Up here in northern New South Wales people like to go around barefoot. Even ladies of a certain age in smart frocks forego footwear. A man in a business suit skate boarded past me recently with nothing on his feet but two silver toe rings. No surprise that the local shoe shop recently closed down.
My Springer Spaniel, Gillie, on the other hand has a foot fetish and is extremely interested in shoes – especially my own. Shoes hold the mystery and meaning to life and can dictate the difference between a good day and a crappy might-as-well-go-back-to-bed-day.
Each time I get up from my desk he watches anxiously to see what I am planning to do with my feet. If anything with a high heel appears from the closet (less and less likely) he picks up his disgusting chewed ferret and slinks away to sulk in the bathroom.
Sneakers and espadrilles mean a local walk around the property which is pretty good fun – especially if the giant lizard is out and about – but the big excitement is reserved for flip flops. Because flip flops mean THE BEACH.
Most local beaches have a special section where dogs great and small can fly through the air after Frisbees, chase sticks into the ocean and body surf back to shore. With everything from bossy little Jack Russells to crazy passive-aggressive Collies it always amazes that there are rarely any fights.
Even mean-looking junkyard dogs smile and act like graduates of anger management school as they chase each other across the sand and into the waves like frolicking nymphs.
Surf Dog Australia
I recently watched a group of menacing young men swagger their way along the shoreline dressed in the kind of gear you normally wear to a knife fight rather than a beach. People got out of the way as their bad vibes preceded them down the sand.
Suddenly a Collie crossed their path. The owner nervously called it back as the biggest and baddest of the bad asses stopped and stared through his Terminator shades at the innocent pooch. Then as we watched helplessly a single word came forth from the mouth of Mr. Evil.
Apparently it’s impossible for a person to walk on a beach and feel depressed – or its flip side, anger. Something to do with negative ions in the sand. I guess dogs are absorbing them too, right up through their paws. But then dogs are pretty happy most of the time. Why wouldn’t they be? They never have to wear shoes and they can wag their tails all they like.
Big proper tails. Not little humiliating stumps. It’s against the law in Australia to dock tails – and after the initial hullabaloo everyone has got used to it. Who knew that Dobermans had long majestic tails to add a final touch of nobility to their streamlined elegance? How wonderful to watch that big Dobie bitch wag that thang.
Go girl. If you got it, flaunt it! Woof woof WOOF.