Some of you may know that I like dogs.
Occasionally I write about dog-related events.
Or the intricacies of dog training.
Last week, I continued in my quest to be the most well-travelled dog-enthusiast-cum-feminist-Jewish-playwright the world has ever seen. And I did good.
Once a year, the small Victorian town of Kyneton hosts a Daffodil Arts Festival. This is a joyous spring event where people from all over congregate in Kyneton to look at flowers, race ferrets, get spooked by artisanal scarecrows, and justify having devonshire tea for lunch because “the proceeds go to some sort of charity.”
I hopped in the car with my partner whose blog you should read, and we drove a pleasant hour on the highway to Kyneton. As we neared the outskirts of the city, I found my breathing grow more shallow and hysterical because I noticed that EVERY GARDEN and EVERY SHOPFRONT boasted a wheelbarrow of daffodils.
(Regular readers may also know how I feel about all members of the narcissus family.)
We had a wonderful time at the flower show where I managed my breathing and visualised the word ‘CALM.” even when viewing floral arrangements titled “GOLD GOLD GOLD” and “LONG AND LOW.”
We choked down our requisite charity scones. (Ugh, I haaaate delicious fluffy scones and piping hot cups of tea served by friendly country ladies.) And then we power-walked to the Dog Dash.
The Dog Dash wasn’t due to kick off for a while, but I could feel in my waters that things were starting to begin. We walked down Main Street, rejecting all “please sniff me” overtures from neighbouring flowers, because we could sense a big congress of easily grabbable dogs in close proximity.
And we were right. The Dog Dash organisers had commandeered the town velodrome and set it up as a doggie heaven. The velodrome was PACKED with dogs, owners, and lurkers like our good selves. We counted close to 100 dogs, all of whom were friendly and very excited about this social event.
This is what happens at a Dog Dash:
- 80 dogs line up in a row in front of a 40 metre strip of turf and try to sniff each others’ butts.
- Each dog’s owner walks to the end of the strip of turf and gestures wildly to their dog, who is being held by his or her collar at the opposite side of the track.
- The owner gets more animated at the end of the turf, screaming “CHICKEN! Come to Mumma! I love you!!!!!”
- The dog is released from its grip at the same time as the official race-master drops a white flag (sadly devoid of any paw-print imaging) and the dog bounds towards its owner, hopefully in under 5 seconds, if it hopes to get anywhere close to winning the title of Fastest Dog in Town.
The thing about point 4 on this list is that maybe only 5 dogs got anywhere near mastering the under-5-seconds time. Most dogs sauntered coolly down the race track, stopping to say hi to people and dogs alike, as if some really chill celebrity on a red carpet. Sometimes the dogs would get partway down the line and decide they didn’t really feel like racing any more, so they would just turn around and walk back to the mass of butt-sniffing happening at the start line.
The best part was seeing greyhounds doing what they’re meant to do: being lazy little babies who had absolutely no interest in running fast whatsoever, but doing the bare minimum so that they could get back to their favourite hobby: having their butt sniffed by smaller dogs while wearing leopard print.
The Dog Dash was easily a normal-life-highlight, and even a dog-enthusiast life-highlight. I highly recommend you go in 2017.