In Switzerland and France and probably other countries in Europe dogs are recognised as being part of the family, being allowed to fly in the cabin with its master, and allowed to stay in hotel rooms with room service even having a “pour le chien” section. It was also quite common to see dogs in shopping trolleys in supermarkets. No-one looked at them twice.
In Australia, however, I have never seen it. In fact in Queensland where I live we have only been given the right to have our dogs sit at our feet when drinking coffee in an outdoor area of a cafe in the last three years. The battle to have this legislation changed was lengthy and the arguments for and against were passionately put by the respective fors and againsts. In the end the legislation changed so that the cafe proprietor made the choice and had to put up a big sign saying dog friendly if he was happy for our canine pooches to sit with their owners. This way those against dogs in restaurants could choose to dine elsewhere.
The poodle in his red shirt sitting in the shopping bag was a sight that made me bring the camera out quickly and marvel that Melbourne, possibly our most culturally diverse city with people from more than 140 countries living here. This migration occurred firstly in the 1830’s and was mainly of British extraction. These migrants displaced the original aboriginal occupants purchasing the land from them for a few mirrors and scissors and the like.
The next migration occurred with the gold rush in the 1850’s where desire to make money was the principal reason for migration. This wave brought a large number of Chinese.
The third wave was post WW2 which saw many European immigrants come escaping their own war- torn countries as well as assisted migration due to our belief that we needed to “populate or perish.” By 1976 20% of the population had a language other than English as their primary language of use. The next wave were those arriving from Vietnam and Cambodia.These days huge numbers of international students boost Melbourne’s population.
Seeing this dog today brought home the cultural diversity of Melbourne and it’s cosmopolitan/European attitude towards dogs.