In association with our good friends a DogHQ each month we meet Shore people who's four-legged family members add a great deal of joy to their lives. Our very own dog-lover Aidan Bennett (he has two doggies of his own he spoils – Olive a Cocker Spaniel and Maisie a French Bulldog) has been given the task of putting this feature together on a monthly basis in 2017. This month he talks with Melissa Rundle of Waiake about Rupert, her Australian Shepherd.
AIDAN BENNETT: How long has Rupert been part of your life?
MELISSA RUNDLE: Rupert joined our family six years ago.
AB: What made you decide to get an Australian Shepherd?
MR: I love large breed dogs and was keen on a Bernese Mountain Dog but my husband wanted a breed that was going to be a little more active. We spotted an "Aussie" on a trip to San Francisco and from there started researching breeders here in New Zealand. We got him from Di at Ukulunga not long after we got back home.
AB: Is he your first dog, if not tell us about your other dogs?
MR: He is my first dog but my husband Nigel has had dogs before.
AB: Do you have any other pets?
MR: We have a cat called Cisco. He and Rupert are great mates which is so nice.
AB: What do you love about Rupert?
MR: Although he has the cutest face in the world, the thing I love most about Rups is his manner. We have two small children and he is impossibly patient with them. Just a really lovely, gentle soul.
AB: Does he have any bad habits?
MR: No thankfully. He has never chewed anything and is very food motivated which made training a breeze.
AB: What are his favourite things to do?
MR: Go for a walk or have a bone in the backyard.
AB: How long has he been going to DogHQ and does he love it?
MR: He loves DOG HQ. We all do. We have been there now about five years I think. Lou and her team are a big part of our family and he has recently had a weekend of overnights with them too. He is very social so we couldn't be without them.
AB: Does he love the beach and swimming?
MR: It took him a while to swim but now he loves it. We are so fortunate where we live that he has daily access to beaches.
AB: Any words of wisdom for other dog owners or prospective dog owners?
MR: My only advice would be to make sure you are prepared for a very hands on relationship with them. They do require a lot more time than say a cat. It is all time well spent however. My other would be to make sure you get pet insurance.