Doggone it: Tamworth home to oodles of poodles

WHEN IT comes to hot dogs, Tamworth just has oodles of poodles even though we might be in a region where working dogs or even Heinz varieties might seem to be the leaders of the pack.

HOT DOGS: Our winners, from left, Nicole Tait with Lotus, Joash and Grace Riggien with Rosie,and Laura and Kate Stewart with Stephen. Photo: Gareth Gardner 120614GGD02

HOT DOGS: Our winners, from left, Nicole Tait with Lotus, Joash and Grace Riggien with Rosie,and Laura and Kate Stewart with Stephen. Photo: Gareth Gardner 120614GGD02

The winners of our special Hot Dogs competition recently saw the oodles come out as top dogs.

The Leader photographed oodles of dogs for the Hot Dog competition and it was the oodles that came up trumps in the voting. 

In fact, if you study the canine form, you get the distinct impression that Tamworth is populated by moodles, cavoodles, poodles, labradoodles, schmoodles and even Boxer and Aussie doodles.

But while there’s oodles of those crossbred canines, vets and dog lovers say Heinz is still a breed that sticks its nose out in front when it comes to popularity with Tamworth owners.

And plenty of people are a bit like a mixed breed – there’s a genuine divide between dog sizes in Tamworth. 

RSPCA spokeswoman Colleen Bannister says a survey at her local vets, Greencross in south Tamworth, suggests Tamworth is a half big, half little, doggy kind of town.

“A lot of families like to have bigger dogs like labradors but older folk like little dogs, like the moodle variety,” Mrs Bannister said.

And while working dogs might be popular as pets too, they don’t beat the good old house hound.

Suburban bitzers are bigger when it comes to numbers, but even they are chasing their tails when it comes to the new oodles breeds.

Stephen the Moodle won The Leader’s Hot Dogs contest paws first, with a massive 280 votes. Second top dog was Lotus a cavoodle with 129 votes. Snapping at her heels in third place, with 126 votes, was a tiny poodle called Rosie.

Stephen is owned by the Stewart family who adopted him when he was three years old, after his first owners moved out of town. 

Now Stephen is aged 10 and very much a part of the family; going on family holidays they choose to stay in pet friendly accommodation; visiting cafes where he is allowed a little taste of vanilla slice and recently he even has his own doggy party with his canine friends who bought bones tied up with ribbon.  The Stewarts said Stephen likes to visit the local pet shops where he chooses his own squeaky football to play with. 

“Football seems to be a passion and he is very skilful at jumping high catching the ball mid air, then at the end of the day he relaxes on the lounge, next to his dad, watching football on the television,” say the Stewarts.

Lotus is a three year old who hailed from Taree. Her owner, Nicole Tait, is an asthmatic so she chose Lotus for her low allergy coat but also because of the playful nature of cavoodles, the King Charles Cavalier X Poodle. 

“Lotus loves swimming, walking down the main street greeting people and having snuggles. In fact I think she would make a great Pets as Therapy dog,” Nicole said.

“However Lotus takes great delight in chasing birds and guarding a treasured bone.”

Rosie is also three years old and was chosen for her small size (although they thought she would grow a little bit larger than she has) and for the hair that doesn’t shed. 

Rosie’s owner, Grace Riggien, says Rosie loves chasing birds and sticking her nose down holes looking for lizards but she always comes when she is called. Although she doesn’t sleep inside the house she does have her own heated bed in the Riggien’s garage where she can keep warm but also warn the household of any stranger danger. 

The winning pooches all received $50 vouchers from Wallamore Grain and Produce and a photo for the family album.

With her winnings, Lotus bought 80 kilos of dog food and donated it to Heaven Can Wait Animal Shelter. 

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