Thursday, October 13, 2011

Place names with dogs ... in Western Australia

Sometimes, some of the oddest place names are the ones you're most familiar with. You know how it is when you live somewhere long enough - you get so used to place names that you forget they might sound odd to the ears of others. While planning a multi-generational shopping centre trip this week, I realised that Western Australia is home not just to some tongue-twisting Aboriginal place names but also a bunch of names including the word "dog". Is this a case of men naming places after their best friend instead of their wife?

I'm not sure, but soon we'll be heading over to an area known as Dog Swamp. There is a small swamp there (no dogs in it that I know of) and the more well-known Dog Swamp Shopping Centre. There is meant to be some connection between the suburb name of Yokine and dogs - the aboriginal word is similar - but I do think that "Dog Swamp" is a not entirely beautiful name.

Dog Rock in Albany
It reminded me that down in Albany, there's a similar place to shop: the Dog Rock Shopping Centre (and even a Dog Rock Hotel). These doggy places get their name from this big boulder which has somehow avoided being hauled away through decades of development around it. Yes, it looks like a dog (a bit); a lot more with the painted collar and heaps more if you're expecting a dog.

What is it about Western Australia and dogs? And don't even get me started on the Corrigin dog cemetery, where city folks will drive several hours so their late pooches can have a proper burial, tombstone and all. Perhaps it's just because I'm more of a cat person that I can't appreciate it all; or maybe I need to get in partnership with a big-time developer and open up the Cat Bowl shopping centre. You read it here first.

Let me know some of the more unusual place names near you in the comments!

Thanks to Stephen Edmonds for the image 


  1. We have driven past Albany but didn´t see the Dog Rock, but we have stopped and had a good look at the Dog cemetery, which I thought was just so cute. Lucky dogs they were, wish all pets were treated half as well as the ones resting there.

  2. That's a very good point Sami, those owners must have been very caring ones to want to drive all that way for a good resting spot for their dogs. I enjoyed all the lovely messages on the stones at the dog cemetery, so sweet!

  3. Hey it really does look like a dog!!!! :)

  4. Jenny and Allison - what I *should* have done was just shown you a picture of the rock and asked you what it looked like. Lesson learnt.

  5. Haha I thought dog rock was awesome when I was a little kid. I think I have a postcard with a picture of it. Oh and Dog Swamp Shopping Centre is a horrible name :/


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