regression aggression


Lucy inside Qantas cabin 2016 11 26

I read with dismay and disappointment that Qantas no longer allows psychiatric assistance dogs on board. What was even more distressing, was reading the comments that followed the article in the The Australian.



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Lucy Like-a-Charm, my Canine Angel & Muse

Yesterday, I received the wonderful news that my PhD award is confirmed! The above photograph was taken a few seconds after reading the congratulatory email from my supervisor. I wanted to capture in a little visual document a snippet of the much larger and cogent moment embedded inside our very ordinarily extraordinary co-existence. Just Lucy and me, inside a cocoon of Clement Space.

I am extremely relieved, and grateful. Yes. Gratitude is the overwhelming emotion right now. Where I am at present is merely yet another part of an intimate adventure that I hope somehow manages to emanate some oases of ‘shared wonderment’ along the way. Continue reading

mindDog needs help!

For many people with invisible disabilities, an assistance dog makes the difference between living a richer life or one shut inside fear and terror. Without Lucy, I would not have had the amazing inspiration trajectories for my professional work, and I would not have the courage to keep going when overwhelmed by the cosmic maelstrom that I have found myself hurled into over and over again during this incredible PhD journey. I can honestly say that on more than one occasion, Lucy has saved my life in very concrete, palpable ways. An assistance dog is not only a beloved companion animal, but one trained to address specific disabilities in practical and essential ways. Continue reading

not just a dog


No dog that is loved is “just a dog.” Someone I lived with in the past used to say of her own dogs, “they’re just dogs.” She treated them well when they were delightful and healthy, but the moment illness struck, she euthanised them, even the one that was healthy, because she couldn’t be bothered to deal with the burden of caring for a sick dog or an aging dog. This echoes the attitude of people in the Greyhound racing industry, who swear blue that they “love” their dogs, “like family” or “like royalty,” but have no qualms in killing them when they are unable to run for money. Yes, the official figures are admitted by the industry – 17,000 are killed a year in Australia, by the Greyhound racing industry… people who say they “love” their dogs.

A beloved pet dog is not “just a dog.” They are family. I know people who truly love their pets, not just when it is convenient and easy. Pets are companions who bring us joy and comfort. The emotional support that pets give to us, and what we can learn from them are immeasurable. I know that, because I grew up with pets – dogs, bunnies, chickens, ducks etc.

And assistance dogs are very special angels that do tasks beyond and above the already wonderful things that beloved pets do. Assistance animals help keep some of us alive and functioning. They do specific tasks that alleviate our disabilities and open up an otherwise inaccessible world to us. This video is about these special angels. Doogle, Buddy and Lucy are just three of many, many assistance animals that help people with disabilities, visible and invisible, to live fuller and richer lives. They help us in ways that humans cannot.

I am so grateful for my Lucy. And to mindDog Australia.

MindDog Australia is a wonderful organisation. They have helped many of us to live better, fuller and enabled lives. Thank you, mindDog!

a busy week

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A busy week. Where did the time go? How do we sense the passage of time in place and space? I feel through my fingertips the liquid dust slipping, sliding, seeping inexorably towards, then past, and away from me. So much tiredness. Bursts of frenetic scrambling scrunching engaging with mind and concrete materiality. Body and mind in a grumbling atonal dissonant Call and Response. The dishes pile up as I plunge into work. I need a Jeeves – I can feel the grittiness of the floor under my feet. Washed and dried laundry waiting for me in an impatient mess. Boxes of ‘things’ still unresolved. Visual discomfort. I need shelves. And a Jeeves. Continue reading

tiny droplet

My Lucy reminds me all the time about goodness, Grace and gratitude. I am so lucky to have her. I made a tray of non-gluten oat and cheese biscuit today. It looked boring and bland, it was a little more crumbly than I would’ve liked, but it tasted good anyway. (Photo taken before cutting into smaller bite-sized squares.) This will last me awhile. The brain worm that these two visual images triggered in my mind? Here… Continue reading