A Day in the Life…

Barwon Heads is both a seaside town of holiday dreaming and a place on the move with a transient population of tourists and residents. Roslyn Hames takes a look at Barwon Heads through different sunglasses.

The Dog

       This first column was never meant to be about the dogs of Barwon Heads, but with the deadline looming and personnel short on the ground, the dog it became, and simply because being a dog in Barwon Heads presents a multitude of opportunities and sins. Yes, abandoned poop is an ongoing problem from the human inhabitants point of view, but that is for another article another day.
         Let’s meet Piper the Jack Russell Terrier. Piper is a typical town terrier; whimsical eyes, white with tan ears and a perfectly circular tan dot above her tufted tail, smooth on the torso with a whiskery snout. She often gets mistaken for a male due to her impressive goatee but as long as there is a stick involved, who cares about mixed-up identities and facial hair.
         Frankly, it must be said here that the Jack Russell could be the mascot of Barwon Heads. Light, breezy, friendly and ubiquitous, Jackies populate the streets and beaches like no other breed. Peppercorn keeps one (whose likeness adorns a teapot on display inside), Ruff ‘n’ Rumble has a new baby cross, there’s a couple attached to the post office, but Phill’s takes the prize with a total of four. And that is in just one cluster. I’ve counted several on my side of the street alone and I’m sure there are simply dozens of Jackies in backyards all over town digging tunnels that connect them to each other to run secret Jack Russell mission, but I digress. All I’m saying is that someone should make a small-bronzed Jack Russell and place it at the entrance of town.
         The beach is a canine playground even for the water-shy. For weary owners walking their insatiable mutts, meeting other dogs is a Godsend. How quickly a group of dogs can wear each other out rousing the puppy in each other. The streets are another matter. Hitchcock Avenue is a parade of friends for Piper – everyone is her friend. Some days it is like a Best of Show promenade from the swaggering Newfoundlands to the cruising Irish Wolfhounds with salt water around their whiskers. And of course trotting Jack Russells. Dogs are as much a part of the landscape as tourists. Local establishments clued into Barwon Heads’ love affair with the dog provide water bowls and lead attachments. Even Barwon Orange offers ‘doggacinos’ – essentially milk froth – for the society dog.