If you were to find yourself walking through the streets of Sydney’s inner east in the past couple years, perhaps to run a key across the cars parked outside a Messina store, then you may have noticed an odd trend appearing in the area. The inner east’s hip, good-looking, wealthy, kind of emaciated twenty-somethings are now accessorised with giant fucking dogs. Those type of dogs that appear in DMX videos, or who feature in a plot line to ‘The Wire” that you made a principled decision with your partner to fast forward. These animals, who could be mistaken for extremely well-built men in tight fur bodysuits crawling on all floors that I have to repress in dreams, drag their owners from market stall to cafe.
Before recently, I would not actively avoid a heavily breathing Rottweiler hauling its owner’s ass through the streets despite the image being kinda irksome.Yet on a brisk Saturday morning not long ago, I noticed from afar a woman sitting outside the front of a cafe in Surry Hills with aforementioned breed of dog. The pet looked like one of these men I keep telling you about but with a hyena-spotted print imprinted on its fur, covering its muscular body. Maybe I noticed it because I wanted it to fuck me.
Anyway, the dog – by all accounts unprovoked – ended up biting a passerbyer’s foot. Shit hit the fan as the woman, maybe in her sixties, was wailing as blood and a knocked over cider spilt onto the pavement, the dog left barking at her as it’s owner tried to calm it down. The cops and paramedics would later turn up and the woman’s loss of blood under control, but the whole situation was befuddling and kinda sad: will the dog be put down now? Maybe even the owner? Why is the image of a small-time Etsy retailer trying to subdue this very strong, very pissed-off dog so unsettling?
What I like to believe began with Australia’s turd-of-a-painter Brett Whiteley in the 1970s relocating his studio to Surry Hills for easy access to dope, affluent, soul searching residents looking for some cultural authenticity have adopted the area’s cultural history into their make-up. Which is seemingly harmless but no doubt ham-handed when it ends in replicating the fashion of the few poor people left living in your area, but possibly disastrous when it extends to choice of pet.