40 membership too much to ask? Or do we let Stuart make policy and influence public opinion. Gotta love Stuart; but will he IDENTIFY HIMSELF and help us create safe and pet-friendly communities that incorporate his need (or need to whinge)? That's our challenge to him - come forward citizen!

We well know Stuart will find it very easy to complain and very hard to make change. HELP US FIND STUART! (And PS Stuart, humans are animals too.)

Stuart has left a new comment on your post "What is acceptable behaviour?":
Dogs ARE NOT part of the PUBLIC - they are animals and have no right to be on public transport of any kind. I will not share a train carriage or bus with a dog - they smell, they defecate and pee whenever and wherever they want, they can be vicious.

This campaign of yours comes from a position that assumes dogs are equal to humans - they are not - they are animals and there are far too many of them. Far too many owners are:
  • irresponsible
  • do not pick up their dogs poo
  • do not obey regulations pertaining to keeping their dog on leads, which has personally caused me injury after hitting a dog not on a lead while cycling.
My local park is covered in dog poo but I get abused by owners if I dare to suggest they pick up their dogs poo or put it back on a lead. Dogs are not people - get a grip you lot and keep your dog on a short lead, off public transport, out of restaurants and cafes and pick up its poo.

Come on out Stuart. What is your local park and who are you? And will you work with us or are you simply a (simple) whiner? Don't ducks and other birds, possums, rats, koalas, kangaroos, cows, pigs, sheep and human babies poo/wee whenever or wherever they want or have I missed Stuart's training of these animals?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

No chocolate or macadamia nuts

DOG NIGHT at the movies - in Australia, not Austria like our previous report of movie night for dogs.

If you would like to attend and meet up with other Barking Mad members, just email me. I'll send your details to other members in your city who have sent me their details.

You can ALWAYS bring your well-behaved dog to Moonlight Cinema, at least in Sydney; that's right, every screening, not just dog night. (Just like you can take "any" properly behaved dog to visit hospital or aged care patients (NSW) without involving payment to a charity, or for you to travel for 'special' training, or subject your dog to excessive testing....but I digress...again.)

Centennial Parklands Home - Sydney Moonlight Cinema

Moonlight Cinema - City Specific Site (change city at bottom right of page)

Friday, 2 January 2009

Just A Dog, Just a New Year, Just Celebrate

"From time to time, people tell me, lighten up, it's just a dog, or, that's a lot of money for just a dog. They don't understand the distance travelled, the time spent, or the costs involved for just a dog.

Some of my proudest moments have come about with just a dog. Many hours have passed and my only company was just a dog, but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by just a dog, and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of just a dog gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's just a dog, then you will probably understand phases like just a friend, just a sunrise, or just a promise. Just a dog brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. Just a dog brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of just a dog, I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not just a dog but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

Just a dog brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it's not just a dog but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human."

So the next time you hear the phrase just a dog. Just smile, because they just don't understand. By Richard Biby

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Training and busing with our dogs - Column 8 continued

Column 8 Today - Sydney Morning Herald
"Fixing RailCorp's grammar (December 23) might be of academic interest," comments Richard Ure, of Epping, "but the point raised by Eedra Zey from Woy Woy in Friday's Column 8 is more fundamental.
  • If a dog is not allowed on a level crossing, how about a horse?
  • Or a mob of sheep crossing a line in the bush?
  • Or a dog in a ute?
  • For city folk, how about a dog, or any animal, caged or otherwise, crossing railway station concourses at places like Epping, Eastwood, Chatswood, Meadowbank and many similar urban crossings?
RailCorp owes us guidance. Or does it just want the fine?" We, too, cry out for guidance from RailCorp, in these troubled, uncertain times.

Dec 23
About the 'No pets not allowed' State Rail business of Friday," writes Teena Hughes, of Rozelle: "I was thinking that perhaps a shiny new comma or full stop could make this poster make sense. As in, 'No, pets not allowed', or, 'No pets. Not allowed'. I suggest everyone who travels near these signs can fix them immediately by adding either one - we'll leave it up to the public, shall we? Take a black marker pen with you, just in case.