|As has been my habit for years – French rural diversions aside - I walk Munson in a five kilometre loop up Enmore Road and King Street Newtown, keeping to the shady side of the street on hot or wet days. It’s one of Sydney’s premier restaurant strips, legendarily with more Thai restaurants than any street outside of Bangkok. |
While we were away it seems to have been taken over by frozen yoghurt outlets and Mexican restaurants, good news for those on diets of fro-yos and nachos. There has also been an explosion in the number of gelaterias, and the Thai restaurants now seem to alternate with Thai massage studios.
Such is the turnover in retail addresses that I feel compelled to scrutinise all the shop-fronts along our walk. This didn’t work so well when I first arrived as my eye prescription had changed enough during the farm years that I saw COIN HAIRDRESSER and DENIAL CARE rather than Con: Hairdresser and Dental Care.
|As we sat in the entrance of Cafe Shenkin, formerly The Old Fish Shop Cafe, Munson held audience with the passing world. Most entertaining was the four-year old boy with his dad: boy would pat Munson’s flank, Munson would “woo-oo” and boy would giggle. Rub, repeat until boy was staggering around laughing so hard that he could barely stand. Ten minutes later he returned for a second round of pat-woo-giggle until his father carried him off: “bye bye doggie”. |
Everywhere I go I get a lot of stories, happy and sad about people’s relationships with dogs. A lot of recent ones have been quite sad – this day a man told me his daughter’s family lost two malamutes to the recent fires in the Blue Mountains when they had barely enough time to evacuate humans from the household. A few weeks ago, I encountered a guy on Alice Street who gave Munson a bit of a cuddle, then stood up, shook himself and said “you can’t own dogs, when they die they destroy you”, and walked off. Other stories of abandoned dogs are too disturbing for me to share. Munson may wear the dog-collar but I’m the one who hears confession on our walks.
|The afternoon closed on a more positive note with a round of play at Sydney Park. Munson is entering the malamute life-phase which straddles ridiculous and noble. He’s mature enough to sit on a hillock, looming over and kissing his favourite human park friends, while occasionally giving himself over to squawking wrestles with both dogs and humans.|