Dogs: Coop, 12 (American Staffy), Scout, 10 (Staffy x Jack Russell), Louie, 5 (Miniature Dachshund)
Nicknames: Coop Scooby, Boofa, Scoutie Pie, Squeet, Tiny Tan, Little Lord Louie
In three words: Scout– Small, mighty, bossy. Louie– Sweet evil genius. Coop– Total food ninja!
Emma is living every dog lover’s dream. A lover of colour and vintage eclectica, Emma is a dog trainer and professional dog walker, so her days are spent schmoozing with woofers from all walks of life. And if that’s not enough to turn your hound-shaped heart green with envy, she arrives home each day to her own pack of adoring pooches, alongside her partner Ollie. Throw in a vintage 1960’s caravan and you’ll see why we’ve come to affectionately know this too-cool-for-school canine crew as ‘The Funky Bunch’.
You’ve never met a pack quite like this!
3 Ain’t A Crowd + Poolside Flamingos
Dogs were the no.1 topic of conversation when Emma and Ollie first met at a mutual friend’s birthday. When they eventually got together, Ollie was fur pa to Coop, an American Staffy, while Emma’s four-legged sidekicks included Scout, a sweet Staffy x Jack Russell, and Louie, a cheeky dachshund who Emma re-homed through a dog walking client that could no longer care for him.
What was an unlikely canine combo turned out, luckily, to be doggie destiny.
“The dogs all got along really well from the beginning. Coop and Louie definitely had a special bond – you’d often find them sleeping in the same bed, and Louie would follow Coop around everywhere he went.”
Emma and Ollie eventually married in Palm Springs, California, and in keeping with their edgy, flamboyant style – celebrated the day cruising around in a cherry red Mustang. Their special day was immortalised with matching Cali-themed tattoos complete with retro poolside flamingos.
As quirky and super-cool as their parents, each dog brings its own unique traits to the pack, their individual characters far different from that of their fellow furry siblings. Think a dog version of Modern Family. Or a barking Brady Bunch.
“Scout is very much like the little tomboy girl from To Kill A Mockingbird – hence the name! Louie would be a little boy genius with exceptional taste in clothes. He would also give zero fucks of other’s opinions. Coop, on the other hand, would be the handsome jock. Pretty and charming but not a great deal going on upstairs, ya know.”
Hamburgers + Solar Powered Dogs
For Emma and Ollie, these dogs are quite literally the loves of their lives. Such is the love that all members of the Funky Bunch happily share a bedroom, with all 3 dog beds lined up alongside Emma and Ollie’s own bed.
It’s no surprise then that this colourful canine crew is living the high life. From socialising to smorgasboard dining, if you’re wondering what they get up to, think indulgence – in all its forms.
“Scout loves to spend her time playing with her rope toy, or going for lunch to catch up with her humans. She likes to maintain a sense of balance in her schedule. When Louie isn’t strutting down the street, he really likes to sun bake. We’re pretty sure he’s solar powered.
Coop just loves to eat. He’ll inhale whatever he can get his paws on – hamburgers, protein powder, packets of cake mix, even whole blocks of cheese.”
When these pampered pooches aren’t partaking in their favoured forms of leisure, you’re likely to find Coop and Louie lazing about as Scout roams the house, keeping all the rules in check.
“Scout thinks she’s a bossy cat. She’s definitely the rule keeper of the house, especially when it’s time for dinner! While she’s bossing about, Louie will probably be watching his “TV”, which is actually the heater. Coop just likes to perch in places he is too big for, like the armrest of a couch.”
A Caravan Called Wanda + 2 Beef Patties
What do you get when you combine a 1967 Hillendale caravan called Wanda, 3 fur kids and 2 trendy fur parents? One of the most paw-some travelling troupes that’s ever hit the Oz highway.
Head over heels for their dogs, Emma and Ollie just can’t bare to be without them. So when the holidays come around, they regularly bundle up their brood for road trips away from the big city lights to the bush and beyond.
Their favourite place to visit by far is Daylesford, a vibrant country town nestled in Victoria’s picturesque Macedon Ranges.
“We absolutely love taking the dogs to Daylesford, we often take road trips there – the community is so dog-friendly! Whenever we stroll past the shops they always invite us in.”
When the Funky Bunch are back home in Melbourne, they enjoy long walks along the charming Yarra trail through the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Fawkner Park in South Yarra, along with Melbourne’s various dog beaches, are favourite stomping grounds for this loved-up dog squad who draw many a squeal of delight from onlookers wherever they go.
“Walking a dachshund gets a fairly large amount of attention in general, but walking a dachshund with his hired muscle, in the form of two beefcake “bodyguards” (who in reality wouldn’t hurt a fly) is always entertaining.”
5-Star Love + Pram Walks
The love Emma and Ollie have for their dogs is the sort of love that all dogs would dream of. Pure. Unconditional. Selfless. The same kind of 5-star love dogs show humans, no questions asked. And while they would do anything for their fur kids, sadly, all the love in the world isn’t enough to stop an illness from striking.
Louie was first. The little lord was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease – a spinal condition that causes loss of feeling in the legs and can affect ¼ of all dachshunds. Although small in stature Louie certainly brought the fight, pulling through spinal surgery like a trooper and taking on his recovery with his trademark determination and spunk.
“Louie had to be in a crate for most of the day, except toilet breaks (where he had to walk in a sling). We also took him for walks in a pram when we walked the other two so he wouldn’t miss out! It was a heartbreaking time, but he’s improving every day. He’ll tell you he’s back to normal, which is half the battle – it’s hard to slow him down!”
While Louie has continued to truck on, Coop has wrestled with a number of health problems, and rule-keeper Scout has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer. Being the mighty little boss she is, Scout is responding well to her cancer treatment.
One thing that’s clear – it’ll take a hell of a lot to keep the Funky Bunch down.
Despite all the challenges, Emma and Ollie remain just as optimistic and full of love as ever. Being dog parents has completely changed their lives, teaching them patience, responsibility, and unconditional love.
“We’ve been through a lot with our dogs over the past few years. They are our family and despite the difficult times, they bring so much joy to our lives – we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
*UPDATE: We’ve been sad to learn that since our photoshoot take place, Coop unfortunately succumbed to illness and passed away. On Coop’s last day, Emma and Ollie bought him McDonald’s so he could enjoy one final hamburger. We send our thoughts to Emma and Ollie, and like to think of Coop eating all the burgers and blocks of cheese up beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
If you’d love to help this one-of-a-kind fur family by raising money for costs associated with Scout’s cancer treatment, Emma and Ollie would greatly appreciate any donation over at their GoFundMe page.
At Dogfolk Pet Photography, we photograph Melbourne fur families + share their stories.
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