Leos walk for Phoenix

The leonbergers gather at Healesville railway station.

Dozens of dogs and their owners gathered in Healesville to honour a much-loved local leonberger.

Phoenix became a main street fixture and died in May this year.

On Sunday 2 December, 30 leonbergers from as far afield as Torquay, Moe, Geelong and Bendigo met at the Healesville railway station to pay tribute to Phoenix.

The huge pooches ranged in age from 13 weeks to 12 years and varied in colour – but were all unmistakably ‘leos’.

They walked into Healesville for a lunch together, stopping to let passers-by get up close to the gentle giants.

Steve Odell said it was probably the largest gathering of the breed in Australia.

Steve and wife Lorraine imported Phoenix from Lincolnshire in the UK when he was 12 weeks old and retrieved him out of quarantine at 16 weeks.

He hit the show ring at three years old and became an Australian champion, and was the mascot for the Rotary Club of Healesville’s annual Dog’s Day Out.