Talking dog


From Time Out:

You may have heard it many times over the rush of George Street traffic – the familiar timbre of John Laws’ voice coming from a small bronze dog statue on the Town Hall side of the QVB. It’s not an auditory hallucination – ol’ Golden Tonsils is the voice of Islay (pronounced eye-lay), beloved pet of Queen Victoria, now encouraging people to cast a coin into the Royal Wishing Well to raise money for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

"Hello, my name is Islay," announces the dog in that trademark deep voice. "…Because of the many good deeds I’ve done for deaf and blind children, I have been given the power of speech." But only since 1998. Although the well was officially launched in 1987 as part of the QVB refurbishment, the dog was voiceless.  Laws agreed to help the Institute who thought the voice would attract more donations. Laws accepted the task, as well as agreeing to the pièce de résistance: two barks at the end of the routine as thanks.


3 thoughts on “Talking dog

  1. Very interestingly, this year the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) celebrates its 150th anniversary. So if you’re passing the QVB’s wishing well, please help us commemorate this event by tossing a few gold coins in. For the more tech savvy, you can also donate online at

    RIDBC relies heavily on the generosity of the community to continue its important work with hearing or vision impaired children and their families across Australia. Thanks in advance for your support.

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