I have noticed a lot of hits on this post over the last few days. Please note that unfortunately the link to reading more about Dion Beasley and to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Arts and Cultural Centre are no longer valid. I do not know whether they are still carrying Cheeky Dog products. At the present time I cannot find anywhere that I can link this post but will keep trying and will do so as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you find an OFFICIAL site please leave me a comment on this page and I will check it out and set link it if appropriate.]
This week I thought I’d spotlight one of the Northern Territory’s best kept secrets. His name is Dion Beasley and he is a talented artist from Tennant Creek here in the NT. He is responsible for the distinctive ‘Cheeky Dog’ designs that can be seen worn on t-shirts around Darwin. What is amazing is that Dion is profoundly deaf and suffers muscular dystrophy. You can read more about him here. I think his story is pretty special and worth a read. There are funds set up to ensure that intellectual property rights of his Cheeky Dog artworks are protected and thus his income can be protected.
You may well be wondering what a cheeky dog is… it’s hard to explain the term, but I’ll give it it a shot. I think it originates from the more remote communities of the NT. In many communities here (and I’m not sure if this holds in the rest of Australia) you will find lots of dogs roaming around. They are often homeless and can form packs. They can be aggressive. They are known as camp dogs and I have many friends who have worked out on the communities who are now the proud owners of a camp dog. You would be well-advised to steer clear of camp dog ownership unless you’ve got a lot of experience and a lot of patience. And often a lot of money to (a) get them out of the Council’s pound each time they escape and (b) treat all the ailments with which they can present. All my friends’ camp dogs are expert escape artists and I can only surmise that freedom is hard to give up when you’ve lived the life of a camp dog! Anyhow, if you are out walking your dog here and someone asks ‘Is your dog a cheeky dog?’ it’s something akin to the famous line from Pink Panther ‘Does your dog bite?’. Many camp dogs are ‘cheeky dogs’.
I have three Cheeky Dog t-shirts myself as do many of my friends. I would love it if you would visit the Nyinkkanyunyu Art and Cultural Centre website and check out the Cheeky Dog things on offer. They make great gifts and I’m pretty sure that they won’t be a common sight outside of Australia…
We’re taking part in Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Life With Dogs. Click on the link to join in the fun.
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