Tuesday, 29 May 2018

There is No Native Dog

Dora, Berenice's first Dingo
In the early 1970s Berenice constantly harassed a variety of officials about the welfare of the Dingo, our Native Dog and was just as often told "There is no Native Dog, lady, only a Native Cat"!

Dating back to 1972, her many requests for approval to 'keep and train a Dingo' were met with denials and monotonous repetition of the fact that the Dingo is a noxious animal and its keeping illegal without approval; that the Minister would not grant approval to private individuals to keep animals classed as noxious; that any person suspected of harbouring such animals was liable to a heavy fine and the destruction of said animals; that the Dingo was a wild animal. 

When she hastened to explain the Dingo had been the domestic companion of the aboriginal people, she was tersely told "Look lady, you would not know because you've never had one.

“True”, she thought, “but my time will come”. 

Generally, Departmental individuals were sympathetic, even in agreement, but there was always the law strictly policed by the strong grazier lobby.

From the early 1970's, there was a general softening in attitude, and more neutral articles and letters began appearing in the press.  At this time, the prolonged and intense struggle for the initial recognition and acceptance of the Dingo took another step forward. 

Berenice was told if got a pup to keep out of the press, and don't call it a Dingo. 

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