Pair worth the trouble
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.