Buddy the dog carrying flippers? Here's why

Dog carries master's swimming gear to pool every morning


National News
Aa

Buddy lends a helping paw.

Aa

Wayne Turner is used to people noticing the flippers hung off his dog's sides.

Mr Turner sets off to walk to and from Golden Square to Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre every morning with Buddy, his dog.

It's a long slog - 10 kilometres all up, plus a kilometre swim - but Mr Turner has found it eases the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis.

Buddy was carrying goggles, paddles, a swimming cap and a pool buoy, harnessed to a khaki coat, when Mr Turner spoke with the Bendigo Advertiser.

His harness is like those used by bomb disposal dogs, while some friends made Mr Turner straps and pounces.

Wayne Turner's morning walk is about 10 kilometres in total, with a kilometre swim. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Wayne Turner's morning walk is about 10 kilometres in total, with a kilometre swim. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Mr Turner's unique goods transportation method began with his old dog, now 14.

He struggled to carry everything he needed, but was always walking the dog while out. So she might as well carry something, he thought.

Buddy can take about eight kilograms, and if the weight gets too much, he just lies down.

Mr Turner has gotten used to questions, laughter, even being stopped for a photo, along his daily route.

The dangling flippers means he often fields the question, "Oh are they for him mate?".

"Everyone has a bit of a giggle at it," Mr Turner said.

"I notice on the weekends when I walk through the park I've been stopped to have photos taken of me."

Buddy and Wayne reach the end of their journey. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Buddy and Wayne reach the end of their journey. Picture: DARREN HOWE

The daily walk and swim makes it easier for Mr Turner to manage his MS symptoms, and his mental health.

"It used to be most days were very painful like nerve pain, and I really don't like taking painkillers. It makes me tired that by the time I get home I just doze off, I don't have to deal with it," Mr Turner said.

"I used to do a lot of things to keep fit early on, 10 years ago, then my MS got the better of me, so I didn't do too much. It's a lot easier to stay fit than to get fit. It seems to help control things.

"Mental health is a huge issue for me, I'd say probably two, three years ago I was struggling, then I got back into exercising a lot more, and it helped me a lot."

Mr Turner returned to daily exercise around December. He's now in training for Bendigo's first 24 hour Mega Swim. Twelve member teams swim for 24 hours during the event, to raise money for those living with multiple sclerosis.

Mr Turner said he'd like to raise awareness about MS, particularly among adults. He's used to fielding questions because he walks so far, about whether there is anything actually wrong with him.

"You don't see me at home on a bad day, when I don't go do something," he said.

"Kids seem to know a lot, but you talk to adults, they remember what they learnt as a kid, but they don't seem to know much else at all."

Bendigo Advertiser

Aa