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On Sunday, May 2, 2004 more than 1500 dog lovers and about 700 dogs of all shapes and sizes, gathered in Gladstone Park in the heart of Balmain, to show their support for off-leash areas in the Leichhardt Municipality. Some people came who didn't even have dogs - but they still wanted to support us.
The rally was organised by a loose group of local residents but spearheaded by Dawn Fraser who managed to get a very impressive list of celebrities to speak on the day.
Many of the local businesses donated prizes for the various competitions and raffles or gave financial sponsorship for the day. Many more provided free advertising for the event in their shop windows.
Apart from Dawn, Kerri-Anne Kennerley spoke of her love for her animals. Dr Katrina Warren gave vocal support and highlighted the value of off-leash parks in socialising dogs. Bruce Beresford didn't make a movie of the day, but is probably regretting that he didn't because we were all so gorgeous. Louise Sauvage brought her "babies" along, and did they have fun or what! The man from the RSPCA said that he thought we were all fabulous - and it was true. Dr Julie Summerfield brought Alfie and said that dogs really needed their space. Georgie Parker said that she loved walking her dog in our park too.
We had special prizes for the best dressed dog. I didn't win, even though I was wearing a beautiful blue bikini. We also had prizes for dog and owner look alikes - I still didn't win because mum refused to wear a bikini.
We had a demonstration of "assistance dogs" - and boy, do they have to be ever so good. It is just like being a Seeing-Eye Dog almost. I don't think I could learn all the stuff they have to know, even if I went to school for my whole life.