Dog park dilemma

I visit the dog park three days a week with my two cavoodles, they love the freedom to run and play with other dogs.
I enjoy meeting the other regular park visitors that come at our usual time. The dog owners have become a “family”.
We share information about caring for our dogs. We also look after each other’s dogs if one of us needs a bit of help.
The dog park is well maintained and improvements are made by the council departments from time to time. It’s wonderful place but therein lies the dilemma.
The park is overcrowded, usually in the evenings and on weekends. Some dog owners don’t watch and make no efforts to pick up their dogs’ poo.
Some dog owners are unwilling and/or are unable to control their dogs’ behaviours. Aggressive and badly behaved dogs are not muzzled and roam uncontrolled.
Some dog owners get aggressive when you try to protect your dogs from these “problem” dogs with an attitude of “I have just as much right to be here” and “how dare you try and discipline my dog?”
So what can the considerate and respectful dog owners with their mostly well-behaved dogs do?
Avoid the times when there are too many dogs, avoid the times when there are “problem” dogs and avoid the times when there are “problem” dog owners.
So every trip to the dog park is a dilemma.
A lot of previous visitors choose to no longer frequent the park because of a bad experience or a story of a bad experience.
I have to ask the question every time I go to the park, “Will my dogs and I be safe today?”
I still choose to visit the park but I have decided we will leave if I believe there might be danger.
It’s such a pity to have a wonderful resource that cannot be used by everyone all the time.

Theresa Smith,
North Bendigo

 

Landfill robbery

Today I went to the local landfill with a ute containing green waste, plus an old couch and a small table for a neighbour. I first went to the recovery yard where they took the table and said the rest could go to the landfill, which I did.
At the weighbridge I said it was all green waste plus the old couch, I was told to follow the blue signs and dump the couch and then come back and empty the green waste in the appropriate area.
After I had emptied the green waste I then returned to the weighbridge where I was told the cost was $25.60.
I asked how much the couch was, but they couldn’t tell me, I asked how much the green waste was, they couldn’t tell me that either.
Over the last few months I have been taking quite a bit of green waste of similar quantity and haven’t paid any more than $9.
It makes the cost of the couch $16.60.
It’s no wonder that people dump rubbish out in the bush when they have to pay exorbitant costs like this.
Nothing has changed with the new councillors and the reappointment of the CEO costing the ratepayers a lot of dollars, because there needs to be plenty of money to cover the big spending decisions that are in no way in the best interest of the community.

Ivan Kitt,
Bendigo

 

Snag in the argument

Well done to Di O’Neil for her letter Grandmothers protest (Bendigo Weekly, January 19).
Considering that it was agitating against our national day, it was very politely written, but then what would you expect from a group that calls itself Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children?
I have been meaning to write a public letter for some time now in relation to their cause, because although I respect their obvious devotion to their pilgrimage I would like to point out that it is a flawed one.
Refugee policy (including detention) is the policy of the government of the day.
The people of Australia have no say in it. Yes, we can vote governments in or out come election day, but in the meantime a democractically-elected government will get on with the job (for better or worse) and the people will have no say until the next election rolls around.
Now it appears that they have decided to extend their protest to include Australia Day as well.
I don’t feel that this will garner them much support from many Australians, particularly as a great number of Aboriginals and their spokespersons have come out in support of the day, rightly stating that it is time to move on and make it a day for all Australians to celebrate this wonderful country.
Of course, Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children are entitled to their opinion, however misguided it may be, but free speech of course is another benefit of living here in the “great down under”.
So my tip is, throw a snag on the barbie on the day in question and leave well enough alone.
Thank you, and God bless Australia.

Eric Lakey,
Bendigo

 

Uniform approach

RE the opinion piece, Bendigo Weekly, January 12 by Ted Coleman.
Mr Coleman writes, in his opinion, the O’Keefe Rail Trail is under-utilised and there are no benefits to be gained from expenditure on it.
As a Melbournian who has travelled with a group of cyclists a number of times I question his comments.
Each time we have cycled from Bendigo to Heathcote, stayed some nights in Heathcote before cycling back to Bendigo.
While in Heathcote we wined and dined, purchased wine to be delivered to our homes and some of our group purchased clothing and gifts.
My husband and I would not have travelled to Heathcote except for the cycle trail to be enjoyed.

Marian,
Frankston South

 

Help is there

The recent passing of Amy “Dolly” Everett has struck a chord across Australia, with thousands of people expressing their sadness over her death and sharing messages of support to her family.
Our thoughts are also with the Everetts, Dolly’s friends and the communities to whom she was connected.
Much coverage about Dolly in the news and social media has focused on cyberbullying, shifting the focus from the loss of a young life.
The widespread exposure of the suicide of Dolly may have raised feelings of distress for some people.
I would encourage anyone who is going through a tough time to seek support.
Talking to a trusted relative or friend, a counsellor, GP, or online services such as Lifeline and eheadspace can help.
It is important to recognise that suicide is rarely the result of a single event or factor and is a complex and multi-faceted issue. It is usually a result of a person feeling hopeless about life due to a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
It is heart breaking that any young person would feel like their only option is to end their life.
Emphasis should be on supporting young people who may be experiencing similar thoughts of hopelessness.
Headspace School Support teams respond to suicide notifications every week in secondary schools across Australia.
Headspace will be expanding its work in schools as a delivery partner, along with Early Childhood Australia, for the new mental health education initiative run by beyondblue.
This initiative will help improve student understanding of mental health as well as continuing to support school communities impacted by suicide.
I would encourage anyone supporting a young person, as well as friends, to inform themselves so that they can recognise when someone might be going through a tough time.
There are a number of resources available on the headspace website, as well as from many other organisations, that provide information and advice on mental health and other topics relating to young people’s wellbeing.
If you or someone you know is struggling, visit headspace.org.au to find your nearest centre or call eheadspace on 1800 650 890.

Jason Trethowan,
CEO, headspace