The per­fect play­mate

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.