Demand soars for coronavirus comfort puppies
MEET Ziggy - she's a coronavirus comfort puppy.
The adorable toy cavoodle is one of many "designer" dogs bringing joy to homes blighted by COVID-19.
Ziggy, nine weeks' old today, joined her new "parents" last Saturday and they say she is the best $3500 they've ever spent.
Lana Sciasci, a freelance marketing consultant with no work, described Ziggy as "a mental health dog for sure".
"She is the best companion, and now is the perfect time to get a puppy because I'm around 24 hours a day," said Ms Sciasci, 30, previously marketing manager of Channel 7 until her department was axed in October. Her partner Phil Mayze, 32, is still working in construction.
The Red Hill couple were first to respond to an online ad late Friday night, and within hours, all eight puppies had sold.
"It's out of control," she said. "We think we got a bargain because some toy cavoodles are going for $6000 - breeders can charge what they like because demand is now so high."
Over in Hawthorne, in Brisbane's inner east, the Clark family has "never felt so much love".
Dan Clark - a director of restaurant 1889 Enoteca and Addley Clark wine wholesalers in Woolloongabba - acquired the second male member of his tribe last Thursday.
Mr Clark, 45, and wife Lucy, 43, have three daughters, Lola, 11, Eleanor, 8, and Silvie, 6.
They now also have Chewie, an eight-week old Irish wolfhound cross who will grow to be 45kg.
"We needed someone to give us some love, and Chewie (short for Chewbacca from Star Wars) has fit right in," Mr Clark said.
"He is also living up to his name and chewing everything in sight."
While Mr Clark considers himself fortunate - he has retained his 10 staff at Enoteca because of takeaway trade and "people have drunk more wine in the last four weeks than forever" - he says getting a puppy has helped his family "survive the new normal".
"We picked him up from a breeder in Murrumba Downs for $500.
"All pups in the litter were super cute, and you feel so bad taking one away from the other, but Chewie was meant to be with us."
Originally published as Demand soars for coronavirus comfort puppies