Pair worth the trou­ble

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in sharing their best friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­den@news.com.au

LAST year, vet­eri­nar­ian Dr Moira van Dors­se­laer opened The Cat Clinic, Ho­bart’s fi rst fe­line exclusive care cen­tre in Ta­roona. Af­ter meet­ing her two dogs – Putch, an eight- year- old Ir­ish ter­rier, and Lemon­ade, a four- year- old fi eld spaniel – I can defi nitely un­der­stand why Moira de­cided to spend her work­ing hours with the fe­line va­ri­ety of four­legged crea­tures.

Where did you get Putch and Lemon­ade?

We got Putchy as a puppy. We were go­ing to call him Patch but our son Willem was only a cou­ple of years old when we got him and couldn’t pro­nounce it and kept call­ing him Putch, so the name just stuck.

I was work­ing at a vet­eri­nar­ian clinic in Ho­bart three or four years ago when Lemon­ade was brought in as a stray. He had es­caped from his home and was brought into the clinic, but the own­ers never came to pick him up. Since we’ve had him he has es­caped our house more than 100 times … I can un­der­stand that per­haps they had just had enough.

Our cat Ozi was sick at the time and was be­ing treated in the clinic. My kids came in to see the cat and then saw Lemon­ade and fell in love with him, so when no one claimed him he came home with us.

Lemon­ade’s es­caped more than 100 times?

Eas­ily – many times we’ve thought we’d escape-proofed the back­yard, but Lemon­ade some­how fi nds a way.

He’s been run over twice – once by me. In this par­tic­u­lar in­stance, Putch and Lemon­ade had both run away and a lady up the road called me and told me she had Putch ( most of the res­i­dents of Mt Stu­art are very familiar with both our dogs).

I asked her whether there was an­other dog with him but she said no. So I drove up to get Putch and as I was pulling into this per­son’s drive­way, Lemon­ade comes bound­ing up and ran right into the car.

Lemon­ade always comes back, and even though he’s much younger and came along af­ter Putch, he is defi nitely the head of the pack. I think Putch is just happy to have the com­pany and tag along.

Putch isn’t much bet­ter, though. He’s an Ir­ish ter­rier but we call him “the Ir­ish ter­ror­ist” be­cause he has com­pletely de­stroyed out out­door wa­ter­ing sys­tem. He man­aged to dig up all of it through­out the gar­den, even dig­ging it up from un­der con­crete.

So th­ese are our two won­der­ful dogs. I fi nd it quite amus­ing be­cause when I was a vet for all small an­i­mals, peo­ple would ob­vi­ously ask for ad­vice on what dog breed to get and I just said to them I was the last per­son you should ask – I’ve got two and they’re the big­gest trou­ble- mak­ers ever.

You’ve got th­ese two pooches, Ozi the cat, mul­ti­ple chick­ens and a cock­atiel. What’s the best thing about having all th­ese an­i­mals?

Our three chil­dren – Willem, Ned and Wavey – can grow up around an­i­mals and learn to care and love them.

My hus­band Ben didn’t have any pets grow­ing up and he’ll hate me for say­ing this, but if he’s out run­ning and there’s some­one walk­ing their dog, he’ll cross to the other side of the road.

We always only had one dog in the house but af­ter see­ing how they get along to­gether, two is defi nitely bet­ter than one – even th­ese two.

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