Friday, December 12, 2008

At the end of the leash is the joy in your heart*

20081212 Lumiere dogs

I decided to maximise the effect of our recent (current!) wet weather on my lawns with a top-dressing of rooster-poo. Munson, puppy connoisseur of all things stinky, reacted by trying to eat a hole in the front lawn, and came to tell me about it with noisesome breath, as if his blackened paws were not enough of a hint that he had had an attack of the Jamie Duries.

While Bondi is mostly happy to snooze on the porch or increasingly, in a space-defying spot behind the living room armchair that thunder and puppies can't reach, Munson needs to burn off some speed every day. Given Marrickville Council's current war on pet-owners, that means driving to another precinct.

Today we headed to hot and/or wet-weather favourite Lumiere cafe in Surry Hills, as it's one of the few places within miles that has under-cover outdoor seating - not to mention great coffee and and staff who adore Bondi and Munson. Bondi was sitting half out into the rain, so I sheltered him with one of the stools (as shown above) - which helps him with his Henny-Penny complex. I think Munson has picked this up from him - he's recently taken to sleeping with his head under my bed. Last night this meant that I had to endure his vapeurs de poo de coq

I've had a minor concession in my struggle to get a response from the local council on any of my dog-related correspondence since July. After emailing all the councillors in my ward last week, and getting no response, I emailed again and suggested that I might have to write an open letter via the local newspapers. That magically elicited a response from 2 councillors who acknowledged they had been sitting on the prior communication while they pondered its content. It hadn't occurred to any of them (or to any of the council employees I copied on the mail) to even issue a quick response along the lines of "we know you've been waiting 4 months for an answer, but we've heard you now and will get back to you". It's staggering that such small customer-service courtesies are escaping our local government officials and employees.

Anyhoo, I got a long follow-up phone-call from one councillor yesterday, complimenting me on my "feisty" email; she said she requested information from about 3 council departments ASAP to address my complaints, and would get back to me with what she learned.

I also got another light-weight response from Barbara Perry MP, the new Minister for Local Government, who backed up her department's policy of responding to letters by copy-pasting material from their website. Hardly any of the content of my letter was addressed, and I was told I wasn't going to get any support in trying to get accountability from Marrickville Council.

I've very quickly come around to agreeing with those who suggest that Australia doesn't have enough brains to sustain 3 levels of government.

*with apologies to Tom Jobim


  1. Right now, the joy in my heart is at the laptop whilst I'm khurled into a siberian doughnut in my chair!

    We just need to keep trying and trying to get our messages heard by ALL!


  2. Oh Munson, the stinky stuff is always the best! These silly humans just don't understand our choice of eu de parfum!!

    And, might I add, you are growing into such a big, handsome boy!!

    Best of luck with your government issues. I don't recall what they are. Sometimes the local media (newspapers or TV) are your best shot at getting an answer!