As the city struggles to reduce traffic, a strict no-dog public transport policy forces owners into cars, causing 2.4m journeys a week. Time for a rethink?
Last modified on Thu 12 Apr 2018
Sydney loves to boast of its cafe culture, but only Leichhardt’s Cafe Bones makes it accessible to those on four legs. Situated in the middle of Hawthorne Canal Reserve, a large park in the city’s affluent inner west, its menu extends beyond flat whites and friands to lactose-free “puppaccinos” and “dogaccinos” – the low-fat alternative “for the health-conscious pup”.
Now in its 18th year, Cafe Bones bills itself as the world’s first dog-friendly cafe. Its regulars – a large, freewheeling tornado of dogs and their close-knit community of owners – lend it a happily chaotic atmosphere that is all the more distinctive for its rarity. As an unabashedly dog-friendly environment, it is a haven in a city whose government is far more hostile to pet ownership than its residents are.
Sitting at a table with Bessie, a 16-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback, at her feet, Jacqui laments the difficulties of owning a dog in a place that seems designed for it, with many central parks, beaches for swimming, and weather that lends itself to spending time outdoors.