A local commuter has openly wondered why the giant dog at Fairfield station doesn’t wag its tail any more, suggesting that its animation should be part of the incentive program to get office workers back into the CBD. Neil Mansell made the observation last night on his train ride home from the city, although nobody on the train carriage could understand what he was saying because a) he was wearing a mask, and b) people are even less keen to talk to strangers on the train since the arrival of the global pandemic.

Unperturbed by the lack of social interaction, Mansell tabled his issue at the family dinner when he returned home half an hour later. Met with a similarly lukewarm response, he contacted The Watsonia Bugle because he knew we’d be desperate for any kind of news content. In an exclusive interview, Mansell said, “They keep talking about vouchers and all that, but maybe they should just make the train ride a bit more fun. I used to love flying past that try-hard Trojan Horse and watching its tail wag. Modern society has lost that pure sense of fun. It’s disappointing.”

Closer inspection suggests the giant wooden dog hasn’t wagged its tail since 2006, one of many memorable moments in over two decades of standing along the storied Hurstbridge train line. Just three years earlier than that the big guy was controversially named among the “six worst public art works in Australia”. In fact, the public artwork has long polarised the Fairfield community, despite featuring in the undoubtably Australian list of big things.

Regardless of the history, Mansell is convinced that the oversized canine, officially known as Fairfield Industrial Dog Object (FIDO), should become the focus of a broader strategy to encourage white collar workers to leave the comforts of their own home and endure up to two hours a day of commuting to and from the city. He said, “You could really bring the Hurstbridge Line to life. Build a whole menagerie of wooden animals along the train tracks. I’d be right into it.”