Hang­ing out with Hamish McDog

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

Meet Hamish McDog, a west high­land ter­rier of tremen­dous char­ac­ter and charm. I fol­low him on In­sta­gram be­cause all the very best dogs have their own ac­counts, even though I do re­alise Hamish’s is ad­min­is­tered by his mother, my friend Gail.

Gail brought Hamish along to see me re­cently at the ter­rific Night Noo­dle Mar­kets in Hyde Park, part of Syd­ney Good Food Month. He didn’t seem much in­ter­ested in trot­ting around stalls dis­pens­ing silky ra­men, pad thai noo­dles or Sri Lankan stringhop­pers but he was def­i­nitely up for a pat and a smooch. I posted this pic of Hamish on my In­sta­gram ac­count that night and sud­denly a world of westies opened up. There are hash­tags such as #west­iesofin­sta­gram and #west­iesarethebest and you don’t need to look too deeply for por­traits of lit­tle chaps in tam o’ shanter caps and tar­tan ker­chiefs and pretty girlie westies with checked bows and capes. I would fol­low all those ac­counts if that wouldn’t clas­sify me as weird.

I am not a fan of Grumpy Cat, who even has her own branded range of mer­chan­dise, but I do fol­low two less pub­lic­ity-seek­ing kit­tens and a squir­rel in Ja­pan. Th­ese three crea­tures are in­cred­i­bly cute, and in the case of the squir­rel, who lives in a carer’s wild gar­den, I have be­come marginally in­volved in his re­cov­ery from a small ac­ci­dent that dam­aged his great brush of a tail. Us­ing a hi­ra­gana key­board for my mes­sages, I have been ex­press­ing my sym­pa­thy and ad­vice from a neigh­bour who has an in­jured pos­sum in his care, or at least I hope I have, as one slip of those key­board char­ac­ters and who knows what I could be wish­ing upon the poor, sad fel­low.

It’s when you are im­mersed in In­sta­gram, look­ing at pic­tures of pup­pies, that you may won­der if you are bark­ing mad. I cer­tainly do, but at least it is ob­jec­tive and with­out the need to judge or in­ter­act, un­like its Face­book sib­ling, which is full of causes, agen­das and show-off friends who post Buz­zFeed quizzes of the ilk of what fruit would you have been in a past life.

So I am scal­ing back Face­book and just hang­ing out with Hamish McDog and clever In­sta­gram­mers who post macro images of flow­ers and birds. It’s all furry and fuzzy and flighty and enor­mous fun.

Fol­low on In­sta­gram: su­sankuro­sawa

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