After all the excitement of the racing season, we seemed to have plenty of time on our hands... which of course got filled up immediately. One of the strangest and most wonderful "dates" J has ever taken me on was to an Oscar's Law Rally at the Victorian Parliament House. Czar came along as our escort (chaperone?) for the day.
(J's shirt says
"Before you ask
They ARE Siberian Huskies
NO They are NOT Wolves
NO They are NOT going to bite you (I might though)
YES They ARE fully grown
YES They DO come in all colours
NO They do NOT all have blue eyes
NO Those that DO have blue eyes are NOT blind
YES They ARE walking me, and not vice versa
NO Their pulling is not "lack of training"
NO They do NOT need "a bit of freedom off lead"
NO I've NEVER heard that joke about the sled before.")
For those who don't know, Oscar was one of the dogs rescued from a puppy factory in central Victoria, suffering from severe neglect. Emaciated, covered in sores, abscesses and fur matted with filth. After being given veterinary care, Oscar was returned to his owners, who were not charged for the neglect to which all of their dogs were subjected. 18 months later, he was again in such a terrible condition that he was removed again. He has become a rallying point for the anti-puppy factory and anti-pet shop movement, who have three key points that they campaigned for in Oscar's Law.
- Abolish the factory farming of companion animals.
- Ban the sale of companion animals from pets shops/online trading sites.
- Promote adoption through rescue groups/pounds/shelters.
Three of J's dogs are rescue dogs and he has been closely associated with the SHCV Rescue, so it's naturally a cause that is really important to him. Its something I wasn't previously aware of. I'll put my hand up - I have, twice in my life, bought dogs from pet shops. And, while I was impressed with the sincerity of the pet shop workers who went to some efforts to ensure that I understood the responsibility I was taking on, one dog had behavioural problems for years and the other, despite the free vet home visit, came with health issues. Now I understand why. I still want to save every puppy from those glass boxes in the pet shops, but I'm learning to walk on by.
One of the lovely things about the gathering on the steps of Parliament House was the number of different dogs present.
By the way, don't be deceived into thinking that the black great dane is small - he just happens to be standing behind his 6 foot 5 owner... he came up to my ribs!
After the rally there was a festival gathering in the Treasury Gardens. We didn't stay too long.
Instead, we went elephant hunting!
The Royal Melbourne Zoo was celebrating its 150th anniversary with 50 statues of 2 year old elephant and local darling Mali. Each statue had been painted or decorated by a particular local artist or art collective. They were scattered around the CBD and Southbank area of Melbourne and were a great treasure hunt for a couple of weeks until they were all returned to the Zoo. The weekend of the Oscar's Law Rally was the last weekend of the Mali statues being in the city, so we made the most of it!