No limits on pooch pride

They say it's a dog-eat-dog world. But the canines at Brisbane's Roma Street Parkland yesterday were more interested in having a scratch, a sniff and a lie down than any serious competition.

Man's best friends came in their hundreds for the Bark in the Park event, transforming the inner city parklands into the state's most popular dog park.

Those of the two-legged variety kept a sharp eye out for grenades as they traipsed along (''Oh, goodness! I'm so sorry, I thought I picked it all up!'' Megan Bonella apologised to a hapless passer-by) but most were happy to find people as passionate about their pets as themselves.

Scylla, an eight-year-old German shepherd belonging to Matt Rosam, just seemed happy to be there.

''He's a boofhead,'' Mr Rosam said. ''He is about two years old on the inside. And not too worried about being dressed up, as you can see.''

Mim Anderson, who fixed her hair to complement her seven-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel said she couldn't imagine life without her ''sister''.

''She is just such a beautiful, sweet little girl,'' the 13-year-old said. ''She loves her cuddles and she is mostly good. She is a very Aussie dog. She loves the beach and getting dressed up.''

Mim and her 11-year-old sister, Tahlia, said they cherished time with their patient pet after Ruby was almost killed in a dog attack last year.

She was saved by a week in the Albany Creek Animal Hospital, where staff did their best to recreate the ribs on her right side.

''But you wouldn't know,'' Mim said. ''She is so friendly - but doesn't really like other dogs that much any more.''

Claire Shortridge's Irish wolfhound, Sarge, proved to be the crowd favourite.

The 77-kilogram seven-year-old eats six cups of dog food a day, has his own lounge reclining chair and sleeps on single-bed mattresses sourced from op-shops.

''They have the best nature,'' Ms Shortridge said of the breed.

''They are people in dog suits.''

She was greatly impressed in turn by the Blackbeard family's Leonberger, Teddy.

Dogs of the giant breed are a fairly rare sight in Australia, but even though Teddy was almost as tall as his handlers, 11-year-old Olivia and nine-year-old James, all he wanted was a cuddle.

''He's big, but he's a softie,'' Olivia said.

But perhaps it was Breeze Hunter, who had dressed to match her ladybird-styled terrier-poodle-cross pooch, Matilda, who summed up the burgeoning culture of dog-owning pride best.

''They just love unconditionally,'' she said, giving five-year-old Matilda a squeeze.

''No matter what you do to them, like, for example, dressing them as a ladybug, they just love you.

''Where else do you get that?''

The story No limits on pooch pride first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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