IF YOU want a friend on the Gold Coast adopt a dog.
Seriously, owning a dog is an entrée into an entire new world.
A nice world where strangers smile as they pass you or stop for a chat.
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From pouty poodles to muscly bull terriers, and their look-alike owners, there is no judgement, no rolling eyes even if your pup isn’t as well behaved as theirs.
It will happen, they say sympathetically as they walk their perfectly poised pooches past my baby mutt – straining against his leash so hard he is walking on his hind legs.
It’s an alternate universe where people dress sensibly, are polite and genuine and would rather relax with their dog than ponce around at society lunches.
Late afternoon, when the light is just right, is the best time to cross through the mystical portal into this world of happy leash-free beaches and friendly ocean view walkways.
Down south the best portal is behind the Kiosk at Palm Beach Parklands where a tail wagging wonderland awaits.
Thank you Gold Coast City Council.
One early winter afternoon I struck out, new puppy on a very short leash, to explore this new land.
Every single dog guardian who walks past either smiles or says hello and no one seems to mind that my uncontrollable but gentle mutt is making an excited beeline for their charges.
One lovely lady with a stunning black Labrador cross stops to offer me advice on training.
“The first two years are the worse,” she says to my dismay.
“But it will get better.”
A group of swimmers walking up from the beach laugh as my over-friendly mutt jumps all over them.
“Don’t apologise!,” they say.
A little girl in a bright pink tutu spots the pup and runs straight for him.
He nearly dislocates his back his tail is wagging so furiously in response.
She pats him and calls him pretty while her mother chats to me.
Finally we get to the beach.
Dogs of every size, make and model are running out into the surf, chasing balls, jumping on each other, racing up and down the sand dunes.
It is canine chaos but a freaking joy to watch.
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