As I was driving through Hawthorn yesterday, I saw a car pull out of a driveway in front of me and noticed two doggy tails wagging slowly in the back of the car. 'They're looking forward to a walk,' I thought. 'I wonder if there's a good spot around here?'
We dog walkers are a keen lot. I was willing to drive back to Hawthorn if there was a good place on that side of town. So I practised all my pursuit skills, honed from many a police drama on tv. I followed at a little distance, along main roads, around corners, through roundabouts, along narrow streets and - when I began to worry that the driver might think it strange that the same car was behind him for so many kilometres - even let another vehicle come between us.
But what was this? He was headed for my side of town. What did he know that I didn't?
It was a bit embarrassing when I ended up right behind the other vehicle in a small dead-end street at a park. I slid past, completed a three-point turn (actually about a thirteen-point turn) and headed on back, looking straight ahead as if I'd just happened to turn into that street by mistake.
I noted a sign saying 'Willsmere Park', so I had a look at Where Is? and saw that it was a huge area.
Today we headed off to explore, and were thrilled to discover it is an off-lead park.
There were a couple of rules to follow, and one was not to take an off-lead dog closer than thirty metres to an organised sporting event, so we walked on lead past the cricket match.
And then we arrived at the lovely beach (okay, I know the river is muddy, but that's normal for Melbourne at this time of the year).
And walked along the shady paths, watching out for snakes.
And one of us even rolled in the lovely green grass.