a generation of difference
Like other typical Australian families of the 1960s and ’70s, Stephen’s family lived on a quarter-acre house block in Sydney and had a range of pets: dogs, guinea pigs, mice, birds and fish. The main family dogs, Suzy and Cindy, both had kennels in the backyard; they were free to wander in and out of the house with the four kids during the day, and were chained up at their kennels before the family went to sleep every night.
Skip forward 30 or so years, and Stephen now keeps his dog Patsy in a very different way from the dogs of his childhood. “Although our dogs did spend time in the house when we were kids, they were always locked outdoors when we went out and they were always chained up at night,” says Stephen. “It’s completely different from how I keep my current dog Patsy.”
Stephen lives in a one-bedroom apartment with front and rear courtyards, and works full time. Despite the apartment having direct access to its own garden, Patsy, a 10-year-old Border Collie cross, lives almost completely indoors. “I never would have imagined I’d keep a dog this way but it works just fine,” Stephen says. “I live very close to a harbour-front park and I take Patsy for a long walk every morning and evening.
Patsy’s perfectly happy to snooze indoors all day while I’m at work. I guess I could put in a doggy door but Patsy really prefers to be inside.” Even though Patsy is an energetic dog, she receives lots of exercise and spends as much time as possible with her owner. On the occasions that Stephen works longer hours nearby family and friends will walk or mind Patsy so she’s not locked indoors too long.