Chin wags and tail wags
"I know everyone in the place by their dog and I always bump into them when they’re out walking.”
Zoe and Geoffrey may be “hand-me-ups” but Peter and Susan Fay can’t imagine life without them.
The Halcyon Greens couple first inherited Zoe, their placid 11-and-a-half-year-old chocolate Labrador from their son when he moved away eight years ago.
Geoffrey, a rambunctious five-year-old long-haired mini dachshund, joined the family by default three years ago when they agreed to look after him while their son was on holidays.
“The two get along so well, even though they are complete opposites,” Peter said.
Aiding the fur-family dynamic is Greens’ welcoming pet-friendly environment.
Peter estimates up to half of his neighbours own dogs and while he can rattle off the names of each furry companion, admits he doesn’t always know the names of their human handlers.
“Dogs are a great leveller,” he said. “I know everyone in the place by their dog and I always bump into them when they’re out walking.
I reckon a half hour walk takes closer to two hours by the time we all stop to talk.”
Peter can be spotted strolling along the community’s walking tracks daily with Zoe and Geoffrey in tow and often takes the older dog out to explore the trails through Pimpama.
“Zoe, in particular, keeps me moving and active,” he said.
“I had my knees replaced a few years ago so she really helps with my exercise; I wouldn’t be walking as much as I do without the The impact of pets on an owner’s physical wellbeing is well-documented.
A 2017 Swedish study found dog-ownership reduced the risk of death by 33 per cent, the risk of cardiovascular related death by 36 per cent and the risk of a heart attack by 11 per cent in people aged 40-80.
Another US study found dog-walkers were fitter and trimmer and more likely to meet recommended physical activity levels than non-walkers.
Equally important are the mental and emotional benefits that come from pet-ownership.