Louie is farming family’s new fur baby

By Jamie Salter

Dairy farmer Anne Barbagallo from Mead, near Cohuna, recently added a new member to the family. Jack Russell Louie has become a substitute child after Anne's daughters Stacey, 21, and Heidi, 18, left home for university in Melbourne and Geelong. Louie will grow up on the farm where Anne has lived for about 15 years, after moving from north Queensland to pursue dairy farming in Victoria.

Why did you get Louie?

We got Louie at about eight weeks old in March, because both of our girls were going to university and then coronavirus hit and they had to come back.

How did he get his name?

It was a group effort, he was nameless for a couple days as I came up with ideas that were rejected. We were going through all sorts of names and my grandfather's name was Louie.

What's his personality like?

He's very energetic, he chews everything and makes more mess than the kids ever did. He's always lying at your feet and wanting a tummy rub. He's ultimately a farm dog but not for chasing cows, he's only little and he'd get run over.

Does he get along with other animals?

Louie and the cat Ginge are a bit standoffish, Louie just wants to play but the cat won't have a bar of it. We've had the cat for about eight years, and I keep telling Louie, Ginge was here first.

What does he eat?

He loves bacon and he likes to eat everything we eat. He sits there and looks up at you with puppy dog eyes.

What would you do without him?

We wouldn't have to put our shoes up high, at this point of time. We haven't been going too far with coronavirus, and we're always on the farm — so he's always with us. They become part of the family, he's just a good distraction and he's filling the void my daughters are leaving.