Friday, March 30, 2012

Onehunga Foreshore (part 3) The Mysterious bowls (UPDATE)

Update at the bottom of blog!

OK--- I have calmed down a little. I read an article in the Central Leader, written by one of their promising reporters, Rhiannon Horrell. She wrote about how the Foreshore project is about to go ahead, after of course the obligatory 15 days to allow for anyone putting in submissions to object.
As far as I am concerned--- go ahead, but only after we are assured of quality water and thereby staying true to the Council’s 30 year plan around a healthy environment. Now, I shall tell you a ‘nice’ non-controversial story.
On the Friday night, before the ‘cancelled’ Onehunga Festival at the lagoon, something unusual occurred. Firstly I better give you some background. Many people walk their dogs, often forming groups, possibly because the time they come is convenient for their particular lifestyles. One group seems to walk the park around 3.30 each afternoon. It consists mostly of ladies approaching retirement or well into this ‘golden’ time. There are others, slightly or much younger who attach themselves because they know that their dogs are going to be well stimulated by the crazy antics of the younger dogs and more controlled model behaviours of the dogs who match their ‘parents’ in behaviour--- that is, they are wise.
This group is quite well known and many people visiting the park comment on this regular activity. The dogs draw attention, especially when they are in a more frolicking mood. Children point and adults smile--- possibly wondering if they too should get a dog for their kids.
Around the park there are two areas where the dogs are able to drink. On summer days this is particularly important, as some of the dogs tend to drink the salty and probably POLLUTED water from the lagoon. The ladies make sure that the hose that fills the green bowl is always maintained have even been known to fix it themselves when it is damaged. At the other end of the lagoon, by the car park there is another tap, which from time to time has been vandalized. There is usually a plastic bowl there too. The ladies make sure that it is always there. Ice cream containers are just fine. There is little point in leaving more expensive examples, because they regularly disappear or are broken--- I don’t know if it is kids using it to make sand castles or someone who hates dogs. I would not want kids to play in the sand given the less than pristine nature of the surrounds.
It is quite frustrating to walk our dogs and then have to go and find a new bowl when they keep disappearing. One of the nice ladies seems to have a supply of them in her car, and she brings her own bowl out each time, with water from home.
On the Friday night, before the festival, two expensive stainless steel bowls appeared by the car park, where the ladies (and friends) usually sit after their sojourn around the lagoon with their dogs. It is a pleasant time, when they (WE) chat before heading off home with our more relaxed (well not my Jack Russell) dogs. We were amazed--- did the Council leave these TWO bowls for the dogs? Was it some kind person who has watched us from the cars as we play with the dogs, throwing balls for them to fetch. It is quite a sight. Was it someone who had taken the other ones and somehow felt guilty?
I don’t know why, but the two bowls are still there, but now placed near the tap. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the bowls actually stay? It has been a week and I expect that I will be updating you soon that they have gone. Please let me be wrong. It has left a warm fuzzy feeling amongst the dog walkers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for this act to be replicated in a wider sense? Let the water be clean and everyone continue to use this great space. If the bowls are still there this afternoon, I will take a picture.
They've gone--- the bowls lasted about 3 weeks. I am both surprised that they lasted that long and really pissed off at the low-life that would steal them--- probabaly selling them on Trade Me--- Maybe they eat out of them!

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