Head in the game, Ivy on the ball

Adorable: Ivy’s deep brown eyes make her all the more cute. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Eccentric and full of life, Ivy chases her ball around the backyard, eager to show off her collection of balls piled up in the middle of the grass.

She runs around in excitement, with the ball in her mouth, jumping on people as she works for the attention of her owners, Sophee Frampton and Brad Osborne.

“When the ball is around, that’s all she focuses on,” Sophee said.

Playful: Ivy shows off her bubbly personality, tackling the ball on the ground. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Ivy, also known as Bubby to Sophee and Brad, is the four-and-a-half-year-old bulldog who won over Sophee and Brad exactly one year ago.

She gave birth to two litters of puppies as a breeding dog in her first few years of life, but soon after it became time for Ivy to find a home of her own.

“They were looking for a new home and we were looking for a dog and then we met her and we just love her,” Sophee said.

Taking it easy: Ivy’s unique features as a bulldog make her stand out from the crowd. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Ivy’s energy often fluctuates, going from happily lazing around the backyard to speeding through the house, with Sophee and Brad often checking her for injuries.

“She comes through the house and doesn't understand the tables and chairs, and obviously when she hits the tiles, she comes flying down. You’ll see her try to turn and then she’ll take out the chairs,” Sophee said.

“She’s nearly smacked walls through hitting things but other than that she’s been really good,” Brad said.

“She’s actually been really good, the only thing is we can’t give her toys — she likes to tear them,” Sophee said.

“Like tennis balls, she just minces them,” Brad said.

One big, happy family: Brad and Sophee playing with Ivy. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Ivy’s exuberant behaviour and large brown eyes make her seem adorable. However, what makes Ivy stand out from the crowd is her canine intelligence.

“She’s like a little human in certain ways — like she knows all our routines, like when people are coming home,” Brad said.

“So every morning we go get a coffee and she knows when you put your shoes on, she’ll fly to the door,” Sophee said.

“She gets in the car and she sits in the middle console and waits for you.

“I could go back inside because I’ve forgotten something like shopping bags and I’ll come back to the car and she’ll still be here waiting.”

Like a puppy: Despite being fully grown, Ivy has puppy-like energy. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Ivy also knows how to get her own way, as she often opts to swap out her bed in the laundry at night for Brad and Sophee’s.

“When we sleep at night, I let her in the bed all the time but we'll have her down the bottom, and I’d wake up and she's up on the pillow in the middle of it just snoring,” Sophee said.

Cuddles: Sophee and Ivy enjoy each other’s company. Photo by Rechelle Zammit