Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Snappy September - Day Twenty Eight - Free-ranging Flemington

My suburb is fairly densely populated and the roar of traffic, trams and train horns is a constant background soundtrack but I'm here to inform you that it does have its fair share of animal life.

(Apart from the wandering drunks who like to leave their kebab wrappers on top of our car early Sunday mornings that is).

The first animal is the one who works hardest on my heart strings.

Milly hasn't been able to go running with me for the past three years and the lurching stop-start, turn around on a five-cent-piece and stop-start again motions required to fetch tennis balls is also something that she'll enjoy for a few minutes and then painfully regret for many hours afterwards.

So, as I unlocked our tiny shed in readiness for my run and then dashed inside to answer the phone, this is the heart-rending scene she presented to me:

Tough luck Mills. However she always gets a nice ambling walk every day and later on I had a few errands to run, so she came along too.

We had to pass several lions:

And two uncertain Corgis who were staring at the automatic doors of the shops to make sure their owner would return.

I popped into Pepper Cafe to chat to the owner, Simon, about interviewing him for an article and left Milly outside. A couple of minutes later I noticed that she'd been given a white scarf to wear and looked pretty unsure about it.

When the owner of the scarf gave her a few pats, everything was okay in Milly's world again.

We walked past Alex's menagerie; all animals found and adopted from the streets of Flemington:

And a circa-1960s air hostess, because someone has to feed them I guess. Since this picture was taken, Sapphire was touched and impressed enough to ask Alex if she'd also consider adopting a Schleich Jack Russell and Rex from Toy Story. Alex agreed and now they too live on her window sill with their new friends.

This groover resides near the Communist flag and a cartoon thong riding a skateboard.....

.....but is considerably quieter than these three, who were keen to see me and let me lean over the fence for a pat and a photo but hadn't forgotten that Milly is evil.

She is evil, in all honesty, to other dogs.
What she does is wag her tail and look friendly and just as her canine cousin wanders up to touch her nose and sniff hello it's ARR ARR ARR GRRRRR as Milly lunges forward to try and rip the poor creature's face off.

Such encounters always involve me yanking her away, apologising profusely and yelling - as we move further down the street - that "Milly's a people dog, not a dog dog."

There are still a couple of working stables in Flemington, so Patto was giving his granddaughter and a mate a lift back home from the race course:

...... and Ros's dogs Charlie and Little tried to figure out if they remembered me or not. Charlie wasn't so sure, but Little was open to the idea of a greeting.

Sheep and cattle passed through these gates right up until 1987 and in its heyday, Newmarket was the largest stockyard in Australia. It now houses human stock only, with a few cats and fluffy dogs thrown in for good measure.

Out on Flemington Road, the din of the city-bound traffic and airport-bound traffic is deafening and Milly's ears flatten against the strain.

Despite this, we both hear the raucous screech of a Cockatoo perched on top of a light pole in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Melbourne, proudly calling out to his buddies pecking nearby on the lawn.

These fellas could barely be bothered to move when Milly and I stopped to look.

Back into the quieter side streets, we noted with relief that it was a good thing that they weren't hawks, or they'd never belong here.

Flemington. There's always something that tickles me.


River said...

This is a fantastic description of your suburb, Kath. I almost felt like I was there walking around with you.
It's sad that Milly isn't a dog dog as well as loving people the way she does.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks River.

It's Milly's only failing - we have to give a wide berth to any other dogs on the footpath and she's taken to believing that the local school oval is hers and hers alone. Kids and adults are welcome but no dogs! Never!

Catastrophe Waitress said...

Do you think she's jealous?
I bet she believes you're her property
and she doesn't want any other dogs thinking
they can muscle in on her property!