When Harry (a spaniel) met Sally (a kelpie-Jack Russell cross) ... they became the best of friends.
While the pair was named after the characters played by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in the 1989 romantic comedy film When Harry Met Sally, Avenel owner Lisa Madden said their relationship was nowhere near as tumultuous as their onscreen counterparts.
“They sleep together, they do everything together,” Mrs Madden said.
“They're constant companions for each other.”
Sally, 14, was the first to come along, and was a result of a secret rendezvous.
“Sally’s father was our farm kelpie Jack, who travelled to the next property for a liaison with the female Jack Russell,” Mrs Madden said.
“Our neighbour thought she had joined her with another Jack Russell, but out popped about 10 black puppies.
“We thought we should take one.”
When Jack died a few years later, the Mrs Madden and her children Thomas and Emma chose a spaniel puppy and called him Harry.
Harry is now nine years old, and while the two dogs get along famously, they couldn’t be more different.
Harry is extremely cuddly and loves lounging around.
“Everyone wants to squeeze him because he looks a bit like a stuffed toy,” Mrs Madden said.
“And if you happen to be saying `I think I'll have a snooze’, he gets up and walks to the fire, and just passes out.
“He's totally relaxed.”
Sally is more active and independent.
“Sally is a soccer player — she loves balls and will steal other people's balls.
“If you wanted to get the kids out of bed, you’d send Sally,” Mrs Madden said.
But one thing they both love is spending time on their Avenel farm with Mrs Madden's husband Craig.
“They are Craig's constant companions at home — they love riding on the tractor and love the motorbike,” she said.
And they also get along with Mrs Madden's cats, Ben and Jerry, and all can be found laying by the fire.
However, Harry and Sally are beginning to slow down.
Harry recently needed disc surgery in his neck, and Sally has dementia, as well as poor hearing and eyesight.
While it has been difficult watching them get older, Harry and Sally continue to bring joy to the Madden family.
“When I get home from work, hop out of the car and see their smiling faces, they just brighten up your day,” she said.
“We'd be lost without them."