Monday, May 21, 2007

Million Paws Walk - Albert Park Lake, Melbourne

The day began with me rising up very early from bed and after a new minutes in the loo, I straight away took my shower. The reason behind the morning rush was that I had wanted to catch another dog show at the Royal Melbourne Showground, Ascot Valle. So once my husband was ready to go, we drove off in a hurry to Ascot Valle but to our disappointment, only a few cars were at the parking lot.. What's going on here?? A chat with a nice lady brushing her Samoyed, revealed that there was no show to be held that day but instead there was a judges training session. No dogs for me to see that day she said. She advised me to call up VCA to check on the next show to be held there so that I could get my dates right... Crestfallen??? Yes man... I felt like crying coz I was so looking forward to having fun watching the dogs parading themselves in the show ring..

My husband then remembered that we still have a voucher for one free admission to the Melbourne Aquarium and he suggested that we go for it. Well, as I said, my husband is very attuned to my need to be among animals so in order to cheer me up, we drove to the corner of King's Street and Queen's Wharf Road and once again was disappointed. This time it was because there was no parking area around the aquarium. Silly? Yes, I think so. The nearest parking area will be in the Crown's Complex that that place cost a bomb. So, in order to save some $$, we decided that we will do Melbourne aquarium another day when we can just catch a tram to the city..

So, what to do, what to do??? We were already in the city and with nowhere to go, we decided to have a nice stroll along Port Melbourne. The day was very windy and I was truly shivering even though we were walking at a brisk pace. Nick then led me to a nice bench beside the pavement and we started to eat some delicious choc chip cookies that we had packed in our bags earlier. Joggers and passerbys looked at us funnily and I was really getting a bit unhappy until it struck me that they must be very jealous at us eating (CHOC CHIPS COOKIES) and laughing away when they had to spend their morning exercising. I told Nick about it and he started laughing as well. Suddenly I remembered that RSPCA was suppose to have their million paws walk today at Albert Park Lake which was fairly near to where we were so I told Nick that it would be good for us to check it out. So off we went and boy, this time we were not disappointed!

All around Albert Park Lake there were thousands of dogs and their owners walking, picnicking and playing.

I had never seen such a large group of dogs and owners congregated in one area before this and I was truly amazed. RSPCA had done a good job at advertising their event and the Melbournians flocked down the area to show their support towards the worthy cause.

There were BBQ stands, face painting, stalls selling accessories, vets doing micro chipping, vets doing general checks, owners and dogs spinning wheels to see whether they get lucky to walk away with some dog products, dogs obedience demo, German Shepard Club demo, Kelpie herding demo, dog agility competition, dog tricks competition and much more.

It was truly fun. The MC of the day, a very witty bloke really entertained everyone with his comments that made us laughed until our sides ached! I felt so alive but at the same time sad as I was missing my dogs back home. Sob sob sob...

I truly love the way the locals treat their dogs. They really love them to pieces.

The bond that they have with their dogs were so strong, I could really identify them through their actions.

I was happy snapping away at the marvellous show of affection between man and beast and yesterday

I truly understood the meaning behind the phrase about dogs being man's best friend.

The Kelpie herding demo was very good.

The dog really was fantastic at herding different animals like ducks and sheep.

We were also told that they will herd anything that they were told to do. Just name it, the Kelpie will do it to perfection! The organisers placed bales of hay around the herding demo ring so that spectators could sit on them while watching.

It really gave the farm-like experience to city folks in Melbourne and they love to sit on these hay bales with their dogs sitting prettily on their laps, feeling drowsy from all those loving pats given by their owners. Truly, I do believe that all the dogs there felt as though they were in heaven for a day...

We also had the chance to catch the dog agility competition sponsored by Hill's Pet food and what a laugh it was.

Most of the owners and their dogs whom registered just wanted to have fun.

Nearly all had never done any agility training prior to this event and their attics drove us mad with laughter.

Most of the dogs were very keen to do the jumping but 98% of them did not want to crawl under the "yellow tunnel" obstacle. So in such cases, the owners had to dive in themselves to show their dogs that it was ok to do such stunt but still a number of dogs hesitated to follow their owners's lead.

Oh my goodness. Sorry I could not take any of shots of such hilarious behavior as the action in itself was a little bit obscene and I do not want to offend any of the competitors by posting a picture of their bums sticking out from the entrence of the yellow tunnel. I truly thought that Hill's should have allocated a prize for the most enthusiastic owner but sadly there was none. The main prize goes to a German Shepard and they got two 15 kgs bag of dry food, two cartons of wet food and two bags of dog treats all sponsored by Hill's.

Not bad at all!

Last of all, the German Shepard Club presented us with a great obedience demo and they really amazed us all.

The dogs were off leash and they have been trained to do tricks like jumping over each other in succession

fetching a cap for the owner from her shopping bag, doing a dance-like number by walking in between the owners legs and much more.

One dog trucy caught my eye and she was Bambi, a 9 years old German Shepard who lives with Pam, her owner at Box Hill.

I could not resist having a chat with Pam asking about Bambi's diet and exercise regime. Pam was such a darling for she answered me without any hesitation even though I'm practically just a stranger who walked up to her out of nowhere.

Afterwards she even agreed to pose with Bambi specially for me to keep as remembrance. Thanks Pam.

We could not possibly leave the area without getting a souvenir so we wandered over to the RSPCA gift stall. I could not afford to buy the t-shirts as they were to pricey and the same goes to the caps. So after much consideration, I bought a "puppy's growth album" because I found them to be fairly priced, AUD5! Talk about getting a good buy!

We left the lake area with heavy hearts and during our walk back to the car, we managed to catch a great display of soccer skills by a group of school gals who were having a competition nearby. One of them delivered a great corner kick and the golly dived to save it from getting into her post! Such ferocity displayed by these gals, they were surely to put a few of the local soccer players at home to shame.. tsk tsk tsk...

More dog photos from Million Paws Walk

"Mommy Where Are You???"

"Concerntrating on Herding Tip Shown By The Kelpie"

"Just Goofing Around With My Pal"

"3 Standard Poodles In A Park"

"Mom, I'm Too Small To Be On The Ground, That Lady Nearly Stepped On Me!"

1 comment:

Ann said...

Keep up the good work, yang!

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