Duo is part of the family

December 19, 2017

Lauren and Freya Mathers with their dogs, Rove and Ralph.

Freya feeds Ralph while Rove looks on

So, Lauren, tell me about your pooches.

Rove is a retriever and we have had him for five years. We called him Rove because he used to nick off as a pup with the boxer we used to have. When he was a pup we actually thought we had lost him, and we found him 3km away sitting in a front gate next to a wheelie bin, just waiting for us to find him.

Ralph is a Maremma and is five months old. We got him because we were having trouble with foxes eating the piglets. We thought he was way too cute to take down to the paddock, and he has now bonded with the kids and Rove and I am not that positive that he will make the best guard dog now.

Poor Rove looks like he is a little on the chubby side.

Yes but he has lost 20kg. He is on a very strict diet and is only allowed to eat low-calorie dog food. He started to put on weight when he stopped roving around the countryside after we had him fixed. I think he was upset so he started to binge eat.

What was he eating?

Well, we have seven chooks and we never got an egg, so we are pretty sure he was eating seven eggs a day combined with pig bones. He is funny though because we never actually saw him eat, he was always burying stuff and going back to eat it later — he is definitely a closet eater.

What’s his personality like?

He is just a beautiful dog. George can lie on his back and play with his teeth and he just lets him. He is very protective of the kids, and when Lucy was little he used to follow her around and gently herd her back to the house by pulling gently on her clothes. Ralph just loves him too and they are best buddies.

Do they fight over anything?

Just the bed. We only have one dog bed and if Rove is asleep on it and it’s tea time, he won’t get off and eat his tea because he doesn’t want Ralph to get onto the bed. The other day I took one of them to the vet — one howled all the way into town and the other howled the whole time we were away. They really are best buddies.

I just love dogs and I have always had one. They are great company and there is nothing more calming than sitting there and patting a dog. The kids love them as well and they are huge part of our family.

Words and pictures: Sophie Baldwin

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