Bowie & Friends

Two Ladies & A Gentleman

Meet Tresca and Linda Peaches – the Two Ladies, and Julian – the Gentleman. Tresca and Julian are proud new owners of Linda Peaches, a 6 year old Ridgeback/American Staffie X.

Linda (as she’s called) is a rescue dog. Her previous owner sadly had to find her a new home as he’s moving overseas. Tresca and Julian had been looking around various shelters and pet adoption websites for 4–5 months before they came across Linda. It’s been 4 months since they welcomed Linda to their home and here’s their story.

Have you always looked to adopt?

Yes, our plan was always to adopt a rescue dog/s. Most of the dogs we know are rescue dogs and they’re great. Also, we’re both from the generation of people who believe you only spend lots of money on a particular breed if you want to show or breed a dog. We don’t have thousands of $$ to spend on a dog and as it was we spent a few hundreds on vet fees for health checks, vaccination updates and good food in the first week.

Everyone we know that has spent $2,000 or more on a particular puppy breed in the last few years has ended up having to deal with very expensive issues particular to the breed. We simply can’t afford that – it was one of the main reasons that we held off getting dogs for a long time.

I should also say, whilst you do really miss out on that lovely puppy stage and the incredible bond that comes with having a dog from a pup, you benefit (hopefully) from having an already house trained dog and no puppy chewing of shoes!

How did you find Linda?

Originally we wanted to get 2 dogs, preferably female and male, and around the same age so they could keep each other company. We applied for a few from various shelters with no luck. It proved much harder than we thought to get the right one from a shelter as many of them are very anxious and have aggression issue, or just not the right breed for us. My partner, Julian, came across Linda online on a Gumtree ad. The owner needed to find her a new home within a week! So I drove out to meet her for the first time and take her home with me.

How is she finding her new home?

She’s very settled and happy. We feed her really well and we have a great backyard for her to run around, and she often goes for long walks along the creek. Of course it’s impossible to know if she misses her previous owner, but we tell ourselves that she doesn’t!

What’s your daily routine now that you’re having Linda?

Julian and I both work full-time so Linda is at home in the backyard by herself during the week. She was used to this from her previous owner so it’s not an issue at all, although she’s always sad when we leave. She sometimes gets a short walk before work, but mostly goes for a long run with Julian when he gets home. Then it’s dinner time and watching TV on the couch, with a little time out for barking at possums once it gets dark. On weekends we go for longer walks – we live near Merri and Edgars Creeks – so there are lots of great walks, places to swim and lots of other dogs and owners to meet and catch up with.

What do you like to do together?

Walking, running and hanging out at home. Linda is not really a stick or ball dog, nor is she particularly food crazy. She’s pretty chilled out mostly, not even worried about thunderstorms, and she just likes being with us. She literally goes bananas when we get home.

How do you describe Linda’s personality in 3 words?

Intelligent. Loyal. Dominant.

Does Linda have any quirky habits?

She has a great low growl that she uses when she wants to get our attention, usually to go for a walk or to let us know there is a possum in the yard. It’s really cute!

She LOVES hunting possums! She’s a hunting breed so it’s in her DNA to chase things down. For years we’ve had problems with possums eating things in our garden and we used to use a rake to try to discourage them out of our flowering trees and chase them off. Linda loved this ‘game’ and started to go into the shed and drag out the rake for us to chase the possums when we went into the back garden. The first time she did it we couldn’t believe it! I joke that she’s trying to build a ladder to get up the tree because she keeps dragging things over to get higher up. She really wants to get those possums!

Yay to possums! An illustration of Linda when we first got her by Mandy Ord, a comic artist friend and also owner to 2 dogs.

Who’s the master in the house?

Me … Linda tries to be dominant but I’m the boss.

How’s your life after having Linda?

Great, it’s lovely having her around. We’re much more active and we’re very doting dog owners.

Any words of wisdom for people who want to foster/adopt a dog/s?

With a rescue dog you need to be really careful to find out as much as possible about their previous life and how they are with people, children and other dogs. You can’t assume anything about a dog’s behaviour or anxiety or triggers. There are thousands of dogs put up for adoption every year and most of the shelters have people work with the dogs to figure out their temperament and personality to make sure they fit the right dog with the right new owner.

We’re lucky to get Linda who has no health or behavioural problems and was looked after by her previous owner. As she is a ridgie/staffie cross, essentially a hunting breed and often in the ‘misunderstood’ aggressive breed category, it was really important for us to know her temperament and how she had been with children and other dogs.

Linda loves to play with other dogs her size and larger. She loves a good rumble! BUT she really doesn’t seem to like it when other, usually smaller, dogs get anxious and start barking. This will turn her into DOMINANT DOG! So we’re always cautious and very carefully monitor all situations when we’re out walking, especially when there are other (smaller) dogs around. The last thing we want is for anyone or any dog to get hurt!

All dogs can be unpredictable. Often smaller dogs are more anxious and aggressive and bigger dogs get the ‘bad rap’ just because they’re bigger and can hurt more. Understand your breed – there are lots of information out there!

Find a good vet! Most vet practices in suburbia will have ratings on Google these days. Ask friends and acquaintances. We’re really lucky to find a good one straight away. We had a full health check done and all vaccinations updated, and cost us around $450 all up. Well worth it for peace of mind!

Feed your dog good food! Our vet recommended a really good dry food and we have tried a few different raw meats. We feed Linda raw and cooked vegies as well. You can buy dry food and treats in bulk online to keep costs down. Linda also LOVES a good bone with lots of marrow, chicken carcases for teeth health and anything with a good chew in it. Weekend markets and butchers are great for good value bags of bones. If you feed your dog cheap canned food, you’ll suffer the consequences, stinky farts!