Big love for a big pet 

By David Amaya

Zoe Sonnenberg wanted a small pet but three months ago she fell in love with a huge dog that now takes over half of her bed. 

Although CBD resident Ms Sonnenberg shares her house with two other people, the size of Gertrude is not a matter for discussion. If someone wants to take a room in her home, they must love dogs – big dogs.

Gertrude is a seven-month-old Staghound rescued by Ms Sonnenberg through the Pet’s Rescue website.

“She was the smallest one at the pets adoption but now I know she could grow double the height she actually is,” Ms Sonnenberg said.

Gertrude has long legs and is very skinny. She looks like a racing dog but Ms Sonnenberg emphasises that she loves Gertrude’s calm and friendly nature.

“When I saw her for the first time, she wasn’t like normal puppies which are really hyperactive. She was quite calm and loving,” she said.

But Gertrude has some unique traits. Ms Sonnenberg found out that her pet likes sardines – normally the domain of cats!

“I realised when she got some sardines off my plate. I then started feeding her with sardines and dog food for lunch,” she said.

Gertrude’s second favourite food is Ms Sonnenberg’s socks and underwear. She eats them when Ms Sonnenberg is out.

“I have to remove all temptation before leaving home and she is fine,” Ms Sonnenberg said.

Zoe Sonnenberg grew up with dogs, birds and rabbits, but none of them were as big as her new pet.

It is challenging to look after a big dog, but she doesn’t worry about that at all. “My job doesn’t require me to be out home for long periods of time so Gertrude isn’t alone for more than three hours,” she said.

Ms Sonnenberg also said she couldn’t imagine her life without Gertrude even though their friendship started just three months ago.

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