Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coping With Loneliness

As I had wrote earlier on my previous entry, life in Melbourne without my "kids" around is pretty lonely. I envy those owners walking their dogs at the park, having a nice stroll under the brilliant sky. The weather here is just right for one to go for walks in the evenings. How I wish Phoebe is here with me so that I can be like one of them. I am also very sure that Phoebe will enjoy parading herself while having fun walking.

Those who know me well, will testify that I am one hell of a chatty person. I am not shy to approach any person to ask for advice, directions or even just to chat. So that was what I did. I simply walked up to any dog owners whom I met along the journey, asked for permission to photograph their dog/s and if they are friendly enough, I will end up having a nice conversation with them. Following are a few of the photos taken so far.

I met this dog and it's owner when we went to Fitzroy Gardens. Owner was listening to his i-pod so intensely so I did not have the chance to ask for the dog's name.

This is Ebony, my brother in law's dog. She is a Black Lab mix and is about 9 - 10 years old. Ebony loves to walk and is protective towards all of us. If a stranger approach us, she will immediately stand on guard, tail stopped wagging and will put herself between the stranger and us. A very loyal dog who deserves a loving pat & hug every now and then.

Old English Sheepdog is just the right breed you need to keep you warm in winter. Forget those electric blanket or heater, they are nothing compared to having an OES lying down beside you sharing your bed at night. I met this dog at a dog show held at Melbourne Showgrounds. It's owner & breeder, Mrs Carole Burke from Frankston told me that it is only 15 months old and yet to reach it's full potential growth. For those interested to own one, contact Carole at

This is Mr James Camac, breeder of Silky Terrier and the man behind Balkana Australian Silky Terrier, a kennel that is widely known in Victoria. he has exported his dogs to NZ, USA and a few other countries that I could not recall. Hopefully one day I can be like him, well known for my Silkies in Malaysia.

I met these dogs and their owner when we were on our road trip to Great Ocean Road with Lina & Jonny. What a marvelous trio they were. Licking and jumping around these three dogs seems to understand that I was in need of some serious dog loving! This was taken at Williamstown Pier.

This is a Poodle mix Golden Retriever called Molly. I met them on our road trip to Great Ocean Road at a place called Torque. Molly is a dog so full of energy we had fun playing catching together.

I met this guy and his dogs when I was out walking Ebony along the Merri Creek. He was in total control of the whole pack it made me wonder whether he was the closest encounter I can get to a "dog whisperer". I just love this picture because the green grass (due to heavenly rainfall the past few days) made the whole scene look so calm and alive.

I met this great Lab at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk, Albert Park Lake last Sunday. This guy was so loving and adorable, I ended up giving him a whole body massage that lasted abt 20 minutes.

This is Bambi and her owner Pam. Bambi awed me with her brilliant display of agility and obedience at the GSD demo last Sunday. To read more about the RSPCA event, please browse through my blog entries.

I will publish more pictures as I go along travelling. This is definitely a work in progress entry that will always surprise you with little bits and pieces about dogs I met on my travels. As I often said, once a dog lover, I cannot imagine living anywhere without having one by my side. Thank you to all the dog owners whom I met and allowed me to have a lick or two from their dogs. Those wet licks certainly is the best medicine for my loneliness...

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!"

Pretty Paws and Doggie Ribbons

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