Flea & Bibsi
With Hobart professional Sam East
WHEN Sam East, communications manager at Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies adopted her dogs Flea and Bibsi, her ‘‘ fur kids’’ became a very important part of her life.
What breeds are Flea and Bibsi and where did you get them from?
Flea, 13, is a staffy and Bibsi, 12, is a blue heeler chihuahua cross. He’s like a mini blue heeler. He rounds people up just like one. They were both strays from Newcastle, where I used to live. Flea was wandering around my suburb and wasn’t being well looked after. He needed a good home so I took him in. Bibsi was found by neighbours abandoned in a cemetery when he was six weeks old. Someone had tried to dock his tail with a pair of blunt scissors. We thought we couldn’t have two dogs so we tried to find him a new home. Someone thought he’d make a good guard dog and took him. Three days later there was a knock on the door. They said they didn’t want him because he was a blue heeler chihuahua cross. But he’s turned out to be quite a good guard dog.
How would you describe each of their personalities?
Flea is a big sook. He’s a mummy’s boy. He’s a funny character, like a little joker. Staffies are very amusing dogs. Bibsi I call Bibsi Braveheart because he has no idea about his size. He’s also phenomenally loyal. He sits outside the bathroom while I have a shower. He guards me.
Do they get on well together?
They’re absolutely like brothers. They’re best mates. They’re good friends.
What is the naughtiest thing they’ve done?
At a barbecue Bibsi once jumped up and stole a large piece of organic goat’s cheese and ate the whole thing. That was very naughty. Flea is a climber, an escape artist. In Newcastle we had to keep increasing the size of the fence. He was like a mini- Houdini. We had to go to a 2m tall fence to keep him in. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew him more than they knew me. He was a man about town.
What is the best thing about having a dog?
They are the best companions. It sounds cliched, but it’s lovely to come home from work and have these little guys to greet me. It’s such a wonderful homecoming. They’re my little fur kids. They stop me feeling lonely.