Cam’s per­fect cou­ple

TV ex­ec­u­tive Cam Sorell’s seven- year- old poo­dle Iris has al­ways been queen of the house­hold – even when Cam and his wife Peta de­cided to give her some com­pany in the form of three- year- old shi­htzu Percy.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den

What char­ac­ter­is­tics of poo­dles are you drawn to?

Peta and I have al­ways loved dogs and we have owned a cou­ple of poo­dles. I like dogs that need plenty of ex­er­cise be­cause I like to ex­er­cise, how­ever, I won’t take Percy for a walk be­cause I don’t want to be mis­taken for walk­ing a guinea pig along Sandy Bay Rd. We both love that poo­dles are non- shed­ding and very in­tel­li­gent.

How do Iris and Percy get along?

Well, when we got Percy three years ago he was so small Iris mis­took him for a ten­nis ball and would oc­ca­sion­ally pick him up in her mouth.

Not too much has changed. Iris is defi nitely the boss and poor Percy even has to make way for our Si­amese cat, Clyde. If Clyde saun­ters up to the fire­place and Percy is ly­ing in front of it, Percy will get straight up to make room.

A poo­dle and a shi­htzu make for a fairly in­tim­i­dat­ing com­bi­na­tion of watch­dogs…

Sur­pris­ingly, they’re very good watch­dogs – and they don’t mind bark­ing when the oc­ca­sion arises. But they are both very well- be­haved dogs, as op­posed to pre­vi­ous ones we’ve owned.

Be­fore Iris and Percy we owned a schnau­zer, Arthur, who was a se­rial klep­to­ma­niac – es­pe­cially at Christ­mas time. Once, when we weren’t home, he got out­side and stole a neigh­bour’s plum pud­ding that was hang­ing off a tree to dry. By the time our neigh­bour chased him back into our yard, he had eaten it all.

A cou­ple of days later we found some­one’s Christ­mas ham in the back yard. He was just bad.

What’s great about hav­ing Iris and Percy?

They’re more than just pets. I think they’re very at­tune to peo­ple’s feel­ings.

Iris can sense if peo­ple come around and aren’t big an­i­mal lovers – she’ll jump on them and al­most bully them.

Peta says all her friends think Iris looks through them, not just at them.

SMART CHOICE: Cam Sorell re­laxes with his in­tel­li­gent poo­dle Iris and play­ful shih tzu Percy.

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