Oscar our loyal follower
OSCAR, an eight- month- old tabby and white tomcat, belongs to nine- year- old Ava Monk and her six- year- old brother Dexter. And although their dad Sam thinks he is Oscar’s favourite, Ava and Dexter know where their moggy’s true loyalties really lie. No, not really – Dad really wanted a cat. Mum went to Sydney on holiday one weekend and we went with Dad to pick him up while she was away. His best friend is Barney, who lives next door.
Barney’s been quite good about Oscar moving onto his turf and they’ve become quite close to each other – and very affectionate. Most of the time he enjoys sleeping, especially in summer – he loves to sleep in the sun.
He’s quite playful and very adventurous; a lot of the time he acts like a dog and will follow us up to half a kilometre away to the shops, which is pretty strange behaviour for a cat.
Once, he came with us even further, a couple of kilometres away to the park.
But we both know when he’s had enough of us playing with him because he turns around and scratches us from head to toe.
He’s very clever as well – he sleeps in Mum and Dad’s bedroom and has learnt to wee in the shower if he needs to go to the toilet. Dad’s always picking up Oscar and saying to him, ‘ You love me the most, don’t you?’ But it’s evident Oscar loves both of us the most. Defi nitely. We both really want to get a dog now as well.
Anyone interested in sharing their best friends’ stories can email
EXERCISE areas for dogs are usually just shared public spaces where dogs are tolerated.
Dog parks, on the other hand, are spaces which specifi cally invite dogs and owners to use them.
Ideally, dog parks are large, fully fenced areas with separate sections for big and little dogs.
Browsing the internet, I’ve seen community dog parks in Canada where planning has gone well beyond providing fences, poo bins and drinking water.
Planning for these parks includes provision of double- gate entrance and exit systems, special water and play features, natural visual barriers within the park and shaded areas.
Conversation regarding this concept is under way in Australia and everyone is invited to take part in a survey on the use of dog parks.
Dr Susan Hazel, of the University of Adelaide’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, is studying dog parks around Australia – more specifi cally, how often these parks are used, what dog owners most like about them and what they would most like to change.
The fi ndings may help in future planning and design of spaces for dog exercise.
If you’d like to take the survey, visit surveymonkey. com/ s/ WZ2X7KV.
Local councils regularly review their dog management policies and any revised plans for dog exercise areas are put out for public comment.
This process is under way for the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, which manages much of Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast, including the townships and beaches around Orford, Swansea and Bicheno.
Finding a balance to suit the needs of residents and holiday- makers with dogs with those of non- dog owners, while at the same time ensuring the protection of shorebirds and other wildlife is a special challenge.
The council is keen for feedback before Friday on whether there is interest in fenced exercise areas.
They are open to ideas on how the municipality can be dog friendly with a minimal impact on resident shorebirds and wildlife.
For details and to submit feedback go to www. gsbc. tas. gov. au and follow the link to latest news.
Email aboxhall@ bigpond. com