A house full of animals with a lot of love to share

Tania Deith used to work as a vet nurse, so maybe it’s no surprise that she has a great love for animals and a house full of them now.

Tania, her husband Anthony and their three children, Madison, 15, Lachlan, 12, and Sophie, 11, live in a household that also includes two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, a bird and five goldfish.

Tania said she always had animals, but having children who wanted pets was what led to their menagerie, with all the animals except the bird being relocated.

The first of this crop of pets that the Shepparton family had was the Gingerbread cat, who is about eight years old and comes from the pound.

Gingerbread is primarily Lachlan’s cat and although he said she was “a bit antisocial and spent a lot of time outdoors”, she also enjoyed petting “on her terms”.

Gingerbread also particularly likes eating chicken, according to Madison, who tears it apart and sits on the floor with her while she eats.

Greybeard the bunny is Madison’s primary pet and she has had her since he was a baby.

He and another rabbit in the family were hand-raised after being orphaned at a young age.

For Madison, the best thing about Greybeard is that you can cuddle him whenever you want, but he’s also happy to hang out in his cage in the garden.

“He’ll let you cuddle him a bit, but once he’s had enough he’ll squirm and scratch.”

“He’s not like a dog they’re attached to enough,” she said.

Chester the Cavalier King Charles was the next pet to join the household, with the family getting it from an uncle.

The eight or nine year old dog belongs to the whole family.

The next to arrive was a parakeet they had had for about three years.

Goldie the cat joined the family about a year ago when she was eight months old and was a gift for Sophie after her operation.

Having a new cat was enough of an incentive for Sophie to do physical therapy and relearn how to walk.

“I really liked knowing that I would have a cat if I did,” Sophie said.

The 11-year-old loves watching Goldie “zoom” around the house and describes Goldie as “super playful and cuddly when she wants to be.”

Goldie also has a love for water and enjoys sitting at the bottom of the shower and licking the water off the base, as well as walking around the edge of the tub.

She is also known to dip her paws in her bucket of water and play with it.

Dallas the golden retriever was the next to join the household.

Now around five years old, Dallas is a former breeding dog and was yet another animal the Deith adopted.

Dallas is Lachlan’s dog and when she first came into the family she was quite fearful.

Lachlan said now Dallas is “just learning to be a good dog.”

According to Lachlan, Dallas loves to chew on things, “especially daddy’s slippers.”

And although she hates baths, Dallas loves other types of water.

“She tries to swim in everything – her drink bucket, the fountain and the kiddie pool,” Lachlan said.

“She puts all four legs in her bucket.”

The best thing about Dallas though?

“The fact that she thinks she’s a pocket dog,” Lachlan said.

The five goldfish were the last pets to join the house, with the Deith having obtained them this year.

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Raymond I. Langston

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