Dr Lisa Chimes is very busy! Her role on the popular TV program Bondi Vet sees Dr Lisa saving lives at Sydney’s Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH), where she works day in and day out, even when the cameras stop rolling. Dr Lisa Chimes has a young family and two doggies, Nelson and Lucas.
Who’s the Boss? reveals how Nelson and Lucas manage to get lots of attention; and who really stole the show on Dr Lisa’s wedding day.
Who’s the Boss? Did you always have dogs growing up?
Dr Lisa Chimes: I’ve had dogs for as long as I can remember. My first dogs were Tammy and Didi, a Maltese cross and Bichon Frise – the poor things were dressed up in baby clothes and paraded around the house in toy prams. I always rescued and tried to treat injured animals as a child – whether it was a pigeon, lizard or possum. I wanted to become a vet from a very young age but was worried I wouldn’t be able to cope with the sad elements of the job. And yes, while my job involves lots of heartaches, I wouldn’t want to be anything other than a vet – it truly is one of the most rewarding professions around.
Who’s the Boss? You currently have doggies. What are they like?
Dr Lisa Chimes: I have 2 beautiful dogs – Nelson and Lucas, both Cavalier-crossed poodles, aged 9 and 4. Nelson is a very loyal companion – he watches over my every move and does not let me out of his sight. He is completely ball, food and possum-obsessed! Lucas, on the other hand, thinks he’s a person. He is incredibly affectionate, anxious, and howls at ambulances like a wolf!
Who’s the Boss? At your wedding in 2011, you had unusual page-boys. Who really stole the show on your big day?
Dr Lisa Chimes: When I got married in 2011, Nelson and Lucas were my gorgeous page-boys. They wore little custom made tuxedoes and bow ties. My Collette Dinnigan wedding dress was fortunately light grey in colour, which helped hide any paw prints left by the dogs as they sat on my lap in the wedding car. Nelson proudly carried the ring on his back. They definitely stole the limelight from the bride and groom!
Who’s the Boss? Life is very busy for you at the moment with Bondi Vet, a human baby, Hudson and your fur babies. How do Nelson and Lucas get your attention?
Dr Lisa Chimes: There certainly isn’t a dull moment in my life at the moment. Our house is constant chaos with Nelson and Lucas running around and Hudson crawling all over the place. Having a baby is such a special experience but it is definitely hard work! When we first brought Hudson home from the hospital, Nelson and Lucas were very gentle – perhaps it’s because I made sure they spent a lot of time around babies before he was born. When Hudson was a newborn, Lucas used to drop toys on him, hoping that he would play fetch. Now that Hudson is crawling, Lucas is actually terrified of this strange “half human, half dog “creature! Nelson and Lucas are never really jealous because I always make sure I include them in all of Hudson’s activities, whether its bedtime, bath time or meal time (their favourite!)
Who’s the Boss? What are your tips to introduce a doggie to you a new baby?
Dr Lisa Chimes: Ensure that the dogs are used to the sounds and smells of a baby before you bring the baby home. This can be achieved by allowing your dog to spend time around other babies, and playing sounds of babies crying as often as possible. While the baby is in hospital, try and take an article of their clothing home to the pet to allow them to get used to the new smell. When the baby comes home, ensure that you reward the dog with positive reinforcement whenever they are quiet and calm around the baby. Continue to feed and exercise your dog as per usual, and make a conscious effort to give them some extra attention even though the baby will be taking up a lot of your time. No matter how well behaved your pet is, never ever leave them unsupervised with your baby!
For more tips on how to introduce your dog to a baby, check out our Paw Perfect Introductions series with renowned animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti.