If we conferred with our furry animals, think of the amazing repartee, especially as Helen Flanagan discovered, when the four-footer is a clever Labradoodle named Bluey.
I am pawstruck! He’s a blonde who loves long walkies and the beach, frolicking in the waves, prefers a short back and sides, liver treats to doggie-chinos, the creature comforts of his own bed and being as close as possible to his besties Erika and Chris Hackett.
Chris, a fourth generation Aussie, who was raised in a country pub, has always been enamoured with dogs, but Estonian-born Erika’s pets had only been birds, chooks, and cats to catch the mice. He knew however she would love the non-shedding, very faithful, Australian Labradoodle’s personality and temperament, so embarked on an 8-week secret mission. He visited the breeder in Brisbane regularly and checked daily progress via puppy-cam.
Come ‘reveal day’ and Erika arrived home to find an unbelievably cute puppy running up and down the back deck. Asked who he belonged to, the answer was “us” and the cat was out of the bag, as the saying goes. “He was easy to train as Chris always had dogs,” says Erika. “But you must start training early, be consistent and follow through with commands. He is so good. When we dog-sit for friends they are in total awe. They come home and their dogs are fully trained.
“When puppy first arrived, I suggested a fancy name to go with the labradoodle image. Chris, who noted the blue ribbon around his neck in the whelping box at the breeders, asked what was wrong with Blue as per the kennel’s given name of Rusty’s Boy Blue. I thought it was ordinary but after a week it was Bluey, although he also goes by Blue Boy or Mister Blue and Chris does remind me, ‘he is a dog, not a baby’.”
Bluey has regular check-ups and recently Erika and Chris detected a blister on his eye, which the vet thought was a melanoma. The Tanawha Animal Hospital’s canine ophthalmologists Guy Clare confirmed it.
“Bluey was booked in for surgery a few days later,” recalls Erika. “His eye had to be removed and naturally we were distraught. Wearing his Elizabethan collar and although a little groggy, he bounced back after a few days of rest, as only he does.
“Bluey, 87.5 in dog years, is loyalty itself and joy unbounded.”