By Meg Hill
Astor and Spencer hit the jackpot when they befriended Flagstaff Gardens gardener and resident John.
The two dogs get to lounge around in the sun while John works in the picturesque CBD park that surrounds his home.
John, who lives in a cosy caretaker’s house, has owned seven-year-old shitzu/poodle Astor since “he could fit in the palm of your hand”.
John is also pleased to have his friend’s rescue dog, three-year-old Spencer, join him and Astor to work in the garden. Spencer is a mystery mix of breeds and has learned from his calm companion Astor since being rescued.
“He has calmed down a lot, he used to be very nervous and jumpy,” John said.
John has to put the dogs on a lead when he takes them into the park, but they are happiest relaxing off-leash when playing within the fenced boundary of his home.
There seems to be little point of a leash, however, as John cannot be pushed to think of a single time Astor has failed to be a good boy.
In fact, Astor can be easily prompted by his owner to shake hands, high-five, drop, roll over and howl.
“He sometimes gets over-excited and barks a bit, but he’s just saying hello.”
Spencer, on the other hand, is sometimes caught digging up John’s well-maintained gardens, endearingly undoing hours of hard work.