Pleased to meat you

Given their owner is well- known Sandy Bay butcher Mar­cus Ver­mey, labradoo­dles Max, 4, and Molly, 6, are likely to be two of the best- fed dogs in Ho­bart

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So, Mar­cus, why labradoo­dles?

I al­ways had labradors while I was grow­ing up and my wife Rachel had a bi­chon, but I talked her into get­ting a big dog – a proper size dog.

They’re just ap­peal­ing be­cause they are low-al­lergy, fan­tas­tic with kids and su­per in­tel­li­gent.

They’re not gluti­nous like labradors ei­ther; that said, we had one of the guys who works for me house- sit for us when we went on hol­i­day and he put a steak out to rest be­fore cook­ing, turned around and it mag­i­cally dis­ap­peared.

My par­ents have a labradoo­dle and the one thing I’ve no­ticed is they’re very well be­haved and are al­most hu­man- like in their man­ner­isms. Would you agree?

Once we got Max af­ter hav­ing Molly for a cou­ple of years she lev­elled out, but as a pup in her fi rst year I wouldn’t say she was all that well be­haved.

She racked up quite the bill. She man­aged to tear up the out­door wa­ter­ing sys­tem, de­stroyed our la­tex pos­ture­pedic mat­tress, chewed the legs off an an­tique Ger­man wal­nut piano and most of the skirt­ing boards in the house, along with a litany of oth­ers things.

At the time, part of me was think­ing, ‘ God, this dog would make a fan­tas­tic bath­room rug un­der your feet’ so I was lit­tle taken back when Rachel sug­gested we get an­other one.

Un­be­liev­ably, though, it lev­elled Molly out com­pletely and she trans­formed from act­ing like a dog to act­ing more like a hu­man, while Max was just happy be­ing a dog – and that’s the way they’ve stayed ever since.

Max loves play­ing with the ball in­side and he’s also got this prob­lem of not re­ally lik­ing go­ing down stairs. So if Molly has had enough of him play­ing ball in­side she steals it, walks over to the top of the stairs, drops the ball down them and goes and sits back down.

In terms of be­ing hu­man- like … our youngest son, An­gus, loves to sleep on the couch in­stead of his bed for some rea­son and gen­er­ally has one or both of the dogs along­side him as pil­lows.

I usu­ally start work quite early and if they’re on the couch they won’t move a mus­cle while I cook break­fast and get ready.

But as soon as I start walk­ing down the hall­way, they’ll sneak up be­hind and wait for me to close the door and then rush into one of the bed­rooms and jump up on who­ever’s bed and go back to sleep.

How well fed are these two?

Well, we’ve got them on the BARF ( Bones and Raw Food) diet, which was pre­scribed by the breed­ers we got Molly and Max from. So they get fresh chicken frames and mixed ve­g­ies ev­ery night for din­ner – and a few treats in be­tween.

What’s great about hav­ing Max and Molly?

They’re just won­der­ful dogs to have with chil­dren.

I was pass­ing by a cafe the other day and ran into a friend with a cou­ple of young chil­dren. They spread their arms and just fell against their fleece, and the dogs just stood there with­out a care in the world. The whole fam­ily just loves them and, as the guy who helped dog- sit them when we were on hol­i­days said, they’re not a bad chick mag­net ei­ther, if you’re walk­ing them to­gether through town.

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