The perfect playmate
PAUL Willcock’s 18- month- old beagle cross spaniel Poppy isn’t quite sure of herself yet and can’t decide what she really wants. All she really needs is, however, Paul’s constant admiration and companionship.
What made you decide to get Poppy?
I’d always wanted a dog when I was growing up but my parents always had cats and birds as pets. I’m a chef and I have only recently moved back to Tasmania after spending four years working and living overseas. When I moved back home I started living with my older brother and his wife and convinced him to help me build a fence so I could get a dog.
I was looking on Gumtree and Poppy’s litter was being sold in Cornwall ( North- East Tasmania), so it was a fi ve- hour trip to go get her.
When I arrived there were only two of the original seven in the litter left. There were two females left, both identical, but Poppy was the one that came up and played with me, so off we trotted back to Hobart.
What’s her personality like?
She’s pretty crazy a lot of the time; she needs a lot of toys to keep her occupied.
She spends a lot of time just sniffing everything and Poppy’s a pretty good escape artist. She may have some slight issues deciding what she wants, though.
For example, when I fi rst got her and I was still living with my brother ( Paul has since moved into his own house with Poppy), I bought her a kennel to sleep in outside, which was inside a big pen. It was the middle of winter and when I walked out in the morning she wasn’t in the pen, but then looking around the back yard, which was covered in frost, I noticed a black mound with frost covering it and realised it was Poppy. Why she thought it was a better place to sleep than a warm, enclosed kennel I don’t know.
She loves the beach but absolutely hates having to be in the car to get there. She’ll even chase a ball around the back yard, even though she’s got one hanging out of her mouth already.
She’s also completely fearless. If we go for a walk she’ll just run up to any dog – it doesn’t matter if it’s a german shepherd barking its head off and clearly showing it wants nothing to do with her, she’ll just merrily run up to it and want to play.
What’s great about having Poppy?
She needs a lot of exercise, a little like her owner. I’ve just started playing soccer now I’m back in Tasmania and she’s defi nitely been a big part of getting me back into shape. Being a fi rst- time dog owner, I must admit it is very nice to always have someone excited to greet you at the door.
Anyone interested in sharing their best friends’ stories can email luke. bowden@ news. com. au