Melbourne is a European City


© irene waters 2015


© irene waters 2015

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.


© irene waters 2015

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.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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10 Responses to Melbourne is a European City

  1. TanGental says:

    Today happily had breakfast in a cafe with Mylo at my feet one of several that are happy for dogs to be inside. Wouldn’t want it any other ay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish the argument over dog rights was the most debated argument in the world, everything else having been peacefully and justly resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    You wouldn’t see this that often here, either, Eileen. Just in Hollywood, where whatever the stars want, they get. But AAA does list hotels and motels that are pet friendly. Back a few centuries ago, when we were moving from CA to Illinois, we had our two cats with us and had to sneak them into our rooms and pull the curtains!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I want to remind people that there is another point of view about animals housing with owners in facilities that are meant for the public.
    Some people are very allergic to animals. Being in places, especially enclosed spaces, where animals are or have been will gift them with runny noses, swollen eyes, coughing, itches all over their body, and sometimes breathing difficulties. The dander of cats remains wherever they’ve been, a hidden threat to those who are allergic.
    I adore animals, especially dogs, but many cats will bring on a bout of allergy that can leave my eyes swollen shut. My son and his family have the same allergic reaction.If we stay in a hotel room that we think is a no-animal zone to find out that it has housed pets, we are all going to be very ill and uncomfortable.
    Please be respectful of places that request you not bring your pets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel for you with allergies. I know what that is like. I used to struggle when I was younger with very severe hayfever (one of the triggers being cats) but as I’ve got older the only place my allergy shows up is in my eyes (and the odd asthma attack).
      We don’t have any motels in Australia that allow animals in the room. If you travel here there is a book “holidaying with dogs” which give you caravan parks where you can camp or van with animals, and B&B’s that allow you to have animals (some in the room, some kept outside). Few people attempt to holiday with cats here. We used to put ours into a boarding kennel and just that short trip was a nightmare with Trog.
      Respect in everything in life is definitely the way to go. Living in the world aware of others and respecting them is crucial.


  5. Charli Mills says:

    We take our dogs everywhere (but they have to stay in the car).

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can’t do that here due to the heat. Even with the windows down the car can heat to 50 degrees very quickly. In winter we can take them and they are okay being left in the car for short periods. I love having them with me though and they love not being left at home alone.


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