Life lately, in dogs

It’s been a while since my last post in praise of cranes. Since then, I’ve continued working and studying and I’ve been very briefly to Japan. These canine-centric anecdotes merge recent Japan/Australia moments…

Mini-collie, Kyoto

There are times when you travel when you feel wrecked -perhaps at the end of a long day in transit, or a day on your feet traipsing around to different monuments… Often it’s just when you feel like you’re about to keel over with exhaustion that you turn a corner and find an impossibly high set of stairs or some other seemingly insurmountable obstacle (bit dramatic, but you get the picture). Well, when I’m in that zone of traveller’s fatigue, I am prone to suddenly succomb to hysterical and uncontrollable laughter over the most inane and ridiculous things. This happened to me while in Kyoto. We (that is, myself, 3 uni classmates and our tutor) had spent a day walking, in the rain, to a beautiful Buddhist temple perched on a mountain (Kiyomizu-dera). We were slowly making our way back, taking several wrong turns, and feeling like we were walking further away from the inviting tatami mats and futons back at the ryokan.
I had recovered from a previous outburst of laughter over an accidental spoonerism from our group (“Chicken Captor” instead of “Kitchen Chapter”…) and we were all fairly subdued. All of a suddent a lady appeared walking her dog – a miniature Collie. Wearing purple shoes. I still can’t explain why I found this so funny but at the time it seemed to me the most absurd thing in the world. It’s fair to say my sudden explosion of laughter scared most everyone on the quiet, respectable Kyoto street. If I could apologise to the nice dog-walking lady I would…

Pekingese, Kyoto

Another day in Kyoto, another temple, another wrong turn. This time – the spectacular Fushimi Inari – a Shinto temple. Our troupe was attempting to shuffle up to the top of the mountain, and while we did eventually make it there, we first took an unplanned diversion into some semi-rural properties nearby. It was around here, with no-one else in sight, that we came across this white Pekingese sitting in the back seat of a car, staring pensively out the window, waiting for a chauffeur. He looked both sage and miserable.

2 fat pugs, Blackwattle Bay

Meanwhile, back in Sydney…
Saturday morning here was warm and sunny – 2 things that most of us Sydneysiders have bitched and moaned about the absence of, being in the midst of winter. In a slight post-Friday-night haze, I took myself to Blackwattle Cafe, just around the park from where I live. The cafe serves a mean toasted muesli, but the best thing about it is its location – looking out over the harbour, through Madonna’s Bra (the Anzac Bridge).
The cafe and surrounding park are family and dog hotspots, and they present a veritable obstacle course for the average hungover young person. En route back home, I was stuck behind the 2 waddling pork pies pictured here – partly because they created a physical obstacle, and partly because I became mesmerised by their impossibly slow side-to-side amble. Their owner patiently coaxed them along from behind. In my head I said to the owner, ‘perhaps if you hadn’t OVERFED them, they would be able to walk like normal dogs…’

 

Max, Guerilla Bay

Last but by no means least is Max, the black labradoodle whose size and bark belie his gentle temperament. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to spend some time with Max and his equally lovely owners while down the south coast.
The best thing about Max is that he likes to lean. Surprising how comforting it is for a big dog to transfer part of his body weight onto your leg and hip.

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