Tuesday, September 29


So where I live is very dog oriented. Until the recent baby boom, there were more dogs than children in our suburb. In fact I think that it is the highest dog per capita suburb in Australia! I've lived here for 5 years and the entire time there has been a uniting force behind our community that I've only just realised existed. It is a powerful force. A bond that people are passionate about, almost unanimously. From the gays, to the students, to the rich & semi famous, to the homeless & addicts, to the young couples... all of them love Dasher.

Dasher is a mutt. Dasher lives in a terrace house on the main street of Surry. Dasher is the most friendly, docile, (and now I know) powerful uniting force in all of Surry Hills. Every day (that it's not raining) Dasher sits on the pavement outside his gate making people happy. He lets anyone pat him and he will sweetly roll onto his side for a tummy rub if he knows he's got you sucked in enough. Everyone knows his name. His owner has an annual birthday party in the park across the road for him and any of his doggy chums (and their owners).

A couple of days ago we walked past the house to find no Dasher and a sign in his sted. We rushed to read it. It was a handwritten note from the owner "Dasher's mum" Dasher has been ordered by the council to no longer sit on the path. Dogs must be on leashes held by the owner. So that's it. Or is it?

On the way back from our coffee run there was a couple reading the notice and tutting, then Dashers owner came out and we went over and chatted and about 2 other people walking past stopped and joined in as well. We decided a petition should be made and submitted to the council. We all agreed everyone we knew who lived here would sign it. How funny that a mutt could be a uniting force in our slick city. In a place where fancy cafes are opposite homeless shelters, politely ignoring each other, everyone can stand around and get all chummy and outraged by a dog being told to follow the council rules.

Don't get me wrong, I'll sign the petition to get Dasher back on the street. I enjoy having a dog to pat for free (no walking, feeding, poop collecting involved) as much as the next dog lover.

But aren't we a strange people that this is what it takes to get us to talk to each other?

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