Dogs are so much part of every city and Melbourne is certainly known for the love of a dog, with the inner city suburbs leading the way, sometimes there are more dogs at cafes than humans.
Why do we love dogs so much, OK there is the saying – man’s best friend, or member of the family or just family.
I live in St Kilda, which is a beach side suburb, so many people are out walking their dogs early in the morning, dogs of course love the beach, chasing seagulls and balls, digging holes, going for a swim they love it, along the beach there is a gym on the beach with dogs everywhere waiting for their owners. Or sitting at cafes with their owners, I love the fact that so many cafes have water bowls for the dogs, my local café has dog treats for the regulars. Every few months there is even beach yoga for dogs and owners. At present there is a huge sculpture at the St Kilda Baths of a dog crossed legged drinking a coffee – so Melbourne.
Then later in the day when the owners get home from their working day, the parks and beaches are full of dogs. What dogs also do is bring people together, with dogs and their owners meeting other groups on a daily bases, while the dogs sniff each other bums or chase a ball to make the humans feel important, the owners stand and chat, chat about the weather, politics and when they know each other a bit better, talk theatre, art and football (I have listed a link to dog beaches and parks). St Kilda even has a bar called “Dogs Bar”, no dogs allowed, well maybe out the front.
What dogs cunningly do is walk you pass art, mostly street art in Windsor just off Chapel Street, I often look after friends dogs Milly and Max and I love it, as I enjoy their company and I see so much art as I take them for a walk.
Dogs have featured heavily in the history of art, with dogs often within famous painting. This summer at the NGV’s Viktor and Rolf exhibition featured sausage dogs, as they have a couple at home and also feature on a tot bag as part of their merchandise. In the David Hockney exhibition David had a self-portrait with his dog, yes you guessed it a sausage dog. The NGV even had a sausage dog fashion parade to celebrate both artist exhibitions.
It just so happens that sausage dogs are very fashionable right now, they are everywhere. Peter Alexander Australia’s leading sleepwear designer brand and well known Melbourne lad, has always featured his sausage dogs in publicity photos with himself, but now the image of the dog is part of his PJ’s designs… but it must be the bug that’s the hippest dog right now, but if I was to bring a dog into my family (me & the dog) I would find my new family member at the Lost Dogs Home, or like so many people these days Adopt a Grayhound.
As I said earlier in this blog, dogs are every popular in the inner suburbs, which means apartment blocks allow dogs, which only a few years back they were not allowed, I am surprized on how big some of the dogs are coming out of apartments. But in Europe and the US, you could always have dogs in apartments and they can even take them into Restaurants…I wonder if they will happen here.
One of my favourite sculptures of a dog is in the heart of Melbourne in City Square, it’s only quite small but really cute with a studded S&M collard, check it out you will love it…this cute little sculpture is on the move, so he might be a bit hard to find, as City Square has just closed for major disruptions as work starts on the new unground rail network.
So where to next for the dog, maybe Melbourne should start the art of a dog festival, it would be crazy popular!
- Dogapalooza – Dog Festival (End of Spring)
- Lost Dogs Home
- Staffy Rescue
- Greyhound Adoption Program
- Dog’s Bar
- St Kilda Sea Baths
The Great Dog Parks of Melbourne:
Victoria Park, Collingwood
St Kilda Dog Beach, St Kilda
Barkly Gardens, Richmond
Brickworks Park, Brunswick
Claytons Reserve, North Melbourne
Citizens Park, Richmond
Mentone Dog Beach, Mentone
Fritsch Holzer Park, Hawthorn East
Royal Park, Parkville
Fawkner Park, South Yarra
Westgate Park, Port Melbourne