Scooby Sunday

Doggie Paddle

I know its a cop out getting people to do guest blogs while you are away on Christmas holidays, but when your dog puts paw to paper you simpy have to publish. Here’s Rhubarb’s latest dog blog…well actually she sent me an email just after I arrived in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands but I think its blog worthy.What did your dog get up to this Christmas?

Dear Mum,

Woke up this morning expecting another day lazing around at home while Reg did some gardening. Things started to look up when out came the fuel tank and other boat stuff.

With one eye on the tide chart we headed for Swallow Rock.

The tinnie now has some new carpet, blue of course and it’s much easier on the paws.

I’m sitting up front now like a proper tinnie dog see below.

 It’s pretty cool, I can stick my nose up in the fresh river air to pick up the scent of a bbq in Mainbar. Well mostly its cool except Reg didn’t see some waves coming when were going fast toward Lilli Pilli and my furry little butt got some air under it. Not to worry, there were seagulls to catch and we were racing the tide. We pulled into the channel in the basin at Mainbar and chased said seagulls and a few sticks. Had good splash around then it was time to head to sea.

Seeing as it was a calm day we went out near Shark Island, more of a rock really than an island. Decided we would take their word on the shark bit. Plenty of grommits out for a Sunday wave and someone swimming around the island impersonating shark bait. Next we motored across to near Jibbon bombora. There were lots of people fishing but the bomby was calm. It was a gently rolling swell, good for getting my sea legs. Thought about a swim at Bundeena but too many other people there so cruised up the river via Red Jacks to South West Arm. By this time the tide was in so we went right up the river. Dragged the boat up on the rocks and Reg had a swim where you and him went last time, remember? The fresh water was flowing in so had a splash but didn’t go in myself. We didn’t stay too long, you know those yogie bears are everywhere trying to ruin a dog’s day out. We drifted down the creek a bit then a couple of boatloads of bogans came up. Some people don’t appreciate where they are. Why don’t they just go to panthers cable ski park???

Tinnie Dog

On the way out we went up another little creek. It’s a bit like Muddy Creek, takes you to Anice falls where we walked that time. Good potential for a picnic on a high tide. It was getting hot now so after a bit more drifting down the arm, saw some eagles (Granny is certain they were wedge tails) but I think they might have been Sea Eagles, then headed for Grays Point. Lots of boats out now so it was bumpy so I hunched down with my head on Reg’s foot for some security.

Next stop Granny’s house for lunch, a woof at the neighbours just to let em know I’m here and coming back next week. Grandad worked out a plan to close the gap in the fence so it should keep me in.

Missing you and the girls heaps, love to all,



Sandy Bay: A Little Slice of Doggie Heaven

Rhubarb in Full Flight

A long week of boring walks round the block and car trips to the local dog park were all worth it on Friday with a trip to my favourite harbourside dog beach.

I know I’m almost a shire dweller now, having relocated to within a cooee of Tom Ugly’s bridge,  but I have to say that the northern side does offer up some pretty good weekday options for a romp in the sand and the surf.

Sandy Bay was the destination for a doggie date to meet my new mate Gidget the blue heeler puppy and Bundy the Beagle, both of whom are lucky enough to live just down the road from this little slice of doggy heaven.

At low tide there is a wide expanse of sand to run around on and shallow water for safe doggy paddle laps.

To top it off there is a storm water drain that collects some really fragrant water, perfect for a post swim rinse that lets me bring a little sniff of the beach all the way home in the car.

Useful Information

  • Doggy Bags and Poo Bins are available but bring bags to be on the safe side
  • No fresh water tap so bring your own
  • Sandy Bay is part of the Spit to Manly walk so if you want to stretch your legs you can put pooch on a lead and make a day of it (although you’ll have to work out a way to get home with your four legged friend if you finish up in Manly).

    Some sections have alternative routes for dogs.

  • Coffee and snacks are available from Clonnys Kiosk which is just east of Sandy Bay or you could bring your own and even make use of the public bbqs in the reserve.
  • Clonnys also has a restaurant if you are looking for something more upmarket, although you probably can’t take your pooch!
  • There is plenty of paid parking about 100 yards from Sandy Bay as well as in the Clontarf Beach carpark
  • Sandy Bay is about half an hour from Sydney CBD

The Embodiment of Canine Happiness


Clonnys Kiosk

Google Map

Spit to Manly Walk

Canine Contraband


Sunday morning dawned and I already knew that plans were afoot to take the tinny out somewhere. The big question was “am I invited?” I made all the right noises and “pick me, pick me” signals typical of your average water loving labrador.

Thankfully just as the back door closed, the car engine started and the tail lights on the tinny trailer started flashing encouragingly, I heard the familiar dangle of the lead and the side gate clicking open.

My goodness had they keep me in suspense. At least a whole 10 minutes.

I don’t really like car travel.

It makes me dribble and you never quite know where you’re going to end up.

A boat trip on the other hand almost always guarantees a splash in the river, a roll in some sand and the wind flapping my ears.

By the time we had left the concrete jungle and I was starting to get a whiff of eucalypt and the unmistakable odour of muddy sand and salty river water, we came to a halt near suspicious looking booth sporting an upsetting notice stating “no dogs”. Suspicion confirmed. I often wonder why they don’t think to put a sign up for cats.

Anyway we’d come too far now and there were no yogi bears (rangers) in site so we drove on.  I could already sense Charley’s agitation at the situation. As we descended the hill and the water came into view my worst fears were realised. A ranger ute was approaching from the opposite direction. I tried to keep my head down but I was struggling to contain my excitement at the prospect of getting into the water. As we passed on the road we locked gazes briefly. I could tell he was scared.

The pressure was on now to get on the water and make a quick getaway. We pulled up to the boat ramp reversed straight in, threw in the picnic gear and waited apprehensively whilst Reg parked the car and trailer. It was a nervous few minutes. It wasn’t so much getting caught that concerned me but the thought that our day out might come to an abrupt end if the yogi bear caught up with us before we were safely afloat and under the scrutiny of the maritime authorities instead.


Anyway it didn’t matter now as we fired up the Mercury and sped off down Cowan Creek. I felt like an illegal stowaway or some kind of smuggler cargo. After an hour or so of zooming around at 15 knots we soon landed on a sandy beach and I leapt into the cool water and rolled in the sand. Heaven.

After my swim I had to suffer the humiliation of being tied to a tree for the benefit of some lace monitors, who really didn’t seem to give a hoot. They just cruised up and down past the picnic and stuck their tongue out at me.

The yogi bear encounter was not yet over. When we returned to the boat ramp there was a queue but thankfully no sign of a Yogi. Yet. So far so good. We packed up the tinny with the same haste as we launched, with a few disapproving looks but mostly complete admiration of my Labrador cuteness .

Just as we were pulling away up the hill, at the same point as our previous encounter, there in the near distance was the ranger. He’d missed all the action and had no chance of catching us now. We laughed all the way home.

Look out for Rhubarb’s next blog which will bring you info on how to select a lifejacket for your dog.

Note: The author of this blog does not condone taking dogs into national parks. The incident was an accident of poor planning and we do not make a habit of it.

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