Four-month-old Lucy, an Old English Sheepdog puppy, has been stealing hearts ever since her arrival at GemLife Highfields in May.
Owners Noel and Kathryn McIntyre moved to the resort in February and hadn’t planned on getting a new pet but couldn’t resist Lucy’s Old English charm.
“We’ve had several Old English Sheepdogs over the years. After our last dog, Gemma, passed away in October, we weren’t planning on getting another one for a fair while,” said Kathryn.
“But just after we moved to GemLife I got a call from a breeder who told me they were having a litter of puppies and was asked if I wanted one. Litters of Old English Sheepdogs are hard to come by so I said yes.”
Noel and Kathryn told the breeder that they wanted a girl and because Lucy was the litter’s only female, it was a destined match.
“We went to see her in March when she was just a couple of weeks old and she came home with us in May,” said Kathryn.
Kathryn said that although Lucy was just a puppy, her intelligence was undeniable.
“She is enthusiastic, a bit naughty, absolutely adorable and super smart,” she said.
“She’s already been to puppy preschool and is starting obedience school next month.”
Lucy’s father is a much-loved ‘story dog’ at a state school in Brisbane, helping children improve their literacy skills in a relaxing, comforting environment. Kathryn hopes that Lucy will follow in her father’s footsteps.
“I’m a retired teacher so I thought it would be a good fit for Lucy and I when she gets a bit older,” said Kathryn.
Besides their famously fluffy coats, Old English Sheepdogs are recognised for their intelligence and easygoing dispositions.
“They are also known as clowns and I think that describes Lucy perfectly,” said Kathryn.
“They have the most beautiful temperaments, they are gentle souls and stay in that puppy state of-mind all their lives, and they’re very good with kids. I always had them around when my sons were little and they’ve been wonderful with my grandkids too,” she said.
“They’re smart, easy to train and you can do lots of fun things with them like herding and agility drills.”
The McIntyres said that the pet-friendly aspect of GemLife was a major drawcard.
“If GemLife wasn’t pet-friendly we wouldn’t have come because we knew that we wanted another dog at some point,” said Kathryn.
The couple looked at a number of over-50s lifestyle resorts in the region before discovering GemLife.
“There was just something special about GemLife Highfields. It wasn’t just the facilities – though they are wonderful – it was the whole friendly atmosphere and we felt right at home here,” she said.
“We lived in Toowoomba so in terms of distance it wasn’t a big move, but in terms of lifestyle it was a huge change and it’s been wonderful.”