Mungo finds a new friend

By Laura Briggs

A scroll through Greater Shepparton City Council’s online pet adoption page was all it took.

Retired librarian Janis Spehr was on the lookout for a small fury friend when she stumbled across the ‘‘amazing eyes’’ of a one-year-old miniature shar pei Jack Russell terrier cross.

After a visit to the Shepparton animal shelter, Ms Spehr was convinced the dog was exactly what she was looking for and finalised the adoption, taking Mungo to his new home just weeks ago.

Having owned bigger dogs in the past, Ms Spehr felt it was time to find a smaller dog who could adapt to her lifestyle of travelling from place to place in her caravan.

‘‘Because I’ve reached a stage in my life that the French refer to as ‘being a woman of a certain age’, I thought I have owned four other dogs — all dynamic active breed dogs, German shepherds, kelpies — and I just can’t do it any more.’’

Although she had a slight reservation about owning a small dog, Mungo has quickly become the perfect addition to Ms Spehr’s lifestyle.

‘‘I was always of the philosophical school ‘a small dog makes a good floor mop’ but Mungo has blown those kinds of prejudice out of the water — he’s smart, he’s fun and he’s quite active,’’ she said.

Ms Spehr said her caravan site was small but she was committed to making sure Mungo had plenty of space and time to exercise and play.

‘‘I walk him twice a day. We do a walk of about an hour in the morning and I put a bit of effort into playing games with him and things like that,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve only had him for two weeks but already I feel he’s a great little friend.’’

She said besides being a friend to her, Mungo had also been keeping a close eye on things around the caravan park.

‘‘He’s also quite a good little watchdog.’’

Ms Spehr was working on teaching Mungo basic commands and was looking to take him to a dog obedience club following her next move to the Colac area.

She said the club would be an opportunity to further train him but also for Mungo to socialise with other dogs.

Ms Spehr was grateful to the staff at Shepparton Animal Shelter who made the adoption process pleasant.