You never get bored with 16 pets
Melissa Trickey loves animals.
Which is just as good as she shares her Shepparton home with 16 of them.
“I lived on a farm when I was younger, so I’ve always been around pets,” said Melissa.
“I love him. I’d rather be surrounded by animals than humans.
While there are the cats and dogs that you’ll find in many homes in Goulburn Valley, Melissa also has more unusual pets, including two sugar gliders, a python, a frog, and a turtle.
“I like to be different. I like unusual things, ”said Melissa.
Even one of her cats is a little different, with Melissa choosing a hairless Sphynx.
When asked if she has a favorite pet, it was the almost five-year-old Sphynx cat that Melissa named.
“I like it in pieces. Panchu is very in your face, ”she said.
“Sphynxes are very affectionate.
Besides being cuddly, Panchu also has a bit of a mean side, jumping on benches or cupboards and dropping things.
“You have to be careful leaving food on the bench because it will pinch it.”
Priya, an eight-year-old Persian cat, is also known to try and steal food from family plates if she gets the chance, Melissa said.
Long haired 10 year old Phoebe and Priya tend to “do their own thing,” but Phoebe loves sleeping in bed with Melissa’s daughter, Nattaya Guligo.
The first of Melissa’s pets was Bailey, a 13-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Despite her age, Melissa said Bailey was still energetic and “full of beans.”
These days, Bailey spends most of her time in the garden with Lucy, a seven-year-old cross border collie boxer, whom Melissa describes as “rowdy and energetic.”
It’s up to Melissa’s partner, Brad Horton, to take Lucy for a walk as she’s too strong ahead for Melissa.
There are also two other “indoor dogs,” 12-year-old Hunee, Staffy cross boxer, and six-year-old Sharnie, who Melissa said were laid back and loved attention.
Another older pet of Melissa is the eleven-year-old Rhapsody Cockatoo.
The cockatoo is an “indoor bird” and is not caged at all.
Melissa had Rhapsody as a baby, raising birds, and hand-raised her from around six weeks old.
Since then, Rhapsody has spent six years living with another friend of Melissa’s, but has been back with Melissa for a few years and now has free rein at home, sitting on a perch in the living room or laundry room where she sleeps.
According to Melissa, Rhapsody is quite vocal, often loud, but is also able to say a few sentences, including “I love you”.
She also enjoys being with people.
“She hates that we leave her. She screams every time we leave the house.
With cockatoos living for over 65 years, turtles living for over 50 years, and pythons possibly living for more than 20 years, Melissa said she was very careful when choosing these pets because her children Tyrone Guligo, 16, Nattaya, 14, or Ryker Trickey, 6, may have to hire them in the coming years due to their long lifespan.
When Melissa had Sheldon, a turtle, two years ago, she was about the size of a 50-cent coin.
“She would only have had a few weeks,” Melissa said.
Sheldon has now grown a bit bigger than the palm of a hand and spends his days in a tank.
“She’s very placid and loves dinner time,” Melissa said.
The once-daily feed includes fattening fish, raw shrimp, pellets or turtle food.
Two goldfish, named Kevin and Stewart, also live in tanks at the house, an eight-year-old tree frog named Lillypad and a four-year-old bredli python named Karai.
The python is Brad’s pet; Melissa bought it as a birthday present for Brad.
“I won’t touch her,” Melissa said.
When they first had Karai at six weeks old, she first lived in a take-out container.
Now over 180cm long, Karai has moved on to a much larger tank.
The latest additions to the household are two Sugar Gliders – a one-year-old male named Gumnut and a six-month-old female, Kalypso.
Being nocturnal animals, gliders spend most of their days sleeping together in pockets in their cages, but night is their time to shine.
“It’s like they’re in a hurry. They are very energetic and fast (at night), ”said Melissa.
They each have an exercise wheel, which the family hears working out at night while the rest of the house is in bed.
The last pet in the household is a silky chicken named Cloud, 2, who lives in the front yard of their house.
While there’s always a lot going on with so many pets, Melissa wouldn’t want it any other way.
“There is never a dull moment,” said Melissa.
” It’s entertaining.
“When the kids are at school and my partner is at work, I don’t feel alone. “
Click here for more photos of Melissa’s pets.
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