Children’s author Catherine Toth-Lacey shares her tips for travelling with dogs in Australia
Catherine Toth-Lacey has travelled extensively around Australia with her partner Geoffrey and their two beautiful Poodles Tzar and Ziggy.
Catherine writes funny and interesting stories for children’s entertainment about the Poodle’s adventures and their encounter with Australia’s indigenous wildlife. It has been the Poodle’s antics that have been the inspiration behind her writing and her latest book Goanna Encounter.
We asked Catherine to share her top tips for families who are travelling with dogs in Australia.
Pets4Life: Have you always had Poodles?
Catherine: I have had a couple of different breeds, but poodles for the last 20 years. I spent a lot of my childhood living in different parts of Australia and I also spent a stint overseas, in New Caledonia. I have a deep abiding love of all animals especially horses. I bred Arabian horses earlier in life, but now live with my beautiful poodles. I was also one of the first riders to work at El Caballo Blanco when it opened in Sydney.
Pets4Life: Where have you travelled with your dogs around Australia?
Catherine: Almost everywhere, except for Western Australia. Up and down the east coast of Australia. As far down as Port Campbell (Great Ocean Road) and as far north as Cooktown. We travelled through the Flinders ranges, up the Oodnadatta track to Dalhousie springs. Places we visited included Alice Springs, Uluru, The Olgas, Darwin, Broken Hill, Katherine, Mt Isa, Burketown, Longreach and Kurumba. My partner and I won the best dressed couple at the 2010 Birdsville races!
Pets4Life: Do native wildlife and domestic dogs mix?
Catherine: Whilst on vacation in Port Douglas, a very large Goanna meandered its way through the property we were staying at and the Poodles gently went over to sticky beak. The goanna just looked at them and went about his business. I firmly believe and have witnessed if domestic and wildlife animals are brought up together they live harmoniously together and in most cases become dependent on each other for company.
Pets4Life: What tips do you have for families travelling with dogs in Australia?
Catherine: Be brave, nothing is too hard!
- ALWAYS keep the water up to them, especially if you are travelling in the peak of summer
- ALWAYS park the car in the shade with the window slightly down or leave the motor running with the air conditioner on if you have to duck out of the car in hot weather
- Research places that will take your pets, it’s definitely easier these days
- Take them for long walks on the beach or in a park when you get to your destination
- Treat them like they are part of the family and include them in almost in everything you do. i.e. take them to cafes and restaurants that have outdoor seating.
Goanna Encounter – You can buy a copy of the book via Tzar The Paddington Poodle or Aly’s Books. This book is suitable for children of all ages and is particularly useful as an early childhood learning resource, as a number of life lessons can be gleaned from the story.