Clare’s per­fect pet quinella

Mer­cury horse- rac­ing tip­ster Clare Petit’s love of four- legged an­i­mals ex­tends well be­yond the track, as Luke Bow­den dis­cov­ered when he vis­ited Clare and her dogs, eight- year- old staffy cross Bella and three- year- old Ger­man shep­herd Rani.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den

Where did you get Bella and Rani? If I visit the pound, I al­ways seem to bring a dog back with me.

I got Bella from the pound when we al­ready had an­other fe­male Ger­man shep­herd called Brew [ un­for­tu­nately not named af­ter 2000 Melbourne Cup win­ner].

When Brew passed on, I weighed up get­ting an­other dog to keep Bella com­pany and a friend had a lit­ter of Ger­man shep­herd pup­pies so we took the plunge and got Rani three years ago. How do they get along to­gether and what traits set them apart? Re­ally well, Bella moth­ered Rani and, even though she’s a lot smaller, Bella is defi nitely the boss.

Rani has a big bed in the lounge room but if Bella gets on it, Rani has no hope of claim­ing it back.

In terms of per­son­al­ity, Rani just loves other dogs and peo­ple and she’s very chilled. She loves swim­ming and run­ning along Howrah Beach but a lot of other dog own­ers will pick up their smaller dogs if they see Rani bound­ing to­wards them be­cause of the stigma at­tached to Ger­man shep­herds, which is a shame.

Bella ... well Bella is bi- po­lar. If it’s just us at home and we walk into a room, she’ll get up and walk into the other but if we have guests around, like right now, she’s all over them want­ing at­ten­tion.

She’s ex­tremely scared of loud noises as well, es­pe­cially thun­der. One time she went miss­ing for six- days when there was a thun­der­storm. Mum, dad and I put posters up every­where and can­vassed the neigh­bour­hood look­ing for her.

On the sixth day, she just rocked up at the front door at 5am like noth­ing had hap­pened. And Rani’s been in the wars re­cently as well? Yeah, Rani is re­cov­er­ing from a knee re­con­struc­tion.

It was for­tu­nate Ol­lie’s Gold [ the 2013 Tas­ma­nian Derby win­ner Clare owns a share in] got up in the Derby be­cause it wasn’t a cheap op­er­a­tion, but she’s worth ev­ery cent. What do you love about hav­ing Bella and Rani? We’ve al­ways had a dog in the fam­ily, I couldn’t think of not hav­ing one around home.

Truth be told, I like the com­pany of an­i­mals more than peo­ple. They’re al­ways pleased to see me when I come home from a hard day’s work and they share very sim­i­lar in­ter­ests to me – sleep­ing and eat­ing.

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