Rupert in the running to be Top Dog

By Lachlan Durling

The Vaitohi family had no idea they would be inviting a thief into their home when they made a seemingly innocent decision in January, but they wouldn’t change it for the world.

Well, thief may be a little harsh to describe Rupert, the 40 km/h ex-racing couch potato they adopted earlier this year.

But impromptu games of ‘find the shoe’ and even ‘find the iPad’ are the greyhound’s specialty.

Despite all the searching the family spends their time doing, they still think he could named as the News’ Top Dog in Shepparton and district, and even found the time to nominate him before entries close tomorrow night.

“He’s extremely friendly, loves his food and walks and is definitely a gentle giant. He is fascinated with anything new and loves to investigate,” Tessa Vaitohi said.

“He has a few funny quirks in that he will always steal something of the person he loves most and hide it in his bed.

“I’ve found my runners, my hubby’s hoodie, our son Christian's footy and even my iPad among his bedding – he doesn't destroy it, he is just takes it.”

He’s the perfect fit for an athletics-mad family as he keeps everyone on their toes.

“We love Rupert because he is a big softie and he has just fit into our family like a glove,” Tessa said.

“He plays a game where is you left him off his lead he will run off, each time you get closer he runs off again – much to my husband’s annoyance.

“Another amazing thing he does is called a 'zoomie' where he runs like a lunatic at you and side steps at the last second so he doesn't run into you.”

Tessa said Rupert has been clocked at 40 km/h as he barrels along.

But he’s not all go. Like every greyhound, Rupert is just as comfortable in his bed, often with an assortment of tech and apparel from around the house.

“At times he sleeps in the most unusual positions – upside down like a dead roach with his legs sticking up in the air and other times with his front half off his bed and his back half on his bed,” Tessa said.

As one of the dogs vying for the title of Top Dog in Shepparton and district, Rupert is up against more than 60 of the best boys and girls from Numurkah, Toolamba, Tatura, Kialla, Congupna and beyond.

But there's still time to get your entry in, as they close June 19 at 11.59pm before voting is open to the public from June 20 – July 3.

To enter your dog, and to vote from Saturday, visit