Bruce is my best mate; we’ve been through a lot together. Bruce has been there by my side through thick and thin. She enjoys the same music as I do, and she is generally a model of honesty, rectitude, and loyalty. She was there for me through my darkest and finest hours of the 2013 federal election. I suppose you could say that she is a political animal.
Bruce is my dog – a cross between a labrador and a border collie. And yes, Bruce is a female… it’s a long story, and I won’t go into it now, but she doesn’t seem to mind so I don’t think it should bother anybody else. She is well-known by the shopkeepers and community of Hackett – sometimes probably better than me! She accompanies me to many social and professional engagements.
She sits on ABC666’s Genevieve Jacobs’ feet if I happen to be giving an interview and she also enjoys the company of 2CC’s Mark Parton. She will wait dutifully outside of the shops while I do my shopping, she never barks unnecessarily, and children enjoy patting her.
I’ve trained my dog well. She was part of an unwanted litter from a farm in Cooma, and if I didn’t buy her, in the farmer’s words, ‘she would have got the bullet.
I break the law nearly every day.
In most circumstances Bruce doesn’t need to be restrained because I have complete control of her all of the time. She will stop before crossing the road, and will look up at me waiting for the command… ‘Cross!’ She won’t run up to other animals unless I allow her to, and she has never shown any aggression to a person and never will.
In the ACT it’s illegal for you to leave your dog outside of the shops. In the ACT it’s illegal for you to walk with your dog without a leash. In the ACT it’s illegal not to have your dog registered. And in the ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck. The list goes on forever.
I understand that there are reasons behind such legislation. In fact, I think there are some good reasons behind the Mount Everest of legislation regarding the ownership of a dog. But is it really necessary to impose legal penalty upon people who for instance let their dogs run around in a park unrestrained in a ‘non-designated off leash area’?
I grew up in the country, and I suppose I’m a little nostalgic for a time when the dog was on the back of the truck, the truck would pull up wherever, and the dog would happily jump off and stay by its master’s side.
Canberra’s lawmakers need to understand that you can’t legislate a perfect world into sterility, and that it is imperfection that creates a cultured, creative and free citizenry.
What do you think?