Pet Feature 2020

M514059 Exercising your dog has never been more safe and enjoyable than at Brackenbush Unleashed near Lakes Entrance. The dog park celebrated its 12-month anniversary yesterday and during that time has become a place where friendships are formed between humans and dogs alike, and who mingle with each other and enjoy the great outdoors. The brainchild of Cheryl Jakobi and Sara Bailey via a grant from the State Government’s Pick My Project program, the dog park is open seven days a week in daylight hours. “It’s a really, really popular spot,” Ms Jakobi said. “People have started to attend regularly and they get together at a particular time for a chin-wag while their dogs exercise.” She said people like Imie Lemans and his dog Boo (pictured page 12) have been attending the park since it opened. “They’re sort of like the unofficial mascots of the place,” she said. “Boo has basically grown up here. They’re fabulous.” While it’s been a “pretty rocky” first 12 months, there has still been visitor activity. “About 10 to 15 per cent of people are visitors to the area. “They love it and some come back to the region simply on the grounds they can bring their dogs with them.” Cheryl and Sara see Brackenbush Unleashed as a gift to the community, which relies on donations, and enjoy having people and their dogs around. The metal dog, Larry, is on hand to accept any donations. Larry has spent his entire 14 years at the property, first in the shape of a horse when Brackenbush was run as a riding centre, later as a bull and now as a dog. During the second shutdown due to COVID- 19 Cheryl said it was a “real blessing” they were allowed to remain open. “Such a lot of people were able to come out and enjoy the place still.” Cheryl and Sara own Maisie, the six-year-old, three-legged dog and 10-year-old Elsie Mae. Continued page 12 Leads off at Brackenbush Cheryl Jakobi with Elsie Mae and Maisey at Brackenbush Unleashed. K422-6783