Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline. The Golden Dog in Glenreagh is getting a face-lift. Photo: Tim Jarrett
Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline. The Golden Dog in Glenreagh is getting a face-lift. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Glenreagh’s top dog gets a facelift

AS artist Honi Reifler reflects on the how Glenreagh views its golden "monolith", she can't help but laugh about its strangely disproportionate features and distinct lack of a nose.

"He has all sorts of names in the village but I always thought he was a cross between a llama and a jackal," she said.

"But when it first appeared there is one woman here who said, 'well it's too big to ignore so lets embrace it'."

And embrace it they have.

Ms Reifler is currently putting the finishing touches on a facelift for The Golden Dog, a giant statue built in 2011 which sits on the Orara Way adjacent to the hotel it shares a name with.

The Golden Dog is being given a facelift by members of the Glenreagh community including local artist Honi Reifler. Photo: Tim Jarrett
The Golden Dog is being given a facelift by members of the Glenreagh community including local artist Honi Reifler. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Much to Ms Reifler's delight, the dog has finally been given a nose and has had some dental work done to remove the "enormous" mouth which made it look like something Reg Mombassa might have drawn for a Mambo T-shirt.

The nose was sculpted with concrete and a metal plate was placed over the long row of teeth to make the dog look a little more "realistic" and remove what Ms Reifler described as a "grimace".

"I have never painted anything like this in my life but the first thing we did was put a nose on him," she said.

"Then we had to do something about those teeth because really they just looked so out of proportion."

The Golden Dog is currently fenced in, but for its own good. Photo: Tim Jarrett
The Golden Dog is currently fenced in, but for its own good. Photo: Tim Jarrett

The works have been jointly funded by The Golden Dog Hotel, local community group HeartStart and the Glenreagh Progress Association, with a number of local people donating time and resources to help.

Glenreagh HeartStart secretary Faye Neil said with many in the community trying to get back on their feet, the organisation wanted to do something positive.

Dog or Loch Ness monster? The original Golden Dog has often had visitors scratching their heads but has become a much-loved feature of Glenreagh.
Dog or Loch Ness monster? The original Golden Dog has often had visitors scratching their heads but has become a much-loved feature of Glenreagh.

And making it clear to visitors that the statue was indeed a giant dog was an added bonus.

"A change in a community is a good thing and especially a positive change," she said.

"We want people to come to town and say 'that's amazing', not 'what is that?'"

Ms Neil is also looking to secure grant funding to create a mosaic on the statue's base, depicting various parts of Glenreagh in a homage to the small town on the edge of the Clarence Valley LGA.

The organisations and volunteers involved were: 

David and Casey Hayes (Hayes Bros. Painting), Alastair Fauracre (ATF Services), Patricia Wadsworth, Honi Reifler.