Beach bums

In the previous post I mentioned the special relationship between man and dogs, the reciprocal aspect of that relationship. Whilst walking on a splendid beach near Khao Lak, in Thailand, we encountered a group of about 6 dogs who seemed to have carved out a different kind of life.

4-dogsThey obviously formed a group – I hesitate to use the word ‘pack’, as that implies a strict hierarchy, which I’m not sure was present here – and they displayed quite aggressive behaviour towards casual passers-by. Growling and barking when someone ventured a little too close for their liking. How independent were they? They looked well-fed, probably thanks to the many restaurants scattered around the area. But rather than attaching themselves to a particular place (the method many dogs in Dahab have adopted), this gang seemed to value their slightly compromised freedom. 4-dogsa

As you can see from  these pictures, the dogs were constantly alert, protecting, I felt, their hard fought way of life. This deserves our admiration and respect.

Harry

Billy

We spent some time in Sydney in December.
In Mosman, one of the suburbs, we came across a statue of a dog.

2016-12-03-12-04-13

Billy

There is a plaque, and this is what it says:

Billy

1959 -1978

For 17 years, Billy was a familiar figure in Mosman as he went on the daily rounds beside his master, a street sweeper with Mosman council.

When he died, dog lovers decided to perpetuate his memory.

This statue is a gift to the people of Mosman as a reminder of the reliance of animals on man and the debt mankind owes to animals.

 

Below this, there is another plaque:

Cliff “Inky” Williams

1922 – 2004

A lifetime Mosman resident, Inky worked for the Mosman council for nearly 30 years as a manual street sweeper and was Billy’s master.

After service with the 2/33 infantry battalion in World War II Inky made a substantial contribution to community life in Mosman.

 

I was struck by that line about the reliance of animals and the debt incurred by man. It is a symbiotic relationship between man and dog, isn’t it? And we, as owners, have a pretty good deal: provide food, shelter and cuddles, and in return you get unreserved devotion. And no criticism. Ever. It’s a unique relationship that, say, an alien from another planet, or Donald Trump, would find hard to understand.

It’s good to remind ourselves how lucky we, as dog-owners, really are.

2016-12-04-12-16-08

Puppy beach, Sydney

Harry